Monthly Archives: February 2012

Shepherd House (1796)

Built by Seth Russell in 1796, the house at 66 Bridge Street in Northampton is part of Historic Northampton’s complex of buildings. It is known as the Shepherd House because Susan Monroe Shepherd purchased it in 1856 and lived there with her husband, Henry Shepherd. Their son, Thomas Monroe Shepherd (1856-1923), left the house to the Historical Society, now called Historic Northampton. The late colonial-style house was much altered over the years by its various owners. The Gothic-style front porch was added in 1840 and the columned porch on the west side was added in 1899. The house is now rented as the headquarters of the Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities.

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Clapp Laboratory, Mount Holyoke College (1924)

Williston Hall at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley burned down in 1917 and was replaced by the Cornelia Clapp Laboratory in 1924. The Gothic Revival building was named for Cornelia Clapp, a member of the Mount Holyoke class of 1871 and a professor of zoology at the college from 1872 to 1916.

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Atkins-Fair House (1839)

The Atkins-Fair House is a Greek Revival-style dwelling at 39 Eliot Street in South Natick. The house was built in 1839 for the newly-married John Atkins. As written in the entry by Horace Mann on the “David Morse Place and Pelatiah Morse Place” in A Review of the First Fourteen Years of the Historical, Natural History and Library Society of South Natick, Mass. (1884):

In 1794, the old house and a portion of the David Morse estate had passed to the Welles family, and Hon. John Welles sold it to Capt. John Atkins of Truro. Atkins became a leader in society at Natick, and held important town offices. In the adjustment of “Lady Lothrop‘s” estate and the litigation that attended it, he was a conspicuous party; he is also one of the stars of Mrs. Stowe’s “Old Town Folks.” For a number of years he was one of the guardians of the Natick Indians, and during his administration of their affairs the last of their lands, the possessions of Hannah Thomas, passed to white ownership. In 1847 John Atkins sold the Morse estate to Hon. John Welles, and the so-called Eliot acre was deeded to Atkins by Hon. Chester Adams.

In 1883, the 1839 Atkins House was bought by William Fair.

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Merrill House (1840)

Merrill House in South Hadley has been owned since 1956 by Mount Holyoke College and was purchased, in part, with funds provided by Charles E. Merrill. The house was built in 1840 for Rev. Joseph D. Condit (1804-1847), who was Secretary of the Trustees of the College from 1836 to 1847. According to In Old South Hadley (1912), by Sophie E. Eastman:

Rev. Joseph Condit, who was settled here in 1835, was the first one of our ministers who refused the glass of cider, brandy, or the spiced elderberry wine, which his parishioners delighted to offer him, and when he made his pastoral calls, cake and cheese soon took the place of the former hospitable toddy. [...] The faithful sermons of Mr. Condit against the use of ardent spirits had prepared the way for a Temperance Crusade.

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George Sargeant House (1869)

The house at 82 Bridge Street in Northampton was built in the late eighteenth or early nineteenth century, but the front of the house was remodeled in 1869 by William F. Pratt for then owner George Sargeant. In recent years, the house has been a bed & breakfast called the Hampshire Inn.

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Peletiah Morse’s Tavern (1748)

Peletiah Morse’s Tavern, at 33 Eliot Street in South Natick, was built in 1748 to serve as a residence, tavern and stage stop on the Old Hartford Road. Located not far from the 1730 house of Morse’s father, David Morse, it was one of the oldest taverns in Natick and the last to survive from the colonial era, although its center chimney was later removed. According to tradition, an acre of land on the property had been a gift from the Natick Praying Indians to John Eliot. The planned construction of new buildings on the property around the house by a Montessori School has recently caused controversy in town. In 2008, the school was fined for improperly removing trees from the land.

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Clarence S. Clark House (1894)

The Colonial Revival house at 376 Essex Street in Salem was built around 1894 for businessman Clarence S. Clark, a Morocco manufacturer. The house stands on the site of the Sprague-White House, built c. 1796 and demolished c. 1893, which may have been the work of Samuel McIntire. The Clark House‘s Federal-style two-story carriage house survives to the rear of the property.

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