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Why Doesn't Massachusetts Have A Governor's Mansion?

BOSTON (CBS) -- After Charlie Baker is sworn in as governor and finishes a day of inauguration festivities Thursday, he goes home – to his home, not to a governor's mansion.

Massachusetts is one of five states without an official residence for the governor. Until 1863, Hancock Manor stood right next to the State House on Beacon Hill and once housed Declaration of Independence signer John Hancock. The Hancock family wanted to sell it to the state to serve as a place for the governor to live.

But Peter Drummey of the Massachusetts Historical Society said it was turned down, not because there was anything wrong with the place, but because of the Bay State's revolutionary spirit. People didn't want to treat the governor like royalty.

"There was a strong resistance against having an elaborate governor's residence, and the Hancock mansion was torn down," Drummey told WBZ NewsRadio 1030.

The effort to get the state to buy the mansion failed, and it was razed at the end of the Civil War. One of the wings of the State House is at that location now.

But there was some good in the destruction – people began thinking about preserving Boston's history.

"That the city would allow this important building to disappear was so shocking, that when the effort was made to take down the Old South Meeting House there was a successful effort to preserve it," Drummery said.

Vermont and Rhode Island also do not have governor's residences.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Karyn Regal reports: 


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