Origen A. Sessions House (1875)

August 14th, 2017 Posted in Folk Victorian, Houses, Windham

The house at 283 Prospect Street in Willimantic was built c. 1875. It was originally the home of Origen A. Sessions (1842-1919), an undertaker (just across the street, at 284 Prospect Street, lived another undertaker, William Cummings). As related in the Commemorative Biographical Record of Tolland and Windham Counties, Connecticut (1903), Sessions worked from 1862 to 1872 for J. E. Cushman before

he began business for himself in the Atwood Block, where Puritan & Reade now are. From the start Mr. Sessions was engaged in the undertaking and furniture business, with which he combined frame making for all kinds of pictures. In addition to this line, he also conducted “dollar stores.” in both Willimantic and Stafford, his store at the latter place being the first of the kind and in these ventures he was associated with C. W. Raynes, under the firm name of O. A. Sessions & Company.

Mr. Sessions was the first occupant of the old Hamlin Block, where he maintained his store for several years. which was next established at No. 677 Main street, remaining at that point from the month of December, 1891, to April 1, 1902, when it was removed to the corner of North and Valley streets, in a building of which Mr. Sessions is half owner. In undertaking there has been a vast change since Mr. Sessions was first associated with it, and it is but strict truth to say that he has kept pace with every advance in his art. It is a work for which his fine taste, delicacy of thought and expression toward his patrons, and a tender respect and sympathy for their feelings, give him a peculiar fitness. His store is fully furnished with all the appliances for the successful management of his business, including a fine and new rubber-tired hearse, which for beauty of design and artistic workmanship cannot be surpassed anywhere. Mr. Sessions devotes special attention to embalming, and uses a preparation that preserves the features in a life-like expression. His services are in demand throughout Eastern Connecticut, and to every case he still gives his personal attention, after a business career of over thirty-eight years.

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