Swansea Historical Society

Maude Frances Darling-Parlin


Maude Parlin portrait
Maude Parlin was the first female architect from Fall River, Massachusetts. She was born August 20, 1884 and was the daughter of George Darling and Frances Lydia Rebecca Davis. Both Maude's father and her grandfather, Joseph Darling, were architects.

Maude was a 1903 graduate of B.M.C. Durfee High School and a 1907 graduate of Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She also attended the Pratt Institute School of Architecture in Brooklyn New York.

Luther Store Museum
Maude, along with Marion Riley and Grace Hartley Howe, saved the Luther Store from demolition by the Town of Swansea and are the reason it still stands today. The three women worked together with the Works Progress Administration (WPA) to move the store to where it stands today. They also participated in the restoration of the store. While working on the restoration of the store, one of the wide floor boards gave way and Maude fell through to the cellar and landed on her feet. She was rescued by one of the onsite contractors who was amazed that she was not injured.

She was responsible for the restoration and preservation of many historical homes and buildings in the Fall River Area.


Maude passed away on February 27, 1979 and is buried in Oak Grove Cemetery in Fall River, MA. (source: findagrave.com)