The Goodyear House, 755 Homestead Avenue

by Laurel | January 20th, 2014

20 Jan 2014

Austin L. Goodyear House

Austin L. Goodyear House
Built about 1830
Federal Style Architecture

Another MACRIS image, this time what MACRIS has called the Austin L. Goodyear House located at 755 Homestead Avenue. It is a federal style house built around 1830. It was once an expansive Ingleside farm.

The Goodyears were another very notable founding family in the greater Holyoke area with family connections to many well-known names such as the Chapins, Lymans and the Days. The earliest Goodyear ancestor in America appears to have been Deputy Governor Stephen Goodyear, one of the founders of the colony of New Haven in 1638 and is connected to the Holyoke Goodyear family.

The MACRIS database attributes the association to this house to Austin L. Goodyear.  I have not found an Austin L. Goodyear, and the newspaper obituary for Austin Goodyear has his middle initial as “B” — though I have not found an associated name, even on his tombstone where those relatives who have a middle name do have it memorialized in the cemetery. From the account in his obituary, this house was actually built by Austin’s father Lyman Goodyear (1782-1874); Lyman’s wife was Esther Humeston (1782-1856) another well known surname in the region. In fact, Esther Humeston’s father Caleb Humeston (1762-1842) also lived on what is now Homestead Avenue, and it was at the Humeston place the First Baptist church was organized in 1803. Austin Goodyear’s obituary follows:

19 March 1910

Austin Goodyear

Austin Goodyear

Death of Austin Goodyear
Old Resident of Riverdale Section Passes Away.

Austin Goodyear, 82, died yesterday morning at his home in the Riverdale district after a short illness. in the passing of Mr. Goodyear there has gone one more, and almost the last one, of the interesting group of old men who were born in the Riverdale section early in the last century, and whose ancestors, scarcely a couple of generations back, were the pioneer settler of this region. Homestead Avenue, recently so named in recognition of its past history and character, was the important street of the community, known as Ireland Parish, which was the forerunner of Holyoke, and it was on that street that Mr. Goodyear was born March 31, 1828, on his father’s farm and in the house in which he passed most of his life and in which his son George Goodyear now lives. At 13 years of age he was sent to attend the Suffield literary institution. After two years there he went to Providence, where he fitted for Brown university under the charge of Prof. James R. Boise, a Greek and Bible scholar of note. his purpose to secure as complete and education as American institutions then afforded was frustrated by impaired health following an attack of typhoid fever at the close of his second year in college.

Subsequently he was employed for five years in the business of his cousin, Charles Goodyear, the inventor of vulcanized rubber, assisting in the carrying on of experiments in the treatment of rubber and for nearly a year he was away on a trip to Central America to investigate the source of the rubber supply. During his interest stay there he made a visit to the king of the Mosquito tribe of Indians. He also sailed up the Nicaragua river with Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt and returned with him to New York. the rest of his life, until he was incapacitated by age, he devoted with great interest and success to the business of his farm, developing it from a few aces to its present large and well-cultivated condition.

Mr. Goodyear married Anne Judson Chapin of Chicopee Street, September 12 1855. They had three children, Sahar L., who died December 6, 1892; George L., who now carries on the farm, and Austin B. in the employ of the Holyoke water-power company. There is one grandchild, Adelle Winchester Goodyear. During his school attendance in Suffield Mr. Goodyear united with the Baptist Church and throughout his life he remained a faithful member and for many years an honored deacon of the First Baptist Church of Holyoke, situated in Elmwood. Bible study was a subject of great interest to him ad he was for long a Bible class teacher in the Sunday school. The many good qualities which went to make up the admirable type of the New Englander of past generations were inherited by Mr. Goodyear in liberal measure.

To all who knew him his character will remain a rare example of simplicity, sincerity and stanch rectitude in matters of conduct and business. Many will cherish his memory still more for his cheerfulness of disposition, his tender-heartedness and generosity. With these, certain intellectual gifts combined to produce a refinement of bearing which was most attractive. His Christian faith be held throughout his life undiminished, though saved from any taint of bigotry or illiberality by a predominant love of truth.

Adapted from The Springfield Republican.


755 Homestead Ave

Austin Goodyear House
755 Homestead Ave

Bonus: The Austin Goodyear House is for sale! Own a piece of history — buy this house! It looks to be a fair price and the place has been nicely refinished. Have a closer look at the interior (plus listing agent contact info) at this link.

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