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Seven Acres

While most properties in Longmeadow today clock in at well under an acre of land, that hasn’t always been the case, particularly along Longmeadow Street where it was once common to own long, thin parcels of land of about eight acres that stretched down towards the Connecticut River. As Longmeadow moved away from its agricultural roots, more and more land was sold and developed into the many side streets we have up and down Longmeadow Street today. However, there is still one parcel of land in town that maintains just about seven acres. This property, near the intersection of Longmeadow Street and Edgewood Avenue, features a home built in 1919 which came to be called, appropriately, “Seven Acres.”

The home was designed by H. Hilliard Smith and Donald G. Bassette, partners in the well-known architectural firm Smith and Bassette located in Hartford, CT. They were in business from 1911-1946. Their designs were based upon Classical and Colonial Revival styles. They designed several homes in the Colony Hills neighborhood, as wells as the iconic Longmeadow Community House (built in 1921) and the Richard Salter Storrs Library (built in 1933).

Prior to The Community House and Storrs Library, the firm designed several beautiful homes in town, including the property that came to be known as Seven Acres.

The seven-acre property was purchased from sisters Martha and Mary Ella Cooley, whose surname hearkens back to one of the earliest family names in town. At the time, the sisters resided in the family home at 418 Longmeadow Street.

1912 Longmeadow Map showing the land owned by the Cooley sisters

that would become Seven Acres

John F. and Marjorie S. Jennings, who resided at 33 Benedict Terrace after marrying in 1912, purchased the property. John Jennings, a 1906 graduate of Harvard Law School, and his wife, Marjorie, a Smith College graduate who brought her training and interest in landscape architecture to the Springfield and Longmeadow Gardening Clubs, sold their home for the larger lot. They hired the Smith & Bassette firm to design their new home.

John Jennings died in 1947, but his wife continued to live there until her death in 1980 at the age of 99. Extensive renovations were done to the property in the early 1980s. Today the house maintains its lovely acreage and the seclusion away from the bustle and traffic of Longmeadow Street. Now along with the extensive grounds, this is one of the loveliest homes in Longmeadow. A seven-acre oasis in town!

- Contributed by Lenny Shaker, Longmeadow Historical Society Board Member

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