Reuben Barber House (1775)

February 20th, 2018 Posted in Canton, Colonial, Greek Revival, Houses | No Comments »

The house at 117 Barbourtown Road in Canton was erected in 1775 by Reuben Barber (1751-1825), who served in the Revolutionary War. Barber donated the land for the Canton Center Cemetery, across the road from his house, and was the first person to be buried there. Reuben‘s son, Sadosa Barber, lived in the basement while his house nearby was being built. He quarried the stone to build the stairway outside. In 1820, Lorin Humphrey remodeled and repaired the house for his son, Lorin Harmon Humphrey.

Guilford Institute (1855)

February 19th, 2018 Posted in Guilford, Italianate, Schools | No Comments »

The stone building at 120 North Fair Street in Guilford was used as a school from 1855 until 1936. It was established as the Guilford Institute, as related in The History of Guilford, Connecticut (1877), by Ralph D. Smith:

Mrs. Sarah Griffing, widow of Hon. Nathaniel Griffing, deeded August 21, 1854, to E. Edwin Hall, Henry W. Chittenden, Simeon B. Chittenden, Alvan Talcott, Abraham C. Baldwin, Ralph D. Smith and Sherman Graves (who had been created a body politic under the name and style of The Trustees of the Guilford Institute), a piece of land situated in Guilford, as also the sum of ten thousand dollars, “for the purpose of establishing and maintaining a school in said Guilford of a higher order than the district or common school.” She states, in the deed, “whereas my wish is that the said school should in no sense be regarded as a sectarian institution but be open alike to all who wish to enjoy its advantages, and on the same terms, yet as it must necessarily be under some government and control, and as more harmony will be likely to prevail if all the directors or trustees are of the same religious views, my wish is that they should be of the denomination to which I belong, to wit, of the Congregational order and of that class designated and known at the present day as Orthodox or Trinitarian, of which the pastor of the First church in Guilford shall always be one, should he hold such religious views or belief.” She also expresses the wish that “the Bible should always be used in said school as the foundation of all education for usefulness or happiness.”

To this donation was added another of ten thousand dollars, by Hon. Simeon B. Chittenden, Brooklyn, N. Y., October 12th, 1855.

The corner stone of the building for the accommodation of the institute was laid September 13, 1854, on which occasion an address was delivered by Rev. T. D. P. Stone of the Normal school at Norwich, Conn. The building being completed, the first term of the institute was opened September 3, 1855, with suitable public exercises, and addresses by Rev. E. Edwin Hall, S. B. Chittenden, and others.

In September 1872, by an arrangement with the Union school district of Guilford, its scholars were admitted to the privileges of the institute free. In 1875 the institute failing to receive any interest on certain bonds constituting their investments, the trustees gave permission to the union district to occupy the building for a high school, which arrangement continues to the present time.

In 1886, the Guilford Institute became a taxpayer-funded free public high school. The building continued as the high school until 1936 when a new Guilford High School was built (now used as a middle school since the current high school building opened in 2015). The former Guilford Institute building was then vacant for time, but later was the home of The Shoreline Times newspaper for twenty years. After being left vacant again in 2008, the building was recently converted into condominiums called The Lofts at Griffing Square

Elmwood Community Church (1928)

February 18th, 2018 Posted in Churches, Colonial Revival, West Hartford | No Comments »

In 1873, the South District Sunday School was organized to serve the Elmwood section of West Hartford. Within a few years the organization raised funds to erect a chapel. Built in 1876, the interdenominational Elmwood Chapel was located at the corner of New Britain Avenue and Grove Street/South Quaker Lane. Classes were held there on Sunday afternoons followed by services in the evening. After the First World War, attendance at the Chapel was increasing and there was a need for a new house of worship. In April 1921, a new independent Community Church was organized which merged with the earlier Elmwood Chapel Association. The new church would be Congregational, but members of the old Chapel would maintain their denominational affiliation. Funds were raised and work began on the new church, located at 26 Newington Road, in 1926. The corner stone was laid on May 8, 1927 by a Masonic delegation from the Wyllys Lodge No. 99 of West Hartford. The church opened for services in 1928, but parts of the interior and the steeple were not completed for several years. The sanctuary was renovated and rededicated in 1955 and in 1958 the church undertook an expansion program that included the raising of the steeple.

Goodell-Lincoln General Store (1828)

February 17th, 2018 Posted in Chaplin, Commercial Buildings, Federal Style | No Comments »

The building at 46 Chaplin Street in Chaplin was erected c. 1828 as a general store, most likely by Isaac Goodell, who lived next door at 44 Chaplin Street and in 1835 sold his house to his brother Walter Goodell. The store was later owned by Allen Lincoln (1816-1882). According to Vol. II of A Modern History of Windham County, Connecticut (1920), edited by Allen’s son, Allen B. Lincoln:

The late Allen Lincoln, well known as a merchant in Chaplin and Willimantic during the years about 1850-1882, won an excellent reputation for square dealing, combined with Yankee thrift and shrewdness. In earlier life a farmer, he never really enjoyed it, and varied that life by occasional trips via stage and canal to New York State and Ohio, then the “far west” and there to trade in wools.

