Youville Place Celebrates 25th Anniversary
On Thursday, May 5, 2022, residents, family members, and longtime employees marked the 25th anniversary of Youville Place becoming the first, and currently the oldest, assisted living residence in the town of Lexington. The celebration included a series of speakers who discussed the rich history of the Youville Place campus at 10 Pelham Road, as well as a live harpist and elegant dinner for residents and family members. Attendees were also invited to a special Mass in the Youville Place Chapel, a piece of history in its own right connecting the modern-day assisted living residence to its former days as Provincial Headquarters for The Grey Nuns, i.e. Sisters of Charity of Montreal.
The history of the property reaches back to the 19th century, when it was the seat of the sprawling William Augustus Tower Estate. Vestiges of the Tower Estate remain on the Youville campus to this day, and they include stone walls, steps, and an iconic stone and iron gate. Tower’s granddaughter, Ellen, would ultimately donate much of the land to the Town of Lexington (now Tower Park). The remaining parcel at 10 Pelham Road was purchased by the Grey Nuns in 1953. Here, the sisters built a Provincial Home and headquarters from which they would administer a large network of hospitals and healthcare facilities scattered throughout New England.
One of the featured speakers at the 25th anniversary celebration was Sr. June Ketterer, who received her religious formation at the Provincial Home. By 1997, Ketterer had become Mother Superior of The Grey Nuns. In the face of declining membership, unused building space and changing times, the sisters ultimately made the decision to convert their home into a non-profit assisted living residence for the general public. “When Sr. June and the sisters went to the town of Lexington to get permission for the renovation, the concept of assisted living was very new,” says Nicole Breslin, CEO and President of Youville. “Their success in winning the town over and their overall vision for the future of the property is a testament to their remarkable foresight.”
During the celebration, Ketterer remarked how things had come full circle. The former Mother Superior and driving force behind the establishment of Youville Place is now a proud Youville resident.