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.