Thursday, January 19, 2012

North Bennington Walking Tour, 43 - 49

Main Street was laid out in 1760 to go north to Shaftsbury. Houghton Street was cut in 1835, also to go to Shaftsbury, but avoiding the hill on the main road. The railroad was
here in 1856 but not Depot Street. The railroad continued across the dam at Lake Paran to Bennington. The bridge and dam which had washed out had quickly been replaced.
The tour begins at The Eddington House
# 44 - WF Hawkes House, now called The Eddington House. A porch once ran across the front of the house, probably not as early as 1856.

# 43 -SC Loomis House (picture of fan light)
The Park: the Post Office was here, as well as an apothecary shop, a store, and the home of H. Koon. They were destroyed in a fire in 1886 that burned all the way to the Cobblestone House. A cabinet shop sat in what is today the bank parking lot.
# 45 – Surdam House, c. 1835. The house shape and size is similar to those on Bank St. Its stone construction is unusual in the village. The entrance side panels and hood are taken pictures in the1830 design book of Asher Benjamin.

# 46 – Built c. 1780 for Fannie Hinsdill. It originally had a center chimney. This house has been continually updated - the triple windows, c. 1910, and the picture windows in the 1950’s for a barbershop.

#47 – The Cobblestone House, 1848, Gothic Revival, with its steep roof and gingerbread icing along the eaves was inspired by medieval stone carvings. It retains its early American story-and-a-half shape and scale. In 1856 one of the Colvins lived here. The cobblestone exterior was also popular in western NY. This house was built by Warren Dutcher who auctioned it off for $1 per chance.

#48 - GW Simmon House, c. 1850, is a classic Greek Revival - with a later porch and Italianate double door. It was constructed with timbers from a mill on Paran Creek which was being rebuilt.

#49 – Robinson is a mirror image of #50. This house has Italianate ‘improvements’: a double front door and a bracketed entry roof.

Both the Simmon and Robinson houses have barns, befitting a prosperous homeowner of the 1850’s.


Unknown said...

Hi, Jane. My husband and I are the new owners of the "Hawks" (Eddington Inn) house. I have just talked to Patti, the prior owner, about my interest in the history of the house and she will not be offended if we dig a little deeper into the history.

I believe that the house may be significantly older than 1856. The metal work on the basement door under the rear porch and the stairs to the 2nd floor first got my attention. I am tracking back deeds and to date have gotten as far as conveyance of the property with "appurtenances" in 1834 and mention of the pre-Hawks use as a blacksmith's shop and forge in c. 1838. So far my research indicates that when William Hawks purchased the property in 1838, he used it as a residence which was noted due to its then-existing use as a blacksmith forge and shop. This has made some sense of the two basements, one of which is smaller and appears to have a very large fireplace with metal facade and the remnants of a very large chimney. As I understand it, a blacksmith was one of the earliest tradesmen in town and later-18th to turn of the century seems to fit better with the iron metal work on the basement door and the very narrow stairs between stories.

I would really appreciate your insights if you have the time. If you do, please let me know and I will give you my contact info.


Unknown said...

Ps: It also appears that the property was sold to Hawks by Charles S.Wright in in 1838, that Wright acquired it from Edward M. Welling in 1834 and that Welling may have acquired it in 1832. More to come on that.

Jane said...

This is exciting! I am delighted you are researching and looking.

And I am glad to hear from you.
One of my hopes for the walking tour was that it would be public document for people to add to and amend. The history of buildings in both Benningtons seems to be mostly oral, perhaps known by families, but not accessible to the public. People tell me whose house it 'used to be', but it's often not common knowledge.

I am not currently available. However, I would very much like to come see your basement! What fun that would be!
The mills on Paran Creek would have needed a blacksmith from the beginning, (before the Wellings) at least as early as Moses Sage, maybe Haviland ( Sage's father-in-law).

Shall I e-mail you in a few weeks?

Thank you very much for contacting me.

Unknown said...

Hi, Jane.

Yes, please email me at I have done some more research.