Joseph Hale House (1820)

December 21st, 2017 Posted in Federal Style, Houses, Middlefield

Located at 112 Main Street in the Rockfall neighborhood of Middlefield is a house built c. 1820 by Joseph Hale. He had received the land from his uncle in 1819, after his marriage to Julia Stow (died 1843). As executor, Hale settled the estate of his father-in-law, Joshua Stow, and then sold the house to Freeman Johnson in 1849. Hale moved to Ohio, where he died in 1855. Johnson sold the house to his son, Ira N. Johnson, who manufactured pistols. As related in the History of Middlefield and Long Hill (1883), by Thomas Atkins,

[the] Pistol factory was erected by a company of young men, namely, Henry Aston, Ira N. Johnson, Sylvester Bailey, John North, Nelson Aston, and Peter Ashton. They took a large contract of the government of the United States for making pistols; an additional contract was granted them. When the work was finished the property was put up at auction by the company, and Ira N. Johnson was the highest bidder, and the property came to him in 1852. Since then, the manufacture of pistols and other things has been carried on by Johnson and others up to the time the factory was burned, which was on the night of the 21st of Sept., 1879.

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