101 Main Street: The Morgan Corner

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Plots

Bordwell homestead

George Shearman homestead

Smith store lots

101 Main Streetstore building already stood on this lot in 1836 when Eben Smith sold it to James Dwight Morgan. This store and the one next to it were both built by Smith, according to language in the deed. Morgan had just arrived from Dundee and his new establishment was the village's first hardware store. This location was called the Morgan corner long after Morgan himself, and his son Charles who succeeded him, were out of the picture.

Charles sold the store to Leonidas West in 1895, and West to W.B. and T. H. Craugh in 1908. The building was owned by various members of the Craugh family until at least 1935.

The lot sold by Smith to Morgan was 22 feet 6 inches on Main Street, and the deed mentions that the store on the lot, built by Smith, was made of brick. The store was the one shown in the older picture below, two stories high with a handsome Federal style facade. The picture was probably taken after soon 1864, and shows the whole facade. The original also shows the building's stepped gables and elliptical louver, which were filled in with brick in 1885; their outlines are plainly visible in the modern building.

The present building was built in 1885, with the third story and the tall corbelled cornice added probably at the same time or perhaps a little later. After its many years as a hardware store, it became a clothing store, and then housed a number of different businesses. The first-floor facade was covered in the 1990s by an owner who intended to rent out offices there. A glass transom was installed in the old facade, similar to the one across the entrance to Lown's at 131 Main; it had the name "Seeley's" across it for decades, after a store owner in the 1930s. It now hangs in the back of Long's at 117 Main.


Above right: The building front as it appears today. The broken stone pediments above the windows (which are inset with terra-cotta placques bearing a monogram) and the high corbelled cornice proclaim its Victorian origin and style. The wooden first-story facade was added more than a hundred years later. Notice, however, in the south wall along East Elm Street, the oval shape of the louver and the stepped two-story gable outlined in the different colors of brick. This is, at least in part, the original south wall of the building.


101 Main Street
East side of Main from 101 north


Above: Main Street in 1907, looking north from no. 101, occupied then by Walter B. Tower (who, by coincidence, was married to a granddaughter of George Shearman Sr.) The third story had been added by this time, and no. 103 next door had been heightened as well, with the addition of the high cornice, which was really a false front. Going north, the Raymond block and the Cornwell Opera House were as built, no. 121 had its new (1901) facade, no. 127 was only two stories, no. 131 was painted a light color, contrasting with the massive no. 137 beyond. Nos. 143 and 145 are invisible, and no. 151, the Benham House just barely visible beyond that. Note particularly the electric and telegraph poles overhead; this is not as bad as it would get later.


Right: A post-fire view of the 1836 Morgan store, with the charming Federal facade in its entirety. Note also 103 next door, built about the same time. The exterior door to the 2nd floor has a barber pole beside it, and another stands at the edge of the sidewalk.

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Click a button for an overall view of the whole south end of the 100 block.


        People related to this lot and structure:

    David Wagener  
    Abraham Wagener
   
 Jonathan Bordwell
    George Shearman
    Eben Smith

         Other related structures:

               103 Main Street

Related history:

    Incorporation
    Looking Forward