Of Historical Note: Back in the day, knights gathered here
By Lori Berkey, Contributing Writer
Marlborough – The photo of this Greek Revival-style home was taken at 74 Main St. in Marlborough. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1984 as the John Cotting House, the structure now houses law offices and was once the meeting spot for the Knights of Columbus.
The Marlborough Historical Society's website offers a link to an electronic version of the “Marlborough Survey of Historic, Architectural, and Cultural Resources,” which was drawn in 1994 and 1995.
Per the posted survey, the building dates circa 1825 and was originally built and owned by John Cotting, as a residence. According to this account, John was one of 10 children of Amos Cotting, a physician who practiced in Marlborough. The survey reveals that after John married Sally C. Brigham, he opened a tavern at what became the intersection of Cotting and Main streets.
The Cotting Tavern is mentioned in Ella Bigelow's book, “Historical Reminiscence of The Early Times Marlborough….” Per Bigelow's report, the tavern provided “sumptuous entertainment for man and beast so bountifully displayed that few could withstand the temptation to stop and tarry with the jolly throng.”
Information detailed in the survey disclosed that a two-story ell was constructed at the back end of John Cotting House at the end the 19th century. A tin ceiling in the front hallway was one architectural characteristic highlighted in the description. Under the survey section labeled “Significance,” the home was pegged important, in part, because of “its association with a family prominent in the community's development during the 19th century.”
The survey praised the Cotting family as being “community leaders in civic and commercial activities.” In the “Significance” section, the tavern is again mentioned, with a notation that it was demolished in 1948 and that “John B. Cotting's son, John F., constructed the nominated property in 1851.”
Of Historical Note is a weekly segment of the Community Advocate that features a hidden or well-known landmark from one of our newspaper's six communities.
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