Smith H. Platt House (1893)

182 Sumner Ave., Springfield, Mass

The house at 182 Sumner Avenue in the Forest Park neighborhood of Springfield was built in 1893. It was the home of Smith Harrison Platt (1829-1912), a Methodist minister and doctor whose medical office was in his house. His obituary by W. A. Layton appeared in The Christian Advocate, Vol. LXXXVIII, No. 3 (January 16, 1913):

He was the son of Marshall S. and Tryphena M Platt and was born in New Milford, Conn., on December 14, 1829. A child of Prayer, his parents were Methodists. He was converted at the Stepney camp meeting, on August 30, 1845, licensed to exhort soon afterward and then to preach, December 18, 1847. To be privileged to be the Lord’s accredited messenger for sixty-five years is a favor accorded to but few, and for most of this time to be recognized as one of the ablest preachers of so great a Conference as New York East is to be honored indeed. Thus was our brother blessed.

. . . . .

He was kicked by a horse a few weeks before going to his first charge and was forced to walk with crutch and cane for five years, and with cane alone for sixteen additional years, when the other knee was injured, and with two canes he managed to get about for four additional years. Forced by failing health to abandon the pastorate during his second year, he located and traveled for a time and then entered business, but with improved physical condition he was eager for his chosen life work and reentered the Conference in 1853, having been absent from the pastorate for one year only. For three years he did regular work, but in 1856; he was again obliged to rest, and this was repeated in 1859-62. These, however, were not idle years, as they were spent in writing books, which from many sources brought tokens of helpfulness.

His pastorates were: 1850-51, Cornwall Bridge and Ellsworth; 1852, located; 1853, readmitted, Fairfield; 1854, Olinville Mission; 1855, Greenport; 1856, supernumerary; 1857-58. Brooklyn, Nathan Bangs’s church (New York Avenue); 1859-62, supernumerary; 1-t:3-64, Newtown and Southville; 1865-67, West Winsted; 1868-70, Brooklyn, Fleet Street: 1871-73, Bridgeport, First Church; 1-74-76, Brooklyn, De Kalb Avenue; 1877, Brooklyn, Tabernacle; 1878-80, Ridgefield; 1881-83, Southampton. In 1884 he retired, succumbing to the strain of building the new church at Southampton.

. . . . .

While in De Kalb Avenue, after twenty-five years of trouble with his injured knees, accentuated by rheumatism, causing him for years to sit while preaching, the Lord healed him in answer to prayer.

Dr. Platt did not have the advantages of the schools except for parts of three years at Amenia Seminary, when between sixteen and eighteen years of age, but he was a great reader and a careful student and by private tutoring he kept abreast of his brethren and secured his honorary degree of A.M. from Wesleyan University, while through a correspondence school and such clinical work as he could command, he graduated in medicine, and when, in 1884, he was obliged to permanently retire from the regular pastorate, he devoted his time to the practice of medicine and built up a lucrative practice in Southampton, I. I., and afterward, removing to Waterbury, Conn., he was equally successful.

Knowing of his faith healing, the writer, who succeeded him at Southampton, and who was his pastor there for three years, asked how he reconciled his medical practice with his faith in divine healing. He replied: “The Lord is able to heal either with or without remedies. He employs both methods. When, however, He heals without remedies, in my judgment He either reveals His intent to the individual to be healed or to some second person concerning him.” Thus he consistently believed in faith healing and practiced medicine.

His was a metaphysical mind and his heart was as warm as was his mind intense. His interest in things philosophical and spiritual seemed, if possible, to increase as the result of his pastoral deprivations, and his later years were largely spent in evolving a theological system which he believed when published was to be of incalculable blessing to the Christian world. About a week before he died the writer received a letter from him in which he told of a severe illness from which he had just recovered, and said that he hoped that the Lord had spared him to complete his theological work, which he expected to have ready for the publishers in about twelve months. He was grateful to have been spared, that this work might be accomplished, and gave evidences of devotion to a chosen task which has rarely, if ever, been excelled. He has an opportunity now to prosecute his studies under most favorable auspices.

