145 Main Street

‘This house stands on a one acer lot at the comer of Main Street and Talcott Lane at the north end of Durham’s commercial center. In spite of its location, its generous lot and
large shade trees create a rural atmosphere.

  • Record ID: 50
  • Address: 145 Main Street
  • Current Owner: Jackson, Geraldine
  • Name of Building:
  • Historic Name: William S. Scranton House
  • Download PDF of Original Record

Notable Features

Hip roof porch supported by square posts with sawn brackets and spandrels with sawn quatrefoil ornaments. The gable contains a pointed, Gothic style 2×2 window, and is sheathed with shaped board and batten siding appliqued botanical ornarrent at the end of each board.

Historical or Architectural Importance

This 2 1/2 story Gothic Revival cottage has been little altered since its construction in 1879. It has a three bay, side-hall entrance with a gable¬† facing Main Street. The first story of its gable end boasts a hip-roof porch supported by square posts with sawn brackets and joined by spaydrels with sawn quatrefoil ornarrent. The windows on the second story are surmounted by rainhoods. The peak of the gable contains a pointed, Gothic-style 2×2 window and, in contrast to the clapboards of the rest of the structure, is sheathed with shaped board and batten siding with appliqued botanical ornarrent at the end of each board. The bargeboard on the gable end is elegantly sawn out and chamfered work. This house was built in 1879 by Simeon S. Scranton for his son William Sereno Scranton. The elder Scranton’s imposing, dwelling stand on the south’West corner of Main Street and Talcott Lane, across the street. Although ornarrented in a Gothic mode, as opposed to the Tuscan style of the father’s house, this house shares in common a remarkable sophistication of decor. Given the senior Scranton’s Hartford business base, it was very likely the work of a Hartford architect. The younger Scranton apparently shared none of his father’s ambition for worldly success, for he listed his occupation in the census as a famrer and tinsmith. He and his
wife, Mary Mathewson, lived together in the house until 1919, when his wife died. Scranton lived on alone in the house until his death in 1935. The house was sold by the Scranton Estate to its present owner in 1941. This richly detailed cottage is the best example of Gothic Revival architecture in Durham. Its association with the Scrantons, one of Durham’s most influential, entrepreneurial 19th century families, gives it particular historical importance.