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.
A landmark of South Norwalk is the Donovan Building at 138 Washington Street, corner of Water Street. Built in 1889, it was the home of Jeremiah Donovan‘s Saloon. A civic leader and politician, Jeremiah Donovan served in the state house from 1903 to 1904 and the state senate from 1905 to 1909, and again from 1911 to 1913. He then served a term in the U.S. Congress from 1913 to 1915, and as mayor of Norwalk from 1917 to 1921. The building has since housed a bar/restaurant under various owners, except for the period of prohibition when it was an A. & P. Today the restaurant has a collection of vintage prizefighter pictures that belonged to “Battling Bat Kunz”, a regional champ who owned the restaurant for several decades. The current owner, Richie Ball restored the restaurant and bar in 1979 to its original Victorian style and renamed it after its original founder, Jeremiah Donovan. On the east side of the building is a mural depicting one of the last working schooners on Long Island Sound, the Alice S. Wentworth. It was painted in 1978 by Brechin Morgan, a local artist. After a billboard company painted over it in 1983, Morgan repainted the mural with some friends. It was touched up in 2007. Read the rest of this entry »
The headquarters of the Westport Historical Society is the Bradley-Wheeler House, located at 25 Avery Place. The house was built by Ebenezer Coley, a merchant, for his son Michael Coley. Financial troubles forced Michael Coley to deed the house back to his father three years later. Ebenezer Coley then sold it in 1799. Ann Hazzard Avery Ripley (1764-1830) occupied the house, where she also had a millinary shop, in the early nineteenth century. From 1846 to 1857 the house was owned by Farmin Patchin, who had financial problems and deed the property to the Saugatuck Bank. The house is named for two of its later nineteenth-century owners: Morris Bradley and Charles B. Wheeler, both local businessmen. It is likely that Morris Bradley was the owner who dramatically altered the style of the house to its current Italianate appearance. Bradley acquired the house in 1865 and it was occupied by him until his death in 1886 and then by his widow until it passed to his daughter, Julia A. Bradley Wheeler. She was married to Charles Beach Wheeler, who ran a store with his brother-in-law Abraham Bradley (died 1886). The house was later home to Charles and Julia’s son, Lewis Wheeler, a doctor who died in 1958. Wheeler’s estate left the property to Charlotte P. Darby. After her death in 1979, the house was left to Christ and Holy Trinity Church, which sold it to the Historical Society in 1981.
In 1860 Dudley Stweart (1820-1886) built the Italianate house at 32 Main Street in North Stonington on the site of the former Stephen Avery house, which had been destroyed by fire. Dudley Wheeler Stewart ran the local general store. He married Eliza Fish Denison in 1856. On August 30, 1906, a celebration was held on the lawn of the house for the arrival of the first trolley car. Read the rest of this entry »
On December 21, 1866, the Middlefield Methodist Church was dedicated in commemoration of the hundredth anniversary of Methodism. The Middlefield Congregational Church, built on the town green in 1842, stood across the road. By the turn of the century, the number of Congregationalists had decreased. In 1921 the Congregational and Methodist churches became federated and the united congregation rotated services between the two churches each month. After almost a decade this practice was deemed too expensive, so services were afterwards held only at the Methodist Church, the older Congregational edifice being considered unsafe. It was eventually torn down in 1942. Additions have been made over the years to the current Federated Church building, which is located at 402 Main Street.
The building at 484-494 Main Street in Middletown, built in 1889-1890 and considered one of the first “modern” stores in town, was once home to the Caulkins & Post Company. The business sold carpets, drapes and furniture and soon expanded to sell automobiles around 1903. This latter business was so successful that the company erected a building for its car dealership across the street in 1905. The company changed its name to F.L. Caulkins and Co. in 1906.
Graniteville, a section of Waterford, originated in the 1830s as a settlement of quarry owners and workers. Replacing an earlier district school that was located further west, the Italianate-style Graniteville School was built circa 1878. It is now home to the Waterford Boy Scout Troop 36.