• Lost Medfield

    by  • October 3, 2018 • Daniel Curtis, E. V. Mitchell, Manor Inn, Medfield, Montrose School, North Street, Walter Janes • 0 Comments

    (Editor’s note: The text and photos were the historical society’s lead exhibit at Medfield Day. There have been many books written with titles like Lost New York, Lost Chicago, Lost San Francisco; this is the first article entitled Lost Medfield.)

    Akkompoin, later known as the Manor Inn, was the home of Edwin V. Mitchell, owner of Medfield’s hat factory, the second-largest in the country.

    Built for $90,000 in 1893 dollars (when carpenters earned 27 cents per hour), the three-story mansion had 30 rooms, including 11 bedrooms and, on the top floor, a 35 x 65-foot gymnasium/ballroom/billiard room.

    On the grounds were a tennis court and a half-acre garden.

    When Mitchell died in 1916, a Mr. Frost bought the property and converted it to a hotel.   But Prohibition became the law of the land in 1919.
    The hotel became unprofitable. The bank foreclosed.

    When Prohibition was repealed in 1933, new owner John Coyle renamed it the Manor Inn and turned it into an upscale venue for fine dining and wedding receptions.

    Coyle died about 1950, and his nephew Peter Gately ran it as a more downscale tavern, which he sold to the North Street Plaza Corporation in 1961.

    The magnificent Akkompoin was demolished – with the help of a Sherman tank – to make way for a strip mall. The unmourned strip mall was demolished to make way for the post office about 1998.

    Here’s a link to a YouTube video of the demolition of the Manor Inn.

    Monoco stood adjacent to Akkompoin, at the corner of North and Frairy Streets. It was built in 1859 by Daniel D. Curtis, who at age 21 had moved from Maine to Medfield in 1851. He went to work for straw hat entrepreneur Walter Janes and in five years became Janes’ business partner, becoming owner when Janes died in 1867.

    Curtis greatly expanded the business, building a 1,000-employee factory where the Montrose School now stands. The beloved Curtis died in 1885. His son-in-law, Edwin V. Mitchell took over
    the Medfield operation until his death in 1917.

    The last owner of the house was William Nourse, who had it from 1958 to 1986. He neglected the Medfield landmark mansion, to the great dismay and horror of local residents, and let new owner Jackson Fabrics demolish it and replace it with the present gray structure at the corner of North and Frairy Streets in 1987.

    Had a North Street Historic District been in place at the time, Medfield would not have lost two of its most magnificent treasures.

    About

    David Temple is the president of the Medfield Historical Society and co-chair of the Medfield Historical Commission. He grew up in Medfield and left to go away to college (history major) and sow a wild oat or two. In 1970 he and Marjorie bought a barn at the corner of South Street and Rocky Lane in Medfield and made it into the home they have lived in ever since.

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