Index- Through the Lens- Longmeadow 100 Years Ago

Use the CONTROL+ F hotkey to quickly find #TBT articles of interest in the index about Longmeadow history in the early 20th Century.

#TBT-1 Longmeadow Tennis Club Opening day for the Longmeadow Tennis Club was Saturday, June 28, 1913. The tennis courts were built on the grounds of the original Storrs Library by Vaughan & Kibbe. Individuals that were interested in playing the game had donated to build these three courts.
Center School
Older children in front of the District 1 schoolhouse which stood on the site of the present Center School in 1878. In 1899 a new Center School was built to replace the two room Center School for grades 1 to 9. In 1929 both buildings were demolished to allow construction of the today’s Center Elementary School.
Country Store
The Country Store was built in 1805 by Calvin Burt and Stephen Cooley. It is located at 776 Longmeadow Street.  For many years it was home to the Longmeadow Post Office.  In 1848 Dimond Chandler established his first button factory here. The building eventually became a grocery store was owned and operated by Charles L. Wood.  It is currently the home of the Spa-on-the-Green.
Doane Orphanage
In 1902, George Sanford Doane and his wife Lucy Maria Cook established the Doane Orphanage at the corner of Longmeadow Street and Forest Glen Road. It is no longer in existence.
First Church Parsonage
In 1857 the First Congregational Church parish voted to build a parsonage on the site of the Rev. Stephen Williams' original home which was destroyed by fire in 1845. It housed ministers until 1917, when Rev. Henry Lincoln Bailey retired. It later served as quarters for church school classes and as the residence for the church caretakers. The parsonage was moved south of the church in 1921 when the Community House was built by First Church. The building currently is home to the Longmeadow Montessori School.
A Changing Landscape
In 1907 the Chapel was located on the south side of the First Congregational Church.  In 1921 the Chapel was moved when the Community House was built.  The First Church Parsonage was also moved to its current location at 777 Longmeadow Street.
Young Mansion
734 Longmeadow Street was built in 1884 by Henry R. Wolcott and Colorado Senator Edward O. Wolcott for their father, Rev. Samuel Wolcott. In 1901 it was purchased by Edward Spaulding Brewer, who was a prominent Springfield area businessman, three-term chairman of the Longmeadow Board of Selectmen and two-term Massachusetts state legislator. In 1921 the home was sold to Mrs. Mary Ida Young, a friend of the Brewers and wife of the inventor of the horse (and later human) liniment Absorbine, Jr.  For years thereafter, the mansion was a focal point of many Longmeadow society events.  Mary Ida Young died on Halloween, October 31, 1960, at age 95.
Thomas Watters House
The Thomas Watters House at 70 Longmeadow Street is a Queen Anne style house in the north end of town. It was built by Thomas Watters in 1880. Thomas Watters and his brother, Joseph Watters, who built the house next door (76), were successful contractors in Springfield in the late 1800's and early 1900's. One of their notable projects was the Barney Estate in Forest Park. Thomas Watters served as Park Commissioner in Longmeadow in 1901 and was elected Selectman in 1907.
Old Town Hall
The Old Town Hall was originally built as a school house in 1855.  This building is the old North School which was used as a school until 1906. It was then used as a Town Hall/ Police Station from 1906 until 1930 when the current Town Hall was built. It then became the headquarters of the Albert T. Wood Post 175/ American Legion.
The CVS/ Rinaldi’s/ Kate Gray Boutique building in an earlier time period... This original structure was completed in late 1916 and has served as a home for the Longmeadow Garage and Longmeadow Public Market, Inc.+ many other local businesses throughout the years.
A Changing Landscape-2
The Captain Simon Parker house that was located at 777 Longmeadow Street and the First Church Chapel were moved to Williams Street.  The First Church Parsonage (now the Montessori School) was moved to make room for the construction of the Community House.
Longmeadow Water Works
The Longmeadow Water Works which was started in 1894 consisted of a pond, a screen filter. a Deane steam pump, a storage tank (connected to stand pipe) and an engineer's house. The tank was open at the top so the engineer usually pumped it until it overflowed. The unused water from the pond ran down to the Connecticut River and was known as Cooley Brook. Water was delivered to town residents through pipes on Longmeadow Street and side streets. As the town’s water needs increased, the town started purchasing additional water from Springfield in 1912.
