705 Longmeadow Street- #29 (see additional information)

One of the Town's earliest structures, built on Ministry Land, is our cover painting, by Peggy Godfrey. This house at 705 Longmeadow Street, situated on the Green, is the home of the Douglas Cordis family. It is called the George Raynolds house.

In 1703, "Springfield granted to Nathaniel Burt, Sr., of Longmeadow, 2 lots, 20 rods wide, bounded southerly by the highway that leads to the woods, and northerly by Jonathan Ely and West by the County Road." It was recorded, in 1716, that Nathaniel Burt, Sr. granted "to the inhabitants of the Precinct of Longmeadow 15 acres in 2 divisions for the help, use, and maintenance of sound and orthodox ministers of the nonconformist persuasion."

Calvin Burt of Longmeadow granted, in 1823, to the Rev. Baxter Dickinson, the Town's third pastor, "a certain tract of land situated near the Meeting House, etc ..." Rev. Dickinson served his ministry from 1823 to 1829. On November 17, 1825, he, in turn, sold the premises to George Raynolds, cabinet-maker and house framer. Raynolds lived here until his death, and his heirs sold to Nathaniel Newell in 1841.

Thomas Cordis, of Boston, bought the house in 1845 from the Corporation, which then consisted of Ethan Ely, Calvin Burt, William White, and Wareham Colton. Cordis family papers reveal that the Rev. Samuel Wolcott used this house as his parsonage serving the Church until 1847. From 1850 until 1894, the house changed owners frequently. Thomas Cordis sold to Dimond Chandler in 1850, and then he sold to Nelson
Newell in 1857.

In 1863, Richard Salter Storrs, son of Rev. Richard Salter Storrs, Sr., purchased this home, and 2 years later sold to Ebenezer Bliss. Following his death, his heirs left the house to Sarah Storrs, a deaf mute, and sister of R. S. Storrs, to be used as a school. Thomas Cordis again bought the house in 1894, and it has remained in the Cordis family ever since.

In 1912, Thomas Edward Cordis, son of Thomas F. Cordis, a noted New England pigeon fancier, bought and moved into the house with his wife, Annie. Mr. Cordis' racing pigeons were nationally renowned, having won many racing diplomas. His birds were registered with the U. S. Government for communication purposes throughout World War I. Two of his, now vacant, "Twin Lofts" still stand on the rear property of the Cordis adjoining lot. T. Edward Cordis' farm was known as the "Longmeadow Poultry Farm". It
housed prize Rhode Island Reds. The farm remained until Mr. Cordis died in 1936. His widow later remarried, and she became Annie Ansley. She made this her home until her death in 1975. Her grandson is Douglas Cordis, the present owner.

In William Bakeman's opinion of the house, "the George Raynolds' house, ca. 1829, is a transitional house, built towards the end of the Federal period and early into the Greek Revival period, 1795-1840.

"The exterior characteristics and floorplan of the Raynolds' house has a definite federal influence. Nine window facade, fan lights in the north and south gable ends and a central hall.

"The Greek Revival period becomes evident with the interior details, front stairway fenestration, door construction, mouldings, trim and fireplace mantels.

"There is no evidence of a cooking fireplace in this part of the house. The fireplace and bake oven in the cellar, was more than likely a summer kitchen. The lack of a cooking fireplace in the Raynolds house, is a definite indication that it was added onto (in front of) an earlier existing structure that contained a fireplace, large enough to accommodate the families' cooking needs. The original chimney stack has long since been removed from the ell.

"The key to dating this older structure, 1780-1805, is through the use of gun stock posts in the framing. The majority of the doors in the ell are of batten construction with rosehead nails. There is also a small amount of hand planed sheathing with a simple bead remaining. All of this indicates early work. The existing stairways with steep risers and narrow treads, some original, are also consistent with 18th century construction. The foundation of the ell is also consistent with 18th century construction. The use of stone (red) as opposed to the brick used for the foundation of the


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