The Warner House, also known as the Warner Tavern or Warner’s Coffee House, was for years the most popular public house in Northampton. After it was destroyed by fire in 1870, a new building, planned by J.M. Miner, was constructed on its former location on Main Street. Called the Fitch Hotel, it consisted of a central block flanked by two wings. Only the westernmost wing survives today. It features an “F” monogram in the center of the roof pediment of the façade. The hotel, located at 179 Main Street, later became the Draper Hotel. The hotel is described in an article (“Industrial Northampton”) that appeared in Western New England (Vol. I, No. 11, October, 1911):
Northampton is unusually well-equiped, for a city of its size, with high-class hotels and restaurants. The Draper, the most prominent hotel in Northampton, is favorably known throughout the country as a result of its entertaining well the people from almost everywhere who are drawn to Northampton by college exercises and by business affairs. The Draper compares favorably in quality with hotels in large cities. The rathskeller is particularly well known among men who have occasion to visit Northampton. The hotel aims to provide its patrons with whatever they wish and to its excellent dining room and rathskeller has recently been added a “self-service” restaurant and lunch room where one may get a wholesome meal in a short time and at small cost. The Draper offers both American and European rates.
The lot at 5 Fairbank Street in Harvard was purchased by Asa Daby (died 1813) in 1797. He built a house there that eventually burned down in 1880. By that time the property was owned by Daby‘s two sons, Asa (1797-1887) and Ethan (1799-1876), who soon built a new house on the site. Asa Daby, Jr. served as town selectman in 1837-42 and 1844-47, was elected a state representative in 1839 and 1841, and was town treasurer from 1847 to 1879. He was also director of the Lancaster Savings Bank. Later occupied by his widow, Kate Daby, the house was purchased in 1907 by Albert H. Bigelow.
The Bromfield School in the town of Harvard was founded by Margaret Bromfield Blanchard (died 1876), who left a bequest in her will to establish a private secondary school. The Romanesque Revival school building, designed by Peabody & Stearns, was built in 1877-1878 at 24 Massachusetts Avenue on the land where the colonial house of Mrs. Blanchard’s great-grandfather, Colonel Henry Bromfield, had once stood. Built as the residence of Rev. John Seccomb, the house became the summer residence of Col. Bromfield in 1767. The house burned down in 1855 and Mrs. Blanchard acquired the land for her future school. The Bromfield School eventually became a public school in 1940. It moved out of the old building in 2003 to a new building (12 Massachusetts Avenue). The Old Bromfield School was then extensively restored and reopened in 2007 with an 11,500-square-foot addition as the new home of the Harvard Public Library (4 Pond Road).
At the Hancock Shaker Village is an original Horse Barn. It originally stood on a nearby lot owned by the Shakers. It was dismantled and reerected at its current location in 1850 by Matthew Criteden, a non-Shaker. The barn was known as Elder Louis’ barn because Elder Louis Basting kept teams of carriage horses in the barn. The slate roof probably dates to 1876, when a number of buildings at the village were re-roofed in slate.
The Hancock Shaker school district at Hancock Shaker Village was formally established on March 2nd, 1820. Initially serving children in the Shaker Village, the Shakers’ schoolhouse was later used as a public school. By 1934 the original school house had been sold, moved just east of the village and converted into a private home. The Hancock Shaker Village museum created a replica in 1976 based on measured drawings of the original structure.
The oldest part of the Laundry and Machine Shop building at Hancock Shaker Village dates to 1790, when the structure may have been used as a dwelling by the Goodrich family, whose owner became a convert. The Shakers positioned this building to take advantage of the penstock, or incoming water supply pipe. The building was moved in 1829 to make room for the brick dwelling. The Laundry and Machine Shop is unusual in that both the Shaker Brothers and Sisters did their work under the same roof, albeit separated into the female laundry and the male machine/woodworking shops. Both groups utilized power provided by an 1858 water turbine. An addition was built on the machine shop in 1839. Continue reading
The Shakers at Hancock Shaker Village had a number of ice houses constructed in the nineteenth century, but the one that survives was built in 1894 to replace an earlier one of 1866. Sister Emoretta Belden described the new ice house in the Shaker Manifesto of December 1894:
We have long anticipated the possession of a new ice-house, with modern improvements. Within the last two months it has been erected. The building is 22×34 ft. with brick walls 18 ft. high, laid in red-colored mortar. One half of the lower story is finished inside with Southern pine, to be used for cold storage. The ice-hall and chamber will hold about two hundred tons of ice. The outside wood-work is painted a light gray color, and presents quite a nice appearance. There are rooms for vegetables, fruits, meats, and any things that we may wish to keep for a long or short time.
Built into a hill side to use the natural insulation of the earth, the south side of the Ice House is smaller than the cooler north side, to minimize the sun’s impact. Cool air from the ice chambers vents directly into food storage rooms, and a cupola on the roof allows the warmer air to escape. For insulation, the building has double and triple hung doors and on the lower level are triple-glazed windows. Continue reading