Longmeadow DPW
In 1931 Longmeadow Town voters approved moving the old train station [“depot”] to the current site of the Department of Public Works Main Offices for use as a Caretaker’s Cottage. The train “depot” building was built ~ 1884 and remains as part of the current DPW facility 130+ years later!
Old Red House
The "Old Red House" at 787 Longmeadow Street was built by Captain Simon Colton in 1734 and is a fine example of a New England "saltbox".
St. Mary's Church
n 1868 a group of five men purchased a building that was believed to have been a spectacle shop located across the Town Green from First Church. They moved this building to Williams Street opposite Longmeadow Cemetery. On October 2, 1870 it was dedicated as St. Mary's Church. In 1924 St. Mary's Church was moved to a portable church that had been set up behind the site of the current church at the corner of Bliss Road and Longmeadow Street. On Christmas Eve in 1931 a new St. Mary's Church was opened.
"Meat Peddlar"
Mr. Arthur A. Brooks lived at 107 Hopkins Place. He worked in Charles S. Allen's store at 766 Longmeadow Street and was best known as the "meat peddlar".
Post Office
Mr. Albion K. Matthews was appointed the Longmeadow Postmaster from 1885 - 1889 and from 1893 - 1897. During this period of time postal business was conducted at 891 Longmeadow Street. He died in 1900. His wife, Elizabeth operated a small store- The Peoples Cheap Cash Store at the same location selling various items including thread, needles, pins and other articles.
Bernard E. Graves
201 Longmeadow Street- Bernard E. Graves and his wife, Mary lived in this home at the corner of Longmeadow Street and Converse Street. Mr. Graves spent his 52 year career with the Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co.  Throughout his life Mr. Graves was an active citizen of Longmeadow.
Longmeadow Garage
The GRAVES GARAGE (also known as the Longmeadow Garage) was located at the corner of Longmeadow Street and Belleclaire Avenue. Automotive repairs and gasoline sales were its primary business. The Colonnade built in 1917 also included a number of stores including Ford Drug and The Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company.
Storrs House
Storrs House located at 697 Longmeadow Street built in 1786 and is the home of the Longmeadow Historical Society.  The house was the pastoral home of Rev. Richard Salter Storrs and his family. Its appearance has changed numerous times.
Post Office/
Cornelius Shine
The Longmeadow Post Office was opened on March 4, 1814 and closed on June 30, 1902. The Post Office was located in a number of different buildings around the Longmeadow Town Green. After the Post Office was closed, Mr. Cornelius “Cornie” Shine delivered mailed to town residents for the next 15 years.
Willard House
The house at 340 Longmeadow St was designed by Guy Kirkham and built for William Willard in 1901. William Willard lived there alone until the mid-1920’s when he died without leaving a will. Mr. Willard had always said that he would leave his property (18 acres) to the Town of Longmeadow for use as a park. However, the property was inherited by his sisters who sold it to a developer. In the spirit of Longmeadow tradition the house was moved in 1925 to the corner of Warren Terrace (316 Longmeadow St) where Mr. Willard had also owned a small piece of property.
South Park Terrace
South Park Terrace/ (South Park Estates) was a forty-five-acre estate purchased from the Colton family by J. William Cheney, Theodore W. Leete, and Edward J. Murphy.  This section of Longmeadow was quickly developed at the beginning of the 20th century.
In 1907 Joseph H. Wesson purchased 6½ acres of land on Forest Glen Road. He was a resident of Springfield, MA and the son of Daniel B. Wesson, a co-founder of Smith & Wesson Co. located in Springfield, MA. Three beautiful homes were built- one for each of Mr. & Mrs. Joseph Wesson’s children: Douglas (109) who married Elba Cotton, Victor (135) who married Eleanor M. Williams, and Eleanor (161) who married Flynt Lincoln. They each raised their families on Forest Glen Road.
Morgan Wesson
Morgan Wesson was a resident of the town of Longmeadow, MA. He was killed in action aboard the USS Atlanta and his body was lost at sea during the battle of the Solomon Islands off Guadalcanal. He was the first man from Longmeadow killed in action during WWII. On July 28, 1943 Lieut. (J.G.) Morgan Wesson was posthumously awarded a Purple Heart.
