St. John’s Episcopal Church in New Hartford is located on Church Street across from Pine Meadow Green (also known as Chapin Park). The Carpenter Gothic edifice was built in 1861 on land donated by the Chapin family. The Chapins were tool manufacturers who developed Pine Meadow as a rural industrial village in the nineteenth century. The church replaced an earlier St. John’s, which was built in 1850 at the south end of Church Street. The church had held its first services in 1849 in Chapin Hall and Hermon Chapin, Sr. had donated the land for the building. The first St. John’s Church burned down in a fire sparked by a Christmas tree, that started late on the 23rd of December, 1859.
I’m presenting the New Hartford House Hotel (in New Hartford) in this post, although I still have some questions about the history of this building. If anyone has further details, please contribute to the comments! It was built in 1888 (according to this post). A former hotel (it was once painted pink in the 1970s!), it now contains a restaurant and shops on the first floor with apartments above. There was an earlier tavern at the same location that was replaced by the current building. In 1846, Elias Howe was living in this earlier New Hartford House and using the basement as a mechanic’s shop. On September 10, 1846, Howe became the first person to be awarded a patent for a sewing machine using a lock-stitch design. A Handbook of New England (1916), by Porter E. Sargent, states that “In Howe’s shop, on the site of the New Hartford House, woman first sewed a stitch on a sewing-machine.” Read the rest of this entry »
The house at 398 Main Street in the Pine Meadow section of New Hartford was built in 1834 as a Greek Revival house. Alterations in the Italianate style, including the addition of the front porch, were made around 1874. By that time, the house was owned by Anson J. Allen. With his brother, Samuel Allen, Anson owned a brass foundry begun by their brother Philemon. Selling the foundry in 1867, Samuel, as senior partner, and Anson operated a mercantile business in Pine Meadow. Samuel’s nearby Greek Revival house is at 405 Main Street. Anson J. Allen was born in Barkhamsted, educated at the Connecticut Literary Institute at Suffield (now Suffield Academy), and served in the state legislature. His house is now a bed & breakfast called the Pine Meadow House.
On Main Street in New Hartford, across from Pine Meadow Green, is a Greek Revival home that once served as a parish house for St. John’s Episcopal Church. The earliest part of the house, in the rear, dates to 1784, but the front section was added in 1834, when Hermon Chapin, who established himself in Pine Meadow as a prominent tool manufacturer, moved in with his wife, Catharine Merrill. She later left the house to the Episcopal Church.
An 1886 Queen Anne residence, the Wilbur E. Drake House is located on Main Street in the Pine Meadow section of New Hartford. Drake worked for the H. Chapin & Sons toolmaking company and married Julia Wilcox, niece of his employer’s wife, Mrs. Edward M. Chapin. Edward Chapin presented the land for the house to Drake upon his marriage.
The Cowles-Smith House, at 536 Main Street in New Hartford, was built by Captain Henry Cowles in 1836. A blacksmith’s shop had once stood on the site, part of the grounds of a hotel, inherited by Henry Cowles from his father, Theodore Cowles. After experiencing financial reverses around 1840, Henry Cowles became proprietor of another hotel in Hartford, where he died in 1843. His widow and daughter then returned to New Hartford and occupied the old house until it was sold, in 1845, to John Cotton Smith. An entrepreneur, John C. Smith joined with his brother, Darius B. Smith, to establish the D.B. Smith & Sons cotton mill in Pine Meadow. He was also the agent of the Greenwoods Manufacturing Company. After his death in 1870, his widow continued to live in the house for many years. It is currently used for offices.
The first church building in New Hartford was the Town Hill Church, which took ten years to build, 1739 to 1749. By 1828, it was necessary to build a new church, but residents in North Village wanted the replacement to be relocated closer to their own homes. Forming the North Ecclesiastical Society of New Hartford, some residents in the northern part of town constructed their own Congregational Church. A new church was also built on Town Hill, but another split led to the establishment of Nepaug Congregational Church in 1848. The Town Hill Church was abandoned in 1854 and taken down in 1859. The interior of the North Congregational Church was renovated in the later nineteenth century.