909 Longmeadow Street- #55 (see additional information)

This year's Town Report cover is Peggy Godfrey's painting of another old house on the Green in the Historic District, and the home of the Robert McTaggart family at 909 Longmeadow Street.

On this property, the original home was a Bliss house.  In 1702 or 1703, Nathaniel Bliss was granted land on the hill giving him liberty to build here.  He was married to Deborah Colton, daughter of Quartermaster George Colton of Longmeadow.

As per agreement of 1713, Nathaniel Bliss, Sr. granted Joshua Field "my homestead or homelot which I now dwell...".  This was recorded in 1736 or 1737 after said Bliss, age 83, died from falling into a fire.

Since the Blisses had no children, they named Joshua Field, their nephew, as principal heir of their estate.  Joshua removed to Bolton, Conn.   He deeded land in the meadows in 1737, and on April 20, 1744, Joshua Field deeded to Matthew Keep "my homelot...10 acres...".  Matthew died in 1758.

The house was deeded to Samuel Keep in 1804.  He married Anne Bliss.  He was the fourth Samuel in line from John Keep in Longmeadow.  All four generations are recorded on the original Keep Farm on Green Street, now the corner of Longmeadow Street and Maple Road.

The map of 1850 shows Eunice Keep here.  She was Samuel's daughter.  A deed to Samuel Keep's children of April, 1861, reads "...land formerly owned and occupied by Samuel Keep deceased".  Letters of this interesting Keep family, notably Dr. Nathan Keep, dentist, will be dramatized during the Town's Bicentennial Celebrations in 1983.  Samuel's daughter, Eunice, moved to Philadelphia and in September, 1865, she sold the homestead, being 12 acres, to Bela Coomes.

The home on the Green was built for one family and was remodelled for a two-family dwelling- the tenants living on the north part- as the case remains today.

Following further conveyances, the home on the Green and 29 acres were purchased in 1880 by Louis and Bertha Stuckert.  In the rear of the property, was a large tract called Stuckert's Grove.  This was a large grove of mainly huge chestnut trees, and a small pavillon was located on a hill there on what is now the end of Crestview Circle.  In this pavillon clambakes were held.  There were many gatherings in the early days of the trolley.  In 1914, Bertha Stuckert's home lot covered 40 3/4 acres including Stuckert's Grove.  The acreage was later divided and sold for development.

The house was purchased from the Bertha A. Stuckert Estate by Robert and Patricia McTaggart, as recorded February 14, 1967.  The present residents have been restoring this fine old Colonial home habing removed the front porch and the window shutters.  The rear part is the oldest and has hand-hewed beams.  A step leads upstairs to the newere part of the house.  The old English wallpaper was removed recently.  The wooden inside shutters remain.  They were made to slide in and out from within the walls, and may be called Indian shutters.  Five fireplaces has been uncovered by the McTaggarts.  They have removed the recent coverings reverting to the old wide board shealthing.  The kitchen fireplace had been removed earlier, and other alterations were made.  The McTaggart family is living in this fine 12-room house located in a perfect setting on the Green.

My own grandmother, Annie Bradford (Coomes) Leete, Longmeadow's oldest life-time resident, was born here on November 3, 1856.  She died October 26, 1961.

/s/ Peggy Lette Godfrey

Stephen Williams Diary; Keep Genealogy; Town Records; Church Records; Registry of Deeds; Longmeadow Centennial; Storrs Library; Storrs House; Mabel Swanson and Robert McTaggart


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