The “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!

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5 Responses to The “Old” Nathaniel Ely House (1780)

  1. Linda says:

    Thank you very much for this informative article. The Williams family history is one of my particular historical interests.

  2. ashley says:

    i want to know how much this house is.

  3. Ely Descendant says:

    I have been doing the genealogy for our family, and am excited to see this house as Nathaniel is a direct gr-gr-gr-gr-grandfather!! Thank you!

  4. Ely Descendant says:

    oops, going to have to check my records – I thought it was Nathaniel, not Deacon, who is related but not one of my grandfathers….

  5. jenni devlin says:

    Love this.