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Subject: [MAFRANKL] From Homesteads to Cellar Holes - Catamount Hill - Colrain, Mass. (Part 2 of 2)
Date: Tue, 5 Jun 2001 20:13:41 EDT


34. SHIPPEE. A quarter of a mile away stood the residence of Peter [6], a
great-grandson of the pioneer Peter, who after living here for some time,
moved to Gouverneur, N.Y.

33. PHILLIPS. Across the brook, about fifteen rods to the east, was the
home of Seth Phillips (11), sieve maker, who later moved to Scotts Ridge,
Ohio. Nothing more is known of this place or its former owner.

(9) Simeon [5] Blandin (Daniel [4], Noah [3], William [2], of Rehoboth,
Mass., William [1] of Boston, Mass.), born in 1768 in Rehoboth, and his
brother Otis, born in 1772, were among the early settlers of the Hill and
Blandin brook was named for them. Otis Blandin was a famous drummer, in
great demand on Muster Days. It is supposed that they returned to Attleboro,
Mass., where they spent some time before going to Colrain.

(10) It is supposed that Alden Willis was of the same family as Major Daniel
[7] Willis (Hopestill [6], Joseph [5], Samuel [4], Roger [3] of Sudbury, John
[2], George [1] from England 1630). That part of Colrain known as the Willis
place clustered around the mansion which was built by Major Willis in 1812.
In a perfect state of preservation, this notable example example of early
American architecture is in dramatic contrast to the rough homes of the early
settlers.

(11) Seth Phillips was probably a descendants of Thomas Phillips of Duxbury.


p. 66 Homesteads on Catamount Hill, Colrain, Massachusetts (Jan. 1942)

37. TINE. A farm known as the Tine place was located back toward the
Catamouth Dens [40] about forty rods. The identity of its owner is unknown.

38. SHIPPEE. About forty rods north of the Tine place was the home of
Israel Shippee, who lived here and raised a large family. It was here that
the first family picnic was held in September 1875, a gathering from which
grew the Catamount Hill Association and the quinquennial reunions.

44. CHURCHILL. On the north edge of the Pine Swamp, near the four corners,
was the "meadow" place. The house which stood here was built by Artemus
Churchill, (12) who afterward lived on Taylor Brook where he built a house
and a sawmill which he operated. The "meadow" house was used as a
schoolhouse after fire destroyed the original log schoolhouse and continued
to be used until the completion of the new building. This was the boyhood
home of Dr. A. F. Davenport (13) and later of E. J. Davenport. The house was
destroyed by fire in 1896, and a few years later the barn was sold to Nathan
F. Shippee and removed.

26. DAVENPORT. About a quarter of a mile west of Beaver Meadow was the old
Paul Davenport (14) place. Settled in 1796, a log house was built, which was
replaced by a second one about 1830, and a new barn was built in 1832. This
farm was the home of a son, "Uncle Levi", and his wife, "Aunt Susan", during
their entire lives.

23 SECOND SCHOOLHOUSE. West of the lower end of Beaver Meadow is the site
of the second schoolhouse, which was removed by Abel Dutton and repaired for
use as a farm building in 1886.

24. OLD LOG SCHOOLHOUSE. Near Beaver Meadow, just off the road, is the
site of the old log school, where in May 1812 was floated the first United
States flag to be raised over a public schoolhouse in this country. The
location is marked by a monument

(12) Another Middleborough family which settled on Catamount Hill was that
of Nelson [5] Churchill (Benjamin [4], Benjamin [3], William [2], John [1]).
With his wife, Eunice (Shaw) Churchill, and five children: Artemus, nelson,
Ruth, Lovina, and Alvin, he came to Colrain in 1802. This man was reputedly
a fine scholar and was actively influential in the educational affairs of the
community. For many years an important school in the town was known as the
"Churchill District School."

(13) This was also the home of Dr. Nathaniel [5] Davenport (Jason [4],
Jason [3], Eben [2], Thomas [1] of Dorchester, Mass.). He married Alice
Davenport (Paul [6]), and their six children, double Davenports, were:
Robert M., Ammon F., Joseph N., Lydia, Truar, and Jason L. Three of the
brothers, Ammon, Joseph and Jason, chose dentistry for a profession. Through
his work in New York City, Dr. Amomon f. Davenport gained high professional
honors, and sixteen or more cousins, all Davenports, began their training
with him. The most distinguished of these was Dr. Isaac Burnett Davenport
who went to Paris about 1870 at the invitation of Doctor Bouger. Here he was
decorated by the king of Bavarls, and was closely associated with the Pasteur
Institute. During World War I, Doctor Isaac rendered distinguished service
in uniform despite his age and was awarded the Medaille de la Reconnaissance
francaise. It was after the War, however that Doctor Davenport's most
notable work was accomplished. With his brother, Dr. William Davenport, and
his son, Dr. Ralph Davenport, he was a founder of the American Hospital in
Paris for the treatment and reconstruction of disabled soldiers. Since the
German occupation of Paris, surviving members of the family have come to the
United States.

