Mystery School Stereoview

I went to "Papermania" in Hartford this weekend, the biggest ephemera show in the Northeast. It is held every year in the beginning of January.

I picked up a stereoview that I can't identify. It is of a school, and the pencil writing on the back simply says "Springfield Mass School".



At first, I thought it was a photograph of the Old High School, which was located on the current site of the Campanile. But the buildings only slightly resemble each other.



I thought maybe it was a modified version of another grammar school from the era -- but my copy of Kings Handbook of Springfield (1884 -- right when stereoviews would have been in their heydey) lists six active grammar schools at that time:




Hooker School, built in 1865



Elm Street Grammar, built in 1867



Oak Street Grammar, built in 1868



Worthington Street School, built in 1869.



Central Street Grammar, built in 1871



Indian Orchard Grammar School, built in 1868

Is it possible that this is a photo from another angle of one of those grammar schools? It seems to have stylings found on both the Hooker School (notably the clocks) and the Central Street Grammar (notably the roofline). Or is it from a neighboring community? Or is it a building in Springfield that is not a school? Or is it from a completely different place in the country, mistakenly labeled as Springfield by an unknowing collector in the past.

Does anyone have any thoughts?

Mystery School

Nice picture Ralph. I have never seen that school in Springfield, almost feels too fancy, a feeling of eastern mass. I always look for the granite curbs when identifying Springfield pictures. The other schools you pictured all have them, this one does not. Hope others have an idea.

Mystery School

Is it the old Mac Duffy School for Girls that was up on the Maple St hill?

Designs

Look at the clock design -- it appears identical to Hooker School clock. Do you know who the architect of Hooker School was? I think I have a pamphlet at home from the "new" Hooker School, maybe they mention the original school's architect in it.

Your point is well-taken about the granite curbing.

Here's one small clue -- the front of the building faces north (as seen on the weathervane).

I have a booklet entitled,

I have a booklet entitled, "History of Hooker Street School" by Flora Graves Phelps. She indicates that the school was built in 1865. The plans were drawn by James M. Currier. Currier & Richards were the contractors.

In another booklet "Schools of Springfield" published by the Hooker School Art Association in 1900, I find no schools resembling the mystery school. The mystery school looks too ornate for a Springfield public school. Could it be connected with the normal school in Westfield--or any other college in the area?

Population in 1870

Thanks, you saved me the effort of digging up that Hooker School book, it is the one I was thinking of.

Don't forget that in 1865, Springfield was growing in population, and was the 51st largest city in the country in 1870 (with only a population of 26,703!). I don't see it as any more ornate than Hooker School or Central St. School though.

Given the design of the clock tower, I would have to believe that the architects are the same, and this is probably in the Northeast. Unfortunately I couldn't find anything in a Google search. a Google Books search turned up information on Currier & Richards in a book called Encyclopedia of Massachusetts, Biographical--genealogical By William Richard Cutter, American Historical Society. Unfortunately the text of this book was not available for perusal, but I was able to reconstruct some of it:

Charles Warren Richards, son of James and Priscilla C. (Newcomb) Richards, was born in Greenwich, Massachusetts, November 18, 1824, and died in Springfield, Massachusetts, where he engaged in business as a contractor and builder under the firm name of Currier & Richards. Among the well known structures erected by him are the two churches in Palmer, Massachusetts, and the old Nasawava House in the same city. In Springfield he erected the Kibbe and Crane Block, and also the Hooker Street School, which was the first grammar school built in Springfield. Many beautiful residences in the city stand as lasting memorials to his skill and artistic ability, and throughout his career he enjoyed a reputation of being one of the "dependable" contractors of the municipality. The fact that he was held in high esteem among his fellow citizens is evidenced by the fact that he was chosen to represent his district in the State Legislature in 1873. He married Azuba Anna Powell of Richford. Vermont, born July 4, 1827, and died in 1906, daughter of Rev. Prosper Powell, a Baptist minister

I haven't found any similar detail on James M. Currier.

Population in 1870

Dear Ralph Slate:

I was reviewing your article below about Charles Warren Richards. It stated that he married Azuba Ann Powell from Richford, Vermont. I find this very interesting because my Phaneuf ancestry.com includes the Bean family (married to Matilda Powell) also from Richford, Vermont. This would be quite a coincidence if they were not related. I also know that her sister lived in Chicopee, MA. I haven't gone much further than this.

Thank you for the information, I will save the lead for future research !

Best Regards, Becky Phaneuf

Population in 1870
Submitted by Ralph Slate on Wed, 01/14/2009 - 13:53.

Thanks, you saved me the effort of digging up that Hooker School book, it is the one I was thinking of.

Don't forget that in 1865, Springfield was growing in population, and was the 51st largest city in the country in 1870 (with only a population of 26,703!). I don't see it as any more ornate than Hooker School or Central St. School though.

Given the design of the clock tower, I would have to believe that the architects are the same, and this is probably in the Northeast. Unfortunately I couldn't find anything in a Google search. a Google Books search turned up information on Currier & Richards in a book called Encyclopedia of Massachusetts, Biographical--genealogical By William Richard Cutter, American Historical Society. Unfortunately the text of this book was not available for perusal, but I was able to reconstruct some of it:

Charles Warren Richards, son of James and Priscilla C. (Newcomb) Richards, was born in Greenwich, Massachusetts, November 18, 1824, and died in Springfield, Massachusetts, where he engaged in business as a contractor and builder under the firm name of Currier & Richards. Among the well known structures erected by him are the two churches in Palmer, Massachusetts, and the old Nasawava House in the same city. In Springfield he erected the Kibbe and Crane Block, and also the Hooker Street School, which was the first grammar school built in Springfield. Many beautiful residences in the city stand as lasting memorials to his skill and artistic ability, and throughout his career he enjoyed a reputation of being one of the "dependable" contractors of the municipality. The fact that he was held in high esteem among his fellow citizens is evidenced by the fact that he was chosen to represent his district in the State Legislature in 1873. He married Azuba Anna Powell of Richford. Vermont, born July 4, 1827, and died in 1906, daughter of Rev. Prosper Powell, a Baptist minister

I haven't found any similar detail on James M. Currier.
»

clearer view of Hooker School in 1865-1885

Here's a link to a stereoview of the Hooker School that shows a much clearer view of the building:
http://digitalgallery.nypl.org/nypldigital/dgkeysearchdetail.cfm?trg=1&s...
Definitely not the same building as the stereoview you found, but it's an interesting quest.
Kathy

Mystery School

When was the photo taken?
The building could have been in a section of Springfield that is now another city (Chicopee, Hampden....)

Stereoview photo

The photo is from a stereoview, and those were most common in the 1870's and 1880's.

I am fairly sure that it is not from Chicopee or West Springfield, since I have seen pictures of their high schools.

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