Old Robbins House New Robbins House 2012

The Robbins House

The House

The Robbins House, now the home of Union Historical Society, is located on Union Common at 343 Common Road. It is a modified Greek Revival building with a center chimney and an attached ell. The parlors on the north side of the first floor are furnished in early Victorian style. An upstairs bedroom is furnished in period style. The meeting room, which also serves as a research area, is accessible by a wheelchair ramped entrance.

Robbins House history

Plaque The house was first built for Dr. Isaac Flitner, possibly to entice a doctor to come to town to live. It was then owned by a series of doctors until 1897, when it was purchased by Jason Robbins. The Robbins family lived there for 58 years, until the death of Jason's niece Clemmie Robbins in 1955. Clemmie Robbins was the town's telephone operator. Original Robbins House

It was probably during the time near the turn of the last century that a porch was added, and the doorway between the two north parlors was widened. The south part of the building had been the dining room, kitchen, woodshed and entrance to the barn.

In 1973 the Union Historical Society bought the property with the intention of sharing the building with the Vose Library. In the spring of 2011, the Library moved into a “home of its own” at 392 Common Road.

The house was in sad shape. It was the Society's intent to have the outside of the house look as it had when it was first built. Therefore the sagging porch was removed and the garage, which interim owners had substituted for the barn, was replaced by the present meeting room. The foundation revealed that the original door had been recessed and an appropriate door with sidelights was donated by Society members.

Melodeon Table


The furnishings were donated by members of Union Historical Society, given to the Society as bequests, or purchased with funds raised by the Society and other community groups.


Parlor Reception With Brussels carpets over hardwood floors, the Victorian-style parlor furnishings include upholstered sofa and chairs, a round marble-topped table, a card table, a dining table and straight cane-seated chairs, a Brown Brothers pump organ (made in Union), and a Morse Brothers parlor organ (also made in Union.) On the wall hang portraits of Jason Robbins (1838-1919), his wife Laura Messer, Nathaniel Robbins (1773-1850) and his second wife, Elizabeth Lummus.

Bed Dresser

North bedroom

In the larger bedroom upstairs, is a complete chamber set made of local woods in Union's Thurston Bros. Factory, later the casket factory, along with various items donated by Union residents.

Furnishings owned by the Come Spring characters

The Society owns a small chair that once belonged to Joel and Mima Robbins Adams. The 1940 historical novel, Come Spring, records their journey to purchase it after their marriage. The Society also has artifacts used by Mima Robbins Adams in her daily life - her mortar and pestle, her Book of Sermons, and her Bible.


Switchboard Telephone

Also to be seen in the Robbins House are the town's old telephone exchange switchboard, a secretary-desk once used by the selectmen at the Town Office and many artifacts and paper memorabilia relating to the history of the town: its industry, businesses, citizens and civic life. The displays are changed periodically. We welcome additional donations of items from Union.

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contact: Nick Santorineos

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