Archibald M. Stone House, Springfield, Mass

The house at 264 Sumner Avenue in Springfield, around 1938-1939. Image courtesy of the Springfield Preservation Trust.

The house in 2017:


This house on Sumner Avenue was built in 1897 for Archibald M. Stone, who lived here with his wife Theresa and their son Archibald. He was listed as a traveling salesman in the 1900 census, and he lived here until about 1905. By 1910, the house was owned by Gottlieb Baer, a cigar manufacturer who had immigrated to the United States from Switzerland in the 1860s. He and his wife Theresia had six children, one of whom died young. The other five were all living here in 1910, with ages ranging from 12 to 28. Theresia died in 1914, but Gottlieb remained here into the 1920s, before moving to Longmeadow.

By 1930, the house was owned by Jacob Ginsberg, his wife Sarah, and their 25-year-old son Irving. Both Jacob and Sarah were Jewish immigrants from Poland who had come to the United States in the late 1800s, and Jacob worked as a real estate agent. Jacob died in 1938, around the time that the first photo was taken, although Sarah and Irving were still living here during the 1940 census. However, at some point during the 1940s Sarah sold this house and moved to a nearby house on Belmont Avenue.

During the mid-20th century, part of the house was converted into doctors’ offices, and the exterior was covered in siding, which removed much of the home’s original details. Despite the changes, though, the house is part of the Forest Park Heights Historic District, which was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.

Arthur B. Lewis House, Springfield, Mass

The house at 233 Forest Park Avenue in Springfield, around 1938-1939. Image courtesy of the Springfield Preservation Trust.

The house in 2017:


This house was built in 1895 as the home of Arthur B. Lewis, a merchant who sold hats and other “men’s furnishings,” as the census records describe it. He and his wife Lena had nine children who grew up here, although one of their children, Arthur Jr., died in infancy in 1901. This house would have been crowded by the 1910 census, when all eight of their surviving children were still living here, with ages ranging from one to 20. Along with this, they also employed two servants who lived here.

Lena died of pneumonia in the fall of 1910 at the age of 45, with her death certificate indicating that, as a Christian Scientist, she did not receive any medical care for her illness. A year later, their daughter Alice died just a week before her sixth birthday. According to her death certificate, she died of starvation from being unable to retain food, with hot weather being listed as a contributing factor. Arthur remarried in 1914, and he and his second wife Ada were still living by the early 1920s, along with several of Arthur’s younger children.

By 1930, the house had been sold to Frederick D. Davis, a physician who lived here with his wife Blanche, their daughters Fredericka and Clarisa, and his parents, Lemuel and Lillian. However, Lemuel died in 1936, and Frederick died two years later, right around the time that the first photo was taken. Soon after, Blanche sold the house, and she and Clarisa moved to a nearby apartment on Sumner Avenue.

The house was subsequently owned by Michael Katz, the president of the Springfield-based Country Club Soda Company. A Jewish immigrant from Russia, he came to the United States in 1890 and soon after married his wife, Lena. They were both in their early 70s when they moved into this house in the late 1930s, and they lived here with their widowed daughter Rebecca and her daughter, Elaine. The family lived here until the early 1950s, when Rebecca, Michael, and Lena all died between 1951 and 1953.

In 1960, the house was purchased by Charles V. Ryan, who lived here with his wife Joan until 1976. During this time, Ryan served as the mayor of Springfield from 1962 to 1967, and unsuccessfully ran for Congress against Edward Boland in 1968. However, he returned to the mayor’s office 36 years later, serving two terms from 2004 to 2008 and becoming the city’s only mayor to serve non-consecutive terms. In the meantime, very little has changed with his former house. It remains well-preserved and, along with the rest of the neighborhood, it is part of the Forest Park Heights Historic District on the National Register of Historic Places.

Frederick Ross House, Springfield, Mass

The house at 215 Forest Park Avenue in Springfield, around 1938-1939. Image courtesy of the Springfield Preservation Trust.

The house in 2017:


Springfield’s Forest Park Heights neighborhood was developed around the turn of the 20th century, at a time when architectural tastes were shifting from Queen Anne to Colonial Revival styles. The majority of the homes in Forest Park are Colonial Revival, but some of the older homes, including this one, have Queen Anne architecture. It is located on Forest Park Avenue opposite Maplewood Terrace, and it is one of the oldest houses in the neighborhood, having been built in 1892.

During the 1900 census, this house was owned by Frederick Ross, who lived here with his wife Anna and their daughter, Hazel. Born in Canada, Frederick immigrated to the United States in the late 1880s and married Anna a few years later. The 1900 census indicates that he was a traveling salesman, and subsequent censuses indicate that he sold, of all things, coconuts. He was still living here with Anna and Hazel in the 1920 census, and was still selling coconuts, while Hazel worked as a clerk for the city water department. However, Anna died in the 1920s, and by 1930 Frederick was living in an apartment nearby on Belmont Avenue.

