a central & western massachusetts digital library project
Skip to content home : browse : advanced search : preferences : my favorites : about : help   
add to favorites : reference url back to results : previous : next
Cobbler Shop with Mr. Wells, Buckland Mass., circa 1900
TitleCobbler Shop with Mr. Wells, Buckland Mass., circa 1900
Full Size Image
SubjectShoemakers; Shoemakers-Massachusetts-Buckland-History-19th Century; Townsley, Dan Colton (1824-1902)
DescriptionCirca 1800's cobbler shop located in Buckland, Mass. Mr. Wells about 1900 is written on the back of the photograph. It is not known who Mr. Wells was or when or how he might have been affiliated with the cobbler shop. The cobbler shop was one of four such industries that made boots and shoes for the townspeople of Buckland in the 1800's. The exact date of this shops operation is unknown, but a copy of a surviving ledger is dated from 1819 through 1833. The industry continued throughout the 1800's. A small building, 14 ft x 20 ft, it nevertheless contained a large ground floor for working, a stove for heating purposes, and an upper floor that was used for storage and supplies. Various tables were set up and a workbench was placed beneath a large window to take full advantage of daylight. According to historians, one of the more notable owner/operators of the building was Buckland native Dan Colton Townsley (1824-1902). The shop was located at what is now the northern corner of Upper Street and Route 112. In 1890, Mr. Townsley sold the shop to Mrs. Olive Shedd, and it remained in the Shedd family until it was sold to Carrie and Nathaniel Cass. The building sat unused until 1952. When Route 112 was being built, the building would have had to be demolished, but fortunately was rescued and moved to the Litchfield property on Cross Street, where it resided until 1991. At that time, it was moved to its current location on the Wilder Homestead property on Ashfield Road, Route 112, where it became part of the Homestead preservation project. It is obviously a well-built structure, having survived two movings, and remains in excellent condition. A new slate roof was put on to protect the interior, and it has gradually been refurbished to resemble very closely what it must have looked like in Dan Townsley's day.
SourcePart of the Wilder Homestead Collection
RelationFrom the collections of the Buckland Historical Society, Inc., P.O. Box 88, Buckland, MA, 01338,
Coverage42.60 N, 72.77 W
add to favorites : reference url back to results : previous : next
powered by CONTENTdm ® | Contact: June Stokoe ~ Digital Initiatives ~ C/W MARS  ^ to top ^