In 1853 he was married to Miss Catherine H. Bangs, daughter of the late Rev. William H. Bangs, who, throughout his effective ministry, was his companion and helper. To them were born three children [. . . . .] For years he had spent his summers with his daughter in Springfield, Mass., and his winters in North Carolina. He responded to the summons calling him from sickness to health, from the retired to the permanently effective ranks of God’s chosen ones at the home of his sister, Mrs. Flora E. Barnes, Southern Pines, N. C., on October 29, 1912. The funeral services were conducted by the undersigned in Springfield, Mass., on Saturday, November 2, and his body was laid to rest in the Oak Grove Cemetery of Springfield.

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Roland Ingersoll House (1840)

Roland Ingersoll House

The Greek Revival house at 47 Court Street in Westfield was built in 1840 for Ronald Ingersoll and is the work of architect Chauncey Shepard. The Ingersoll Family owned the house into the 1930s, when it was purchased by the Baptist Church of Westfield for use as a parsonage. Later it was used by Dr. Kenneth Phillips as an office and residence.

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R. L. Nichols House (1893)

202 Sumner Ave., Springfield

The R. L. Nichols House, 202 Sumner Avenue in Springfield, was built in 1893. The following notice appeared in The Horse Review, Vol. XXI, No. 12 (March 20, 1900):

Anyone looking for a free-for-all pacer can be accommodated by R. L. Nichols, 202 Sumner Ave., Springfield, Mass. The mare he will sell has a mark of 2:12%, timed In a race In 2:09%, and she can wipe her record out by some seconds. She is sound and clean, fit to train, and a genuine race mare. Her owner Is In no hurry to sell, and invites the fullest investigation.

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Waite Building, Pittsfield (1913)

Waite Bldg.

The commercial building at 338-346 North Street in Pittsfield was built c. 1913 on the site of the home of Dr. Lorenzo Waite. It has been variously attributed to architects George Haynes and Joseph McArthur Vance.

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Florence Congregational Church (1861)

Florence Congregational Church

The Florence Congregational Church, at 130 Pine Street in Northampton, was constructed starting in 1861. The village of Florence was developing as an industrial area at the time. Before the church was built, residents had to make the Sunday trip to Northampton to attend church services. The Florence Church had its beginnings in 1857 as a fair weather outdoor Sunday school for the First Church of Northampton. The church has a Stick style Parish House designed by William Fenno Pratt.

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W. H. Lyman House (1870)

319 Elm St., Northampton

The Gothic cottage at 319 Elm Street in Northampton, built in 1870, was designed by William Fenno Pratt for W. H. Lyman. A later owner was S. C. Parsons.

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Todd Block, Northampton (1870)

Todd Block

The William Todd Block, at 153-159 Main Street in Northampton (the building on the left in the image above), is a commercial/apartment building erected in 1870. It was designed by J.M. Miner. It replaced an earlier brick building on the site that was destroyed by fire in July 1870. As related in The Attractions of Northampton (1871), by Charles H. Chandler:

The year 1870 will long be remembered in Northampton on account of the two great fires which occurred, and the consequent impulse given to business by rebuilding. The fire of May 18 destroyed the Edwards Church and the North Block; that of July 19 the Warner House, Todd’s Block, and several smaller edifices. By these two fires the whole business center of the town was threatened, and in fact narrowly escaped destruction. As a result, the Edwards Church has been rebuilt on a new site in a superior manner, and the new Fitch Hotel rears its lofty front where the Warner House stood. Todd, Lee & Co. have erected a fine brick block on the old site of the Edwards Church, and W. H. Todd has rebuilt his block, and most of the other buildings burned have been replaced by better and more substantial structures. Besides, Messrs. Dawson, Fitch and Crafts have built a brick block on the corner of Main street and Strong avenue, and Wright & Co. have entirely remodeled their store, putting on a new front.

Next to the Todd Block, at 147-149 Main Street (the building on the right in the image above), is the Serio Block, built c. 1860. Originally called the Clapp and Johnson Block, it was part of what was known as granite row. The building’s second story was added during a renovation in 1870.

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