The brick commercial building at 2977 Whitney Avenue in Hamden was built in 1877 (or possibly earlier, circa 1853, unless it replaced an earlier building on the site) by James Ives (1815-1889). A prominent manufacturer and developer of local business, Ives operated a factory, built by his father Elam Ives, on the Farmington Canal that produced brass carriage hardware. He later built a new factory on the Mill River. He also engaged in other manufacturing endeavors, including the Mt. Carmel Screw Works. The area around the factory was known as Ivesville and the intersection of Whitney Avenue and Ives Street, where the Ives Building is located, is known as Ives Corner. Ives rented out the building as a general store. There was also a post office, where Ives’ brother Lucius was postmaster, and a meeting hall in the building. After 1913, the building was home for many years to Levine’s Market. In 1934, Sydney Levine devoted a section of the market to the sale of alcoholic beverages, a business which has since grown into today’s Mt. Carmel Wine and Spirits. Read the rest of this entry »
Tonight I’ll be giving a talk about my book Vanished Downtown Hartford at the Enfield Public Library! Stop by at 7:00 PM and buy a signed copy of my book! The house pictured above, at 158 Pearl Street in Thompsonville in Enfield, was built circa 1881. It was the home of Jabez and Elizabeth Davis. Jabez P. Davis was a veterinarian, Enfield First Selectman (1896) and judge of the town court (1907)
Born in Southington, Samuel Frisbie (1838-1897) was the grandson of Ichabod Cullpepper Frisbie of Southington, who had served in the Revolutionary War. As related in an 1898 volume of biographies of Connecticut’s Men of Progress:
[he] received his early education in the public schools, and later attended the Lewis Academy of that place [Southington]. He was brought up, as so many robust representatives of New England who have since won distinction were, as a farmer’s boy. He, however, left the farm at an early age and for three years devoted himself to school-teaching. But with a conscientiousness, as rare as it is invaluable (though in this case unduly exacting, we are sure), he relinquished his position as a teacher from the inner conviction that he was not properly fitted for that vocation; giving up a congenial and remunerative calling for one that was neither the one nor the other. This latter was in the form of mechanical employment and Mr. Frisbie received for his first services thirteen dollars a month, a sum our fastidious youths of today would regard with scorn, but which this more sturdy character accepted with cheerfulness and worked for with energy.
In 1860 he was hired by what would become the Upson Nut Company in Unionville as a bookkeeper. He was named director and treasurer of the company in 1866. He later served five terms in the state General Assembly (1877-1879, 1885 and 1897). On Christmas Day 1863, Frisbie married Minerva Upson Langdon, the widow of Dwight Langdon, who had established the first nut and bolt factory in Unionville. The year of their marriage, she purchased a lot at 101 Main Street, at the corner of Elm Street, in Unionville and by 1869 the couple had built an Italianate house on the property. In 1911, the house was inherited by Minerva Frisbie’s nephews, Samuel, Walter and Henry Graham and it remained in the Graham family until 1935. Today the house is used as a medical office.
The Hiram Middlebrook House is an Italianate Villa-style home at 11 Fair Street in Guilford. Built c. 1849, it was originally a double home–the central windows on the first and second floors are false ones marking where the house was divided. Since the 1960s, the house has been divided into three apartments. Hiram Middlebrook (1808-1887) moved south after the death of his wife, Clara E. Hand (1813-1884). He is buried in Columbus, Georgia.
In a 1821 a two-story wood framed mill building was constructed on the future site of the Springville Mill, 155 West Main Street in Rockville, Vernon. As related in the Commemorative Biographical Record of Tolland and Windham Counties (1903):
A mill-wheel was at once erected, and from the beginning the plant was devoted to the manufacture of satinets. In 1826 it had become the property of Augustus Grant and Warren McKinney, the former (Grant) having a two-thirds, the latter, a one-third interest, the firm style being Grant & McKinney. On Aug. 21, 1826, Warren McKinney bought one-third of his partner’s interest, and on Aug. 3, 1827, the remainder of that interest, becoming sole proprietor. On March 20, 1832. he sold the property to David McKinney and Rufus S. Abbev. On July 4th, following, they sold to Alonzo Bailey, Chauncey Winchell, Christopher Burdick and Isaac L. Sanford.
These partners organized the Springville Manufacturing Company in 1833. Chauncey Winchell served as president of the company for 52 years. In 1886 the company was purchased by George Maxwell and George Sykes, who replaced the old wooden mill with a four-story brick building devoted to the manufacture of fine worsted wool. The new mill, which had large windows, gas and electric lighting and automatic sprinklers, was considered to be a model manufacturing building for its time. The Springville Manufacturing Company later merged with three other mills to form the Hockanum Company Mills Company, which constructed an addition to the Springville Mill offices in 1909. As related in “Centennial of Vernon,” by Harry Conklin Smith, which appeared in The Connecticut Magazine, Vol. XII, No. 2, (1908):
To show the great reputation of the goods produced in the factories of the Hockanum Mills Company, it may be said that they have made suits to be worn at the inauguration by three different presidents of the United States The Springville Company, having made the suit worn by President Harrison, the Hockanum, President McKinley’s, and the Springville Company, President Roosevelt’s.
In 1934, the Hockanum Mills Company’s holdings were sold to M.T. Stevens and Sons of North Andover, Massachusetts. The Springville Mill ceased its manufacturing operations in 1951 and the building has since been converted into apartments.
For Halloween I’m presenting an appropriately Victorian house, the Italianate-style Charles F. Loomis House in Suffield. Located at 257 North Main Street, the house was built in 1862 for a member of the wealthy Loomis family. For more images of the house and a discussion of its architecture, check out this post at the blog The Picturesque Style: Italianate Architecture.
Currently dedicated to office use, the Italianate house at 2534 Main Street in Glastonbury was built circa 1852. It was originally the home of Asa Welles, who may be the same Asa Welles (1821-1869) who was a silversmith.