Israel L. Spencer House // c.1855

The Spencer family emigrated from Braintree, England to America in 1638, with Thomas Spencer settling in Hartford, Connecticut in 1640. Thomas Spencer Jr., the second generation in Connecticut moved to modern-day Suffield in the 1670s. Generations later, Israel L. Spencer (1833-1887) became a businessman and politician, later being employed at the First National Bank in Suffield, continuing the family’s legacy in town. Mr. Spencer had this Italianate house on South Main Street built for him and his family. Israel’s son Charles L. Spencer grew up in the home, later following in his father’s footsteps becoming the president of the local bank. Sadly, the home has seen better days, hopefully it can be restored and maintained in the future!

3 thoughts on “Israel L. Spencer House // c.1855

  1. Gardenlover11 September 22, 2020 / 1:22 pm

    How sad!!! I wish i could fix it up!! My Grandparents owned an Italianate style brick home in Ilion, NY and they took immaculate care of it. It had the original tin ceilings in the two front parlors and the original maple floors. The curved staircase and banister were beautiful and not just a few grandkids slid down it when no one was looking!! Granddaddy was the Chief Engineer of Remington Arms. During WWII he was a key person setting up munitions plants all over the West and in Canada. They would have 3 months to set up a factory in the middle of nowhere using farmers as labor. He had such a special pentagon passport that he was saluted at the border! He had an interesting life. My Great Grandfather sold the family farm in Indiana in the late 1800s to go to work in Kings Mills, OH. There were 2 factories owned by the King family. One a black powder company and the other a cartridge company. I believe he always worked at the cartridge company called Peter’s Cartridge Company. Granddaddy was born in 1901 and his German Mother taught him formal cursive German writing! When he went to elementary school he was taught cursive writing. Between the two styles he had the most beautiful writing!! You could spot anything he wrote a mile away… The day after he graduated from high school he started work at Peter’s Cartridge. One day a supervisor saw a picture he had drawn. He saw that he had talent and enrolled him in draftsman training! In the 1920s Granddaddy went to the first evening college courses in the country. He would would drive 25 miles each way in a model T to the University of Cincinnati to take engineering classes! He never finished all the liberal arts to get his degree but in those days it did not matter. Granddaddy met my Nana in Kings Mills. She had been adopted by a family from an orphanage when sadly, her Mother turned her and her brother over for care. We do not know why or who their father was. My father was born in Kings Mills in’29 and also became an engineer! Peter’s Cartridge Company and the black powder company had been bought by Remington Arms in the 1920s or 30s and then Dupont bought Remington Arms. My Dad joined Dupont in ’51 I think… They moved him around the country a lot as was the case back then, He joined Remington in ’66 in Bridgeport, CT and we lived in Orange. He retired from Remington in”83 and went to work for his brother, also an engineer, in VA! I worked one summer at Remington when I was in college. I microfilmed gun serial numbers from thousands of boxes of IBM punch cards all summer in a non-air-conditioned storage room! To keep track of the dates (before personal computer days and when THE computer was in an air-conditioned room and men wore clean suits to enter!), I went to all of the oldest secretaries I could find and they dug through their desks to find old calendars! I made a color-coded key of the dates of batches of guns! People in the accounting Department thought I was playing when I was coloring with colored pencils on calendars I made! It was a boring summer but that made me the 4th generation to have worked for Remington!


    • Buildings of New England September 23, 2020 / 4:36 pm

      Thank you for sharing this! I would LOVE to see the house your grandparents owned in NY, it sounds magical. Guns were a big part of Connecticut’s econonomy. I believe Remington was born in Suffield…

      Liked by 1 person

      • Gardenlover11 September 29, 2020 / 12:51 am

        I just looked up the founder of Remington Arms. His name was Eliphalet Remington. He was born in Suffield! This is the Wikipedia info:

        “Eliphalet Remington II was born in 1793 in the town of Suffield, Connecticut. He was the second child of four surviving children (but the only son) of Eliphalet and Elizabeth (Kilbourn) Remington, whose family origins lay in Yorkshire, England.[1]

        Eliphalet II followed in his father’s footsteps and entered the blacksmith trade at the family’s rural forge in Herkimer County, New York. The original family home at Kinne Corners, New York, built about 1810 and known as Remington House, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1997.[2]

        Remington Company co-founder
        The younger Remington worked with his father in the forge, and at 23 he hand-made a flintlock rifle using a firing mechanism bought from a gunsmith, but constructing the barrel himself.[3]

        The rifle received such a response that Remington decided to manufacture it in quantity. By 1840, when his three sons began to take a more active role in the family business, he formed the firm of E. Remington and Sons, which he headed until his death in 1861.[4]

        The company continued to grow and to develop its product and gradually began the manufacture of other sporting goods, such as bicycles. At the present time, the company is known as the Remington Arms Co., Inc.”

        Right now they are in bankruptcy for many reasons…not the least is the ridiculous lawsuit by the parents of children who were massacred in that CT school. The gun did not do the shooting!!! NY state has been after them too, being the bastion of liberalism that it is. Disgusting!! This company has been in Ilion for over 200 years and is the only manufacturing company left holding the Mohawk Valley together. My Grandfather would never have understood all of this… At least my son-in-law is a hunter and a conservationist and will teach my Grandson to be like that as well.


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