The building at 24-26 Elm Street in Westfield was erected as a Methodist Church (the congregation‘s second church building) in 1843. Commercial businesses were located on the ground floor of the building with the church above, a not unusual practice for urban churches of the time. When a new Methodist Church was completed on Court Street in 1875, the Elm Street building became exclusively commercial and the post office moved into the basement. The cupola, roof and third story were razed in the 1940s.
John Bancroft, who was a captain in the French and Indian War, built the brick house that still stands at 530 Pochassic Street in Westfield. Rev. John H. Lockwood, in his Westfield and Its Historic Influences (1922), writes of
Capt. John Bancroft who, in 1755, built in Pochassic what was probably the second brick house in the present Hampden County, the old Day house in West Springfield dating from 1754. The Bancroft house was by far the more massive and pretentious of the two and is still a notable mansion. Captain John, its builder, was a prosperous farmer, owning slaves, like a few of his fellow townsmen of the time. He was very proud of his elegant mansion. A tale, which may be pure romance founded on his well known characteristics, has come down to our time, somewhat as follows: He was wont to sit within his commodious domicile and watch for passers by in order to gloat over their envious glances. One day, while thus engaged, he called out to one on the road, “Did you think that you had reached paradise?” Quickly came the stunning response, “Yes! I did think so, until I saw the devil looking out of the window.” Sic transit gloria mundi!
In 1776, during the Revolutionary War, Capt. Bancroft’s name was published on a list of those considered “enemies of their country” and the Committee of Correspondence and Safety confined him within the limits of his farm. He regained some of his status after the War, but research long after his death revealed that he had been selling secrets to the British throughout the Revolution.
At 6 Elm Street in Westfield is the Westfield Atheneum, a library originally incorporated in 1864. Funding for the first Atheneum building, located at 26 Main Street, was provided by Hiram H. Harrison, president of the American Whip Company, with additional funds for the purchase of books being raised by private subscription. The Atheneum later received the donation of a circulating book collection that was first used by the Westfield Social Library, begun in 1830. The Westfield Atheneum opened to the public on January 1, 1868. Originally requiring a $2.00 annual fee, in 1895 the Atheneum became a free library. In 1898, Westfield Academy donated another building to the Atheneum, the Fowler-Gillett Homestead (built c. 1828 by James Fowler) at the corner of Court and Elm Streets. It was remodeled for library use and opened in 1899. The current main Atheneum building, designed by Coolidge and Carlson, was erected in 1927 and the Fowler-Gillett Homestead became the Boys and Girls Library. A new wing and extension connecting to the Boys and Girls Library, which doubled the floor space of the Atheneum, were dedicated in 1966. The Atheneum building also contains the Jasper Rand Art Museum and the Edwin Smith Historical Museum.
The house at 14 Franklin Street in Westfield was built in 1825 for Wareham Sackett by Ephraim Crary. It passed to Sackett’s daughter, Henrietta, who married Capt. George Whipple. Their daughter, Julia, married Dwight Kellogg, for whose name the house was afterward known. The house is now used for offices and is in a commercial area.
The building on the corner of Elm and Main Streets (2 Main Street) in Holyoke, was erected in 1842 for Lyman and Thomas Lewis. Originally a boarding house, the building was soon operated as a hotel called the Westfield House. It was expanded on the north side in 1855. After the hotel closed in 1894, the local district courthouse occupied the upper section of the building from 1904 through the 1930s. Later names for the building were the Morrissey Block and the Park Square Building. Read More
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.