The house at 212 Center Street in Southport was built by Francis Jelliff, a carpenter and builder. Much altered in later years, the house has since been restored to its original Greek Revival style. He also constructed another house in the 1870s for his son Charles E Jelliff, which was moved in the 1950s to 154 Taintor Drive to make way for the construction of I-95. Francis Jelliff is described in the Commemorative Biographical Record of Fairfield County, Connecticut (1899). He was
born December 8, 1816, at Westport, Conn., a son of David and Polly (Pike) Jelliff, the latter of whom was born in Southport, Conn. They had their home in Westport, where they reared their family of three children: Francis, Eliphalet and Mary. Of these, Eliphalet died young, and Mary married Sellick Sherman. Francis learned the trade of carpenter when a boy, serving a long apprenticeship, as was customary in those days, and followed that business throughout life at Southport, after a period spent in journeyman work in New York and elsewhere, among other jobs putting up cabins on vessels. In all respects he was a superior mechanic. Prior to his marriage he built his home on the corner of Pequot and Center streets, where he spent the balance of his life. In connection with carpentering he did a considerable amount of business in building and contracting, erecting many buildings in Southport and other towns, doing the entire work on the Southport Savings Bank, building the school house in the borough, and was a partner in the construction of both the Episcopal church and Congregational church. Beginning life a poor boy, he, by industry, perseverance, honesty of purpose and economy, became wealthy, at his death leaving a handsome competence.
Adjacent to the Congregational Church in Andover is the Congregational Chapel. According to the nomination for the Andover Center Historic District, it was built c. 1860, but the Town of Andover’s website calls it the Conference House and explains that it was built not long after the neighboring church, which was erected in 1833. The Conference House was constructed with timbers and other materials salvaged from the church’s first meeting house, built c. 1748. A versatile building, it was used for public meetings, elections and the local court until the Town Hall was built in 1893; as the town’s library from 1882 to 1927; as a town schoolhouse from 1888 to 1903; and as a meeting place for The Grange and other local organizations.
On the other side of Starr Street in New London from the row of houses built in 1839 by John Bishop is another Greek Revival house built the same year at 28 Starr Street. Unlike the the Bishop houses, it does not have its gable end to the street, although it similarly displays a later Italianate alteration in its door hood. It was the second house on Starr Street built by Nehemiah Payne.
Starr Street in New London is a narrow street lined with houses built for middle class families during the city’s whaling heyday. Primarily in the Greek Revival style, many of them were built by the same carpenter, John Bishop. Charles Culver had a rope walk on the site which burned in 1834. He then sold the land as a real estate development. The new street was named for the C. Starr and Company Soap and Candle Factory, which was at one end. Most of the houses were constructed in the 1830s and 1840s on narrow building lots. They were erected right on the street line with not much space between them. The early residents included many whose occupations supported the whaling industry. There were grocers, ship carpenters, blacksmiths, teachers, ship captains, a whaling agent, a tavern keeper, a doctor, a plumber and later in the century, a railroad clerk and an engineer. Some were used as boarding houses run by a single woman or a widow. More houses were built on the site of the factory after it closed. Later houses include examples of the Queen Anne style. Many of the original Greek Revival houses were later updated in the Italianate style (note the Italianate hoods over the doors of the houses pictured below).
In the 1970s the houses on Starr Street were slated for demolition, but in 1977 most of them were bought by the Savings Bank of New London, which restored them and sold them to private owners. In 1981 Starr Street became the city’s first historic district and the Starr Street Association was formed to maintain the historic integrity of the properties.
Five of the houses built on Starr Street in 1839 were erected by John Bishop (the row shown in the photo at the top of this post, from left to right: Nos. 25, 23, 19, 17 & 15; the house on the far right, #11, dates to 1836). Read the rest of this entry »
The Ecclesiastical Society for the North section of Stonington first met in 1721. The Society soon built a meeting house at “Meeting House Corner,” at the intersection of Wyassup and Reutemann Roads. The building, which became known as “the old black meeting house” because of the weathered condition of its unpainted wood, was taken down in 1817 and its wood was used to build a new meeting house at what is now 89 Main Street in North Stonington. Earlier, in 1746, the congregation had been divided. Influenced by the preaching of James Davenport of Long Island, a “New Light” preacher, many left the church to join a new Separate Church, called the Strict Congregational Church. They built their own meeting house over a mile west of North Stonington (Milltown) village. By 1817 the two churches had grown closer and both needed a new meeting house. They shared the newly erected building, officially reuniting as one church in 1827. The current meeting house was built in 1848 on the site of the 1817 edifice. In 1886, funds donated by Dudley R. Wheeler provided the church with stained glass windows and cherry wood pews, pulpit and wainscoting. The church was rededicated in April, 1887.
The house at 127 Mansion House Road in Southbury may have been built around 1790 by Simeon Mitchell (d. 1826), whose son would build the nearby Mitchell Mansion House in 1829. Simeon’s daughter Anna sold the house in 1837 and it was then owned by the Curtiss and Monson families. In the 1880s the house was owned by William C. Beecher, who altered it by removing its original central-chimney and replacing it with the present two chimneys. He also added the bay window on the south side. William C. Beecher is described in the History of New Haven County, Vol. II (1892), edited by J. L. Rockey:
William C. Beecher, born in Southbury May 28th, 1828, is a son of Nathaniel and Hannah (Peck) Beecher, and grandson of Nathaniel. [. . .] William C. married Mary E. Strong, of Woodbury, April 4th, 1855. They have six children [. . .] Mr. Beecher enlisted in 1862, in Company B, 13th Connecticut Regiment, as second lieutenant, helping to recruit this company, he being the only commissioned officer from Southbury. He served under General Butler, participating in the taking of New Orleans, and afterward under General Banks. He was discharged on account of ill health February 5th, 1863, and returned to Southbury. After regaining his health, he was engaged in superintending railroad construction, his first work being on the Hartford, Providence & Fishkill road. Twelve years later he assisted in the completion of the same line under the name of the New York & New England railroad. He also assisted in building the Connecticut Valley, Providence & Springfield and the D. L. & W. railroads.
Alfred and Mary Platt owned the house from 1900 to 1935. Alfred Platt was Woodbury’s first rural delivery mail carrier.
The house at 22 State Street in North Haven, in the Pines Bridge Historic District, is an excellent example of the Greek Revival style, with four Doric columns. It was built in the mid-nineteenth century. The house was the home of Henry Bradley (perhaps this one or this one? Did Miss Ann Bradley live here?)