 War Memorial/
Town Green

The Boulder Memorial is located on our Longmeadow Town Green. This 16 ton boulder with a Memorial Plaque was dedicated in May of 1922. The names of Longmeadow town residents who took part in all wars up to and including WWI are inscribed on the plaque. The boulder was donated to our town by Mrs. Joseph Wesson, Eleanor Lincoln's mother, with the aid of Flynt Lincoln (161 Forest Glen Road). This boulder was originally located on the Wesson estate located in Palmer, MA.
655-664 Longmeadow St
The house at 664 Longmeadow Street was built with native brick in 1856 for Nathaniel Ely, a member of the prominent Ely family, as a wedding gift from his father. The Thomas Bliss II house originally stood on this site and was moved across the street to 655 Longmeadow Street when the new Ely mansion was built in 1856. The Thomas Bliss II house is one of the oldest houses in town and was built around 1714. It was purchased by Nathaniel Ely in 1758 who converted it to a tavern. In the late 1800’s Dr. Lester Noble, a dentist, owned this property which included a pond later called Noble Pond.
Bliss St/ Longmeadow St
This Emerson photo taken in 1913 looking east on Bliss Street from Longmeadow Street was very different from today’s landscape. 507 Longmeadow St. was the home of Mr. & Mrs. C.D. Reid in 1912 and was then sold to Theodore W. Leete in 1913. On the northeast corner of this intersection, there was a house at 481 Longmeadow St which was occupied by Clifford Kempton and his family (1910 Census). By April 1914, this house was moved or demolished, possibly to make way for the new Colonnade stores with Ford Drug, A& P Store and Graves Garage. Today, the trolley tracks are gone and the SE corner is now occupied by St. Mary’s R.C. Church. The house in the distance on the south side of Bliss Street has also disappeared.
169 Crescent Rd
Rev. Henry Lincoln Bailey was the Pastor of First Church in Longmeadow, MA from 1901 to 1916. After retiring from this position, he and his wife Nelle moved from the Parsonage to their newly built home at 169 Crescent Road (1917 Longmeadow Street Directory). Dr. Bailey became the Editor of the Springfield Weekly Republican in Springfield, MA. He was also President of the Longmeadow Historical Society from 1901 – 1908 and 1919 – 1928. This well respected gentleman also served as Moderator at Longmeadow Town Meetings beginning in 1918 until his death in 1943.
Longmeadow Fire Dept
The Longmeadow Volunteer Fire Department was established in June 1923 with its first fire station located in the Longmeadow (Graves) Garage at Longmeadow Street and Belleclaire Avenue. From the 1926 Annual Town Report… “For fire protection the town has a combination chemical and hose wagon and a motor pumper manned by a volunteer fire department. The apparatus is stored in the Longmeadow Garage with a driver available 24 hours daily. Water supplies are available from street mains.” The Longmeadow Fire Department moved into its new home in the Public Safety Complex on Williams Street in January 1960.
Barney Estate
Pecousic Villa- home of Everett Hosmer Barney was built in 1885 but was demolished in 1959 when I-91 was built through Springfield/ Forest Park area. Trolley tracks for the Springfield Street Railway on South Pecousic Blvd can be seen in the lower photo foreground.
280 Longmeadow St
This elegant home located in the north end of Longmeadow Street is easily recognized and was built by Colonel Alexander Field in 1794. Its Georgian architecture that appeared in early colonial homes in the Connecticut Valley has changed very little in past 220+ years. Alexander Field was born on February 5, 1764. He served in the Revolutionary War for two years and was later a colonel in the Massachusetts Militia. Alexander married Flavia Colton (Samuel “Marchant” Colton’s daughter) in 1787. Later, after Flavia died in 1815, he married Jerusha Burt- daughter of Capt. Nathaniel Burt. Alexander became a large and successful farmer and died a weathy man in 1831.
Hatch Libary
The 1910 Federal Census lists Edwin and Augusta Hibbard living at 539 Longmeadow Street. They are likely the people shown in the left photo. He was employed as an insurance agent. In August 1924 the First Church of Christ, Scientist began using this residence for church services and it was later purchased as its permanent home. In February 1928 an extension to the south side of the building was completed. The building was purchased by Bay Path Junior College in 1961 and it became known as the Hatch Library. Construction was started for a new church on the corner of Redfern Drive and Williams Street in the summer of 1962.
