Suffield Trivia

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  1. Early in his career, Asher Benjamin designed a doorway at a Suffield house. He became a noted architect and author of seven books on architectural design (the first American to publish such a book) which greatly influenced the look of buildings throughout New England until the start of the Civil War. Which house did he work on?
    a. The Phelps-Hatheway House
    b. The King House
    c. The Gay Manse
  2. In what year did Ismael become the first Black landowner in Suffield?
    a. 1819
    b. 1744
    c. 1788
  3. The first Suffield Post Office was established in
    a. 1780
    b. 1796
    c. 1812
  4. Apollos Fuller owned the first automobile, a Stanley Steamer, in what year?
    a. 1898
    b. 1907
    c. 1900
  5. Which of the following is not a feature of residences in the Connecticut River Valley style which is exemplified in the Burbank portion of the Phelps-Hatheway House, built circa 1764?
    a. Corner cupboards
    b. Carpets on the floor
    c. No curtains
  6. Owners of central chimney houses, another feature of the Connecticut River style, formally entertained visitors in second floor bedrooms. True or false?
  7. Both Shem Burbank and Oliver Phelps, who were different owners of the Phelps-Hatheway House, lived in the same time, were wealthy and became bankrupt. True or false?
  8. Nationally, the Phelps-Hatheway House is known for…
    a. Its plumbing system, unusual for a house of that period, which provided running hot and cold water
    b. The sleeping porch attached to the attic
    c. Imported French wallpaper
  9. In the late 18th and early 19th century, the new American republic, looked to what style of architecture for a model? Several examples of houses in this style are lined along Main Street.
    a. Neoclassical
    b. Georgian
    c. Greek Revival
  10. Which room in the Phelps-Hatheway House was bought and completely removed by the Winterthur Museum in Delaware and reinstalled in the museum because the house’s fate was uncertain in the 1960s?
    a. The Phelps dining room
    b. The Burbank parlor
    c. The Phelps parlor


1. a. The Phelps Hatheway House
2. b. 1744
3. b. 1796
4. c. 1900
5. b. Carpets on the floor
True. Owners of these houses had their finest rooms and furnishings on one side of the house – downstairs in the parlor and upstairs in a parlor bedroom chamber – and usually on the north side of the house.
True. We are not sure how Shem Burbank lost his money. He lost his sizable inheritance and earnings, perhaps due to the unstable financial times and his lack of financial aptitude. Oliver Phelps lost his money on land speculation because land values plummeted.
8. c. Imported French wallpaper. The five different wallpapers in the Phelps wing represent the largest assemblage of 18th century wallpaper in situ in the United States.
9. a. Neoclassical, also known as the Federal style which was modeled after architecture in republican Rome.
10. a. Phelps dining room. The Winterthur Museum completely replaced the dining with reproductions of the fireplace, chair moulding and wallpaper that an unassuming observer would think was the original

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