Manchester (1)

Walter Bunce House,
34 Bidwell Street

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While there are many structures in the Southern states which are attributed to the craftsmanship of African Americans, few such buildings exist in New England. One example, however, is the Walter Bunce House, constructed by Alpheus Quicy. Born in June 1774, Quicy dealt in real estate in southeastern Connecticut along with his father and brother. As a stonemason he built several fieldstone houses for prominent citizens and numerous dams in Manchester. The Walter Bunce House is the only fieldstone dwelling constructed by Quicy that still stands today.

It stands alone right next to the I-384 underpass very near Manchester Community College. It’s a handsome house in its own way.

2012 Update: I’ve been cleaning out emails and am dismayed with myself that I’ve found so many from readers that I’ve more or less ignored. I’m a terrible person. Here’s one from a Tom H regarding his visit to the Bunce House:

Message: Subject: Bunce House

Message: After 30 years of driving by Bunce House, I took advantage of a tag sale to stop on 8/13. Current resident says house was built in 1821, one of three by Quincy (I thought she said Quincy). Two others like it – fire got one, other gone too. He built a Cheney-Bunce papermill destroyed by 1853 flood. Bunce moved to NJ and built another mill. Cheney went back to family biz. House walls appx 22 inches deep and timbers of 9 by 24 to 30 as used in mill buildings. Up to 2001, garden hoses ran into house for water. Kerosene lamps and limited electricity. Two-seat outhouse. Current family since 1800s. Their farm was a victim of unfriendly state takeover because Ella Grasso wanted land for college use (MCC-MCTC). This from casual chat with very nice lady.

Well done, Tom, and thanks for reaching out!

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Comments

  1. J says

    The family that lives here does regular tag sales. If you ask nicely and they’re in a good mood (and you buy something, of course), they’ll let you look inside.

    This is also within sight of Hosmer Mountain Soda Shack.

  2. says

    I am the proud owner of this home. In 2001 I had 2 furnaces put in, as the only heat was two glenwood stoves and pot belly kerosine stoves. No running water, just garden hose’s snaked through the house giving cold water, all that was upgraded. The two seater out house was given way to a bathroom, what a treat, to take a bath. The electricity was upgraded and taken into the 20th century. Many upgrades all around. Alot of hard labor and love went into this home. Things took a turn for the worse, I was hit by a drunk driver who had no assets, my husband has been dealing with cancer. V.A. pension only goes so far. We have fallen behind in tax’s, it will take a miracle to recover and stay in this home we so dearly love. I pray there is a miracle out there…. Nancy Andrusis

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