Dr. Aretus Rising was born in Suffield, CT in 1801, part of one of the oldest families in town who settled here. His father was a farmer of modest means who could not afford the ability to let his eight children attend school routinely as he needed help on the family farm. He eventually moved to Western MA where he graduated the Berkshire Medical School in 1826, soon after opening a practice in Florida, NY before moving back to Massachusetts. He operated a doctors office in Suffield starting in 1845, running it until 1871, stopping due to poor health and failing sight. He lived most of his later years in this modest Italianate home. The house features broad overhanging eaves and a porch supported by stunning lattice columns.
The Connecticut Literary Institute opened in Suffield, CT, with Baptist roots with the goal to educate young men for the ministry. Later rebranding as Suffield Academy, the school was the only high school in town, so it received tax revenue from the town to allow boys outside the Baptist faith to study there. Later, with changing views of women’s right to education, the school allowed women into the school in 1843. Forty years later, the school constructed this building, then known as the ‘Women’s Building’ just next door to the 1854 Memorial Hall. The Second Empire style academic building was heavily modified in 1953, just like its counterpart next door in the Colonial Revival style, adding a cupola and removing the stunning mansard roof.
This meeting hall in Suffield, CT was built in 1883 on Crooked Lane, named Central Hall. When Crooked Lane was renamed Mapleton Ave, the hall was so renamed to reflect this name change, to Mapleton Hall. Starting in 1885, the hall was home to the local grange, a fraternal organization that encouraged families to band together to promote the economic and political well-being of the community and agriculture. With Suffield’s active agricultural uses (primarily in tobacco crops), this grange was quickly funded and built. For nearly 100 years the building saw use as a fraternal center, with dwindling membership after WWII, when the agricultural character of town began to make way for suburban growth. The building was sold to the Mapleton Hall Asssociation, in 1978, who began restoration of the structure which began to decay from deferred maintenance. The building is now owned by The Suffield Players, a non-profit community theater company.