(14) Paul [6] (Elijah [5], Charles [4], Paul [3], (Note 2nd generation not
listed) Thomas [1] of Dorchester, Mass.) was the first of the family to
settle on Catamount Hill in 1893 After his second marriage, to Alice
Farnsworth, nine children were born to the couple. Two of these, Daniel and
Zaccheus, found homes else where on the hill. A daughter, Alice married Dr.
Nathaniel Davenport. Numerous Davenports now live in Colrain, and through
marriage many other families claim Davenport ancestry.
For a more complete genealogy of the Davenport family see the Register, Vol.
33, pp. 25-34.


p. 67. Homesteads on Catamount Hill, Colrain, Massachusetts (Jan. 1942)

24. OLD LOG SCHOOLHOUSE (Continued from Page 66)
erected by the Catamount Hill Association on 19 August 1903. The present
owner of the land on which this monument stands is Elmer J. Davenport,
Superintendent of School in Thomaston, Conn. Before the erection of the
monument Dr. A. F. Davenport was active in behalf of establishing the
authenticity of the first flag raising. Hundreds of letters were written and
records were searched. The Librarian of Congress wrote: "After careful
search no mention of an earlier flag can be found." The Boston Public
Library sent word that: "After diligent search we do not find any record of
a flag being raised over a schoolhouse before 1812." From the War
Department: "The War Department can find no such early record." Mr. P. D.
Harrison of Manchester, N.H., who for years had been collecting data for a
history of the flag in war and peace, wrote: "It is the earliest date I have
ever seen mentioned in connection with a school display."

22. SHIPPEE. South of the old log school was the home of Peter Shippee
(son of Peter [4] Jr.). The house was struck by lighting which split the
soap-trough, wasted its contents and killed a dog under the bed, while Peter
and Dorcas loudly sang "On Jodan's Stormy Banks I Stand."

20. DANIELS. South of Peter's Shippee's, somewhat off the road, stood the
Daniels place, also known as the Whitman place, built by Benjamin Farley
about 1840. The house and barn were destroyed by fire several years ago.

17. SHIPPEE. An old cellar wall, which may be seen from the road, is all
that remains of the old home of Reuben Shippee [15] which stood east of the
road about twenty-five rods from the Daniels house.

13. FARLEY. West of Houghton brook and south of Reuben Shippee's was the
Farley homestead, which, settled by Benjamin Farley [16] soon after the
Revolutionary War, continued in the Farley family until about 1850, when it
was sold. The buildings soon fell down and rotted away.

15. FARLEY CEMETERY. Between the road and Houghton brook is the Old Farley
Cemetery, in which are buried several of the earliest residents of Catamount
Hill. A few

(15) Lois Shippee, Reuben's wife, gave the blue cloth which was used in
making the flag, according to a statement by Mrs. Rhoda Shippee during her
lifetime. Reuben was a son of Peter and Dorcas.

(16) It is a matter of record that Benjamin Farley, the first member of
this family in Colrain, emigrated from England and lived in the eastern part
of Massachusetts before taking up residence on Catamount Hill. His son
Benjamin, Jr., born in 1759, married Mary Tenney 7 Feb 1781, and several
children were born to them. A son of this couple, Joel Farley, colonel of
the early State Militia and a member of the Massachusetts Legislature,
married Phoebe Bradford, a descendant of Governor Bradford. Dennis Farley, a
grandson of Joel, was the founder of successful manufacturing ventures in
Erving's Grant. Later his company purchased a large tract of land and
developed it as a manufacturing community which has since been known as
Farley, Mass. Isaac Farley, a son of Colonel Farley, left Colrain in 1854,
went to Iowa, and settled at Green Valley, where he received recognition as a
member of the bar in 1873. During 1882 he moved to Kansas, was mayor of
Malvern several terms, and was the founder of the Malvern Review


p. 68. Homesteads on Catamount Hill, Colrain, Massachusetts (Jan. 1942)

15. FARLEY CEMETERY (Continued from Page 67)
stones are still standing, but many graves were never marked. Colonel Farley
was buried here, and the small and neglected plot is probably the resting
place of many forgotten soldiers of the Revolution.

