Walter S. Clark House, Springfield, Mass

The house at 107 Dartmouth Street in Springfield, around 1938-1939. Image courtesy of the Springfield Preservation Trust.

1153_1938-1939 spt dartmouthst107img577
The house in 2016:

1153_2016
Built in 1885 at the corner of Dartmouth Street and Saint James Avenue, this was originally the home of clothing merchant Walter S. Clark. He lived here with his wife Adeline and their daughters, Lilian and Florence. Adeline’s sister, Cynthia Sawtell, also lived here for many years, appearing in every census from 1900 to 1920. Walter died in 1908, and Adeline remained here until her death in 1921. By 1930, Florence, still unmarried, was the only resident here.

Florence continued living in this house until her death in the early 1960s, more than 75 years after she had moved in as a child in the 1880s. She did not quite live to see her neighborhood become a historic district, but she was not far off. In 1976, the area became the McKnight District on the National Register of Historic Places, which encompasses hundreds of historic homes. Many, including the Clark house, have been restored to their original appearances, and there are few noticeable differences in these two photographs.

George Nye House, Springfield, Mass

The house at 287 Saint James Avenue in Springfield, around 1938-1939. Image courtesy of the Springfield Preservation Trust.

1152_1938-1939 spt stjamesave287img196

The house in 2016:

1152_2016
Located on Saint James Avenue between Dartmouth and Harvard Streets, this house was built in 1889 as part of the development of the McKnight district as an upper middle class neighborhood. It was originally the home of George Nye, Jr. and his wife Mabel, who moved in soon after their marriage. Their son Robert grew up here, but in 1900 the family moved a short distance away to a larger house at 137 Dartmouth Terrace, next to Mabel’s parents’ house.

By 1910, this house was the residence of Dr. James B. Comins, his wife Ada, and their daughters Alice and Barbara, along with a servant. Dr. Comins was a native of Stafford Springs, Connecticut, but after receiving his medical degree he opened up his practice in Springfield as a homeopathic physician. The couple lived here for the rest of their lives, with Ada dying in 1953 and her husband four years later.

The Comins family was living here when the first photo was taken, and very little has changed in its appearance in the nearly 80 years since then. Along with the rest of the historic houses in the neighborhood, it is part of the McKnight District on the National Register of Historic Places.

Albert Nason House, Springfield, Mass

The house at 129 Dartmouth Terrace in Springfield, around 1938-1939. Image courtesy of the Springfield Preservation Trust.

1151_1938-1939 spt dartmouthterr129img454

The house in 2016:

1151_2017
Albert Nason came to Springfield in the 1880s with his wife Annie and their children, Mabel and Albert, Jr. Born in Franklin, Massachusetts, Albert was a Civil War veteran, and here in Springfield he became the president of the Bay State Corset Company. At the time, corsets were a near-obligatory part of Victorian women’s fashion, and the prosperity of his business was reflected in his house, which was built in 1888 in the desirable, newly-developed McKnight neighborhood.

The 1900 census shows Albert, Annie, and Albert, Jr. still living here. That same year, their daughter Mabel and her husband George Nye moved into the neighboring house at 137 Dartmouth Terrace. Albert died in 1903, but his family continued living here for decades. By 1910, Annie was still here, along with Albert, Jr. and his newlywed wife, Florence. He died in 1928, but Annie lived into her 90s, having outlived her husband and all three of her children by the time she died in 1934.

Along with Annie, the 1930 census shows Florence here with her 19 year old daughter Anne. Within a few years, Anne would marry Chauncey C. Day, and the couple was living here when the first photo was taken. Their children became the fourth generation of the family to live in this house, which had been in the family for over 50 years. Since then, the house has remained well-preserved, with hardly any noticeable difference from the first photo. It is an excellent example of Queen Anne architecture, and it is part of the McKnight District on the National Register of Historic Places.

