332 Main Street: The Nelson Damoth house


he house that once stood here was razed in 1961 to build the Emmanuel Baptist Church. It was built in 1871 by John S. Sheppard (son of Charles C. and grandson of the first Morris F.). It was a two-and-a-half story mansion with a mansard roof, built on the spot where John O'Brien's house stood 60 years earlier.

O'Brien lost this part of his property in 1817, when it passed through Morris Sheppard's hands (again) and into those of Cornelius Masten, who had just arrived in the village. The old house remained for some years, having served as Masten's first home here. But on the 1857 wall map of the village there is no dwelling shown on the lot. It was by that time part of the very large lot on which #338 stood, owned and occupied by Charles C. Sheppard.

C. C. Sheppard sold this part of his property to his son in December 1876; long before this the elder Sheppard had acquired most of the old Masten property. The deed is worded so that a distance of 162 feet 6 inches is marked off along Main Street south of the corner of the "stone house" property that then belonged to Jeptha A. Potter. This was the street frontage of the lot Charles C. Sheppard kept for himself. The lot he sold to his son (for a consideration of $6300, a huge sum for the time, but of course it already had this house on it) had a further frontage of 102 feet.

The younger Sheppard lived in his new house until 1888, when he sold it to John T. Andrews. The latter moved further downstreet in 1896, and this house was occupied by tenants until it was sold in 1909 to Nelson A. Damoth, whose family owned it until it was razed a half-century later.



People related to this lot and structure:

     Abraham Wagener
     Morris F. Sheppard
  Charles C. Sheppard
     John O'Brien
    Cornelius Masten

       Related sites:

  338 Main Street

Related history:

 Turn of the century

Above right: This remarkable picture was cropped from a stereopticon image in the collection of the Oliver House Museum. It shows #s 330, 332, 338, 342 and part of the industrial and commercial buildings at the corner. It was taken after 1872 and before 1878, shows the extraordinary width and muddiness of Main Street, and the line of fences built to keep stray animals out of people's yards.

The Damoth house, then owned by John S. Sheppard, is second from the left, a high square Second Empire structure in the latest mode. It shows the style's symmetry, modified by a small ell on the south side. Later on, a porch was added that wrapped around the east (front) and south sides, replacing the center portico shown in this view.