Ransel Agard House (1883)

February 27th, 2017 Posted in Folk Victorian, Houses, Tolland | No Comments »

The house at 76 Tolland Green in Tolland, built in 1883, rests on eleven hand-cut granite blocks. Built for Ransel Agard (1815-1889), it was home to five generations of the Agard family. Ransel taught school for a number of years and then, according to the Commemorative Biographical Record of Tolland and Windham Counties (1903),

In 1844, in partnership with a party by the name of Woodruff, Mr. Agard opened up a grocery business on Asylum street, in Hartford. Several years later the firm name was changed to Sumner & Agard, his brother-in-law, William Sumner, having become his partner. The business prospered and a few years after, Mr. Agard became the sole proprietor. Then he rented his business property in Hartford and bought a store in Vernon, Conn.; in 1866 he removed a stock of goods from Hartford, and until 1871 conducted the largest general store in Vernon. At that time he sold the business and settled in Tolland, retiring from activity and spending his last days in comfort and enjoyment in his pleasant home, dying here on Jan. 27, 1889. Mr. Agard was a stanch Republican, having borne testimony all his life in favor of the abolition of slavery. No inducement could be offered to cause him to accept political office, although he supported the standard bearers of his party with characteristic vigor.

His son, William Augustus Agard, worked a number of years in the mid-west until returning to Connecticut in 1887. According to the source quoted above:

In 1889 he was elected to the position of manager of the Underwood Manufacturing Co., of Tolland, Conn., the business being the manufacture of belts and belting. This company is now known to the commercial and industrial world as the William Sumner Belting Co., of which Mr. Agard has been the president since its formation, in 1898.

On Sept. 15, 1874., Mr. Agard was married to Miss Catherine Bissell, a daughter of Sanford Bissell, of South Windsor. [. . . .] Mr. Agard is one of the leading men of Tolland, and is President of the Savings Bank of Tolland, being elected to that position in 1902, and he is financially interested in many lines. For many years he has been a leader in the Congregational Church and since 1896. has been one of its deacons, and is also a member of the Society’s committee of this church. In politics he has been a life-long Republican, but has declined political honors for many years, serving now only on the school board.

William A. Agard served in the state legislature, as did his brother, Edwin S. Agard,.

Grace Seventh Day Adventist Church (1915)

February 26th, 2017 Posted in Churches, Colonial Revival, Hartford, Houses, Mission/Spanish Colonial | No Comments »

The building at 870 Prospect Avenue in Hartford was built in 1915 as a single-family home to designs by architect Charles O. Whitmore. For many years the house was home to Grace Hall Wilson, widow of John C. Wilson, president of Colt Firearms. Today it is Grace Seventh Day Adventist Church.

Daniel Griswold House (1839)

February 25th, 2017 Posted in Greek Revival, Houses, Manchester | No Comments »

The Greek Revival-style house at 270 West Center Street in Manchester is thought to have been built in 1839 by Daniel Griswold, who had many land transactions in the area.

George J. Capewell House (1870)

February 24th, 2017 Posted in Apartment Buildings, Hartford, Houses, Italianate | No Comments »

George J. Capewell (1843-1919) invented an automatic process to make horse nails. In 1881 he started the Capewell Horse Nail Company in Hartford. His residence in the city was an Italianate-style house at 903 Asylum Avenue, built in 1870. The house, long owned by the Holcombe family, was later converted to apartments.

J. Boardman Smith House (1840)

February 23rd, 2017 Posted in Greek Revival, Houses, New Haven | No Comments »

The ell of the house at 30 State Street in North Haven was built in the eighteenth century. This original home became a side-wing when the larger Greek Revival section was built in the 1840s. It was the residence of J. Boardman Smith and is thought to have once been the home of Oscar Benson, chauffeur of Frank L. Stiles.

Winthrop House (1848)

February 22nd, 2017 Posted in Hotels, Italianate, Norwalk | No Comments »

The building that is called Winthrop House, at 166 Rowayton Avenue in Rowayton, Norwalk, was built in 1848 by Charles L. Raymond as a a four-story summer hotel. It has had many names, being called the Fairview Hotel by the turn of the century. It was a private home around the time of World War I, but then became a hotel again under various names over the years: Colonial Inn (1926), Pleasant Inn (1930) and Rowayton Inn (1935). During the Second World War it was purchased by the Bassler brothers. At the start of the twenty-first century there were plans to demolish the building, but in 2005 the Norwalk Preservation Trust worked with developer Andrew Glazer, the Rowayton Historical Society, the Rowayton Community Association and the Norwalk Planning and Zoning Office to restore the exterior to its nineteenth-century appearance. The interior was converted into three luxury condominiums.

Seeley-Dibble-Pinkney House (1820)

February 21st, 2017 Posted in Houses, Norwalk, Vernacular | No Comments »

The home of the Rowayton Historical Society is the Seeley-Dibble-Pinkney House, located at 177 Rowayton Avenue in Norwalk. The house was built c. 1790-1820 and has been altered over the years. Part of the basement floor is paved with left over shipping ballast. Alfred Seeley purchased the house in 1820. He was a successful farmer and store-owner. He also built the first packet that traveled between Rowayton to New York. Seeley’s youngest daughter, Hannah Minerva, married Alphonso Dibble, who took title to the house and store in 1890. In turn their youngest daughter, Gertrude Hannah, who was married to William Pinkney, next occupied the house. The house was sold by Dorothy Cowles Pinkney, poet and widow of William Pinkney Jr., to the Sixth Taxing District of Norwalk (Rowayton) in 1971