Category Archives: Stick Style

Simmons Block (1885)

Simmons Block

The Simmons Block is a Queen Anne-style house at 86-90 Park Street in Adams. Built c. 1885 by businessman by A.H. Simmons, it originally had retail space for two stores on the first floor and the Simmons residence on the second floor. The building displays the exuberant variety of Victorian design.

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Children’s Chime Tower (1878)

The Children’s Chime Tower (or Chimes Tower) is a memorial tower in Stockbridge. It was built in 1878 and was a gift to the town by David Dudley Field, a wealthy New York lawyer and son of Rev. D.D. Fields of Stockbridge. Field gave the tower in memory of his grandchildren and, in accordance with his instructions, its chimes are rung at 5:30 every evening between “apple blossom time and the first frost on the pumpkin.” The tower is believed to have been built on the site of Stockbridge’s original meeting house of 1739. The wooden portion at the top of the tower represents the Stick style of architecture. Clocks are mounted in the central gables on all four sides of the roof.

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John R. Foster House (1882)

At 271 Church Street in Clinton is the elaborate Stick Style house, designed by Henry M. Francis and built for John R. Foster in 1882. Foster was a wealthy merchant who owned a chain of clothing stores throughout New England. As related by Andrew E. Ford in his History of the Origin of the Town of Clinton, Massachusetts, 1653-1865 (1896):

John R. Foster was born in Moretown, Vt., November 7, 1834. He began to work in a store at the age of twelve. He was for some time a clerk in Waterbury, Vt. In September, 1856, he went into partnership with W. H. Ashley, in the clothing business, in Clinton. Their store was in the A. H. Pierce Block on Church Street; thence they moved to the Clinton House Hall Block. Ashley remained in Clinton but a few months, then Mr. Foster took the business alone and carried it on until 1870, when he started the clothing stores in Danielsonville, Ct., Willimantic, Ct., and other places, which have proved so profitable to him, and have enabled him to add so much to the beauty of the town through his private residence and public benefactions.

Foster donated a fountain for Clinton’s Central Park in 1890 that was destroyed in the Hurricane of 1938 (a replica was rededicated in 2000). His second wife, Catherine Harlow, was a member of the corporation that formed the Clinton Home for Aged People. In 1900 (or 1909?), the house was purchased by Dr. Walter P. Bowers for the Clinton Home for the Aged, now called The Clinton Home Foundation, Inc.

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Lessey-Stockbridge House (1870)

According to The History of the Town of Amherst (1896):

Chauncey W. Lessey, son of Alanson, was born in New Fairfield, Conn. in 1837. He came to Amherst in 1865, and engaged in business as a building contractor. He built the First church, Grace church, Walker hall, Palmer’s block and many dwelling-houses. He was for five years chairman of the board of selectmen and for many years one of the assessors. He represented the town in the General Court in 1876. He was a leading member of Grace church. For several years he was a trustee of the Amherst Savings bank. He married, Melvina Swanger. He died Aug. 26, 1877.

He also built his own stylistically eclectic home, at 94 Lessey Street, about 1870. After Lessey’s widow moved out of the house, it was purchased by Levi Stockbridge in 1886. Stockbridge was a farmer and agricultural scientist from Hadley who was instrumental in the early history of the Massachusetts Agricultural College, now UMASS. He helped clear the land for the school and was its first farm superintendent (1867-1869). He was later a full professor (1872-1879), acting president (when President William Smith Clark left for Japan in 1876), and fifth president (1880-1882). Stockbridge also had a hand in the development of the Massachusetts Agricultural Experiment Station. As a scientist, he held patents for his experiments in fertilizer development, nutrient leaching and soil mulching and wrote Experiments in Feeding Plants (1876). He also served in the state legislature and as a Selectman of Amherst.

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Enos Cook House (1855)

Built about 1855, the Enos Cook House stands at 30 Boltwood Walk (formerly 10 Lessey Street) in Amherst. Enos Foster Cook, a prominent Amherst businessman and entrepreneur, was president of the Amherst Savings Bank from 1870 until his death in 1909, at the age of 93. His house, an early example of the Stick style combined with Gothic and Georgian elements, became a nursing home in 1955. A north wing was added in 1960. More recently, the former house has been used as a restaurant with additional space for other businesses.

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36 Pomeroy Terrace, Northampton (1885)

The house at 36 Pomeroy Terrace in Northampton was built in 1885 by David Crafts and Edwin Clapp on a lot they had purchased from the 1884 subdivision of the Samuel Wright estate. The house initially served as a rectory for St. John’s Episcopal Church on Bridge Street, but ownership was retained by Crafts and Clapp until 1889, by which time their net costs had been paid. In 1893, when a new church was built on Elm Street, the house was sold to Dr. William Spencer, a dentist.

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257 Main Street, Amherst (1878)

The dating for the house at 257 Main Street in Amherst, across the street from the Dickinson Homestead, is a little confusing based on the sources immediately available to me. The 2005 guidebook to the Dickinson Historic District describes it as the Cyrus Kingman House, built in the 1850s. Cyrus Kingman was a businessman who established himself in Pelham and then moved to Amherst in 1850, when he purchased the general store that stood where the Town Hall is today. Kingman’s daughters, Martha and Ellen Mary, school friends of Emily Dickinson, died within two weeks of each other in 1851. The surviving daughter, Jane Juliette., and Kingman himself died in 1854. His widow was still living in the house in the early 1870s. Zillow.com has a date for the house of 1878. While Zillow dates are not always accurate, the 1870s seems a more likely period for a house built in the Stick style. Today the house is a bed & breakfast called the Amherst Inn.

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