Amanda Coolbroth House, Springfield, Mass

The house at 137 Dartmouth Terrace in Springfield, around 1938-1939. Image courtesy of the Springfield Preservation Trust.

1150_1938-1939 spt dartmouthterr137img456

The house in 2017:

1150_2017
This house was built in 1889, around the same time that the rest of Dartmouth Terrace was being developed. Some of the city’s most prominent business leaders moved into the mansions here, including Louis H. Coolbroth, the president of the Standard Button Company. He died six years later in 1895, and his wife Amanda continued living here until her death in 1900.

The house’s next owner was George Nye, a merchant who lived here with his wife Mabel and son Robert. Mabel was the daughter of Albert and Annie Nason, who lived in the house next door from here. George died in 1907 at the age of 41, and Mabel later remarried to Charles C. Wilder. They both died in the 1920s, and by the 1930 census it was the home of Earl and Frances Knight, who lived here with their four children, a servant, and a lodger. By 1940, it had changed hands yet again, though, and was owned by Theodore Bliss, whose occupation was listed as the secretary of a paper company. At the time, he was living here with his wife Margarite and their two daughters.

In the nearly 80 years since the first photograph was taken, the house has not significantly changed. The right side of the front porch is gone, but otherwise its exterior retains its distinctive Victorian appearance, complete with a multicolor paint scheme. Along with the other houses in the neighborhood, it is part of the McKnight District on the National Register of Historic Places.

Willis Hall House, Springfield, Massachusetts

The house at 121 Dartmouth Terrace in Springfield, around 1938-1939. Image courtesy of the Springfield Preservation Trust.

1149_1938-1939 spt dartmouthterr121img452

The house in 2017:

1149_2017
Willis A. Hall was a paper manufacturer who, in 1888, married Emma R. Hanson. That same year, the couple moved into this house, which had just been built on Dartmouth Terrace, one of he most desirable sections of the new McKnight neighborhood. They do not appear to have had any children, and Emma died in 1895. Two years later, he remarried to Mary Walton, who was herself a widow. By 1900, they were living here with Willis’s mother Mandana and a servant.

The Halls remained here until at least the 1910 census, but the house subsequently went through several different owners. By 1925, it was owned by Dr. Robert E. Andrews, who worked as the medical director of the Fisk Rubber Company in Chicopee. He lived here with his wife Gladys and daughter Leah, and later opened his own medical practice here in the house. They were still living here when the first photo was taken, and for many years afterwards. Dr. Andrews died in 1963, and Gladys remained here until her own death in 1973.

The house has seen few changes since the first photo was taken. Like many other historic homes in the area, its exterior has been beautifully restored to its 19th century appearance, and it is part of the McKnight District on the National Register of Historic Place.

James Cowan House, Springfield, Mass

The house at 115 Dartmouth Terrace in Springfield, around 1938-1939. Image courtesy of the Springfield Preservation Trust.

1148_1938-1939 spt dartmouthterr115img450

The house in 2017:

1148_2017
This house was built in 1888 for James and Ellen Cowan, on newly-developed Dartmouth Terrace. James was a coal dealer, and at the time the McKnight neighborhood was a fashionable area for the city’s leading residents. He lived here until his death in 1897, and by 1900 Ellen was still here with her daughter Mary, along with Mary’s husband George Sessions and their infant daughter Ethelyn.

By the 1910 census, Ellen was living elsewhere in the city with Mary and George, and this house on Dartmouth Terrace was home to Edwin and Ada Collins. Edwin’s occupation was listed as a waste dealer, and he lived here until his death in 1931, seven years after Ada’s death in 1924. The house was subsequently owned by Francis Wrisley, a telephone repair man. In the 1940 census, recorded shortly after the first photo was taken, he was living here with his wife Charlotte, son Francis, Jr., and Francis’s wife Elsie.

Today, much of the McKnight neighborhood has been restored to its original appearance, including this house. The vast majority of the 19th century homes in the area are still standing, and collectively they form the McKnight District on the National Register of Historic Places.