Humphrey Insurance Agency provides insurance you can trust and the service you deserve.
The Humphrey Building was built in 1916 by Roger W. Griswold for $350,000. His father was elected as the first mayor of Ashtabula in 1831, elected as a representative to the legislature, and was associated with the Underground Railroad movement; his grandfather 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 Coast, in addition to being a successful businessman in farming other produce.
Roger’s grandson, Bobby Downes, had a half brother (Barry) who 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.
Roger had one daughter, Viola, a radio actress in New York City who met radio producer/director Edward Downes (who directed shows with stars such as Kate Smith and Orson Welles).
History of Our Building
- The Humphrey Building was purchased on 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 house staff to travel around the house 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 chauffeur lived over the garage, which had an oil pit to permit working on the cars.
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