Historic Northampton


Northampton, Massachusetts

In the early nineteenth-century, views of the built landscape of Northampton were captured by artists and illustrators.

Northampton, Massachusetts
Northampton, Massachusetts
William Henry Bartlett
Engraving, circa 1837-1838
Published in American Scenery by Nathaniel Parker Willis
London: George Virtue, 1840.

William Henry Bartlett’s idyllic view of Northampton from the porch of Warner’s Coffee House, was widely reproduced.  At left is the First Congregational Church, built 1811-1812, the fourth of the town’s meetinghouses to stand on meetinghouse hill.  The row of stores at right was called Shop Row or Merchants Row.  At far right is the Edwards Church established in 1833 and named in honor of Jonathan Edwards, the third minister of the First Church.

Warner House, Warner Tavern, or Warner's Coffee House, as it was known when kept by Oliver Warner was for many years the principal public house in Northampton. It stood on a site that had been occupied by a tavern since the early settlement of the town. Colonel Seth Pomeroy kept a tavern here in the mid-eighteenth century. His son Asahel Pomeroy succeeded him and built this house in 1794 when the old one burned. In 1821, it was purchased by Oliver Warner. In 1832, he sold it to J.B. Vinton of Springfield, whose name appears on the sign in the engraving. J.B. Vinton resold the property to Warner in 1840, who operated it until his death in 1853.

In the 1870s, three fires altered the view depicted in this engraving. On May 19, 1870 at about eleven o'clock at night, a fire broke out in the wooden building (next to the Edwards Church) known as the Hunt building. The building was occupied on the lower floor by R. J. Fair, dealer in fancy goods, etc., and in the upper story by Hannum & Everett, as a jobbing shop, and by Oliver White, boot and shoe maker. The fire spread to the Edwards Church, causing the roof to collapse. At two o'clock on the morning of July 18, 1870, a fire broke out in the Warner House and raged for four hours, entirely destroying the coffee house and the adjoining Warner House Block and Lyman Block. On June 27, 1876, the First Congregational Church was entirely destroyed by fire.

Central Part of Northampton, Mass. -->