The Oakes Mansion on Appleton Ridge, high above the village of McClain’s Mills (today’s Appleton Village), was constructed in 1896 in the shingle style by Francis Oakes, a wealthy New York dye manufacturer, for his wife, as an addition to her parents’ home on the Ridge. She was Appleton native, actress, and singer Adelene Sullivan. The house’s extensive outbuildings are gone, but the main house still stands and is undergoing renovation. To the original Sullivan farmhouse at the left, Francis and Adelene added a three-story addition of some twenty rooms. The domed cupola visible above the original section at the left was an observation balcony above the water tower behind the house, which provided storage and pressure for the extensive indoor plumbing, which was unusual for that date and place. The structure is now the home of Selectman Donald Burke.
Appleton Historical Society