Born in Westfield, Massachusetts in 1780, by age twenty-one John Mather was a merchant running a store in Hartford. In 1806 he started a glass works in Manchester (then still a part of East Hartford). It was soon destroyed in a fire, but the following year Mather was back in business, producing a variety of glass bottles. A hurricane in 1821 destroyed his glass factory and there is no evidence it was ever rebuilt. The location of the glass works was behind the current brick homes in the area of 109-119 Mather Street in Manchester. Mather’s home in Manchester, where he lived from 1827 to 1844, is located at 97 Mather Street, at the corner of Eastfield Street. Mather was a Mason and the local Lodge met in his house from 1829 to 1844. A painting of the house by Manchester artist Russell Cheney (1881-1945) is in the Masonic Temple on East Center Street in Manchester. A hearth with original paneling, taken from the Mather House, is also now located in the Masonic Temple with an inscription recognizing Mather’s contributions to Masonry.
Christ & Holy Trinity Episcopal Church of Westport was formed in 1944 as a merger of two earlier Episcopal parishes. Christ Church (built 1833), which stood at the northeast corner of the Post Road and Ludlow Street, was consecrated on November 2, 1835. As the town grew new residents arrived who wanted a more progressive parish. In 1863 they built another Episcopal church, the Memorial Church of the Holy Trinity at 75 Church Lane. The new church was built on the site of the Disbrow Tavern, where George Washington stopped on June 28, 1775, on his way to Boston to assume command of the Continental Army. The two congregations merged in 1944, selling the former Christ Church and retaining the larger Holy Trinity Church building.
The house at 26 Hurlbut Road in Gales Ferry, Ledyard, was built in 1844 for George A. Bailey, a whaling captain, who owned it until 1861. After passing through other owners, it was purchased by Elizabeth Frost of New Jersey, whose family used it as a summer home. The Frosts modified the house, adding the current wraparound porch. In later decades, Nelson Parker could often be seen sitting on the porch. He bought the house in 1921 and his family owned it for 52 years. Active in local community affairs, Nelson Parker was known as an unofficial mayor of Ledyard. He had earlier been in business in Norwich, as described in Vol. III of A Modern History of New London County (1922):
Nelson Parker, the seventh child of Richard Samuel and Mary M. (Selsor) Parker, was reared and educated in Brooklyn, New York, receiving his formal training in the public schools. He then learned the paint manufacturing business with his father, and the two worked side by side in carrying on the business, until the elder Parker’s death. At that time Mrs. Parker became president of the company, and Mr. Nelson Parker secretary and treasurer, as well as general manager. This arrangement still continues, and the business is now one of the important industries of Norwich. The original name of Parker, Preston & Company is still retained. Besides being one of the foremost manufacturers of Norwich, Mr. Parker is interested in every phase of public life, and stands for the best in civic development and progress. In political choice he is a Republican. He is a member of Somerset Lodge, No. 34, Free and Accepted Masons, and is a member of the Chamber of Commerce. The family are members of the Central Baptist Church. On September 17, 1911, Nelson Parker married Mary H. Hurlbutt, of Gales Ferry, Connecticut, daughter of Henry W. and Lydia (Perkins) Hurlbutt. Mr. and Mrs. Parker are the parents of one daughter, Margaret H. Parker.
The house at 331 Main Street in Bristol, built c. 1910, is listed as the Curtiss House in the nomination for the Federal Hill Historic District. Around 1918, Charles H. Curtiss, 331 Main Street, was secretary of Local No. 50, Order of Railway Conductors of America. Curtiss had earlier (c. 1910 to c. 1914) lived at 265 Main Street in Bristol. Charles H. Curtiss (1864-1922), a Democrat, served in the state house of representatives from 1919 to 1920.
The building at 9-11 Wall Street in Norwalk was built in 1875 but Col. Frederick St. John Lockwood on the site where the general store of E. Lockwood & Sons operated in the eighteenth century. The building originally had retail stores and a market on the first floor, offices on the second floor and Lockwood Hall, a large hall for public functions and entertainments, on the third floor. The structure was remodeled in the Art Deco style and renamed the Twin City Building in the 1930s. In the 1950s and 1960s the second floor was shared by the Hilltop Athletic Club and Radio Station WNLK. Today the building’s principal tenant is The Fat Cat Pie Co.
Col. Eliphalet Dyer (1721-1807) was one of Connecticut’s notable figures from the period of the Revolutionary War. Born in Windham, he graduated from Yale in 1740 and in 1746 became a lawyer and a Justice of the Peace. Dyer was a founder and leader of the Susquehannah Company, which focused on settling the Wyoming Valley in northeastern Pennsylvania. During the French and Indian War, Dyer was a Lt. Colonel in the militia as part of the expedition to capture Fort Crown Point from the French in 1755 and then, as a Colonel in 1758, he led a regiment in support of Amherst’s and Wolfe’s operations in Canada. Dyer served in the Connecticut legislature from 1742 to 1784 and in the Continental Congress from 1774 to 1783 (except for 1776 and 1779). Appointed to the Council of Safety in 1775, Dyer served until it was disbanded in 1783. Dyer’s daughter Amelia was married to Joseph Trumbull, who also served in the Continental Congress. A justice of Connecticut’s superior court, Eliphalet Dyer was Chief Justice from 1789 until 1793, when he retired to Windham. His home there was a colonial house (17 North Road) built circa 1705-1715.
The Queen Anne house at 128 Milne Street in Bridgeport was built in 1896 for Michael Casey, a teamster at Frank Miller & Company, a coal company which was in business until 1907. The house’s architect was Harrison G. Lamson. Read the rest of this entry »