Located at 210 Church Street in Clinton, the Holder Memorial building was built in 1904 to be the home of the Clinton Historical Society by Francis T. Holder as a memorial to his parents, David and Ruth Bassett Holder. A native of Clinton, F.T. Holder had risen to become president of the Alexander Smith Corporation, which manufactured carpets. You can learn much more about Francis T. Holder and the Holder Memorial in the book The Holder Memorial Given to the Clinton Historical Society, published in 1905.
The building at 156 Church Street in Clinton was built in 1902 and is known as the Coulter Press Building or the Courant Item Building. It was the home of two newspapers published by the Coulter family: the Clinton Courant (published 1865 to 1962) and the Clinton Daily Item (published since 1893). The building continues as the home of the Coulter Press.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.