The next owner of this house was Horace E. Allen, a lawyer who was living here by 1930, along with his wife Mary, their three children, and Mary’s father, William Ballantine. A retired Congregational minister and college professor, Ballantine had served as president of Oberlin College from 1891 to 1896. He then came to Springfield and taught Bible at the International Y.M.C.A. Training School, which later became Springfield College. After his retirement in 1921, he wrote several books, including a translation of the New Testament.

Ballantine lived here with his daughter and son-in-law until his death in 1937 at the age of 88. The rest of the family was still living here a year or two later when the first photo was taken, but at some point in the 1940s they moved to Longmeadow. Since then, the house has remained well-preserved, and this scene has hardly changed in the past 80 years. Along with the rest of the neighborhood, the house is now part of the Forest Heights Historic District on the National Register of Historic Places.

Ralph Carleton House, Springfield, Mass

The house at 121 Forest Park Avenue in Springfield, around 1938-1939. Image courtesy of the Springfield Preservation Trust.

The house in 2017:


This Colonial Revival-style house was built in 1909 as the home of Dr. Ralph Carleton, an ophthalmologist who worked at Springfield Hospital. An 1894 graduate of Harvard Medical School, Dr. Carleton began practicing in Springfield in 1897, and two years later he married his wife, Julia Louise Van Schaack. They moved into this house when it was completed in 1909, and they were still living here some 30 years later, when the first photo was taken. They did not have any children, but by the 1940 census they were living here with Julia’s twin sister, Leila.

Ralph Carleton died in 1940 at the age of 70, and Leila died two years later. Soon afterward, Julia sold the house, and very little has changed in its appearance since then. It is one of many well-preserved early 20th century homes in the neighborhood, and in 1982 it became part of the Forest Park Heights Historic District on the National Register of Historic Places.

Thomas Dyer House, Springfield, Mass

The house at 141 Forest Park Avenue in Springfield, around 1938-1939. Image courtesy of the Springfield Preservation Trust.

The house in 2017:


This house was built in 1910, and was one of many homes in Forest Park that were designed by G. Wood Taylor, a prominent local architect of the early 20th century. It was originally the home of Thomas and Florence Dyer, who lived here for a few years. During this time, Thomas worked for an advertising company in Springfield, but by the end of the 1910s he had become a dairy farmer. He and Florence moved out of this house and purchased the Kingoke Farm in Sixteen Acres, at the present-day corner of Parker Street and South Branch Parkway. They operated the farm here for many years, and Thomas even served as the city’s police commissioner in the 1930s.

In the meantime, their home here in Forest Park was purchased by Charles N. Bancroft, the traffic manager for the Indian Motocycle Company. He did not stay here long either, though, and was living in Longmeadow by 1930. In 1933, several years before the first photo was taken, the house was purchased by Dr. Robert J. Klein and his wife Della, and they lived here for the rest of their lives, until Della’s death in 1967 and Robert’s in 1972. Since then, the exterior of the house has remained unchanged, and in 1982 the property became part of the Forest Park Heights Historic District on the National Register of Historic Places.

Alfred Chapin House, Springfield, Mass

The house at 151 Forest Park Avenue, at the corner of Mountainview Street in Springfield, around 1938-1939. Image courtesy of the Springfield Preservation Trust.

The house in 2017:

This house was built in 1906, and is one of many large, upscale single-family homes that were built in the Forest Park neighborhood at the turn of the 20th century. It was originally the home of Alfred and Julia Chapin and their three young children, Alfred Jr., Neil, and Julia. Alfred was the treasurer and later president of the Moore Drop Forging Company, a Springfield-based tool manufacturer. He was also an avid tennis player, and served as treasurer of the United States National Lawn Tennis Association.

In 1916, shortly after becoming president of the company, Chapin and his family left this house and moved into a home on Crescent Hill. They subsequently adopted three more children, and by the 1920 census they employed five live-in servants at their new home. In the meantime, their former home was sold to Dr. Robert F. Hovey, a surgeon who worked at the Wesson Memorial Hospital for many years.

During the 1920 census, Hovey was living here with his wife Florence and a maid. Florence appears to have died sometime in the 1920s, because by 1930 he was living here with his second wife, Emma. His mother Lucy was also living here in 1930, and she remained here until her death in 1936 at the age of 98. Emma died in 1934, when she was in her early 50s, and Hovey subsequently married his third wife, Eva Danick.

The Hoveys were still living here when the first photo was taken, and Dr. Hovey remained here until his death in 1954 at the age of 79. The house was subsequently sold later that year, nearly 40 years after Hovey had first moved here. Since then, like so many other historic homes in the neighborhood, it has remained well-preserved, and in 1982 it became part of the Forest Park Heights Historic District on the National Register of Historic Places.