Update: As you can see in the comment thread below, Mark’s mother’s uncle Raoul Drouin owned the Washington House in 1940s. Mark recently shared with us a postcard his mother had gotten during a visit in 1942. The postcard is a much better picture of the Washington House than we were able to find online. Thanks for sharing Mark!
Note one difference in the two pictures . . . the older picture (1900-ish) shows a double-decker porch on the front while the newer picture (1942) shows a single level porch.
We would also like to take a moment to encourage anyone who might also have any information on our historical buildings–such as stories, postcards, etc.–to please feel free to share it. Our goal is to archive as much history as we can get a hold of. As we’ve mentioned before, the aging of Northern New England makes this task even more urgent.
As part of our weekly building history series, today we take a look at the(former) Washington House in Pittsfield, New Hampshire:
“On this site stood town founder John Cram’s house. It was the first frame house built with lumber coming off his mill located at the foot of the hill. In 1782, the first Pittsfield Town Meeting was held here in his inn, which was the heart of the community. It later grew into a four story hotel known for over a century as the Washington House. Seriously damaged by fire in 1984, it was razed in 1993.”
Source: Building Plague.
Of course, the picture is one of an empty lot. In the future, we hope to be able to superimpose an historical picture onto the contemporary picture to get a feel for what “might have been.” This picture, from the Pittsfield Historical Society, shows the Washington House circa 1900 (building at top of hill with porches). Until such time, however, you can check out this awesome website which is already doing this on a national basis: whatwasthere.com
Also, we are constantly on the look-out for new building histories to add to our picture galleries. If you know of a town the features building historical markers, in the real-world or virtually, please let us know. You can leave a comment on this post or contact us via the about page. Thanks!