Monthly Archives: September 2011

Asa Knight Store (1838)

In the early nineteenth century, Asa Knight operated a general store in the village center of Dummerston, Vermont. In 1826, Knight bought the store, the oldest section of which had been built around 1810, and added a storekeeper’s office. He further expanded the building with a new main wing in 1838-1839. The older section became an ell, attached to the new two-and-a-half story building. By the 1870s, the building ended its period as a store and remained mostly vacant and unmodernized for the next century. In 1972, it was moved to Old Sturbridge Village, restored and restocked to represent a village store of the 1830s. The earliest section, built in 1810, had been removed in 1909 and was reconstructed, based on old photographs and archaeological research.

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Joseph Button House (1805)

Built around 1805, the Joseph Button House is a Federal-style structure at 588 Main Street in Agawam. In 2005-2006, the house, after being purchased by the Bethany Assembly of God, was moved uphill (to enable the church to widen its driveway) and restored to become a parsonage.

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Center Meetinghouse, Old Sturbridge Village (1832)

The Baptist Church in Sturbridge was organized about 1750 and early on met in a school house, enlarged and converted into a house of worship. A new meetinghouse was erected in 1784. These first two structures were located on Fiske Hill. As described in An Historical Sketch of Sturbridge, Mass. (1838), by Joseph S. Clark, by 1832:

Their first Meetinghouse, by this time was going to decay; and as it stood at an inconvenient distance from many of the Society, in 1832 they erected a new and far more commodious one, in the centre village, on a corner of the old Burying-ground. It was dedicated Jan. 8, 1833, [...] The Baptist Society have just completed [1838] the removal of their Meetinghouse to Fiskdale village, about 2 miles from its former location. As this arrangement brings the Sanctuary to the doors of many who have hitherto found it inconvenient to attend Church statedly it is presumed that they will hereafter avail themselves of that privilege.

As mentioned in the 1844 book, History of the Baptist Churches Composing the Sturbridge Association,

During the present year, (1842,) the house, having been struck with lightning, and injured to a considerable extent, has undergone a thorough repair, at an expense of about $300.

In 1947, when the Sturbridge Baptist Society was joining with another denomination, it agreed to give the meetinghouse to Old Sturbridge Village in exchange for an organ in their new church. The 1832 structure was then moved to the Village, where it is referred to as the Center Meetinghouse.

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Thompson Bank (1835)

The Thompson Bank was chartered in 1833 and the bank building was constructed in the town of Thompson, Connecticut, in 1835. It served as a bank until 1893 and was moved to Old Sturbridge Village in 1963, where the interior was restored to its original nineteenth-century appearance.

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Solomon Richardson House (1748)

The saltbox house in Old Sturbridge Village known as the Parsonage was built in the village of Podunk in the town of East Brookfield in 1748 by Thomas Bannister for the Richardson family. Called the Solomon Richardson House, it was moved to Old Sturbridge Village in 1940. Now known as the Parsonage (although it never served as a parsonage while it was a residence), it is now interpreted as a minister‘s home. In earlier years at the Village, it was painted red, but was recently repainted white to harmonize with the other Greek Revival era buildings on the Old Sturbridge Village Common.

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Bixby House (1807)

The Bixby House was built around 1807 in the community of Barre Four Corners. It was constructed by Nathan Hemenway or by his father Daniel, both housewrights, for Nathan’s brother, Rufus Hemenway, a carpenter. The house was then extended on the east side after Rufus’s marriage in 1815. The next owner was wheelwright Alanson O. Green in 1824. The house and adjacent barn were then acquired by Emerson Bixby, a blacksmith, in 1826. Two new rooms were added to the original three-room house between 1838 and 1845. The house remained in the Bixby family until Bixby descendants gave it to Old Sturbridge Village, to where it was moved in 1986.

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Stephen Fitch House (1737)

Stephen Fitch built a house in Windham, Connecticut in 1737. The house was later expanded in two or three stages, when an extended ell was added to the rear. In 1939, the Fitch House was acquired by Old Sturbridge Village and moved to Sturbridge the following year to become the museum’s first exhibit building. Today, the house is furnished with reproductions that visitors can touch. It is presented as the home of a successful country printer.

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