Thompsonville in Enfield was once home to a substantial carpet manufacturing industry. In 1901, the Hartford Carpet Company of Enfield merged with the E.S Higgens & Company of New York to form the Hartford Carpet Corporation. Expansion followed and in c. 1902-1905 the company built a large mill building for the production of Axminster, a type of tufted-pile carpet. Located at the southern end of the factory complex, the Axminster Building is a four-story structure with a strong structural system to contain the many massive broadlooms required for production of Axminster. The building’s east end was once a common wall shared with the Color House, which has since been demolished. A new Axminster building was constructed in 1923. By that time the Hartford Carpet Corporation had merged with the Bigelow Carpet Company of Clinton, Massachusetts to form the Bigelow-Hartford Carpet Company (1914). Today the former carpet mill complex has been converted into the Bigelow Commons apartments. Read the rest of this entry »
Richard Davis Coan built the house at 15 Fair Street in Guilford around 1841. He married Flora Hitchcock Granniss. Richard Coan is described in New England Families, Genealogical and Memorial, Vol. III (1913):
He spent the greater part of his life in the place of his birth, and being a builder by occupation erected many houses and public buildings there. Later he removed to New Haven, where he was actively engaged in the building business, a member of the lumber and manufacturing firm of Lewis & Beecher Company, who conducted large planing mills, and was one of the leading industries of the city. He was known by the title of major, commanding the Guilford troops on muster day. He was very prominent in the work of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, and later in the Church of the Ascension, and being a musician of note was active in the choirs of both churches. After his removal to New Haven. Mr. Coan built a fine residence on Wooster street, which was at that time the finest residential section of the city.
The house in Guilford was later owned by Beverly Monroe, who ran a store on Boston Street established with his father and brother.
Once part of the property of the Isaac C. Lewis Cottage in Branford is a small clapboard barn with a cupola. Built around the same time as the cottage (c. 1882), the barn is known as the Toolshed. It was originally behind the house, but has since been moved closer to Thimble Islands Road and has been adapted for use as a summer cottage.
The Italianate house at 385 Main Street in Cromwell was built circa 1863 and once had a stuccoed brownstone exterior that was incised to resemble dressed masonry. The house has many high style decorative features. The front veranda dates to the later nineteenth century. The house was built by Elisha Stevens, who founded J. & E. Stevens with his brother John in 1843. The company produced toys and hardware and Elisha Stevens became very wealthy. In 1869 he started a new company with toy designer George W. Brown called Stevens & Brown. The company failed in 1874 and a bankrupt Stevens had to sell the house. In 1875 it was acquired by Osbourn Coe, a Middlefield farmer, who occupied it until his death in 1899. The house is currently part of a large health care facility and is connected to modern additions.
In 1865, Horatio H. Abbe (1829-1902) of East Hampton built the Greek Revival-style north section of the house at 15 Main Street. The following year, Abbe was one of the founders of the Gong Bell Company, which manufactured bell toys and other metal toys. Around 1871, reflecting his growing prosperity, Abbe added the Italianate-style south section of the house, which includes a tower and veranda. As related in an obituary of Abbe that appeared in The Iron Age (Vol. LXX, September 11, 1902), Abbe was born in Enfield.
He was married January 26, 1853, to Miss Laura A. Hayes. After engaging in business with a brother he went to East Hampton July 31, 1862, beginning his business life there as a machinist in the employ of Markham & Strong.
January 1, 1866, he, with E. C. Barton, Ezra G. Cone and A. H. Conklin, formed the partnership of the Gong Bell Mfg. Company for the manufacture of the Abbe Gong Door Bell, of which Mr. Abbe was the inventor. This business relationship continued harmoniously and without a break for 33 years, or until the death of Ezra G. Cone, in 1898, when a joint stock company were incorporated, of which Mr. Abbe became the president and Mr. Conkiin secretary and treasurer.
Mr. Abbe was widely known in Masonic circles, of which he was a thirty-second degree member, he being prominently connected with a number of lodges and commanderies. The funeral services were held at his late residence, the interment being at Enfield, Conn.
Mr. Abbe is mourned by those who were intimately associated with him as an honored citizen and one whose generosity, loyalty and genial ways endeared him to a Iarge circle of friends and acquaintances.
At 2 Knight Street, corner of Wall Street, in Norwalk is a three-story Italianate-style commercial building built around 1840. It has a two-story addition that extends on an angle up Knight Street. The building currently has retail and office space as part of a development called Landmark Square.
This week the site will feature buildings in East Hartford! The cube-shaped Italianate house at 110 Main Street was built in 1875 by Rufus Wadsworth, a carriage-maker. He lost the house through foreclosure in 1884.