345 Main Street: The Parmele Johnson house

345 Main Street


his large lot, with a frontage of 84 feet on Main Street, contained the home of Sarah MacKellar, a native of Scotland, who sold the property to her son James A. MacKellar in 1886.

For many years earlier in the 19th century the lot was owned by Joseph Ketchum of Benton, and then by his heirs. In 1855, for example, Charles Ketchum and his family lived here, and were so shown on the census of that year. Ketchum was 42 years old, a machinist, working at the carriage works just west of the intersection. In 1855 he had a wife and son, and had lived there, so he told the census-taker, for 40 years.

Sarah MacKellar acquired the lot and house in 1868, and lived there the rest of her long life. The present house was erected in 1925 by Parmele Johnson, who built a nearly exact replica of a Federal-style house on the lot, with a few modern styistic innovations, such as the three-fold window, the porticos and the slight asymmetry of the facade.




The house on this lot was built by Parmelee Johnson in 1925, in a slightly modernized Federal style, echoing that of a century earlier. Original Federal houses were almost all side-gabled, and never had the grouped windows evident next to the entrance. But the delicate moldings, the simple massing and the half-elliptical lunette in the pediment are deliberate borrowings from the earlier style.

People related to this lot and structure:

    Abraham Wagener
    Morris F. Sheppard
    William Babcock
    The Ketchums

Related sites:

    343 Main Street

Related history: