Historic Homes of Longmeadow

476 Longmeadow Street (#13 The Cooley-Emerson House -1760)

Josiah Cooley built this old colonial in 1760. The original foundation dates to 1728, but the house built in 1728 is thought to have burned to the ground when it was struck by lightning in 1749. Local records indicate that a Frenchman traveling through Longmeadow to Springfield took sick and was cared for at this house. He died and his will directed that his estate be left to the "homeless children and poor widows" of Springfield. This funding started the Poor Fund of Springfield. (It is of interest to note that Eliakim Cooley, his wife, and sister all died within three weeks subsequent to the Frenchman's death.)  In April 1775, a minuteman, Josiah Cooley, left from this house to march to Lexington and Concord.  In 1827 a north ell was added by the owner, Captain Luther Colton. Captain Colton and his wife, Lucy Cooley, lived in the house until 1869. Local legend has it that a tunnel existed from the basement of this house sloping down towards the River. In the basement is an area from which the tunnel is thought to have begun its route. This tunnel is thought to have been used for smuggling and later, perhaps, as part of the underground railway.  At one time this was the home of Annie Emerson who was a school teacher and Town Historian.

[Photo contributed by Chris Hall]
[Text reprinted with permission from The Historic Homes of Longmeadow
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