with a number of houses on this block, the house that exists now is on the
site of a much older one.
Through most of the
19th century the house on this site was known as the Morris Earle house;
Earle was a tailor very well known in the village. The house was evidently
built by Luman Phelps, the innkeeper and owner of the Spencer farm in Benton.
He probably never lived here, but there seems no question that his daughter
and son-in-law did. Her name was Angeline Phelps and she married Lewis Vanderlip,
another tailor, and when he arrived some years later Morris Earle set up
in business with him at this location.
The Phelps heirs sold
the house and its lot to a man named John Norcott in 1827, but there's no
evidence he ever lived there. Earle was certainly there by 1833, as he received
a quitclaim from the neighbors on the north, Maria Pierce and her mother
Keziah Sabin. The deeds for property at this end of Main Street frequently
show overlapping lines in the very early days, and there are numerous quitclaims
to settle the boundaries into their modern locations. Earle lived in the
house for the rest of his life, and his widow after that, into the 1870s.
In 1920 Isaac Yetter
bought the lot with the old Phelps house, now nearly a century old; wanting
to build his own dwelling, he moved the old Earle house upstreet, north
of Head Street, onto the foundation of a house long used as a home for elderly
Methodist women. Miss Celinda Soper lived in the old house for many years,
and ran a small private school there. It still stands on the east side of
North Main Street, a small structure with its gable end to the street, just
a few doors north of the intersection.
The house at 341 Main
Street now was built by Yetter in what's often called Craftsman style, a
classic 1920s stucco bungalow. These were very liveable, well-built houses
as a class, and no doubt Yetter was much happier with it than with the century-old
frame structure he replaced.