Category Archives: Victorian Eclectic

Catholic Society Parsonage, Northampton (1866)

41 King St., Northampton

The house at 71 King Street in Northampton was built in 1866 to serve as a parsonage for St. Mary’s Catholic church. It was designed by William Fenno Pratt, who also designed a similar parsonage for the Congregational church. Built in 1845, St. Mary’s was Northampton’s first Catholic church. This almost entirely Irish parish constructed a new church on Elm Street in 1885 and a new French-Canadian parish took over the old church. This was later replaced by a new church, the present Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church at 101 King Street. Since the move of St. Mary’s Parish, the old parsonage has been used for other purposes, including as a funeral parlor.

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Old Central Fire Station, Clinton (1898)

Old Central Fire Station, Clinton (1898)

The old Central Fire Station, at 42 Church Street in Clinton, was built in 1898. It was Clinton’s second fire station. A modern fire station was constructed next door in 1983.

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First Unitarian Church of Clinton (1853)

First Unitarian Church of Clinton

In 1853, three years after the First Unitarian Society of Clinton was organized the society built at church at 250 Church Street. Now the oldest standing church in Clinton, it was erected on land donated by Henry Fairbanks, one of the partners in the Bigelow Carpet Company. The church was raised in 1872 when the current first level was added underneath the original 1853 church. No longer a Unitarian church, in recent years the building has lost its steeple. It is now the Clinton Spanish Seventh Day Adventist Church.

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Daby-Bigelow House (1880)

Daby-Bigelow House

The lot at 5 Fairbank Street in Harvard was purchased by Asa Daby (died 1813) in 1797. He built a house there that eventually burned down in 1880. By that time the property was owned by Daby‘s two sons, Asa (1797-1887) and Ethan (1799-1876), who soon built a new house on the site. Asa Daby, Jr. served as town selectman in 1837-42 and 1844-47, was elected a state representative in 1839 and 1841, and was town treasurer from 1847 to 1879. He was also director of the Lancaster Savings Bank. Later occupied by his widow, Kate Daby, the house was purchased in 1907 by Albert H. Bigelow.

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Trustees’ Office and Store, Hancock Shaker Village (1813)

Trustees' Office and Store

In 1813, the Shakers of Hancock constructed a building, the Trustees’ Office, in which to conduct business and accommodate visitors from what they referred to as “The World.” Part of Hancock Shaker Village, it is located just across the border from Hancock in Pittsfield (the town line passes through the eastern end of the village). In 1852 the Shakers more than doubled the size of the original building by extending it to the south. It was also reoriented to face west. A kitchen ell was added in 1876, which joined the Office to a woodshed to the east. The entire structure was completely altered in an eclectic Victorian style in 1895. There was also a gift shop/fancy goods store in the building. The Office was home to the Trustee and Central Ministry Eldress Mary Frances Hall (b. 1876) until her death in 1957. (more…)

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William Cullen Bryant Homestead (1785)

William Cullen Bryant Homestead

William Cullen Bryant (1794-1878) was a major poet and for 50 years was editor and publisher of The New York Evening Post. He was born in a log cabin in Cummington. When he was two, Bryant‘s father, Dr. Peter Bryant, moved the family to a house in Cummington that the doctor’s father-in-law had built in circa 1783-1785. The house became young William Cullen Bryant‘s boyhood home and is now called the William Cullen Bryant Homestead. In 1865, after the old farmhouse had been out of the family for 30 years, Bryant purchased and extensively altered it in to reflect Victorian stylistic tastes. He began by raising the original section of the house, creating a new ground floor. He also added a gambrel-roofed study, a replica of his father’s medical office, which projects from the front facade, and constructed an addition to the house’s original rear ell. The renovated house would serve as his summer home until his death. It is now owned by the Trustees of Reservations and can be toured by the public. (more…)

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Noah Strong House (1873)

The house at 38 Broad Street in Westfield was built in 1873 by Noah Strong, a local contractor. The architecture of the house reflects an amalgam of styles. The town purchased the house in 1909 to use it as a vocational school. For Westfield’s 250th Anniversary celebration in 1919, the building was used for “The Hostess House and Loan Exhibit,” under the direction of the art committee of the Women’s Club of Westfield. According to The History of the Celebration of the Two Hundred and Fiftieth Anniversary of the Incorporation of the Town of Westfield Massachusetts, August 31, September 1, 2, 5, 1919:

Here tea was served every day to thousands of guests, who were received by hostesses in quaint, old costumes.

The rooms of the house were arranged for the occasion in a colonial style with many antiques, early portraits and family heirlooms on display. A “Museum Room” featured relics of past wars, including the recently concluded First World War. In 1920, American Legion Post 124 began leasing the building from the city and purchased it in 1962. The second floor was made into a meeting hall in 1928.

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