ATTLEBORO – The Village of South Attleboro is a cluster of aging structures on Newport Avenue between the South Attleboro Fire Hall and Highway 1.
A number of homes in this area are over a century old, and the Attleboro Historic Preservation Society has awarded “plaques of recognition” to the owners of three of them who have made the effort to preserve them as they are. were built.
The company presented plaques to three owners and a church in the village last month.
Another Smith Street owner was also honoured.
The recognized church was Bethany Village Fellowship, formerly known as Bethany Chapel, at 516 Newport Ave. It was built in 1886, which makes it 136 years old.
The church was consecrated on April 14, 1887, according to Reverend Daniel Dore. His congregation dates back to at least 1834, when services were held in a one-room schoolhouse where American Legion Hall now stands.
A Sunday school was established in 1874, but it soon outgrew its quarters and a fund was established to build the chapel.
William Coupe, owner of Wm. Coupe & Co. Tannery, donated the land and $1,500 was pledged for the building fund.
The owners of the former South Attleboro Fire Hall were also recognized for their preservation work.
The station was located at 532 Newport Ave. and was known as Hose Company No. 4.
Architect Olstin Mayo Higgins designed the fire station, which was built in 1910, making it 112 years old.
Higgins was also the architect of the YMCA, the Balfour Jewelry Factory, and the Attleboro Central Fire Station on South Main Street, which is now the Larson Senior Center.
At that time, the fire chief was Roy Churchill and horses were still used to propel fire engines.
In 2007, architects Michael Van Hamel and Scott Winkler and their wives purchased the town’s fire station and painstakingly converted the building into three apartments for their families while uncovering and preserving much of the doors, woodwork and original beams.
Even the brass pole that the firefighters slipped on was saved.
Linus Teutsch and his family received the third plaque of recognition for their efforts to preserve the Sadler Mill Double House at 556-558 Newport Ave.
The house was built in 1910 in the Queen Anne style.
Herbert W. Sadler built nine company houses for Sadler Bros. workers.
He lived with his wife Grace E. (Knight) Sadler and their family at 574 Newport Ave. in the Victorian mansion that still exists today.
Neila and Stephen Osborne have retained their 1901 home at 20 Park Place.
The house is a Queen Anne style gable house which was one of those built by Sadler Bros. for their workers.
Park Place is named after the beginnings of a hillside park that was once located at the end of the street for Sadler employees.
The last house recognized by the company last month was far from the village of South Attleboro.
It is known as Benjamin Ingalls House and is located at 53 Smith St., adjoining the Richardson Nature Preserve.
The plaque was given to owners Mark A. Wentling and Scott Varner, who at one time thought the house was built in 1846, but further research put the date of its construction around 1812.
Wentling, a certified forensic genealogist, conducted extensive research and found the Bristol County deed showing David Barrows’ sale of three parcels, including the land of his home to Benjamin Ingalls on April 15, 1812.
The house contains features that show it was built between 1810-1812.
The stone wall delimiting the lots is still standing on the Richardson reserve.
Wentling discovered that the house is a virtual time capsule of the nation’s history.
The different nationalities of the families living in the house tell the deep history of America and Attleboro. They include Swedes, French Canadians, Russian Jews and Portuguese immigrants.
Several former residents gave him historic photos of the house.
Work has been carried out which has preserved the interior as well as the exterior.
The society has now awarded 15 preservation plagues in the 23 years of its existence.
To learn more about the Attleboro Historic Preservation Society, the Historic Plaque Recognition Program, or AHPS’ mission and volunteer opportunities, visit the society’s Facebook page or email academy [email protected]
George W Rhodes can be reached at 508-236-0432.