Suffield Historical Society Demolition of the Spencer Family Legacy

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As highlighted in an April article, the Suffield Historical Society has plans to demolish the stables at the King House Museum property, which sits prominently in the Suffield Historic District and on the National Register of Historic Places. Samuel Reid Spencer, a descendant of an original Suffield proprietor, purchased the King House property in 1910 and per a 1991 pamphlet titled “A Tour on Main Street”, published by the Antiquarian & Landmarks Society and the Suffield Historical Society, he and his wife restored the neglected property and gifted it to the Suffield Historical Society in 1960 along with numerous family heirlooms. Included in the gift were the stables up for demolition that the Spencers built circa 1927, which are considered to be rare in the area, per a discussion with Preservation CT.

Biographies on the Spencers call attention to their dedication to conservation and preservation. What the Spencers did to restore and preserve the King House property was described in a 1960 Hartford Courant article by Eleanor E. Smith as, ‘…a picture of Colonial elegance, a breath of Connecticut’s past for future generations to admire.’ The loss of the stables will be substantial to the historic and farming communities of Suffield as well as the Spencer family legacy. Preservation CT has offered discussions for a TAC Grant that would allow a structural engineer to come and review the condition of the stables, which could lead to other prudent and feasible alternatives to full demolition. A similar process took place with the tobacco shed at 510 North Main Street that has since been saved by the Connecticut Office of the Attorney General. As of this writing, the Suffield Historical Society has not commented on the TAC Grant. Thoughts can be shared with the Suffield Historical Society at or 860-668-5256.

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