Every house tells a story; this city one has several
November 17. 2017 10:20AM
This 5,600-square-foot home at 1112 Union St. in Manchester was built on property once owned by Gov. Charles Floyd, who served as the state's chief executive from 1907 to 1909.
Former owner Lisa Muskat is seen in the formal garden behind the house.
— The sprawling 5,600-square-foot home in the North End features stenciled floors, a gourmet kitchen and enough space to sleep multiple generations.
And oh, yes, a governor once owned the corner-lot property.
The ranch house at 1112 Union St. is deceiving, packing a much bigger punch than its view from the street would suggest.
“It’s a huge house,” said Brenda Topol, who owns the house with her husband, Bruce, a retired plastic surgeon. “It just goes on and on.”
On the market for $850,000, the house, clad partly in local granite, offers four bedrooms, 4.5 bathrooms, formal living and dining rooms, a butler’s pantry and game room.
Topol researched the property’s history, reviewing blueprints and sewer permits.
Gov. Charles Floyd, who served as the state’s chief executive from 1907 to 1909, bought the property in 1913 and had a mansion built.
The formal living room is a focal point of this home.
Floyd, a clothier, died in 1923. His mansion burned down around 1950.
“I understand the governor once owned half of this block,” Topol said, including a carriage house next door that still stands.
The current house was built in 1954 by Alex Shapiro, the man who founded Granite State Packing Co., which later became Jac Pac Foods, a meat processing plant that once employed more than 500 people in Manchester.
Shapiro’s grandson, Irwin Muskat, who later served as Jac Pac CEO and managing owner, said he never lived there but recalls as a teenager in the mid-1950s seeing a man with a pile of granite stones working in the driveway.
“He’d go and get one granite stone, and he’d sit there and have it in his lap and chisel the granite,” Muscat said. “He chiseled every stone to make sure it fit in.”
Muskat also recalled another New Hampshire politician, former U.S. Rep. Bill Zeliff, who lived in the house for at least a year and that another politician might have used it as a campaign office.
Shapiro’s great-grandson, Dan Muskat, lived in the house with his wife, Lisa from 1994 to 2000 after the house remained vacant for years.
Former owner Lisa Muskat, center, takes a look at blueprints with current homeowners Bruce and Brenda Topol.
“I just forgot how much we loved this house,” Lisa Muskat said during a recent visit. “It’s a great entertaining house.”
She said she and her husband considered buying it back but decided to stay in their 18th-century home in Bedford.
Both the Muskats and the Topols each spent more than $100,000 to make upgrades to the house.
The Topols are downsizing since their two children have graduated.
“It’s a lot of house for two people,” she said.
The listing agent on the house is Gail Athas, a Realtor at Keller Williams Metropolitan in Bedford. She is holding an open house from 10:30 to noon Saturday and can be reached at 440-3636.