310 Main Street: The Henry W. Douglass house


hen Asa Cole bought this lot from Abraham Wagener, it's evident he wanted it for commercial purposes. The lot was split in the 1840s and this house built near the south end, probably originally as a rental property. By the mid-1850s Martin B. Lewis lived here, a son of John L. Lewis Sr., the very well-known schoolmaster, and brother of John L. Lewis Jr., who became a County Judge. (Parenthetically, he succeeded Andrew Oliver in this position, and greatly relieved everybody who ever had to read court documents since; Oliver's handwriting was close to illegible, and Lewis's was small but exquisitely clear and easy to read.)

It is M.B. Lewis who is shown as living in the house on the 1857 map of the village, but within a year or so James Armstrong bought both parts of the original acre-sized lot and that's how it is shown on the 1865 map, with this house the only structure, and occupied by Armstrong.

He built the house next door a few years after that and again divided the lot, selling this part to Henry W. Douglass and his children (which is, unusually, how the deed reads.) Douglass signed over his interest to his wife Martha, and apparently the family undertook a rather major remodeling in 1869 that resulted in the current Italianate style of the house's main block. The front porch was added at about the turn of the 20th century, and the additions on the west side some time later. Looking past the additions and the results of a few years' neglect (now being reversed) , the observer can see a nice example of vernacular Italianate architecture, as would have been the pride of the village's prosperous middle class during the 19th century.



People related to this lot and structure:

     Abraham Wagener
  Asa Cole
     John L. Lewis
     The Armstrongs

Related structures:

     312 Main Street

Related history:

     Boom Town


Above right: The Martin B. Lewis house, built (probably) in the 1840s and remodelled in 1869 by Henry W. Douglass. The remodelled house is Italianate, with nice double brackets and dentil work, and the characteristic double-leaf doors. The porch was added about the turn of the 20th century, with the battered skirt typical of the 1930s.