Category Archives: Houses

Jonas Merriam House & Tavern (1807)

Jonas Merriam House & Tavern (1807)

A tavern had long stood at the site where Jonas Merriam built a Federal-style house in 1807 at 1 Elm Street, near the Common, in Harvard. Merriam built the house to also serve as a tavern that would take advantage of traffic expected to pass by on the newly opened Union Turnpike. As described in Vol. 2 of the History of Harvard (1894), by Henry S. Nourse:

When the Union Turnpike was completed and Harvard expected to become a way station on a great thoroughfare between Boston and the upper valley of the Connecticut, Jonas Merriam’s tavern was opened in rivalry with Ezra Wetherbee’s, which faced it across the common. Neither turnpike nor inn rewarded the owners’ hopes, and Merriam removed to Shirley in 1816, selling his estate to Seth Nason.

Seth Nason was a founder of the Evangelical Church and town treasurer from 1825-34. He operated a shop in the house before purchasing the building at the corner of Still River Road and Massachusetts Avenue in 1820. Among later owners of the house was Dr. Augustus Robbins. The Evangelical Church also used it for a time as a parsonage in the mid-nineteenth century. The house has had various owners since then.

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D. H. DeLand House (1904)

D. H. DeLand House

The D. H. DeLand House is at 168 Pineywoods Avenue in the Forest Park section of Springfield. The house was built in 1904.

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Charles and Lucretia M. Daniels House (1873)

Charles and Lucretia M. Daniels House

The Gothic Revival cottage at 29 Arlington Street in Northampton was built on land acquired by Lucretia Daniels, wife of Charles Daniels, in 1873. By 1880 the couple were living in the house with their two teen-aged sons and by 1884 Lucretia was listed as a widow. She lived in the house through 1917.

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Calvin and Jacob Haskell House (1800)

Calvin and Jacob Haskell House

The house at 216 Still River Road in Harvard is believed to have been built by the brothers Calvin and Jacob Haskell around 1800. Calvin was licensed to sell alcohol to travelers along the well-traveled thoroughfare of Still River Road. In the 1820s he gave up this business and became active in the local temperance society. Jacob Haskell served as terms as selectman and Justice of the Peace in 1822. The house passed to his son Levi in 1843 and was bought by William Bowles Willard in 1864. He was clerk of the Baptist Society, to which he donated a Stevens organ in 1870. In 1868 he exchanged his house for the nearby Baptist parsonage. The house at 216 Still River Road then became the new parsonage until it was sold in 1939.

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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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Jonathan Lewis House (1780)

212 Still River Rd., Harvard

Built around 1780, the house at 212 Still River Road in Harvard is known as the Jonathan Lewis House after the man who constructed it. In 1801 it was acquired by Dr. Ephraim Stone, a major benefactor of the Still River Baptist Church, which is located across the road. After Dr. Stone retired to Boston in 1840, the house passed through several owners. From 1885 to 1901, the house was owned by James Harrod, a blacksmith and son of the noted blacksmith Major Henry R. Harrod.

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John Mycall House (1798)

John Mycall House

Stephen Cleverly began constructing the hip-roofed house at 204 Still River Road in Harvard in the early 1790s. As described in the History of the Town of Harvard, Vol. II (1894), by Henry S. Nourse:

Stephen Cleverly, an eccentric genius, son of Dr. John Cleverly, succeeded [the merchant John] Munroe [at Still River] at the close of the Revolution, but his business career was brief and unfortunate. He began the erection of the large dwelling well known as the Mycall or Jerome Gardner house, but his enterprise ended in financial trouble, and he removed to Lancaster with his father. Thereafter he indulged his taste for strong drink, became besotted and insane, and died at the age of seventy-two, A. D. 1832, in the alms-house. He was an educated man, had a talent for rhyming, and in his later years was wont to wander about, half-tipsy, repeating whenever he could find listeners certain scurrilous verses of his own composition, in which he satirized his fellow- men and scoffed at the world in general.

Cleverly’s creditors sold his unfinished house to John Mycall in 1798. Originally from Worcester, England, John Mycall (1757-1840) had emigrated to Newburyport in 1775, where he was editor of the Essex Journal from 1780 to 1790. Mycall operated a retail shop in the rear ell of his house in Harvard. Again quoting from Nourse:

Of John Mycall, when publisher at Newburyport, the following story has been more than once printed. The sheriff had been a regular subscriber to the Journal for a long time, but failed to pay the bills presented to him, save in profuse promises. One day, being urgently pressed for the amount due, the sheriff with his usual earnest manner, said: “Mr. Mycall, you shall have your money tomorrow, if I am alive; you may be certain I am a corpse if you are not paid in full.” When the sheriff began reading the next issue of the paper he was astounded to find staring him in the face the formal announcement of the “sudden death of Philip Bagley, Esq, Sheriff of Essex County,” followed by a flattering obituary, which closed with the sentence: “Alas! Sheriff Bagley had one grave fault—he neglected to pay the printer.” He threw down the sheet in a rage and rushed out to contradict the report. He met several acquaintances, but no one seemed at all surprised to see him in his usual vigor, until he entered the printing office. The publisher put on a look of grave astonishment, ejaculating: “Why, Mr. Sheriff, I thought you a corpse.” “Who told you so?” asked the angry official. “Why, you yourself were my authority”— and he recalled the solemn promise. The sheriff drew his wallet, paid the bill, and demanded that the statement be contradicted in the next week’s Journal. “O,” said Mycall, “that isn’t at all necessary; the notice was printed in but one copy of the Journal; that one sent to you.”

[In 1808] Squire Mycall became entangled in some litigation with Joseph Stone, shook Harvard dust from his feet and returned to Newburyport, where he died.

Mycall’s Harvard property was sold to Jerome Gardner, a merchant and prominent citizen who held a number of local offices. After the Civil War, the house served for a time as a summer hotel, run by Merrick Puffer. In the mid-nineteenth century, the house’s original center chimney was removed and replaced by an Italianate cupola.

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