This house at 35 Main Street in North Stonington was built by William Avery (1765-1798) around 1792. In partnership with Nathan Pendleton, Avery opened a tavern in the house. He also built a store, later called Browning & Clark, on the same lot. This building later became the tailor shop of Cornelius Cornell. The house and store were acquired by Stanton Hewitt (d. 1847), who had married William Avery’s daughter, Mary. Hewitt owned a grist mill and shingle mill in North Stonington. In the 1860s, the store was moved to become what is now a wing of the nearby Noah Grant, Jr. House. Stanton Hewitt’s son, Charles Edwin Hewitt, inherited the house and he returned to North Stonington to live there around 1900. He died in 1910 and his daughter, Edna Hewitt Tryon, inherited the house. She left it to her nephew, Fernando Waterman Bentley (d. 1981) in 1946.
The late Federal/Early Greek Revival building at 60 Main Street in North Stonington was built between 1816 and 1828. Originally a residence, it was being used as a post office and store by the 1860s. The post office had previously been located in the nearby Holmes Block. Hillard’s general store occupied the building at 60 Main Street in the early twentieth century. The Town Clerk’s office was located here as well until 1904. The post office continued in this building until 1986. The building was then home to the law office of William H. Hescock, Esq.
Rev. John Wightman (1723-1781) was an itinerant Baptist minister, originally from Groton, who settled in Southington around 1770. According to Heman R. Timlow in Ecclesiastical and Other Sketches of Southington, Conn. (1875):
When Mr. Wightman came to Southington, Mr. Merriman [Southington's first resident Baptist pastor] was already nearly eighty years of age, and to this veteran Christian the presence of such a sympathizing friend and ally must have teen the occasion of great joy. It is my own impression, but I cannot support it by documentary evidence, that Mr. Wightman had occasionally supplied preaching for the Baptist families in the vicinity of Bristol and Red Stone Hill, perhaps a few weeks at a time. When he came to settle permanently, he removed to the neighborhood of Mr. Merriman on what is now the west mountain road. His house was just north of the junction of the road leading from Wolf Hill.
A uniform tradition is that he was in poor health and could endure but little exposure. But the families of his charge were few in number, and there was but little pastoral work to do. During the last year or two of his life he was confined almost wholly to his house. He died of consumption, April 4, 1781. Before his death he had succeeded in having a burying ground laid out, not far from his house, on the Wolf Hill road, and he was the first to be placed therein. The inscription upon his tombstone is as follows:
“Here lies the remains of the Rev. John Wightman, who departed this life April ye 4th A.D. 1781, in the 55th year of his age.
The servant of the lord most high
Sent with the gospel from the Sky
In dreary shades of lonesome night
To spread the grace of heavenly light.”
All the information that 1 can get concerning Mr. Wightman represents him as a devout Christian man, and of amiable traits of character. Like all his family in the eastern part of the state he was on excellent terms with the “standing order.” There is no evidence of any jar between him and Mr. Chapman who was pastor and ex-pastor of the Congregational church, while he was here. And the families of Congregationalists and Baptists were on the best of terms. There is no evidence of the least alienation until after 1780. Backus says “Mr. Wightman was a shining example of uniform piety and benevolence, until death put an end to his useful life which he ended in the most joyful manner at Farmington” (Southington.)
Rev. Wightman’s house, at 1024 Mount Vernon Road in Southington, was built around 1770 (the date he purchased the land). Since the house has Federal-style features outside but not inside, it is possible the exterior details were added later.
The house at 455 Main Street in Middlefield was built in 1805 by Esquire Eli Coe (1758-1835), a prosperous farmer, on the site of his father David Coe‘s former homestead. Eli Coe served as Justice of the Peace and selectman of Middletown. A later owner (1867-1888) was Rev. Spofford D. Jewett. During his ownership the house served as a post office.
In 1796, Daniel Copp (1770-1822) married Sarah (Sally) Allyn and purchased land in Gales Ferry in Ledyard. Soon thereafter he built a house (64 Hurlbutt Road) and ran a merchant shop in a building next door. He sold the property in 1802 and later moved to Florida. He died in St. Augustine during a yellow fever epidemic in January 1822. His Gales Ferry property was bought by Daniel Williams in 1827 and remained in his family for almost a century. It is said that James McNeil Whistler visited the house and admired its large central hearth.
The house at 37 Main Street in North Stonington was built in 1791 by Noah Grant Jr. (1747-1801), a distant relative of Ulysses S. Grant. The rear ell was originally a separate building that was used as a general store by Hosea and Ephraim Wheeler in the late eighteenth century. The house was altered in the first half of the 1860s, when the windows were enlarged and the bay window was added. For a brief time in the early 1960s, the house was owned by the North Stonington Congregational Church and was used as a parish and Sunday school.
Built circa 1800-1810, the Miss H. E. & S. E. Canfield House is located at 524 South Britain Road in Southbury. A Federal-style house, its pedimented entrance porch is a later Greek Revival addition.