Robert R. Ackley, Jr. and Sharon (Premo) Ackley – Foamer Road

Robert  R. Ackley, Jr. and Sharon (Premo) Ackley – Foamer Road

The first deed of this property that can be found in the Northampton Registry of Deeds is a deed of transfer from Artemas Loomis, Jr. to Fred Day in 1828.  However, judging from the construction of the house-hewed timbers, fireplaces, etc. it seems that it must have been built in the 1700’s.  Artemas Loomis, Jr. married Susan Miller of Cummington in 1823.  As above noted he sold this house to Fred Day in 1828 (59-344).

In 1831, Theodore Bascom bought it from Fred Day for $150 (66-527).  Theodore Bascom, b. 1798 married Thankful Strong in 1819.  They had three childred (sic): Anna b. 1820 m. 1840 George Wilder; Cordelia b. 1822 m. 1848 Marcus D. Moore; Theodore D. b. 1823 m. Mary Nickerson, d. 1857.  Theodore D. Bascom obtained this property from his father in 1852 (146-341).

In 1882 Gaius Lyman, Jr. bought this property from Mary B. Barrows of Denver, Colo., who must have been and heir of Theodore D. Bascom.  Gaius Lyman, Jr. died in 1886 and left the life use of his property to his son Edward Blair Lyman with actual ownership going to his grandchildren.  Probably Gaius Lyman, Jr. never lived in his house.  Edward Blair Lyman may have lived here briefly, but it was rented to Elihu Smith and later to John Sheldon.

This house is perhaps best known for the business in greens which Maria Lyman (Mrs. Edward B.) conducted here for about forty years, starting in the early 1900’s. She hired local people to gather laurel, princess pine, ferns, and cones with which Christmas wreath, laurel roping, and centerpieces were made.   Neighbors were employed by Mrs. Lyman.  Mrs. Roy Phillips worked here after she moved to Southampton in 1828, and before that while living in Montgomery she gathered laurel and brought it down, coming by the old New State Road.  One report gives the number of 75 people that Maria Lyman hired seasonally.  Also the report stated that in 1904, 6,800 wreaths and 9,000 yards of roping were ordered.

in 1945 Robert B. and Caroline R. Lane bought this property from John L. Lyman and Winifred C. Lyman, grandchildren of Gaius Lyman, Jr.

The next owners were Donn and Kathleen P. Roberts purchasing it in 1955.  The Roberts sold it to Richard B. and Lila W. Shanor in 1959.  The Shanors sold the property to Robert R. Ackley, Jr. and his wife Sharon P. Ackley 10-18-1966.  Robert P. Ackley, Jr., a manager of data processing was born in Jersey City, N. J. in 1938, and his wife Sharon, dau. of Marvin Premo, was born in Springfield, Mass. in 1943.  They have one child Robert Ackley, III, born in 1967.

From “History of Old Houses” by Atherton Parsons

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