Clifford Kempton
Clifford S. Kempton was a prominent fruit grower picking strawberries in a field on Longmeadow St. It is believed that this field was located on the east side of Longmeadow St. near Bliss St. According to the 1910 US Census, Kempton rented a home with his family at 481 Longmeadow St. and later owned the house at 384 Longmeadow St. (1920 US Census). News reported at the time about his “ever-bearing” straw- berries suggest that they were a “genetically modified” type- “not only bearing fruit throughout the growing season from June until the ground freezes… but they yield an abundance of fruit the year that they are planted.... The miracle was brought about presumably through the medium of a tiny insect injecting into the blossom of a cultivated strawberry plant, pollen obtained from some hardy little berry of field or wood.”
Bliss Street (Road)
Clifford S. Kempton- the local fruit grower lived at 481 Longmeadow St before it was moved.  He cultivated strawberries and other fruit on the adjacent acreage. This changing street landscape was the beginning of the develop- ment of the Colonnade shopping center. The photo shows the Longmeadow Volunteer Fire Dept (before it was officially established in 1923) fighting a fire at the relocated house owned by the Patrick family. The house was not saved and it was later demolished. Another house was built on the same lot a number of years later.
Morgan Wesson
On July 28, 1943 Lieutenant (J.G.) Morgan Wesson was posthumously awarded the prestigious Purple Heart. He was the son of Victor H. & Eleanor M. Wesson (135 Forest Glen Road). His great- grandfather Daniel B. Wesson co- founded Smith & Wesson in Springfield, MA. The 1941 Yale University graduate was called to active duty and assigned to the USS Atlanta. A promotion to Lieutenant (J.G.) followed. During the battle of the Solomon Islands off Guadalcanal on November 13, 1942 this brave 23 year old officer made the ultimate sacrifice & his body was lost at sea. “Lieut. Wesson was the first man killed in action from Longmeadow” during WWII.
259 Longmeadow St.
Thomas Field built this colonial located at the corner of Ellington St and Longmeadow St in 1728 (259 Longmeadow St). It is one of the oldest homes in Longmeadow and it remained in the Field family for 215 years until 1943. The last Field to live in the house- Nellie Field, was at one time the town school teacher and taught at the District #1- North school house (old Town Hall). Her husband, Moses Field, who died in 1927, was the town water engineer and a volunteer fireman for many years. This house had one of the first telephones installed in Longmeadow in 1901. In the event of a fire, Moses would be called to go to the “pumping station” to start the water pump to fill the standpipe (water tower) in order to ensure adequate water pressure in the street hydrants. “The house is unusual in that it was raised up more than three feet in 1862 to accommodate a first floor with 10 foot ceilings. The massive center chimney was replaced at that time by twin chimneys which serve marble fireplaces in the living and dining rooms. Upstairs the original post and beam construction (with gunstock posts) is evident.” “Minutemen Oliver and Moses Field left from this house to go to Lexington and Concord in response to the "General Alarm" of April 19, 1775. Oliver Field served 5 years in the Revolutionary army.”
8 Westmoreland Ave
Philip A. Williams, Jr. & his wife Helena began building their new home at 8 Westmoreland Ave. in 1915. They and their young son Phillip A. III moved here from Springfield, MA. This couple lived in this home until the early 1960's when they passed away. Mr. Williams was an auto dealer & very interested in vehicles. Early in his career he worked for the bicycle manufacturer Overman Wheel Co. (Chicopee Falls, MA). He sold Ford automobiles in Boston, MA and also worked for the Knox Automobile Co. (Springfield, MA). When Harry Knox formed the Atlas Motor Car Co. in Springfield, Mr. Williams became a Sales Manager there. In 1916 Philip A. Williams, Jr. started his own business, the Williams Motor Sales Company. It was an auto salesroom & repair shop located in Springfield.
