The Stiles Curtis House is located at 3 Park Street across from the Green in Norwalk. It was built in 1832 and updated in 1869 (the Nomination for the Norwalk Green Historic District lists a date of 1853). A merchant, Stiles Curtis (1805-1882) was a Warden of the Borough of Norwalk (1845-1853) and President of the Bank of Norwalk (1875-1892).
At the confluence of Bigelow Brook and the Hockanum River in Buckland, Manchester is a former factory complex known as Hilliard Mills. Aaron Buckland had a woolen mill on the site by 1794 (and perhaps as early as 1780). The mill provided blankets for soldiers in the War of 1812. As related in the first volume of The Textile Industries of the United States (1893), by William R. Bagnall:
We have no information concerning the mill or its business after the war till 1824, in which year, on the 20th of September, Aaron Buckland sold the property to Andrew N. Williams and Simon Tracy, of Lebanon, Conn. Williams & Tracy operated the mill less than four years and sold it, March 13, 1828, to Sidney Pitkin, also of Lebanon. Mr. Pitkin owned the mill, alone, till July 31, 1832, on which date he sold an interest in the property of one fourth to Elisha E. Hilliard, one of his employes. They operated the mill nearly ten years till April 26, 1842, when Mr. Pitkin sold the remaining three fourths to his partner, Mr. Hilliard.
Elisha Edgarton Hilliard sold one-fourth to Ralph E. Spencer in 1849, but he was sole owner again by 1871. The company made blankets and clothing for the Union Army during the Civil War. A small manufacturing village called Hilliardville (see pdf article) once existed near the mill.
After E. E. Hilliard‘s death in 1881 his son, Elisha Clinton Hilliard, ran the company. E. C. Hilliard moved his family to Woodland Street in Hartford in 1890 while his unmarried sisters, Maria Henrietta and Adelaide Clementine, continued to live in Hilliardville. E.C. Hilliard’s daughter, Charlotte Cordelia, married Lucius B. Barbour. They lived at the Barbour House on Washington Street in Hartford and summered at their cottage in Fenwick. E.C. Hillard’s son, Elisha Earnest Hilliard, ran the mill after his father’s death.
The mills closed in 1940 and were afterwards used by other manufacturers, including United Aircraft Corporation during World War II and Bezzini Brothers, furniture manufacturers. The surviving mill buildings are currently being redeveloped for business and commercial uses.
Pictured above is Hilliard Mills Building #2, which was built in 1895 by E. C. Hilliard. The building has irreplaceable long-grain yellow pine beams and birds-eye rock maple flooring. Read the rest of this entry »
Bradley, Hoyt & Co. constructed a textile mill in South Britain, on the east bank of the Pomperaug River (modern address: 24 Hawkins Road) in 1866. Two-story additions were later made to the original four-story mill. In 1901 the building was taken over by the Hawkins Manufacturing Company, makers of animal traps and other metal products. In 1895, the Hawkins Company, makers of tacks and buttons, had merged with the Blake and Lamb Company, animal trap manufacturers. The factory was powered by a nearby dam, part of which was knocked down in the Flood of 1955. The factory operated into the 1960s.
As described yesterday, Ponemah Mills in the village of Taftville in Norwich began with Mill #1, constructed in 1866-1871, which was the largest textile mill in the world under one roof. In 1884 the company moved its weaving operation to a new building, called Mill #2. Smaller than the first building, it did resemble its neighbor by having two main stair towers. These towers have unusual double hipped roofs that meet at right angles with one side being higher than the other. Behind the building there was once a trestle used for the mill’s electric railway. In 1902, weaving was again moved to a new building.
The present style of the front facade of the building at 191 to 195 Main Street in Middletown dates to c. 1891, when the original two-and-one-half story structure with a gable roof was raised to a full three stories. The north section of this commercial building was built in 1835 by Joshua Stow, a former county judge and Middletown post master (also a politician and ardent Jeffersonian Republican) who operated a store. In 1845 the building passed to William Trench, who rented it out to various commercial tenants. From 1882 to 1887 it was rented by the Middletown Police, who used it as the town’s first police station. The matching south section of the building was in place by 1856 (and may have been built at the same time as the north half (1835), with the brick fire wall down the center of the building being shared by the owners of the two separate halves).
Back in 2012, workers restoring the house at 1 Imlay Street in Hartford discovered Victorian-era architectural details that had long been hidden under vinyl siding. Thought to have possibly been built in the twentieth century and purposefully excluded from the Imlay and Laurel Streets Historic District, the house was revealed to have been erected in 1875 by Porter Whiton, a builder who also remodeled the Old State House to serve as Hartford’s City Hall. The home’s first resident was Mrs. Eliza Brazell, a widow who was born in Ireland in 1850. Restored by the Northside Institutions Neighborhood Alliance, the house has been returned to its original appearance and use as a single-family home.
The mill village of Talcotville in Vernon had its origins in the cotton-spinning mill set up by John Warburton in 1802 along the Tankerhoosen River in North Bolton (now Vernon). In 1835 the Warburton Mill came under the sole ownership of Nathaniel O. Kellogg, who established a manufacturing village there called Kelloggville. In 1856 the property was bought by the brothers, Horace Welles Talcott and Charles D. Talcott, who renamed the village Talcottville. The brothers continued to use the original mill buildings until a fire destroyed them in 1869. The mill complex (47 Main Street) was rebuilt the following year. A number of additions have been made over the years to the original two-and-a-half story wood frame and brick masonry building with open belfry. Brick additions were made on the south and west sides around 1880, a frame and brick addition on the north side around 1900 and a steel and brick addition, also on the north end, around 1920. The Talcott family sold the mill c. 1940/1950. Further additions were made by later owners, the last being completed in 1963. Left vacant in recent years, work is now underway to convert the Old Talcott Mill into a mixed-use building with residential apartments and commercial space, an example of adaptive reuse of a historic structure. Read the rest of this entry »