Author Archives: Daniel

Dr. Samuel Young House (1825)

Young House

The Young House, at 1 Fairbank Street in Harvard, was built in the early nineteenth century, although the exact date is unknown. In 1825, the property was sold by John P. Whitcomb to cordwainer William Lewis, who sold it to James Young in 1836. Young then transferred it to Dr. Samuel Young , who was probably his uncle. As described in the History of the Town of Harvard (1894), Vol. 2, by Henry Stedman Nourse, Dr. Young was

born in Athol August 12, 1782, son of Lt. Samuel and Lois (Sanderson) Young. Dr. Young was a graduate of Williams College, 1804, and practiced in Athol and Lowell before coming to Harvard. He lived for about thirty years in a house yet standing upon the east side of the common, where he died March 30, 1845. One of his legs being much shorter than the other, he walked with a cane. He was the last of the old-style doctors, paying his visits on horseback, his stock of medicines borne in saddlebags before him.

In the mid-nineteenth century the house was owned by his daughter Seraphina and her husband Hiram Joy and was called Joy Cottage. The house passed among female descendents until 1985.

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Naumkeag Trust Company (1900)

Naumkeag Trust Company

The building at 217 Essex Street in Salem was built in 1900 to house the retail store of W.E. Hoyt Company. A decade later, the Hoyt Block was acquired by the Naumkeag Trust Company, which hired Boston architects Franklin H. Hutchins and Arthur W. Rice to remodel the interior to become a bank building. The history of the Naumkeag Trust Company is related in Vol. II of the Municipal History of Essex County in Massachusetts (1922):

The Naumkeag Bank was incorporated March 17, 1831, with $200,000 capital, subsequently increased to $500,000. It commenced business in the Benjamin Dodge store building, on Essex street, opposite the Essex House, then was moved to the Manning building, and in 1872 to the second floor of the Asiatic building, Washington street. David Pingree was its first president. In 1864 this institution was changed to the Naumkeag National Bank.

It then became the Naumkeag Trust Company, which was established October 7, 1909. The building is now home to The Gathering at Salem, an interdenominational Christian church.

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West Triple House (1834)

West Triple House

Erected circa 1833-1834 is a triple house at 5-9 Summer Street in Salem. It was built as an investment by Capt. Nathaniel West, who lived in one of the three units. The house is now part of The Salem Inn. Capt. West had been involved in an infamous scandal when he was divorced from his wife, Elizabeth Derby West, in 1806. In the trial he had lost to her his estate in Danvers, Oak Hill, but later reacquired part of it after her death. He moved it to Salem where it became the front section of the Philips House on Chestnut Street.

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Salem Public Library (1855)

Salem Public Library

The building that today houses the Salem Public Library (370 Essex Street in Salem) was originally built in 1855 as a house for Capt. John Bertram (1795-1882), designed in the Renaissance Revival style by Salem architects William H. Emmerton and Joseph C. Foster. Known as the Bertram-Waters House, in 1887 it was donated by Capt. Bertram’s heirs to the city to become a library. The building was remodeled inside for that purpose in 1888-1889 and additional wings were constructed in 1911-1912.

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Parks Building (1873)

Parks Building (1873)

Oren B. Parks operated a grocery store in Westfield and became a successful businessman and civic leader in the late nineteenth century. He played a major role in developing the Northside section of Westfield. Around 1873 he built the three-story commercial building at 57-59 North Elm Street to accommodate his expanding business.

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Mater Dolorosa Roman Catholic Church (1901)

Mater Dolorosa Church

Mater Dolorosa Parish in Holyoke was established in 1896 as a Polish Roman Catholic parish. Worship took place in the basement of Our Lady of the Rosary Church until Mater Dolorosa Church, at 173 Lyman Street, was dedicated in 1901. Mater Dolorosa Catholic School opened a decade later. The church was closed in 2011 when Mater Dolorosa parish was merged with Holy Cross to form the new Our Lady of the Cross parish. This occurred came following a ruling from the Vatican after five years of appeals and court actions to prevent the closing. Next came controversy between the Catholic Diocese of Springfield and those who want to establish a Polish historic district on Lyman Street that would include the deconsecrated Mater Dolorosa Church. The proposed historic district was rejected by the City Council, but efforts to save the building continue.

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Still River Baptist Church (1832)

Still River Baptist Church

The Baptist Church in the community of Still River in the town of Harvard was organized in 1776 by fourteen members of Harvard’s First Church. In 1782, the Baptist Society acquired the first meeting house building used in nearby Leominster. It was dismantled and reassembled as the Still River Baptist Church on land donated by the congregation’s first pastor, Dr. Isaiah Parker. The old meeting house was moved again to serve as a parsonage when the current church was built in 1832. Various alterations were made to the 1832 church over the years, including an addition in 1902. In 1967, the building, which is located at 213 Still River Road, was acquired by the Harvard Historical Society with the stipulation that they preserve the sanctuary, organ (added in 1870), and various furnishings. The Society converted the vestry into exhibit space

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