Thursday Doors – Pearl St Garage

The tiny doors, the moldings and the cupola combine to make a pretty impressive garage.
The tiny doors, the moldings and the cupola combine to make a pretty impressive garage.

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.


  1. This is an historic district in town? Beautiful home. I love the revitalized sections. The prices seem to skyrocket but the fact that places like this are being rescued makes me smile. Nice, Dan.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Lois. This actually isn’t the historic district in this town. That district, presumably where the owners and managers of that mill lived, is a couple of streets further east of the river and solidly up on the plateau. They are beautiful, large homes on stately bits of property. This street is in a zone targeted for growth and revival, but I am imagining that many of these houses will be used for commercial purposes. The houses are much closer together and the yards are very small, and someone spending that kind of money has lots of suburban choices within a 5-mile radius. I do like that they are trying to salvage this block because some ot the houses are beautiful.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Six bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths Sammy, it maybe could be a BB if it was in a better location. I am really curious to know where the 2,500 sf that is there but not available actually is. Thanks for looking.


  2. Gorgeous! And yes, a bargain. Only people in Connecticut can afford to live in Connecticut :P A friend of mine, also in Connecticut, made me a spreadsheet for housing costs when we were shopping. I forget what it was called, but it had price, interest rates, expected payments — it was VERY helpful, saved me a lot of calculator time. But when he first sent it to me, I had to send it back and tell him houses like his/ours start around $75k, here, not $280k like there, LOL!
    I have another friend who moved to Indy from San Francisco, when her husband got transferred. He gave her a housing booklet, told her to start lookin, and she was floored, she was convinced it was a trick — surely one couldn’t get a 4 bedroom colonial for $150k?
    Then, my friend in Vancouver said it didn’t matter which house we bought, they were all a steal, because all of them would be near the million-dollar mark there. Oh how we laughed!
    Sorry, cost of living always interests me :)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, housing prices here are absurd, but way better than up the road in MA so I guess it’s all relative. Unfortunately, property taxes in that town are also pretty high so you might be tacking on another $4-5k-a year for that.

      I talk to my brother in Iowa about the cost of living differences and I am always sad.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Norm, and Wow! The size of this lot is not much more than what you see here. I think there is a small back yard but not much more then 1/3a. Still, it is a sweetheart. I am really enjoying this series, I’m glad you kept nudging.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. What a wonderful house–and the garage is fantastic as well (literally: looks like someone was very whimsical when building it). I love the concept of this series, too!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Sandi. I love this series. There is something about an interesting door that just makes me want to stare at it for a while. I find myself marking locations (to go back and snap a picture) as I drive by.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Wow, i love that house… Yep, it really is a bargain (if way outside my limits). It would be a bargain in DC for sure (even if it’s a fixer upper), and i know CT is even more expensive for housing. Really interesting post, Dan. Hugs. :)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is a beautiful house. At least it’s brick, but the angle of the front yard and the height of that trim would make for a daunting task when it needed to be painted. I think I could have done it earlier, but these days, that’s a lot of ladder :) Thanks!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. What a fabulous house. We had a major carpet business here in Youghal in the past and it created much needed jobs for the community. Sadly, it’s long gone as have many local industries in our town. That’s the recession for ya!

    Liked by 1 person

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