At 477 Simsbury Road in Bloomfield is a house built in 1791 by Joseph Burr. Flax grown in Wintonbury (Bloomfield) was used to make linseed oil and Burr had a linseed oil mill on Loeffler Road, which was then called called Burr Road. Read the rest of this entry »
Near the intersection of Rimmon Hill Road and 10 Pines Bridge Road in Beacon Falls is a one-room school house traditionally believed to have been built in 1779, when Beacon Falls was part of Derby. It is more likely that the Rimmon School House was one of six built in 1830, when Beacon Falls was part of the town of Oxford. The school was in use until 1953, when Laurel Ledge Elementary School opened. For 24 years the former school was owned by Raymond Lafferty, who had been in the last class at the Rimmon School before moving to Laurel Ledge in forth grade. His father had purchased it not long after the school closed and used it for storage. Raymond Lafferty had an antiques shop in the building, which he sold in 2010. The new owners wanted to sell the building to the town, but the town could not afford it.
The house at 110 Maple Avenue in Higganum in Haddam is a transitional Greek Revival/Italianate structure. It was built in 1856 by Storrs (sometimes spelled Stores and Storris) Lee Hubbard on land he had acquired the previous year. Born in 1825, Hubbard, a farmer, was the son of Stephen Hubbard and Sarah Johnson Hubbard. In 1846 he married Martha Ely. In 1894, Hubbard left $3,600 to the Middlesex County Orphans’ Home. It was used to pay off the mortgage of a house the Home had bought on Wyllys Avenue in Middletown c. 1890.
From 1851-Stiles Bacon owned the property at 14 Naubuc Avenue in East Hartford. He sold it to John N. Warren, a mariner, who replaced an earlier house on the site with the current one c. 1860. Warren sold it to his son five years later who then sold it two years after his father died in 1877 to Hiram C. Fox. It remained in the Fox family until 1946.
Seth Cowles (1763-1842), together with his four brothers, was a successful merchant in Farmington. When he died in 1842, his daughter Susan Cowles (1815-1894) inherited his homelot on Main Street in Farmington. Susan and her husband, Augustus Ward (1811-1883), originally from Massachusetts, removed the existing house and replaced it with the current residence, at 56 Main Street, around 1842. As related in Farmington, Connecticut, the Village of Beautiful Homes (1906):
Augustus Ward was born December 4, 1811. and died April 6, 1883. son of Comfort and Plumea Ward. He was a merchant in New Britain in its earlier days. Marrying a daughter of Mr. Seth Cowles in 1840, he removed to this village and built a new house on the site of the old Cowles mansion. He was a farmer, but had much to do with the Farmington Savings Bank after its organization in 1851, being one of its most able and efficient directors.
In 1891, Susan Cowles Ward sold the house to Henry R. Hatch of Ohio. Within a few days he sold it to Sarah Porter, headmistress of Miss Porter’s School. The house has been owned by the school ever since and is a dormitory called “Ward.” An addition was built in 1902. Read the rest of this entry »
Pleasant Valley District #5 Schoolhouse, at 711 Ellington Road in South Windsor, was built in 1862 to replace an earlier schoolhouse, built in 1837 on the north side of Ellington Road. Used as an elementary school from 1862 to 1952, it is the only former district schoolhouse in South Windsor that has not been demolished or converted into a residence. Since 1978 it has been operated by the South Windsor Historical Society as a local history museum.
The white-painted brick building at 943 (AKA 947) Worthington Ridge in Berlin was built c. 1862 by Henry N. Galpin as a general merchandise store, replacing a previous store building on the site that had been destroyed in a fire. As related in Catharine Melinda North’s History of Berlin (1916):
From the time as far back as the memory of the oldest living person goes, a prosperous store has been conducted at the stand south of the Freedom Hart place, which for many years has borne the sign of Henry N. Galpin.
Names obtained of those who have been at the head of the business here are as follows: Orrin Beckley, about 1810; Samuel Porter (died 1838, aged eighty-eight); Horace Steele & Dr. David Carpenter; Plumb & Deming, 1835; Benjamin Wilcox; S. C. Wilcox; Galpin & Loveland; Henry N. Galpin; Strickland Bros., and lastly E. E. Honiss. This store formerly carried a line of everything that the community might need, including drugs. Physicians’ prescriptions were compounded here until, by mutual agreement, H. N. Galpin surrendered his drug department to Alfred North, who, in exchange, gave up the sale of his drygoods to Mr. Galpin.
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Mr. Galpin was a public-spirited citizen, ready at all times to respond liberally to every good cause. He was also a man of sterling integrity, as one, who knew him well, said, she would not fear to trust him with the last cent she owned.
As described in New England Families, Genealogical and Memorial, Vol. III (1913):
Hon. Henry Norris Galpin, son of Norris Galpin, was born in the old Galpin home on the lower end of Berlin street, Berlin, December 22, 1820, died December 22, 1892. He attended the common schools and academy in his native town and at an early age began to work for a living, his father dying when he was but a boy. He began an apprenticeship in a harness maker’s shop, but found that he preferred mercantile life and entered the employ of Edward Wilcox as clerk. He continued with Mr. Wilcox and his successor in business, Samuel C. Wilcox, until after 1850 when he purchased the business and continued it successfully to the end of his life. He owned considerable real estate in the vicinity of the store building. In 1861 his building and goods were destroyed by fire, but he erected a new building and resumed business. Though partly paralyzed from the effects of a fall in 1883, he continued to manage his business.
He was one of the leading citizens of the town, a substantial and capable man of business, active and useful in town affairs. Before the civil war he was a Democrat, but he became a Republican in 1860 and continued to support that political party to the end of his life. For many years he was town auditor and in 1863-80-82 represented his town in the general assembly. He was treasurer of school district No. 5 from 1878 until he died, and was also trustee of the Selden school fund. He was one of the organizers of the Wilcox Cemetery Association and was its first president, continuing to fill that office until his death. In 1845 he was first commissioned as postmaster of Berlin and he held the office almost continuously until he died. The post office was in his store.
The Galpin Store, much altered over the years, operated as a store into the 1950s. It is now a private residence.