Russellville Factories and Mills as Pertaining to the Horace Williams House
This description concerns the first set of buildings on the old county road (Manhan Road) north of the Russellville bridge.
Zophar Searle sold to John Robinson, 1/2 interest (Book 30 p. 398) in 1810. The price was $40.
Sylvester Phelps, on Montgomery, sold to John Robinson, of Windsor, Conn. 2/6 interest (Book 36 p. 418) Dec. 1, 1814. The price was $200.
Pliney Sheldon to John Robinson (Book 47 p. 180) Nov. 28, 1820. The price was $500.
The only detailed description of the above three transfers is as follows: Sylvester Phelps to John Robinson 2/6 parts of a certain saw mill standing upon the south branch of the Manhan River above the bridge which is near Aaron Bates, with 2/6 parts of all the implements belonging to said mill and also 2/6 parts of half an acre of land adjoining said mill commonly used as a mill yard. Said mill stands in the town of Southampton, county of Hampshire. Also, 2/6 parts of a mill for cleaning Clover seed erected in said mill.
Pliney Sheldon to John Robinson. Gristmill and clovermill standing on the Manhan River with the mill yard. Said yard, bounded east on Abner Sheldon’s fence, with the implements belonging to said mill with privileges of a dam as high as it now is.
John Robinson to Orrin Root (Book 47 p. 206) Dec 14, 1820. Price $500.
Title to a gristmill and clover mill in said Southampton standing on the Manhan River with the mill yard appurtenances to the same. The said yard bounded east on Abner Sheldon’s fence with all the implements belonging to said mill with the privileges of a dam as high as it now is.
Orrin Root sold to Harris Nimocks (Book 93 p. 241) 1834. The deed states: east by the highway, north by Abner Sheldon’s, west by the Manhan River to the mill dam, then by the river to the highway. Includes 31/2 acres with water privileges and the buildings. (This deed might refer to the Burt Mills which are about 300 feet upstreem from John Robinson’s mill.) Also Harris Nimocks to Ransford Root to Martha Root (Book 108 p. 343) title to sawmill, shingled (sic) and cider mills with water privileges. Bounded east by the highway, north by Ehan Barnes, west by the river. No gristmill shall be erected thereon. Price $1000. 1842.
Elihu Gaylord to Lysander Bates (Book 72 p. 591). This deed merely states south of Root’s mill.
Elihu Gaylord and Edward Clark deeded to Rufus Strong (Book 83 p. 400) March 1, 1837. Description: two shops.
Rufus Strong deeded to Moses Searle Jr. (Book 108 p. 65) Oct. 28, 1843. This deed mentions a blacksmith shop and a joiners shop. (Book 139 p. 230) in 1851 Moses Searle Jr. sold to Legrand Sheldon 1/2 acre land with buildings thereon. The building was used for sawing staves and included a flume and water privilege. Said flume was running under the blacksmith shop of Alinson Strong. The price was $500. The deed reads: east on the highway, south on the highway, west on the Manhan, and north on Martha Root’s containing 1/2 acre of land.
In 1851 (Book 142 p.1) Legrand Sheldon sold this property to Charles Russell in 1853. Joseph Russell, father of Charles Russell, was using this building for the manufacturing of satinett. In the late 1850’s it was used in the making of whips and was called the whip store.
In 1861 (Book 204 p. 259) Joseph Russell deeded to Annie Menervy about one acre of land east of the Manhan Road and about 600 ft. north of the whip store. Price $50. Sometime, we know not when, the front rooms of the whip store were moved across the street and up the road onto this acre on land.
In 1869 (Book 264 p. 13) Diantha Hinkley deeded to Harvey Williams this house and land for $250. In 1891 Mary Williams Chapman (Book 439 p. 335) deeded this property to Horace Williams. At about this time, four more rooms were added to this house, two rooms in the rear and two rooms upstairs. Edward Williams, who was born in this house, inherited the place from his father, Horace, about 1921.
In 1897 and again about 1927, the city of Holyoke took an easement and ran two pipelines from the reservoirs across the front lawn. The house has a spring under and elm tree by the back door and also rights to a spring one rod east of the east boundary. These springs have not been used since the Holyoke was was piped into the house.
In 1964, T. L. Hendrick purchased the place from the estate of Edward Williams and Mrs. Etta Williams, who is now 93 years old (1964). It was in a state of dis-repair and is being rebuilt and/or restored. The two front rooms, which we assume were the old whip store, show evidence of being quite old. There are eight inch beams in all corners, wide pine floorboards, split lath, hand-planed doors and so forth.
This information was gathered from the Registry of Deeds and the old assessor’s records in Southampton. Also from some of the natives who have very good memories.
T. L. Hendrick – February 1965
–From “History of Old Houses” by Atherton Parsons