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The Manse (Northampton, Massachusetts) facts for kids

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The Manse
The manse 54 prospect.JPG
The Manse, 54 Prospect Street
Location 54 Prospect St.,
Northampton, Massachusetts
Area 1 acre (0.40 ha)
Built 1744 (1744)
Architectural style Georgian
NRHP reference No. 76000263
Added to NRHP October 14, 1976

The Manse is a historic church manse in Northampton, Massachusetts. With a construction history dating to 1744, it is in part a good example of vernacular mid-18th century architecture. It has also had a procession of locally notable owners and residents. The house was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.

Description and history

The Manse is located in a residential area north of downtown Northampton, on the west side of Prospect Street at its junction with Trumbull Road. It is a two-story wood frame structure, with a gambrel style roof and twin interior chimneys. Three dormers pierce the steep slope of the gambrel, the center one with a rounded arch roof, the outer two with hip roofs. A square cupola rises at the center of the roof. A 2-1/2 story ell, the oldest part of the building, extends to the rear.

The property's history begins in the 17th century, when it was part of a land grant to Reverend Solomon Stoddard, whose parsonage was built here in 1684. Stoddard was the pastor of the first church in Northampton and the grandfather of Jonathan Edwards, a leading force in the First Great Awakening who briefly lived in that house. In 1744, Stoddard's son John built what is now the rear ell as a replacement for that house. John Stoddard was active in a civic affairs, serving in the provincial militia and the provincial legislature. His son, also named Solomon, built the front portion of the house in 1782; he served as sheriff of Hampshire County. Other notable residents include Josiah G. Holland, writer and founder of Scribner's Monthly, and Dr. Benjamin Barrett, a prominent local politician. The house was purchased in 1940 by Dorothy Douglas, a professor at Smith College, who oversaw its restoration. She also commissioned a series of murals that now adorn its walls; these were executed by Oliver Larkin.

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