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 »
The building at 130 Main Street in Wethersfield was built as a Methodist church and is today a synagogue. The first Methodist sermon in Wethersfield was preached in 1790 by Jesse Lee in the North Brick School House, now the site of Standish Park. Wethersfield was visited by itinerant Methodist preachers until a circuit preacher for Wethersfield, Newington, New Britain, and Kensington was appointed in 1821. Early services were held at Academy Hall until the Methodist Episcopal Church was built at 130 Main Street in 1824. The church was moved 26 feet onto a new stone foundation in 1882. A fire in 1941 destroyed the church’s original Sunday school addition of 1913 and damaged the sanctuary. The church was repaired and a new Sunday school addition, twice as large, was constructed. The church soon outgrew its 1824 building and in 1959 moved to a new church at 150 Prospect Street.
The Jewish Community Group of Wethersfield was formed in 1954. The group purchased the former Methodist Church on Main Street in 1960 and adopted the name Temple Beth Torah. The building was converted to become a synagogue and the new Temple’s Day of Dedication was celebrated on May 28, 1961. Work began in 1964 to give the Temple a new facade. The former church’s steeple was removed and a new entrance in the colonial revival style was added.
The Italianate villa-style house at 8 School Street, at the corner of Hazard Avenue in the Hazardville section of Enfield, was built in 1865 to serve as the home of the superintendent of the Hazard Powder Company. It is the largest house in the neighborhood.
The house at 591 Main Street in Cromwell was built on the site of an earlier house, purchased by Amos and William Savage from the estate of Joseph Ranney in 1756. Samuel Spencer (1744-1818) purchased half of the house and land in 1771 and the other half six years later. He may have incorporated the earlier residence into the new house he built c. 1777. After Spencer‘s death, the house passed to his daughter, who was married to Dr. Titus Morgan. Another daughter, Sarah “Sally” Spencer, married Joseph Morgan, Dr. Morgan‘s cousin, who was the grandfather of J. Pierpont Morgan. In 1873, the house became the first Cromwell residence of Russell Frisbie, who later bought the house on Main Street that is now home to the Cromwell Historical Society. It was probably Frisbie who added the Italianate decorative elents to the facade of the Spencer House, which originally had a gambrel roof.
The Martha J. Newell House is located at 89 High Street in Bristol. Built around 1870, it is an Italianate house that was once the residence of Martha Judd Brewster Newell (d. 1905). Mrs. Newell was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution and the Women’s Board of Missions. She was the wife of Samuel Pomeroy Newell (1823-1888). According to The Brewster Genealogy, Vol. II (1908), compiled and edited by Emma C. Brewster Jones:
Samuel P. Newell was graduated from Yale Law School in 1848, and was a lawyer of extensive practice at Bristol. He served as U.S. internal revenue collector and was judge of Probate Court for the District of Bristol. His son-in-law, John J. Jennings, was his law partner.