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Collins Company Office Building-10 Front Street

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target="_blank">Constructed in 1868, this structure is built of Foster Block, an early innovative form of concrete block. It is the second company office building on this site, which was described by Sam Collins as being “very picturesque covered with high rocks and trees.” Stone for the first company shop was quarried here. The original office was a two story frame building. The first floor served as the office, the basement as a school, and the second floor for religious services until construction of the Congregational Church in 1836. The building was moved to River Street at the corner of North for use as an employee tenement. 

The current building once had the post office and a small library in the basement where the company vault can still be seen. For many years, the third floor had a spacious hall with a stage that was available for public use. As business increased, it was converted to offices. The building has an imposing entrance porch framed by cast iron columns whose urban character contrasts with the village’s smaller scale. It was a sign of the Company’s wealth and significance following the Civil War. The Collins Company trademark of crown, arm, and smithy’s hammer runs along the edge of the roof. 

The parking lot next to the office once was occupied by one of three houses built by the company at the inception of the axe works. It was bought by shopkeeper Samuel Barbour in 1827, and remained in his family until 1938 when the company bought it back for use by employees. It was later torn down to provide parking, and illustrates the problem of accommodating motor vehicles in a village designed for foot travel.