54 Fernleaf Ave
Richard W. Cartter and his wife Ada B. lived in this home in 1921. They had purchased it a year earlier and moved from West Springfield, MA. Mr. Cartter had retired from his West Springfield, MA farming business in 1920. He was known in this area as the "Riverdale market gardener".  While living in West Springfield at 972 Riverdale Road (across from the current Riverdale Shops), the Cartters owned a large farm and sold produce. Whenever Mr. Cartter was improving his farming methods to increase productivity on his West Springfield farm, it attracted the interest of area residents. One time he tested the installation of an overhead irrigation system on 2 acres of his land. Another time a crowd gathered to watch the usage of a new Henry Ford.
220 Longmeadow St.
This home was built in 1831 by Judah Cooley who was a member of one of the original families of Longmeadow. Mr. Cooley was a successful farmer. In 1839 the house was sold to Cyrus Newell who operated a dairy farm and apple orchard. Source: Historic Homes of Longmeadow/ Hall/Hayes 1988, 2012 At the time the above photos were taken Eugene F. Russell and his wife, Jessie were living in this house with their three children. They lived in this house from ~1914 - 1925. During WWI Mr. Russell served as a major in the US Army Ordinance Div. He was employed as a mechanical engineer and served several terms as a Longmeadow Selectman. Sources: Longmeadow Street Directories and 1920 US Census In the early 1930’s a major portion of the 40+ acres of this property was sold and developed into homes on Englewood Road.
64 Belleclaire Av
Dr. Edmund S. Temple was listed in the 1916 Springfield Street Directory as a Dentist practicing in Springfield, MA at 318 Main St. (the Hitchcock Building). He and his wife May moved from 19 Warner St., Springfield to this Long- meadow home soon after and lived here when the photo was taken in June 1919. During his long career Dr. Temple also became the School Dentist for the Longmeadow Public Schools. He passed away in August 1940 and later his wife moved back to Springfield. Their son, Capt. Edmund S. Temple, Jr. died while on an Air Force training flight in California in Oct. 1956.
100 Crescent Rd
100 Crescent Road built in 1909 was home to Mr. William C. Lawton and his wife Ruth and their four children, Ruth, Rachel, Harriet and Sanford. The US 1910 Census also lists a servant- Hannah Dahl living with the Lawton family. Mr. Lawton co-founded the F.A. Bassette Company- a local printing company in Springfield with Mr. Frederic A. Bassette in 1898. Mr. Lawton was born in 1861 and died in Longmeadow in 1943 at the age of 81. He was the great-great grandson of Samuel “Marchant” Colton. His wife Ruth was the daughter of Charles Merriam- co-founder of G &C Merriam Publishers.
Storrs Library
The roots of the Richard Salter Storrs Library began with the construction of this small building in 1910 through the generosity of Miss Sarah Storrs. She was the granddaughter of Rev. Richard S. Storrs- the second minister of First Church. All of her real estate in Longmeadow including the Storrs parsonage- now the home of the Longmeadow Historical Society, her library of books, portraits and pictures were bequeathed for the purpose of establishing the Richard Salter Storrs free public library. Included was a matching gift of $5000 if town residents could raise the first $5000. The Richard Salter Storrs Library was incorporated in 1908 under the auspices of a select group of town residents who arranged a consolidation with the existing Longmeadow Town Library that was located in the old Center School.
878 Longmeadow St
Dr. Benjamin Stebbins and his wife Lucy Colton (Samuel "Marchant" Colton's daughter) lived in this home. The original house was built around 1795. The exterior was brick painted red. Many families have since owned this property. In 1894 Mr. and Mrs. J. S. Carr (of Springfield, MA) purchased it and made many changes. The 1910 U.S. Federal Census lists Julia L. Bowles renting this home. Her son, Henry L. Bowles had purchased it in 1904 with 7 acres of land from Rev. R.S. Underwood. Mr. Bowles was the owner of the Baltimore Lunch chain. The first lunchroom was located in Springfield, MA. He lived here for a short time and moved to Springfield. His mother Julia resided here for many years. Mr. Henry L. Bowles also served as a U.S. Congressman and was instrumental in the building of the Bowles Agawam Airport in Agawam, MA.
