James Beebe only spent three summers in Falmouth before passing away in 1875. He left behind his wife and seven children, all of whom shared their father’s love of the town. Two of the sons later built manors on their father’s property: Pierson selected a plot atop a hill where he built sprawling Highfield Hall in 1878, while his younger brother J. Arthur chose an adjacent tract and built an equally grand home named Tanglewood the following year.
Susan Shepard described the architecture of Highfield in a 2003 edition of Spritsail, the Woods Hole Historical Museum’s biannual journal. “Highfield Hall is the earliest known building on Cape Cod to exhibit some of the Pavilion’s neo-Elizabethan elements: the cove cornice, the very large ‘living hall,’ and the imitation half timbering that can be seen on some of the gables. Highfield is one, and perhaps the only remaining, example of the very brief nineteenth century period when Stick Style architecture was being assimilated into American Queen Anne [architecture].”
When creating his own manor, J. Arthur hired architects from Peabody & Stearns, a prestigious Boston-based firm who designed several of the Newport mansions and many iconic buildings throughout New England. The firm is remembered for ushering in the early Queen Anne, Shingle, and Colonial Revival styles, according to Shepard. Elements of each were visible in the design of Tanglewood.