History of Highfield’s Stables
1876 – 1879:
1876-77: Site preparation for the building of Highfield and Tanglewood.
1878: Highfield Constructed.
ca. 1878: Highfield stable, caretaker’s cottage and ice- house constructed.
One of the first major shipments on the railroad to Falmouth was a car of Beebe’s blooded horses.
1879: Tanglewood and its barn completed.
ca. 1880: Highfield stone carriage shed built.
The stable and carriage house had varnished interiors and polished brass, each horse having its own nameplate.
The carriage horses bore the names and terms out of Tales from the Arabian Nights- Ali Baba, Nourmahal and Salaam.
At nearby Surf Drive beach where the Beebe’s maintained a beach house, there was also one for their horses.
The horses had their own cemetery, a fenced-in enclosure, their final resting place suitably marked with a headstone.
1890: From the Johnson Collection in the archives, there is a photograph of Franklin’s bedroom fireplace showing his horses’ medallions affixed to the mantel.
1930: Frank Beebe (youngest Beebe sibling) made a deal with a local theatre troupe, “The University Players”. He offered to take ten season subscriptions if the troupe would provide a Wednesday matinee. (Frank didn’t like to go out at night.)
Note: the University Players included talented actors such as Henry Fonda and Jimmy Stewart.
1947: In the spring, Arthur J. Beckhard converted the Highfield barn and stable into a theatre and cocktail lounge. The Beebe pet cemetery was destroyed to make way for a parking lot. The theatre was named “The Highfield Playhouse.”
Do you have information on the history of the stables at Highfield and Tanglewood, please contact Annie Dean.
Highfield Hall Archives, Max Ferro’s 1977 Historical Assessment Report , “25 Years at Highfield” by Paul Discroll, “Ring Around the Punch Bowl” by George Moses and “Highfield and Tanglewood- A Tale of Two Cottages by Kathleen Brunelle, “The Book of Falmouth” edited by Mary Lou Smith.