New Hartford House (1888)

August 16th, 2012 Posted in Commercial Buildings, Hotels, Italianate, New Hartford

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.”

Connected to the 1888 New Hartford House in an earlier photo is a gambrel-roofed building. In an old postcard it can be seen to the left of the Old Tavern, built in 1737. The Old Tavern was replaced by the 1888 construction, which was designed to be attached to that neighboring building. The second-floor porch of the building on the left was also extended along the side of the new structure to create a longer continuous block. Was the Old Tavern the earlier New Hartford House where Howe had his workshop, or was the gambrel-roofed building an earlier New Hartford House? At some point, the gambrel building was replaced by a newer brick building (or is it an alteration of the same building?) with a mansard roof.

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