Submitted by Carolina Galliher, Dalton MA
On August 3, the Fitch-Hoose House in Dalton was dedicated after a restoration. Here is some history of this historic house and the history and stories it represents.
History of the Fitch-Hoose House
The house now known as the Fitch-Hoose House, one of the last remaining homes in Dalton belonging to a former slave, is in a part of Dalton called The Gulf. The area once contained a community of African Americans.
The house was built in 1846 by William Bogart, and immediately sold to Henry Fitch, a local African American. After a succession of owners, including local papermaking magnate Zenas M. Crane, the property was purchased in 1868 by Charles Hoose.
Charles Hoose was the grandson of Philip Hoose. Philip Hoose was one of a number of men who arrrived in Berkshire County from the Hudson Valley of New York in the early nineteenth century. Although it is not documented, Philip was likely at one time a slave. It is a fact that Berkshire County attracted a number of slaves fleeing from neighboring sections of New York State. It is not known if Philip escaped or was freed. Philip Hoose kept the name of the Dutch slave owner (derived from either Hoes, Goes or Van Hoesen). His name first appears in a census in 1820 in a nearby town. By 1830, Philip Hoose was residing in Dalton.
Charles Hoose, grandson of Philip, bought the Fitch-Hoose House in 1868. He paid the sum of $150.00 for the property. From that point on, the Hoose family was the occupant of the house. Charles’ first wife Diana died in 1874. He later married his second wife, Ellen Hamilton and together they had 13 children. Charles died in 1930 and Ellen in 1945. Descendants resided in the house into the next century.
The house was constructed from hand hewn posts and beams. It has a basement, two rooms on the first floor and an attic which was used for bedroom space. A kitchen was added but removed during restoration as it was not original to the structure.
The Fitch-Hoose House is significant in that the house illustrates the living conditions and communities of many African Americans as they transitioned from slavery to freedom.
For more information on the Fitch-Hoose House visit their Facebook Page.