As noted in the Commemorative Biographical Record of Tolland and Windham Counties (1903):

In 1853 Mr. Lincoln removed to Chaplin village and opened a country store. About four years from this time he came to Willimantic, and opened a country store in what was then the principal part of the village (the corner of Bridge and Main streets), in the building occupied in after years by tenants. He retained the Chaplin store meanwhile, but finally he sold that out to his brother, Jared W. Lincoln, and cast his lot with the growing village of Willimantic, removing his family there in 1864.

Allen’s brother, Jared W. Lincoln, continued to run the store for about twenty years until he sold it to his son, Edgar S. Lincoln, who later moved to Waterbury. Jared Lincoln was postmaster of Chaplin from 1863 to 1901 and the store served as the community’s post office from 1828 until 1950.

Lincoln House (1844)

February 16th, 2018 Posted in Chaplin, Greek Revival, Houses | No Comments »

The house at 50 Chaplin Street in Chaplin was built c. 1844-1846. For many years it was the home of Jared W. Lincoln, who ran the adjacent general store and was a leading citizen of Chaplin, holding a number of public offices. In 1871, Lincoln moved to another house (35 Chaplin Street) and sold the house at 50 Chaplin Street to his son, Edgar, who would also eventually take over the store from his father.

As described in Vol. I of A Modern History of Windham County, Connecticut (1920), edited by Edgar’s cousin, Allen B. Lincoln:

Edgar S. Lincoln, continued to reside in Chaplin and was honored in manners similar to the father, chosen judge of probate, to the General Assembly and to various local offices. Later, he removed to Waterbury, retiring from active business, but assisting his son-in-law, Attorney Ulysses G. Church, and was also chosen clerk of the Second Congregational Church, where the Rev. C. A. Dinsmore was pastor. He died in Waterbury September 1, 1919, and was buried in Chaplin, the Rev. C. A. Dinsmore ofliciating at the service.

Jared W. Lincoln House (1830)

February 15th, 2018 Posted in Chaplin, Federal Style, Houses | No Comments »

The Federal-style house at 35 Chaplin Street in Chaplin was built c. 1825-1830. Interestingly, there is another almost identical house located at 47 Chaplin Street, on the other side of the Chaplin Congregational Church. In 1871, 35 Chaplin Street became the home of Jared W. Lincoln (1823-1915), a shop owner and notable citizen of Chaplin. He had sold his previous house, at 50 Chaplin Street, to his son Edgar.

As described in Vol. I of A Modern History of Windham County, Connecticut (1920), edited by Jared‘s nephew, Allen B. Lincoln:

A celebration of very unusual character was the wedding anniversary, April 21, 1914, of Mr. and Mrs. Jared W. Lincoln, on completion of seventy years of happy married life. There was a large gathering of relatives and friends at their Chaplin home on that memorable day.

Both were natives of the Town of Windham; be born at North Windham (then New Boston), September 8, 1823, son of Captain Dan and Mehitabel Flint Lincoln; she was born at North Windham, September 28, 1824, as Johanna Spatford, daughter of Darius and Lora Lincoln Spatford. He was therefore in his ninety-first year, and she in her ninetieth, at the time of this seventieth anniversary.

After attending district school, Jared Lincoln farmed it summers and taught school winters, continuing this practice for several years after his marriage. In 1856 he moved to Chaplin and entered the store of his brother, Allen Lincoln, as clerk; but bought the store soon after wihen (sic) the brother removed to Willimantic. About twenty years later he sold the store to his son, Edgar S. Lincoln, and resumed farming.

Meanwhile he was chosen town clerk and treasurer and so continued for over forty years; also clerk and treasurer of the Congregational Church and Society. He represented Chaplin in the Legislature in 1862. He was local postmaster during republican administrations. Mr. Lincoln died May 21, 1915, at the age of ninety-two and his wife died July 25, 1915, at the age of ninety-one.

At the time of the seventieth anniversary, the Hartford Courant said: “Jared W. Lincoln is a fine type of the old-time New Englander, a man of clean life, rugged honesty, and loyal service in family, church and community, of quiet and unassuming activities, yet often sought as a common-sense adviser and valued as a solid, substantial citizen. It is fitting to add that his wife has been a worthy helpmate in all these relations.”

Atwater Cottage (1760)

February 14th, 2018 Posted in Colonial, Commercial Buildings, Houses, Wallingford | No Comments »

Atwater Cottage is a gambrel-roofed house at 302 Christian Street on the campus of Choate Rosemary Hall in Wallingford. It was built in 1760 and was used by Caleb Atwater, a wealthy merchant, as a store. He produced gunpowder in a barn behind the house and in 1775 George Washington purchased gunpowder from the store for his army. The building is now a faculty residence.