Israel Gates House (1805)

Israel Gates House

Israel Gates was a blacksmith in Longmeadow who, from around 1830 into the 1860s, lived in a house along the Town Green. Gates played a bass viol, which is now on display in the nearby Storrs House. According to local tradition, the Gates House began as a millinery on the green, which was moved to its current location, being joined to a much earlier home, occupied in 1805 by John Gaylord, which is now the east wing of the house.

“New” Nathaniel Ely House (1856)

New Nathaniel Ely House

The Nathaniel Ely House (called “New” to distinguish it from the earlier “Old” Nathaniel Ely House nearby) was built in 1856 off Longmeadow Green. The Thomas Bliss House originally stood where the Ely House was later conbstructed, but was moved across the street to make way for the new structure. The Ely House has elements from a variety of architectural styles, including the Federal, Italianate and Gothic styles–truly a Victorian Eclectic building!

“Old” Nathaniel Ely House (1780)

Nathaniel Ely House

The late Georgian brick house of Deacon Nathaniel Ely is at 674 Longmeadow Street in Longmeadow. It was built in 1780 (originally to house two families, father and son) and is referred to as the “Old” Nathaniel Ely House to differentiate it from the “New” Nathaniel Ely House nearby, built in 1856. The house’s projecting portico is probably a later Colonial Revival addition. Deacon Ely was a captain in the Revolutionary War and Tory prisoners, on their way from Boston to New York, were kept in his house during the war. Dacon Ely’s fourth wife was a widow, Martha Williams Raynolds, daughter of Longmeadow’s minister, Rev. Stephen Williams. As children, Rev. Williams and his sister Eunice had been abducted in the 1704 Raid on Deerfield. Stephen returned to Massachusetts with their father, Rev. John Williams, but Eunice remained in Canada, marrying a Mohawk man and converting to Roman Catholicism. In 1800, Thomas Thorakwaneken Williams, Eunice’s grandson, arrived in Longmeadow with his two sons, Eleazer and John, who were to stay with the Ely’s while they were educated at a local school. John later returned to Canada, but Eleazer Williams remained and attempted to become a Congregational minister, although he faced resistance from relatives due to his Indian heritage. He eventually became a missionary and later claimed to be the Lost Dauphin, son of the executed King Louis XVI and Queen Marie Antoinette!

Bliss-Keep House (1713)

Bliss-Keep House

In 1744, Matthew Keep purchased a house on Longmeadow Green which had originally been owned by Nathaniel Bliss. Matthew’s ancestors, John Keep and his family, had been killed by Indians while crossing from the “long meddowe” by Pecousic Brook to attend church services in Springfield in 1676. Longmeadow became a separate precinct from Springfield in 1713, the same year the earliest section of the Bliss-Keep House (now at the rear of the building) was built. The front section was completed in 1733.