About the Humphrey Building...

The Humphrey building was built in 1916 by Roger W. Griswold (Born April 27, 1876, Died October16, 1965) at a cost of $350,000 when Roger was 40 years old.  Roger’s father, Roger W. Griswold was elected as the first mayor of Ashtabula in May of 1831 at the age of 34, elected as a representative to the legislature and was associated with the Underground Railroad movement; Roger’s grandfather, Roger W. Griswold was governor of Connecticut. 

Roger W. Griswold was the renowned “Mushroom King” for his mushroom farming that shipped from the east coast to the west, in addition, he was a very

successful businessman in farming other produce. 

Roger had one daughter, Viola and one grandson, Bobby Downes.  Barry Downes is Bobby’s half brother.  Barry worked as a director of Musicradio and went into television as a writer/director for stars such as Bob Hope, Paul Newman, Frank Sinatra and Fred Astaire.  Viola was a radio actress in New York City where she met Radio Producer/Director Edward Downes who directed shows with stars such as Kate Smith and Orson Welles.

The building was purchased July 6, 1966 by Humphrey Insurance Agency from Roger’s estate.  The recreation room in the basement had a pool table which started the rumor of a swimming pool in the basement.  There are 3 bathrooms, 2 half baths and 4 bedrooms.  Hidden stairways enabled the house help to travel to the laundry room in the basement, the kitchen and butler’s pantry on the first floor and their living space on the third floor without entering the Griswold family’s living space. The wood paneling and trim on the first floor is made of English brown oak; the second floor trim is black walnut; and the third floor trim is maple.  The current parking lot was a rose garden with a driveway next to the building.  The chauffer lived over the garage and the garage had an oil pit to permit working on the cars.

Stop by for an insurance quote and to take a tour of the building!