Maple Street Homes, Springfield Mass

Several homes on Maple Street in Springfield, around 1905. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress, Detroit Publishing Company Collection.

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The same view in 2014:

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Around the turn of the last century, Maple Street was one of the best places in Springfield to live. This side of the street was particularly desirable, because of the view looking toward downtown Springfield and across the Connecticut River. Today, that isn’t the case. Although the view is still there, it is no longer one of the city’s premier residential areas, and the two mansions in the first photo no longer exist.

Located directly across the street from the former MacDuffie School campus, this area was right in the path of the June 1, 2011 tornado that tore across western Massachusetts. These houses, however, were gone long before then.  The one on the right was at the time the home of businessman and city library president Nathan D. Bill, and was built in the 1880s as the Andrew Fennessy House. It was destroyed in a suspicious fire in 1969, after having been vacant for several years. Today, only the concrete driveway is still there, and can be seen better on Google Maps. The house just beyond it was built in 1882 and belonged to Walter H. Wesson, the son of Daniel Wesson, co-founder of Smith & Wesson. In 1982, this historic house was also heavily damaged in a fire, and was subsequently demolished.

1 thought on “Maple Street Homes, Springfield Mass”

  1. My parents owned One of the mansions on Maple. I was actually a baby at the time. I have pictures of inside and outside of the house.
    My Mom loved the Maze that was once there (I guess it’s no longer there).
    She also had a name for each room. Mine was “The Princess room” or “Pink Room” there was a Gold room and Green. I don’t remember the other names.
    Both my Mother and Father have said that it was haunted. They have the same stories and have been divorced since I was 5 years old.
    I guess the toilet would flush on its own, cabinets would open and slam shut, they would hear footsteps behind them (or next to or down the hall) would look and nobody would be there.
    I guess once I was crying as a baby and when my Mom came to check on me I was silent and giggled and she said she was paralyzed for a moment because the rocking chair next to my crib was rocking on its own. She wasn’t really afraid of them because they didn’t bother anyone. So she would say “hi” and make small talk with them.
    My Father was scared of them though.
    I guess it was like a Business and they sold antiques that belonged to “Henry the Eighths” or someone like that. The pictures I’ve seen were of very beautiful things. We still had many. My personal favorite was the dolls. My Mother later told me that they were “Piano Dolls”. They were about the size of a small child and made from porsline (not sure about the spelling) and they were dressed up in white wigs (both man and woman) wearing clothes that looked like the London era.
    I would honestly love to be able to go inside to tour it. It’s something my Mom had wished to do but she’s suffering from dementia or something like that.
    I guess they also had servants and many would quite because they would feel someone breathing on their necks and turn around in a jump and nobody would be there. I joke with that one and say it was probably my Dad.
    I do remember going back to visit my dads friend who stayed there. We had moved into a house in East Springfield. I was only about 5 years old and only remember what seemed to be a massive kitchen and in the corner a very small rest room. (I remember I had to use it).
    I always wished that they stayed so I could have grown up in such a beautiful place.
    Sincerely,
    Stacy Gagnon

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