Category Archives: Clinton

Clinton Savings Bank (1929)

Clinton Savings Bank

The Colonial Revival bank building at 200 Church Street in Clinton was built in 1929 to house the Clinton Savings Bank. Founded in 1851, the bank was originally located at Lancaster Mills, then at the building at 195 Union Street (now the Museum of Russian Icons), and then it shared the 1881 building at 79 High Street with the First National Bank of Clinton, which became the Clinton Trust Co. in 1919. Demand for more space led to the construction of the new building, which was expanded and renovated in the 1980s.

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Clinton Town Hall (1909)

Clinton

The Town Hall of Clinton was built in 1909. Designed by Peabody and Stearns, it replaced the previous Town Hall built in 1871-1872 that was destroyed by fire in 1907. Brick for the building was provided by Fiske & Co. and terra cotta ornamentation by the Atlantic Terra Cotta Company. The building is at 242 Church Street.

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Corcoran School (1900)

Corcoran School

The Corcoran School, at 40 Walnut Street in Clinton, opened in 1900 as a public grammar school. It is the third school to occupy the southwest corner of Walnut and Church Streets since 1846: the original wooden schoolhouse on the site was replaced by a high school, built in 1854, which became a grammar school in the 1880s and stood until it was taken down in 1899 in preparation for building the current structure. Designed by Boston architect Charles J. Bateman, the school was originally called the New Grammar School or School House #10, until 1918 when it was officially named in honor of John W. Corcoran, a former member of the school committee. Closed as a school in 1981, the building was rehabilitated in the 1990s to become the Corcoran House, an assisted living facility. The building has two notable facades, as seen in the images above and below.

Corcoran School

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St. John the Evangelist Church, Clinton (1886)

St. John the Evangelist Church

There were two St. John the Evangelist Churches in Clinton before the current one, at 80 Union Street, was built in 1886. Begun as a mission church to the growing community’s Irish immigrants in the 1840s, the the first church was dedicated on October 4, 1850. It was a wood frame church on South Main Street. As described by Andrew Elmer Ford in his History of the Origin of the Town of Clinton, Massachusetts, 1653-1865 (1896):

The inclosure of pine trees which today makes the former location of the church conspicuous, was set out under the direction of Father Boyce. At first, this church was much more simply furnished than in its later days. The galleries, the pews, the organ and the furnace were put in as the means of the people increased.

This building was soon outgrown, as was the second church, a temporary structure also built of wood, which was occupied in 1869. The original church was demolished in 1874. As related in a historical sermon by Rev. Edward J. Fitzgerald that appears in the volume commemorating the Semi-centennial Celebration of the Incorporation of the Town of Clinton, Mar. 14, 1850, which took place on June 17, 18, 19, 1900:

Already the old church was inadequate and the growing numbers and the increasing prosperity of the Catholics made the plan of erecting an enduring church, which would be a glory to the God who dwelt therein and an ornament to the town, no longer a chimera. The year 1875 saw the consummation of this project, when on August 8 the erstwhile curate, now the first Bishop of the Springfield diocese, laid the corner-stone of St. John’s Church in which we are assembled today. The basement finished, the work lagged somewhat for five years, when by the united efforts of the loyal and generous people of the parish, the superstructure was raised and ornamented, and 1886 saw it dedicated to God with the beautiful ceremonial of our church, the Right Reverend Bishop being surrounded by the most dignified members of his clergy, and the lesson of the event being pointed out by eloquent lips.

The parish is called Saint John the Guardian of Our Lady Parish at St. John the Evangelist Church.

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Franklin Forbes House (1851)

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.

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A.A. Burdett House (1852)

The house at 260 Church Street in Clinton was built in 1852 by Oliver Stone, a local contractor, for Henry Kellogg, director of the Clinton Gas Light Company. Alfred A. Burdett, a local druggist, bought the house in 1867. As related in The Spatula, An Illustrated Magazine for Pharmacists, Vol. VIII, No. 10, June 1902:

To Alfred A. Burdett belongs the distinction of having been the longest in business of any man in Clinton, Mass. Mr. Burdett, who recently passed his 75th mile-stone, opened the first drug store in Clinton in 1849, and still retains his connection with the business, which is carried on by his son Oscar A. Burdett at the old stand on High street. His son Henry is likewise a pharmacist, with a store on the same street. Mr. Burdett and his wife observed the 53d anniversary of their marriage not long ago. He has served a term in the Massachusetts Legislature, and has held many positions of trust in his own town, having been selectman, town treasurer and a member of the school committee. Mr. Burdett has carefully preserved the record of his very first day’s business, on Feb. 25, 1849. On that day his total sales were $1.08, divided as follows: candy, 14 cents; cigars, 9 cents; medicines, 31 cents; fancy goods, 44 cents; valentines, 10 cents. The profits were reckoned at 55 cents.

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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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