In 1811, the Bond family opened a store at the corner of Main and Central Streets in Boylston. When the store burned down in 1929 it was replaced by a new building, which today has the appearance of an American Foursquare house (1 Central Street) set above a modern storefront on its west side (700 Main Street). It was known as the Bond Corner Store, then the Boylston Center Store and is now the Boylston Deli.
The house at 74 Fairfield Street in Springfield was built in 1903 for Henry Russell, but it is most notable as the childhood home of Dr. Seuss. Theodore Geisel was born on March 2, 1904, in his family’s home on Howard Street. In 1906, when he was two, his family moved to 74 Fairfield Street, where they would live until 1943. The author’s father, Theodore Geisel, senior, ran the family brewery until it closed due to prohibition. He then became superintendent of city parks, which included the local zoo. Ted Geisel moved away after he graduated from Dartmouth in 1925, but images from his childhood in Springfield would later reappear in his illustrated children’s books.
Calvin Coolidge, 30th President of the United States (1923-1929), was born in 1872 in Vermont and spent much of his adult life as a lawyer and politician in Massachusetts. From 1906, a year after he married, until he retired from the presidency, Coolidge and his wife, Grace Anna Goodhue Coolidge, rented the left side of a two-family house at 19-21 Massasoit Street in Northampton. The house was built in 1901 by builder J.W. O’Brien. While he lived there, Coolidge served as City Councilor and Mayor in Northampton, state senator and Governor of Massachusetts, and then vice-president and president of the United States. In 1930, the Coolidges moved to another house in Northampton. He died in 1933. The Forbes Library in Northampton is home to the Calvin Coolidge Presidential Library and Museum. It is the only only public library in the United States to hold a presidential collection.
The house pictured above (185 Chestnut Street in Clinton) has the look of an American Foursquare house (which were built in the 1890s-1910s), but it’s documented as having been built in 1851 for Franklin Forbes. He was the agent at Lancaster Mills, during which time it became the largest producer of gingham cloth in the world. He also served a term in the State Legislature in 1864 and was a member of the town’s school committee from 1852 to 1877, serving all that time, except for one year, as chairman.
Located at 61 Washington Road, in the Forest Park Heights section of Springfield, is the F. Nichols House, a colonial revival-style residence, built in 1896. From 1905 to 1955, it was the home of Thornton W. Burgess (1874-1965). A conservationist and author, Burgess wrote Old Mother West Wind and many other children’s books.
F.W. Lathrop was a Springfield real estate dealer. In 1899, he supervised the construction of his own house at 188 Sumner Street from plans executed by Carroll H. Pratt, who was the assistant of architect Louis Frank Newman. The house has an American Foursquare form with Colonial Revival and Neoclassical architectural features. The house later became the first home of Sinai Temple, which moved to a new building at 1100 Dickinson Street in 1950. The house was next home to Lubavitcher Yeshiva Academy and then to an artist who ran “The Mansion House” art school in his home. For 17 years the house was owned by the Griffin family and most recently by an owner who in 2003 opened a bed-and-breakfast in the house called the Lathrop House B&B, which closed last year.