Pearl St. in Enfield, CT runs high above the Connecticut River in an area of town known as Thompsonville. This section of Enfield was once the proud home of the sprawling Hartford Carpet Company (later merged with and renamed Bigelow-Sanford) manufacturing complex. The Enfield Historical Society has a very informative write-up on the history of the Thompsonville carpet industry on their website, so I won’t try to duplicate that here.
As is the case in many cities and towns in New England, wonderful homes were built around the 19th and early 20th century industries and then, as those industries failed, the neighborhoods fell into stressful times. Also like many similar neighborhoods, Thompsonville is trying to make a comeback. The area is recognized as a “revitalization zone” by the State of CT and the town. The Bigelow-Sanford complex has almost been completely repurposed as rental housing. Enfield Parks and Recreation has cleaned up a pond and waterfall, area churches and businesses are being well maintained and people are beginning to repair and restore some of the old housing stock.
We used to drive by this house often on the way to church and my wife made a daily commute down Pearl St. during the years our daughter attended the elementary school affiliated with that church. I always liked this house, although I’m not sure I would want to have to maintain it as I enter my 60s.
If you’re familiar with Connecticut housing prices, you might agree that this house, currently for sale for $319,000 might be a bargain. It was built in 1940 and it appears to be pretty well maintained, although I’m curious about the fact that the listing describes it as having 4,000+ usable living space out of 6,572 Sq. Ft – sounds like some wasted space somewhere, maybe tucked into those nooks and crannies.
While in most cases, living next to a future bus and train station would not have much appeal, the promise of light-rail into Hartford could turn Thompsonville into a nice place from which to commute. I could think of worse things than starting each day with a leisurely ride along a beautiful river.
This post is part of Norm Frampton’s Thursday Doors series on WordPress.