Monday, May 2, 2011

2011 Spring Plaquing Ceremony

The 2011 Spring Plaquing Ceremony took place at our General Meeting on the evening of Thursday, April 28th at the First United Methodist Church of Warren on Church Street.

Doug Hinman, researcher for the Warren Preservation Society, presented his research on the history of the following properties and the property owners were presented with a plaque. 

William Bowen House  c. 1834    42 Market Street

This two story, gable-roofed Greek Revival house is situated on land which was originally part of the Miller Barney homestead.  Miller Barney (1771-1840) moved from Rehoboth to Warren where he constructed his homestead at the corner of Market and what eventually became Barney Street. In 1833 the senior Miller sells a small lot abutting his homestead to the east on Market to his son Cromwell and his wife Belinda with the intention of his son building a house of his own. Shortly thereafter, Cromwell, evidently unsatisfied with life in Warren fails to build a house and sells the lot to William Bowen at a $75. In 1834 William Bowen and his wife Abby build the still-standing house.

Shubael B. Cole House  c. 1862     825 Main Street

In 1852 the long-existing Ormsby/Munro/Luther house (not the land) is put up for sale by the Guardian of Edward B. Munro grandson of Nathan who was moved out of the house following his mother’s death as he was deemed incapable of handling his own affairs due to “extreme intemperance.” In 1855 the house still appears in its original location and in 1862 maps of Bristol, it seems that if the house was sold, the new owner leased the land upon which it sat from the Munro estate. In the 1860 census it appears no one is living at the house. In 1861 the lot itself (with no mention of a house) is sold by Edward Munro’s guardian to Benjamin Hall. In 1862, newly married Shubael B. Cole, son of land owner David Cole to the immediate north, across from Vernon Street (Crane’s Lane while still part of Bristol) buys the lower southeast corner of his father’s land and eventually constructs a new home on its current spot. At about the same time, the old Munro/Luther house disappears from the area (confirmed by its absence on an 1870 map). 

Emma Van Sickle House   c.1902    16 Bridge Street

The story of this house is closely woven with that of the Greene’s family history on this block. Emma Lavinia Wyman, born in Foxboro, Mass. was the older sister of Mary Gardner Wyman. In 1887 Mary wed Charles Whipple Greene and subsequently raised two daughters, Alice and Charlotte at the Greene homestead at the corner of Beach & Main. In 1892 Emma weds John T. Van Sickle in New York City where he was a pier agent, one of whose regular clients was the Providence & New York Steamship Co. By 1894 the Van Sickles have moved into an upper West Side address and this same year Charles Greene builds his own grand home on the site of his father’s original house to the far side of Hall Street on Beach. Emma from the beginning of her married life would escape the often tinderbox summers in the big city and stay with her sister Mary in Warren. In 1898 the former school house across Main St. became available, and was quickly snapped up by the Van Sickles as a summer place of their own while staying in Warren. In the summer of 1902 the Van Sickles buy a lot from the Jones’s upon which they build their summer house.

William Tourgee House  1898     23 Bridge Street 

The area to the immediate north of Bridge St. became open for development following the 1873 annexation and the subdivision of the land of David Cole by his widow Patty. In 1875 James Blake buys and builds a place at the northwest corner of Bridge & Main, the land extending west to the railroad tracks. Subsequently Isaiah Simmons buys the property in 1883 and in time. By 1895 a map reveals the continuing march of building in the area with Mary A. Simmons, widow of Isaiah, established at the corner, while the back lot already has a second house constructed upon it for her son Fred’s family. In 1898 Fred Simmons’ backyard abutting the railroad was divided to allow a house lot which was sold to William Tourgee and his new wife Bertha [Barney] upon which presumably the house was built that same year.

The Wind Mill House   c. 1760     26 Bridge Street

1680 William Bradford, an original proprietor of Bristol (part of Plymouth County), is granted a large tract of land in Mount Hope Neck at the northwest edge at its border with Swanzey, calling it Boundfield farm. 1689 Bradford’s Boundfield farm of about 200 acres is sold to John Saffin briefly passing within the family to Andrew Willet. 1710 Robert Jolls purchases the now-mere 170 acre Boundfield partly in Swanzey, partly in Bristol,  a portion of which passes in 1739 to son Thomas. 1760 Thomas dies and his estate is distributed among his many children. In 1806 Nathaniel Phillips buys a small lot west of the Munro House from Sam Burr for $75, and a windmill was built. Adjacent to the windmill is the first appearance in records of a “small dwelling house” believed to be the current house, but construction evidence shows it to be an older house that was moved onto this lot from outside the area. A dirt path is made to access the windmill (this later forms the upper portion on Bridge Street and the north half of Hall Street).  

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