The Canfield House
618 Emmett Street
This house was most likely built for William and Mary Canfield between 1884 and 1886. In 1893, Mary Canfield, by then a widow, sold her home to Matthew Taylor. In August or September of 1895, Michael J. Murphy bought the house for his bride, Maggie J. Hazel.
The house is a large two-story frame dwelling with a third story tower. The type of architecture is described as irregular and vernacular, borrowing features from several different architectural styles popular in the Victorian era. At some point, probably during the 20's, the porch was redone in a stark brick structure that was extended into a carport. Also, at some unknown time, the tower was drastically altered, clipping both its elegant height and graceful dormers. This may have been the result of a fire, or an effort at making the task of re-roofing the house in metal easier.
After the Murphys left, a succession of owners and tenants lived in the house, and it began a gradual decline. By 1995, the house was vacant, the pipes had burst, walls and ceilings were severely damaged. The ruin was just about complete when the house was purchased in 1996 by John Irving and Jim Gardiner. One hundred years ago, M. J. Murphy had a full set of floor plans drawn up and a set of studio portraits of the outside made. These items have aided greatly in the restoration of the home.
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Last updated 03/27/02
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