Margaret R. Grundy Memorial Library Archives

[Man atop horse in front of house on the corner of Jefferson Avenue and Pond Street]


Dublin Core




This mansard roof house on a knoll surrounded by a white wooden fence is now the site of the former Jefferson Avenue School, opened in 1909. The former school is now called "The Jefferson" and is an upscale condominium. The stone house, partly visible to the right, was standing as of 1999. William and Mary Grundy, and their children Joseph and Margaret, moved to Bristol in 1877 and occupied the house when William Grundy started the Worsted Mill, now on Jefferson Avenue and Canal Street. The last known family to live in the house was John and Elizabeth Smiley and their children. It was owned by Joseph Peirce, who started the Bristol Improvement Company and erected the Grundy Mill building. Florence C. Smiley Foster, one of ten children of John and Elizabeth Smiley, described the appearance of the house in a paper she wrote about her family history. She said it had 2 rooms, seven per floor. There was a large front porch and balconies on the second and third floors. It had a bathroom a tank on the top floor in what was called the tank room for bath water. Her father would pump water weekly to the tank from the cellar. The fenced yard was large, especially the front. There were beautiful blooming lilacs and azaleas. Her father grew lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, and potatoes in the backyard, and shared them with neighbors. He also put baskets in a tree for boys to play basketball. Mr. Peirce, the owner wanted the Smiley family to buy the house because Joseph Grundy wanted to purchase it to tear it down and have a public school erected there. The Smiley family did not have the amount of money to purchase it and they moved to Lafayette Street. Joseph Grundy purchased it, had it torn down, and donated the land for the building of Jefferson Avenue School.




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“[Man atop horse in front of house on the corner of Jefferson Avenue and Pond Street],” Margaret R. Grundy Memorial Library Archives, accessed April 18, 2024,