Arguably the cutest little store in Newmarket is the Murray Store, right on the town’s vibrant Main Street. The brick building is one of the earliest such structures on the street and is a great example of a narrow Federal style building with a lunette in the gable end. The structure was built before 1830 and was occupied by a Ms. Charlotte Murray as a millinery (women’s hat store). Main Street USA! What is your favorite Main Street in New England?
Brookfield Village Store // 1867
Significant as the last extant commercial building in the quaint Brookfield Village, this 1867 structure gives us a glimpse into village life in the latter half of the 19th century. The structure was constructed by Henry Smith Peck (1834-1884), who also constructed a home for his new family next door. Within a year of the store opening, Peck was joined by a partner and they opened Peck & Somers, a general store for the village, which sold local wares as well as imported goods. As is the history of many towns, in the 1960s, 100 years after the store was built, a developer purchased the building in order to demolish it for a “modern store”. The townspeople spoke out against the proposal, saving this charming building! The building is now occupied by a local real estate company.
Upper Falls Village School // 1846
The Upper Falls Village in Newton, MA is a small industrial neighborhood which grew after the Revolutionary War due to its location on the Charles River where rapids and falls occur. Mills and factories were built in the village and thus, workers from other towns and even Europe moved here to work in the dozen manufacturing facilities. By 1850, the village had 1,500 residents, a quarter of those living in the town of Newton at the time, in a much denser area. With workers and families moving here, the need for a school was paramount. As the Upper Falls Village continued to grow, schools were built and demolished for newer and larger structures to house the growing population. In 1846, this two-story schoolhouse was constructed in the then popular Greek Revival style. The schoolhouse was quickly deemed inadequate and was sold when a new school closer to the center of the village was built in 1855. This building was then converted to commercial use, serving as a grocery and dry goods store and later a watchmaking shop, with the storefront added at the time.