Agricultural Insurance Building

The Agricultural Insurance Company was founded in 1853 and was once a major employer in Watertown. The company opened its first offices in Washington Hall. Growth forced the company to move in the 1870's and relocated its offices to the Marble Block. In the 1880's, the company built its own office building on Washington Street. The company built the current neoclassic building in 1923. Today, the building is home to the Smith Barney Investment firm, Scherzman & Wise Attorneys and several smaller companies.


Roman numerals engraved over the main entrance doors read 1853 - 1923 (MDCCCLIII - MCMXXIII), the latter apparently the year the building was occupied. There is a photo frame with original construction photos in the main lobby, most of the heavy work still being done by horse teams. The photo below–probably from the mid-1950s–is from that collection.


A fascinating finding–almost a century after construction–are two huge rolling wooden doors tucked behind the stone work on each side of the main entrance doors. The black-painted doors with metal–probably brass–highlights still operate smoothly–although it wouldn't be recommended without considerable help on hand in case one slipped off the tracks in the floor. The weight would presumably be close to 1,000 pounds for each door! Note the original doorbell button still in place near the left door.

The ornate rolling doors on the Agricultural Insurance Building

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  • Last modified: 2018/12/06 17:16
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