Category Archives: Architectural Style

Samuel L. Hill House (1845)

Samuel L. Hill House

Samuel L. Hill was one of the founders of the Northampton Association of Education and Industry (NAEI), a nineteenth-century utopian community located in the village of Florence in Northampton. In the 1830s, S. L. Hill had worked as an overseer in a cotton factory in Willimantic, Connecticut. He came to Florence in 1841, where he became a leading citizen and established the Nonotuck Silk Company. An abolitionist, Hill actively aided slaves on the Underground Railroad. Among his other acts of philanthropy was the founding of the Florence Kindergarten, now the Hill Institute. His house, at 29-33 (or 31-35) Maple Street in Florence, was built around 1845. The south wing is the earliest section of the house, which is Arthur G. Hill, his son, also became one of Florence’s leading citizens and lived in the house until the 1920’s.

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Mary Ellen Chase House (1827)

Chase House

Attached to Duckett House, an 1810 residence in Northampton that is now a Smith College dorm, is the Mary Ellen Chase House, another dorm named for a Smith College professor and author. Chase House was built in 1827 (or perhaps as early as 1810) as a residence by Elijah Hunt Mills (1776-1829), a lawyer and politician. After Mills’ death, the house was owned and occupied by Thomas Napier, originally from North Carolina, who was a slave-auctioneer and anti-abolitionist. The house later passed through other owners until 1877, when it was sold to Miss Mary Burnham to establish a school for young ladies (the Northampton Classical School for Girls). The objective was to provide better academic preparation for young women wishing to attend the new Smith College. A new rear wing was soon added to the house to accommodate the school, as well as a central tower (later removed) and a Mansard roof (which remains). The Burnham School later moved out of Northampton and Smith acquired the house in 1968.

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Shaker Office, Fruitlands Museum (1794)

Shaker Office

The Shaker community in Harvard began in the 1780s and flouished in the mid-nineteenth century. After the Harvard Shaker Village finally closed in 1917, the original Shaker Trustee’s Office, built in 1794, was moved in 1920 by Clara Endicott Sears to the Fruitlands Museum to become a Shaker Museum.

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Gale and Dickinson Store (1896)

Gale and Dickinson Store

Currently home to the Harvard General Store in the Town of Harvard, the building at 1 Still River Road was built in 1896 on a site occupied by at least two other earlier stores. The Nathaniel Stacy Bookbinding Store occupied the site in a building built by 1831 that burned in 1850. This was replaced by a commercial building (Union Hall) that was moved to the current site of the Harvard Post Office to make way for the present store building, originally occupied by the Gale and Dickinson Store. (more…)

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Former Harvard Public Library (1886)

Harvard Public Library

In 2007, the old Broomfield School in Harvard reopened as the new home of the town’s public library. Harvard’s previous library building is located at 7 Fairbank Street. Built in 1886 and expanded in 1902, the Harvard Public Library was designed by William Channing Whitney (1851-1945), the nephew of Edward Lawrence, who had donated $5,000 for books provided the town constructed a building to house them. A further gift of $5,000 from Hannah W.C. Sawyer provided for purchasing the lot and building the library on the site of an inn that had burned down in 1880. (more…)

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Judge Bailey Aldrich House (1930)

89 Shaker Rd., Harvard

The house at 89 Shaker Road in Harvard was built around 1830 on the site of one of the former dwellings of the Harvard Shaker Village. Judge Bailey Aldrich designed the house with the builder Harold Bigelow to reflect the Shaker tradition of simplicity.

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Congregational Church of Interlaken (1827)

Congregational Church of Interlaken

In 1824 plans were made to build a new meeting house by the Stockbridge Congregational Church. The location of the building was a point of contention between members of the congregation. Although it was eventually built near the site of the community’s first meeting house, church members living in the north section of town, known as Curtisville (named for the mill complex erected by Stephen Curtis), felt that the distance was too far to travel. In 1825, after much debate, it was decided to let a new Congregational Society be formed in Curtisville. The North Congregational Society met in the Red School House on Larrywaug Crossroads until its own church, also on Larrywaug Crossroad, was dedicated on January 10, 1827. The building was used until 1834 when it was taken down and and rebuilt at its present site at 6 Willard Hill Road. Curtisville later became known as Interlaken and the church as the Congregational Church of Interlaken A brick edifice, it was in use as a church until 2002, when declining membership led to the congregation’s sale of the building. It was converted into the second home of a New York architect.

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