Wyllys Russell House (1820)

July 25th, 2014 Posted in Branford, Greek Revival, Houses | No Comments »

Wyllys Russell House

Wyllys Russell (1791-1877) and his wife Laura Baldwin Russell (married 1811) built the house at 162 West Main Street in the Canoe Brook section of Branford in 1820. A late example of a center-chimney house, the width of its overhang indicates that the original roof was later replaced. The house was erected on land that the couple had received from Laura Russell’s mother, Martha Harrison Baldwin, in 1816. Wyllys Russell had a fishing business at the nearby harbor. Jay Edward Russell, Wyllys’ nephew, later owned the Russell House. He had a coal and lumber business and served as town clerk (1861-1866) and Judge of Probate (1862-1869) in Branford. In the 1870s, he departed for California, where he died in 1909. According to the Obituary Record of Graduates of Yale University (1910):

In 1883 he patented the Hydraulic Giant, and since January 1, 1900, had been engaged at East Auburn, Cal., upon the project of providing from the American River a supply of mountain water and electricity for the cities of San Francisco, Berkeley, and Alameda. He was sole owner of the plant and machinery, with a thousand acres of land.

Frederick S. Jordon bought the Russell House in 1875, and his daughter, Caroline, occupied it until her death in 1989 at the age of 102. In 2003, the house was endangered by a plan to build condominium units on the site, but after a hearing before the Connecticut Historic Preservation Council in Hartford, the developer agreed to modify his plans to keep the Russell House standing in its original location. The house has since been renovated for office use. The property also has a historic barn, built around 1870. Read the rest of this entry »

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Solomon Tyler House (1771)

July 24th, 2014 Posted in Branford, Colonial, Houses | No Comments »

Solomon Tyler House

The house at 260-268 East Main Street in Branford was built circa 1771 by Solomon Tyler. This may be the Solomon Tyler of Branford who was born in 1745 and died in 1819. He married Dorcas Fiske of Haddam in 1772.

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Union School, West Haven (1890)

July 23rd, 2014 Posted in Queen Anne, Romanesque Revival, Schools, Victorian Eclectic, West Haven | No Comments »

Union School

West Haven’s Union School is a former school building at 174 Center Street. Built in 1889 to 1890, when West Haven was part of the town of Orange, it served as a grammar school and for thirty-five years as a high school. It replaced a series of earlier wooden school buildings. Union School is a brick structure with terra cotta and East Haven red-sandstone trim. It was designed by Leoni W. Robinson, a leading architect in New Haven. An addition to the building, identical in plan and detail, was built to the rear in 1914. The former school is now used for senior housing.

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Walter C. Clark Cottage (1884)

July 22nd, 2014 Posted in Houses, Old Saybrook, Shingle Style | No Comments »

Walter C. Clark Cottage

Walter C. Clark, who became president of the Aetna Fire Insurance Company in 1892, built a summer cottage in Fenwick in 1884 on a lot he purchased from Francis Goodwin, who was on his board of directors. After Clark’s death in 1919, the cottage was acquired by Houghton Bulkeley (1896-1966), son of governor Morgan G. Bulkeley. Houghton Bulkeley, who named the cottage Seagrove, was an authority on Connecticut Antiques. After his death, the cottage was owned by the McDowell family. You can read more about the cottage in Marion Hepburn Grant’s The Fenwick Story (Connecticut Historical Society, 1974), pages 150-153.

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Deacon John Shailer House (1840)

July 21st, 2014 Posted in Greek Revival, Haddam, Houses | No Comments »

1212 Saybrook Rd., Haddam

The house at 1212 Saybrook Road in Haddam was built around 1840 by John Shailer (1791-1887) on land he had inherited from his father, Lt. Thomas Shailer (1742-1813). A deacon in the Baptist Church, John Shailer was a farmer and school teacher. In 1856 Shailer and his wife Elizabeth Ventres Shailer, with their married daughter Amelia and her husband John Clark, moved to Somonauk, Illinois. The house was sold to Ezekiel Shailer (1810-1867), a tobacco farmer who was also a merchant in New York City. After his death the house was next home to Sorilla, widow of Bazaleel Shailer, until 1903.

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Holy Cross Polish National Catholic Church (1935)

July 20th, 2014 Posted in Churches, Colonial Revival, Enfield | No Comments »

Holy Cross PNC Church

The Polish National Catholic Church was established in 1897 by Polish-Americans who were Roman Catholics but were unhappy with the Catholic Church hierarchy of the time. The PNC Church today seeks full communion with the Holy See, although it has important theological differences. Holy Cross Parish, part of the Eastern Diocese of the Polish National Catholic Church, was organized and built a church at 723 Enfield Street in Enfield in 1935.

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Daniel Payne House (1830)

July 19th, 2014 Posted in Houses, Vernacular, Windsor | No Comments »

Daniel Payne House

Built around 1830, the house at 27 Park Avenue in Windsor is one of many examples in the town of early nineteenth-century brick construction. The earliest known owner of the house was Clarissa Loomis, who sold it to Daniel Payne, a farmer, in 1855.

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