Whether the three-story Salem Colonial house at 54 Wendell Avenue, recently vacated by the heirs of Mrs. James H. Hinsdale, shall remain standing as the permanent new quarters of the Stanley Club of General Electric Employees, or torn down starting Thursday by William E. Putnam, razing contractor and broker, will be decided at a meeting of club officials late this afternoon.

The present clubrooms are on the third floor of the Central Block, over the Wallace Company department store on North Street. For some time the club has considered the purchase of the Hinsdale place. It expects to decide today whether the deal will go through. A committee met yesterday on the same matter. Mr. Putnam has "plenty" of customers for the integral parts of the house, which include some valuable materials.

Meanwhile, a quantity of furnishings has been in great demand as the House of Mercy Auxiliary committee disposed of articles donated by the recent occupants, at a sale for the benefit of the institution.

The house is owned by Mr. Putnam, the contractor, while the land has been placed in the hands of William R. Hagyard & Son by the owners, Mrs. James E. Gregg of Waterbury, Conn., and F. Gilbert Hinsdale of New York City. Fronting 60 feet on Wendell Avenue, the lot is 70 feet deep.

For the last 15 years, Mrs. Gregg and her husband, the Rev. Dr. James E. Gregg, until recently president of Hampton Institute and formerly pastor of the First Church of Christ, Congregational, in this city, who is now pastor of the First Church of Christ, Congregational, at Waterbury, have lived there.

Built more than a half-century ago, the Hinsdale house is one of the finest in Pittsfield on property smaller than estate size. It has 20 rooms, four being bathrooms. There are six fireplaces. The appointments are stately, and mahogany forms the wainscoting in the living and dining rooms, cherry in the library, oak and mahogany in the hall and oak in the master's quarters on the second floor.

James H. Hinsdale was associated with his brother, Frank W. Hinsdale, in the operation of the woolen textile plant at the town of Hinsdale which was founded by William and Frederick Curtiss Hinsdale in 1836.

Editor's note: The Stanley Club purchased the Hinsdale house in 1936 for $16,500 and occupied the building until relocating to the newly renovated barn in back of the original clubhouse in 1954.

This Story in History is selected from the archives by Jeannie Maschino, The Berkshire Eagle.

Community News Editor / Librarian

Jeannie Maschino is community news editor and librarian for The Berkshire Eagle. She has worked for the newspaper in various capacities since 1982 and joined the newsroom in 1989.