as the Leary house, this structure was built in 1868 by Morris F. Sheppard,
one of Charles C. Sheppard's sons, on the site of previously commercial
property. In fact, the building that stood here when this house was built,
was moved across the street, where it stood for some years until the John
J. Wise house was built.
The previous building
was Henry Bradley's first store, which he took over in 1823. He painted
"Henry Bradley - Store" in huge letters across the end of the
building, and the sign could be read through several paintings-over, even
after it was moved and used as a parsonage, until the building was finally
removed in the 1880s.
Bradley was not however
the first storekeeper on this site. This lot was the one sold by Melatiah
Lawrence to James Grieve, who was a Scottish immigrant and supposedly the
man who suggested that the name of the village, then pronounced "Penn-Yank"
would sound better without the final consonent. Lawrence lived at the south
end of his property, on the site of #322, but the three-acre plot he bought
in 1810 stayed in his hands until this piece was sold in 1818. The entire
parcel had in the years before Lawrence bought it been owned by a succession
of storekeepers, from Samuel Seeley to the Shearman brothers George and
John. Presumably, this northernmost part of the lot, nearest to the crossroads,
was where their stores stood.
In any case, this part
of the Lawrence parcel later on became part of the Masten property and after
that belonged to Charles C. Sheppard. He separated off this lot, somewhat
smaller than it had been in "Jimmy" Grieve's day, and gave it
to his son Morris F. Sheppard (who was of course named for his grandfather)
to build his house on, and this is the house he built. It's been somewhat
altered since 1868, the cupola is much smaller than the original, and the
front portico took the place of a larger porch early in the 20th century.
However, the house retains much of its Italianate decoration.
Charles C. Sheppard
sold the lot to Michael Leary in 1877 (actually the sale was to Michael's
wife Rhoda, who was one of the Sheppard grandchildren. It's a nice big lot
with nearly 100 feet of frontage on Main Street. Rhoda's estate sold it
to Ralph Hoyt and his wife in 1919, more than 40 years after she first came
to live in it as a bride.