The Howe, Storrs, Dewing House Mansfield Center

Lost Mansfield > The Howe, Storrs, Dewing House Mansfield Center

LOST MANSFIELD #3: THE HOWE/STORRS/DEWING HOUSE. This house was built by Abner Howe in 1794/95. It was later owned by Squire Zalmon Storrs and then inherited by his daughter, Susan Storrs Dewing.

The Dewing family used the house as a summer residence, residing most of the year in New York City and later in Hartford.

Leonard Dewing House
This image of the Dewing house is from a set of photographs of Mansfield Center taken by the Homestead View Co. of Springfield, MA in 1874.
Dewing House Wall
The Dewing Wall and Walkway. Sometime around 1874, the Dewings had a walkway constructed between their house and the nearby Congregational Church. In order to accomplish this, a low area had to be filled in, necessitating the construction of a fourteen foot retaining wall. The work was done by Rand White, an accomplished local stone mason, and his crew.

This magnificent Georgian manse was the finest of its period in Mansfield Center. The pedimented central pavilion, the 12 over 12 double-hung windows and the transom light over the door reflect the simpler forms of the 18th century. The boldly projecting portico with parapet supported by fluted Tuscan columns were added in the 19th century and are superb examples of the Greek Revival style.

In 1881, Leonard Dewing added an Italianate tower to the rear of the house. It measured 20’ x 20’ and stood 40’ high. It featured an observation deck on top.

Leonard Dewing House tower addition
The Dewing house with the addition of the Italianate tower constructed in 1881.

On March 2, 1909, the Dewing mansion was destroyed in a spectacular fire that attracted onlookers from miles around. Only a few pieces of furniture could be saved. At the time, the house was vacant and the Dewing family was at their Hartford home. Arson was suspected but never proved.

Dewing House as seen today
Site of the Dewing house and wall today. The Dewing house stood on the rise above the bus stop. Another house has been constructed on the site (hidden behind the trees and bushes). The Dewing wall is still there, but is now completely covered with vines. In 1969 the Garden Gate Club planted a memorial rose garden along the original walkway.

This series is made possible by a Capacity Building Grant from The Last Green Valley, Inc.

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