Whately — Stores, Taverns, And Post-Offices
Extracted from "History of the Connecticut Valley in Massachusetts, Volume II," by Louis H. Everts, 1879.
The only hamlet in town is Whately. It is situated near the centre, and has a tine location along Chestnut Plains Street, which is here 10 rods wide. The place contains the public buildings of the town, a hotel, store, post-office, and a few hundred inhabitants. A mile east is the railroad station, where is also a store and a post-office, called East Whately, which was established about 1820. David Stockbridge was the first postmaster, and the office has since been held by Josiah Allis, Caleb L. Thayer, Horace Hastings, and Elihu Belden, who has L. L. Eaton* as his deputy, The stores here have been kept by E. H. Wood, Caleb L. Thayer, H. H. Hastings, and L. L. Eaton.
The town enjoyed mail facilities as early as 1789, but the first regular post-office was established at the hamlet, with the name of the town, about 1814, and had Reuben Winchell as first postmaster. His successors were Elijah Allis, Levi Bush, Jr., Samuel Lesure, Dennis Dickinson, Ashley Hayden, and Samuel Lesure. Two mails per day are supplied.
A post-office, in charge of Chester Brown, was kept a short time at the house of Asa Sanderson, in West Whately. Stores were kept in this part of the town after 1808 by Jesse Lull, Reuben Winchell, and Reuben Jenney; and Noah Bard well had a tavern from 1788 to 1799, while John Smith kept public-house at later day.
Near the hamlet Daniel Morton opened the first tavern in town, probably soon after he built his house, in 1759, and continued it many years. In this locality John Lamson opened another public-house, about 1779, nearer the centre of the hamlet. He was succeeded, about 1788, by John Crafts; and ten years later Samuel Grimes opened a tavern on the Leonard Loomis place, having also a store. In 1818, Elijah Allis opened a tavern opposite Winchell's store, and several years after built the present hotel, in which he was followed by Levi Bush. Loren Hayden rebuilt the house, which is at present kept by E. F. Orcutt.
Lemuel and Justin Clark are credited with opening the first store at the hamlet. From 1790 to about 1802 they were in trade opposite the present Unitarian Church. The next tradesman was Samuel Grimes, who was succeeded by Loomis, Huntington, and Phelps. From 1813 to 1824, Reuben Winchell had a store in the brick house, and opposite were Elijah Allis and Chester Wells. At later periods Eurotus Morton, Samuel B. White, Wm. W. Sanderson, Levi Bush, Samuel Lesure, Darius Stone, Ralph Childs, Albert W. Crafts, and others, have here been in trade.
The first store in town was opened by Gad Smith, in his tavern on the "Straits," about 1779. A short time after, Joel Wait opened a tavern in the next house north, which became the stopping-place for stages, and had a wide reputation. The David Graves place, south of Gad Smith's, was bought by David Stockbridge, after 1800, who opened a tavern there, and continued it until 1833, when be opened a public-house on the river road, which he kept a number of years. On the road south Joshua Belden opened a tavern about 1796, which was kept by him and his sons a number of years.
Other places of entertainment have been kept, but the foregoing have been the principal ones.
The town has never had many professional men.
Dr. Perez Chapin was the first physician, practicing from 1778 to 1788. The other physicians have been Dr. Benjamin Dickinson, from 1787 till 1804; Dr. Oliver Norton, from 1788 till 1789, Dr. Francis Harwood, from 1794 till 1835; Dr. Richard Emmons, from 1812 till 1815; Dr. Joshua D. Harwood, from 1814 till 1820; Dr. Chester Bardwell, from 1816 till 1864; Dr. Myron Harwood, from 1827 till 1877. Since that period Dr. J. Dwight has followed his profession in town. Justin W. Clark, Henry Barnum, and Hiram Stockbridge have been counselors in Whately.
* Mr. Eaton was appointed postmaster in place of Belden, removed, April 29, 1879.