Category Archives: Northampton

Ebenezer Clark House (1730)

Ebenezer Clark House

Although much altered over the years, the house at 197 Elm Street in Northampton dates back to 1730. It was built Ebenezer Clark and old church and town records were kept here for many years. For eighty-five years the house was the residence of Jared Clark, who held the office of deacon at the First Congregational Church for nearly fifty years, starting in 1839. The house was later owned by Frank H. Hankins, a sociologist and professor at Smith College.

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Old Draper Hotel (1871)

Old Draper Hotel

The Warner House, also known as the Warner Tavern or Warner’s Coffee House, was for years the most popular public house in Northampton. After it was destroyed by fire in 1870, a new building, planned by J.M. Miner, was constructed on its former location on Main Street. Called the Fitch Hotel, it consisted of a central block flanked by two wings. Only the westernmost wing survives today. It features an “F” monogram in the center of the roof pediment of the façade. The hotel, located at 179 Main Street, later became the Draper Hotel. The hotel is described in an article (“Industrial Northampton”) that appeared in Western New England (Vol. I, No. 11, October, 1911):

Northampton is unusually well-equiped, for a city of its size, with high-class hotels and restaurants. The Draper, the most prominent hotel in Northampton, is favorably known throughout the country as a result of its entertaining well the people from almost everywhere who are drawn to Northampton by college exercises and by business affairs. The Draper compares favorably in quality with hotels in large cities. The rathskeller is particularly well known among men who have occasion to visit Northampton. The hotel aims to provide its patrons with whatever they wish and to its excellent dining room and rathskeller has recently been added a “self-service” restaurant and lunch room where one may get a wholesome meal in a short time and at small cost. The Draper offers both American and European rates.

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William Haven House (1860)

13 Park Street, Florence

The house at 13 Park Street in the village of Florence in Northampton was built around 1860 as a cape cod-style house. It was altered in the Queen Anne style around 1900, when the dormer windows and porch with gazebo were added. This remodeling was done by owner Henry Haven, who in 1870 had purchased the house from the heirs of William Haven, its original owner (William Haven had purchased the lot in 1858). Henry Haven was treasurer and general manager of Florence Furniture Company.

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Ross Farm (1800)

Ross Farm

The farmhouse at 123 Meadow Street in the Florence section of Northampton was built c. 1830 by Theodore Burt, or perhaps c. 1800 by his father, Gaius Burt, who had purchased the farm in 1798. Samuel Whitmarsh, a pioneer of silk cultivation in Northampton, purchased the property in 1835. Whitmarsh’s Northampton Silk Company ceased operation in 1840 owing to a decline in the industry and heavy debt. The property was acquired abolitionist Samuel Hill in 1841 to become part of the utopian community called the Northampton Association of Education and Industry (founded in 1842). Hill, who was active in the Underground Railroad, lived in the house, which is the only surviving NAEI building left today. In 1849, Hill sold the farm to Abel Ross. He lived in the house with his nephew, Austin Ross, who eventually bought the property himself in 1857. Austin Ross also used the house as a station on the Underground Railroad. The property is now called Freedom Farm.

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The Manse, Northampton (1744)

The Manse

The Manse is a house at 54 Prospect Street in Northampton. It was built in 1744 (or as early as 1737?) on the foundation of the original 1684 parsonage house of Rev. Solomon Stoddard, Northampton’s second minister and the grandfather of Jonathan Edwards. The original house passed to Rev. Stoddard’s son, Colonel John Stoddard, who built the current house. Col. Stoddard negotiated the return of the captives taken to Canada from the Deerfield Raid of 1704. The Stoddard family owned the house until 1812. A later resident was Josiah Gilbert Holland, an editor of the Springfield Republican and a founder and editor of Scribner’s Monthly. Holland also wrote novels, poetry and such non-fiction works as a History of Western Massachusetts (1855) and an influential biography of Abraham Lincoln, published in 1866. He and his wife Elizabeth were also friends and frequent corespondents of Emily Dickinson. The house’s cupola is a mid-nineteenth-century addition. The house was an inn for a time in the twentieth century.

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Elisha Hammond House (1845)

26 Maple Street, Florence

Elisha Hammond was an artist and craftsman in Northampton who joined the Northampton Association of Education and Industry, a utopian society, in 1844. The NAEI opposed slavery and supported fugitive slaves–Hammond’s obituary stated that “fugitives were never turned from his door.” In 1844 he painted a well-known portrait of Frederick Douglass. In 1845 Hammond built the house at 26 Maple Street in the Northampton village of Florence.

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Dorsey-Jones House (1849)

Dorsey-Jones House

The Dorsey-Jones House, located at 191 Nonotuck Street in the village of Florence in Northampton, was built in 1849 by Basil Dorsey. He was a fugitive slave who had escaped from Maryland in 1836 to New York with the help of Robert Purvis, a prominent black abolitionist. Florence was home at that time to a utopian community called the Northampton Association of Education and Industry. The NAEI opposed slavery and aided fugitive slaves. Selah B. Trask briefly lived in the house when Dorsey and his family moved to another home in Florence in 1852. Mary Jones, the wife of Thomas H. Jones, who was also a fugitive slave, purchased the house in 1854. Jones had escaped from slavery in Wilmington, North Carolina in 1849, having already arranged for the escape of his free wife and her enslaved children. Jones then published a narrative of his life entitled The Experience of Thomas H. Jones, Who Was a Slave for Forty-Three Years. Jones and his family lived in Florence until they moved to Worcester in 1859.

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