Hillbrow Dairy Farm
The Hillbrow Dairy Farm located at 1374 Longmeadow Street was owned and operated by Harry M. Burt not far from the state line in Connecticut. At the time of this photo Mr. Burt lived here with his wife Clara and their son Warner. The farm derived its name from its location on the brow of the hill overlooking the Connecticut River. The Hillbrow Farm consisted of ~ 60 acres with 25-30 acres of pasture land and woodland. Mr. Burt maintained an average of 20 cows throughout the year yield- ing about 270 quarts of milk daily. The farm produced enough hay and corn to feed his livestock. Mr. Burt also maintained a garden with a wide selection of berry types and an apple orchard to feed his family. He was also a Longmeadow Selectman for a number of years.
609 Longmeadow St
609 Longmeadow Street (The David Booth House) Samuel C. Booth (grandson of Samuel “Marchant” Colton) built this house in 1861. It was a wedding gift for his only son, David. Carved on a beam in the attic is the inscription: "This house built July 1st, Sept. 17th, 1861 by S. C. Booth for his only sone D. Booth ae 24 who married Sept. 27th 1861 S. S. Davidson ae 24, Sterling Mas.". David Booth’s descendants occupied this home for 114 years. David Booth was named for his grandfather (one of the earliest school masters in Longmeadow). After his wife Sarah Davidson Booth died, he married Lucy A. Jorey. Mr. Booth died in 1907. Lucy Jorey Booth and their son James lived in this home in 1910.
104 South Park Avenue
This home was built in 1912 by Wells and White for Herbert H. and Cora A. Ransehousen. It was the third and last home that Mr. and Mrs. Ransehousen had built and lived in. They were both born in Berkshire County, MA. The 1880 U.S. Federal Census lists Cora working in the mills at the age of 12 years. In 1888 Herbert and Cora were married in North Adams, MA and they moved to Springfield, MA. Mr. Ranse- housen was employed as an insurance agent/ broker and retired after a very successful career. They both lived in this home for the remainder of their lives. Herbert H. Ransehousen died in 1957 at the age of 93.
Springfield Street Railway
The Springfield Street Railway installed trolley tracks on Longmeadow Street and introduced service in 1896 from Springfield to the Connecticut state line. The tracks were laid on the west side of the Town Green as shown in the photo. Town residents quickly accepted this new mode of transportation as an easy and convenient way to travel to Springfield. A few years later the line was extended to Hartford, CT which made it easier to travel between Hartford and Springfield. By the 1920’s automobiles were becoming a more convenient mode of transportation. On May 11, 1940, the trolley system made its last round trip to the state line. The town removed the tracks to salvage the steel for use in the war effort.
70 Hopkins Pl
In 1916 this was the home of John Albert and Louise Peterson and their two children, Albert H. and Evelyn. John Albert and Louise had both immigrated from Sweden. They arrived in the United States during different years at the turn of the 20th century. Mr. Peterson was employed as a chauffeur by C.H.Tenney, a Longmeadow resident. In 1914 Mr. Peterson purchased a building lot on Hopkins Place from John L. Scott. This house was built shortly after. John A. Peterson remained in the employment of the Tenney family for many years and lived in this home. He died in 1963.
476 Longmeadow St
Most of the photos that are being used for this Through the Lens series were taken by Paesiello Emerson. He lived in this house at 476 Longmeadow Street from ~1900 until his death in 1927. Mr. Emerson was born in Hopkinton, MA on February 10, 1832. He began work as a boot maker in Ashland. In 1863, at age 31, Paesiello enlisted in the Union Army and served as a private in the 5th Independent Battery, Massachusetts Light Artillery. He returned home in 1865 at the end of the Civil War. His father, stepmother, and their three young children, William, Annie, and Henry moved to Longmeadow in 1872. They purchased the home of Captain Luther Colton at 476 Longmeadow Street, built in 1760- now known as the Cooley- Emerson house. Paesiello moved to Longmeadow to live with his step brothers and step sister shortly after 1900. His interest in photography began soon after reaching his 70th birthday in 1902. He then compiled an extensive collection of photographic images of Longmeadow. In August 1925, Paesiello was presented with the gold-headed ebonycane as the oldest resident in Longmeadow. At his death in 1927, he bequeathed this photo- graph collection to his step sister Annie. She later gifted the entire collection to the Longmeadow Historical Society.

Longmeadow Historical Society

697 Longmeadow Street
Longmeadow, MA 01106
(413) 567-3600
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