Monson Savings Bank on Main Street, around 1893-1910. Image courtesy of the Monson Free Library.
The building in 2015:
Monson’s first bank was Monson National Bank, which opened in 1854. It was a commercial bank, so it primarily served the business community in town, rather than on individual checking and savings accounts. So, in 1872, Monson Savings Bank was established, which enabled middle class workers in town to open savings accounts. The two banks were officially separate, but they shared the same building, and the same vault, counter, tellers.
This arrangement continued until 1893, when this building was completed. Although still located in the same building, they were separated, with Monson National on the left and Monson Savings on the right. Monson National merged with the Springfield Safe Deposit and Trust Company, which in turn merged with Shawmut Bank. Shawmut continued to operate a branch in this building until the 1960s, when Monson Savings Bank acquired the entire building.
Over 120 years after this building was completed, Monson Savings Bank is still here, although the building itself has undergone dramatic changes. The two upper floors were removed at some point, and in the 1960s the front facade was completely rebuilt. Another renovation in 1985 added office space in the back and a drive-up teller window to the left, so today the only surviving parts of the original exterior are the walls on the left and right.