The Potter Mansion (c. 1776)

Potter Mansion

 

 

Captain John Potter served as an officer in the Army during the Revolutionary War. A skilled mechanic and master of seven trades, Potter built this magnificent home by himself, with the exception of the plastering. He made all the nails, latches and hinges and fashioned all the elaborately ornamented wood.

 

 

Potter, who lived in the Massachusetts town now known as North Brookfield, built the mansion over a smaller house in which he and his family lived. Parts of the original home that were not in the way of new construction were retained.

The room to the right of the front entrance was used as his watch and clock-making shop. The house once boasted an outdoor clock with three dials that provided the time, days of the week and phases of the moon. It chimed quarter and half hour times and played 24 different tunes, one each hour. Dancing tunes were played on weekdays and religious tunes were played on Sundays. The clock was removed in the 1850s.

A large room to the left of the main entrance has a huge fireplace with a brick bake oven and cabinets across the chimney. Blankets could be thrown across two cranes that swing out into the room to create a warm enclosure in front of the fire.

Upstairs, Potter created a large hall that was used for dancing and public gatherings. The "ballroom" has an arched ceiling and is ornamented with double dentil work.

The home was occupied by generations of Potters until it passed out of the hands of the family in 1920. The Potter Mansion was moved to Storrowton Village in 1929.

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