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Last week's photo was of one of the pillars gracing the faade of Brewster Mansion on Aurora Street between Main Street and East Main. Originally in this location was a large wooden home belonging to Owen Brown, which was the childhood home of abolitionist John Brown.
Anson Brewster, an up-and-coming merchant in town with a business next door, purchased the original building from Brown and lived in it until it was destroyed by fire in 1842. The Brewsters quickly purchased land and built a house on the northwest corner of College and Division streets, but always planned to rebuild on the site on the Green. In 1850, they hired architect Simeon Porter to design a mansion for them on the town square. The imposing building, with the stone front and gothic turrets, was suitable for the Brewster's increasing prominence in town and was much admired by the townspeople. After the deaths of the Brewsters, the building was sold and operated as the Park Hotel during the first half of the 20th century. In 1949 it became The Elms, a nursing home (which later relocated to West Streetsboro Street), and then housed a variety of offices and businesses, as it does today.