12. BOND. Near the Farley place was the residence of Bradford Bond, who
built the house and lived until the death of his wife, when the house was
taken down and moved to East Charlemont.

9. HOLDEN. Close to Houghton brook was the home of Elihu Holden [17],
whose family was one of the first to settle on the Hill. Mr. Holden, his
wife, and daughter Emma, were among the last to be buried in the old Farley
Cemetery.

10. HOLDEN. North of the old Holden place was the home of Elihu's
grandsons, John and Jacob Holden, and their father, Elihu, Jr. Nothing
remains to mark the site.

11. DWIGHT. Roderick Dwight [18], who was born at Williamsburg, Mass.,
came to Catamount Hill as a young man and settled there. He was the father
of Josiah J. Dwight, who survived him and who later owned the Holden place.
The last member of Josiah Dwight's family, Mrs. Anna Louise (Dwight) Crower,
long a resident of Petersburg and Richmond, Va. Died at Richmond 15 Nov. 1941.

73. BASS. The old County Road leads to the 4H Camp, known as "Sunnyside."
A farm was settled near this spot soon after the Revolutionary War by Abraham
Bass [19], whose descendants occupied the farm for many years.

76. FARNSWORTH. East of the Bass place, about one-fourth mile nearer the
top of the Hill, was the Farnsworth place, settled by Joseph Farnsworth [20]
in 1796. A frame house was built in 1812 several rods to the west; this
homestead remained in possession of the Farnsworth family until purchased by
William Stacy in 1906.

77. RANDALL. Near Farnsworth's was the Randall lot, so-called. It was the
birthplace of Rebecca Holden.

(17) Elihu [5] Holden (Caleb [4], John [3], Stephen [2], Richard [1] of
Watertown and Groton, Mass.) was born in 1770 and died in 1843 "on Catamount
Hill," aged 73 years. He was the only Holden named in the Direct Tax of 1798
in this district. All family burials were in the old Farley Cemetery.

(18) Daniel Dwight (Ens. Josiah [5], Capt. Seth [4], Capt. Henry [3],
Capt. Timothy [2], John [1] of Watertown and Dedham, Mass.) died at
Williamsburg, Mass. 10 Aug. 1805. His widow Prudence (Hillman) Dwight, and
three surviving children, Marietta, Roderick, and Daniel, Jr., moved to
Colrain. Descendants of this family now living in the town include Henry A.
Dwight and Deane Dwight.

(19) Little is known of the ancestry of Abraham Bass. An old family
tradition is that his father, a wealthy Englishman. Later Abraham was a
soldier in the French and Indian War and received as a bounty 160 Acres of
land, part of which was on Catamount Hill and some of it in Charlemont. The
record of his death (14 Jan. 1807, aged 93) and that of his wife, Rhoda (14
jun 1825, aged 91) is from an old family Bible. Twelve children were born to
them, one of whom was Rhoda (Bass) Shippee who furnished the white cloth
which was used in making the schoolhouse flag in 1812. The loom on which the
cloth was woven is now in Memorial Hall at Deerfield, Mass. It is known that
Amasa Shippee, Rhoda's husband furnished the flag pole.

(20) Joseph [4] Farnsworth (Benjamin [3], Benjamin [2], Matthias [1] of
Lynn, Mass.) married Lydia Sprague 16 Jan. 1791, and the couple moved from
Guilford, Vt., to the east side of the Hill in 1795. Of their seven
children, six lived to maturity. A son, Abram, and his wife, Dolly Holden,
lived with his parents, and the father and son were shoemakers for the
community. Joseph died in December 1836; his wife, lydia, in May 1840.


p. 69. Homesteads on Catamount Hill, Colrain, Massachusetts (Jan. 1942)

78. SAVAGE. In the neighborhood of the Randall lot was what was known as
the Savage place. All traces of the family are lost and nothing is left to
mark the site.

69. CLARK. To the south of the Farnsworth place is what was known as "Si"
Clarks. Unoccupied for nearly seventy years, nothing remains but the cellar
hole.

70. OWEN. Nearby was the Owen farm, and nothing is known of its former
owner.

71. BARNES. Here also was a farm known as the Barnes place, settled by
Benjamin Barnes and his wife Nancy from Guilford, Vt., who later moved to the
west part of the Hill and still later to Heath

The closing lines of "Soliloquy and Valedictory," written by Juliette Maxam
Walden for the fourth quinquennial reunion in 1890. "Dear old trees wave on,
and gladden other hearts when ours are still," expresses the love of the
early residents of a patriotic community for their hilly region.

End of Article


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