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Home > Virtual Village > Virtual Tours > West Springfield Through the Eyes of the Day Family > The Josiah Day House

The Josiah Day House

Located on Park Street in West Springfield, MA
Built 1754 | Inhabited until 1903 | Owned by RHS since 1903
Day House before 1877
Courtesy of the Josiah Day House

On Park Street in West Springfield, MA sits the oldest known “saltbox” brick house in America. The Josiah Day House, built in 1754 by Josiah Day, has seen the evolution of West Springfield from the Revolutionary War, to the introduction of Trolleys, and now the various cars and trucks that drive past today.

Generations of the Day Family lived in this house from 1754 – 1903, where they lovingly cared for it and preserved artifacts that paint a picture of West Springfield a lifetime ago. Without the generations of the Day Family who preserved this house, West Springfield would not have the house as a snapshot back in time.

The Josiah Day House today is owned and cared for by the Ramapogue Historical Society (RHS). The RHS was formed in 1903 in order to purchase the Josiah Day House from the remaining two Day sisters. The house was lived in by caretakers until the 1950’s, where it was fully embraced as a museum. The Day House stores an abundance of artifacts from the 19th century all the way up until the early 20th century, but its importance doesn’t lie solely in the storage of artifacts. The Josiah Day House is an important landmark within West Springfield and an artifact itself, from the 17th century kitchen to the axe marks in the floor from Shay Rebels.[1]
17th century fireplace in the Day House
Courtesy of Josiah Day House

Josiah Day was the first owner of the Old Day House. It was built in the location that the house of the former Woodbridge property sat on. The 17th century kitchen of that old house still remains, noted by the signature walk-in fireplace. He and his wife, Hannah, lived in it with their kids until it was passed to their son, Aaron Day. Aaron Day lived in the house with his wife, Eunice, until it was passed to their son, Aaron Day.

The younger Aaron Day and his wife Anne lived in the house until they passed. They had six children in total, but the children that lived the longest are the Four Day Sisters: Lucinda, Lydia, Eunice, and Amanda. Lucida was the only sister to live in the Day House for nearly her entire life, never marrying.

The Day Family wasn’t famous, but was certainly well known within the town. When Josiah Day owned the house, Reverend Lathrop frequented the house so often that he had a chair reserved for him with the family bible. Today, his death mask remains with the house as a reminder of his importance to the family. Even the younger Aaron Day, who was a farmer, was often asked for his advice because of his sound judgment and more than average education. He was in multiple positions in the town office and was the first person questioned when it came to matters concerning the church. He was a very kindhearted man who often lost money by loaning money and signing notes to friends.[2]

Josiah Day House (2015)
Via Wikimedia Commons

Although not a member of the main family within the house, another Day Family member of importance is Luke Day. Luke Day was a Captain in Shay’s Rebellion. The presence of the rebels is immortalized by the marks of guns leaning against the walls and ax marks in the floor from cutting stolen pork when the Day House was taken over.

As mentioned previously, Lucinda Day was the only one of the four Day Sisters to never marry and remain in the house nearly her entire life. She especially witnessed the evolution of West Springfield, and left her legacy through the iconic “light in the window”. Many claimed after she passed that a light shone in the window just above the front door, claiming it was her ghost. Today, the RHS has a candle in the window in memory of her and her dedication to lighting a candle every night in case visitors came.[3]

Today, the Josiah Day House stands as one of only two National Historic Sites in West Springfield, MA. Its importance within the town has driven preservation efforts for nearly 120 years. Generations of West Springfield residents have attended events, whether it be the annual Strawberry Social or school tours. This glimpse back into history continues to serve and educate the town of West Springfield and surrounding communities.

[1], [2], [3] Bagg, W. S. (2022). Brief History of the Day House. Ramapogue Historical Society.

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