Bowden Hall, part of the campus of Cheshire Academy, is the oldest schoolhouse still in continuous use in the state of Connecticut. Located at the corner of Academy Road and Highland Avenue in Cheshire, it was erected in 1796 for the Episcopal Academy, which would become the Cheshire School in 1903, the Roxbury School in 1917 and finally Cheshire Academy in 1937. As described in Edwin R. Brown’s Old Historic Homes of Cheshire (1895):
The original academy was erected in the year 1796. This included only the square building north of Bronson Hall; the corner-stone was laid with Masonic honors, April 28, 1796. An address was delivered on this occasion by Rev. Reuben Ives, through whose influence, more than of any other one man, the academy was established [in 1794] at Cheshire. He was followed by Rev. Dr. Bronson [the Academy’s first principal], who delivered an able and appropriate address. This is the oldest institution of its kind in this country, being for many years the most celebrated seat of learning in the State, under the control of the Episcopal Church, and, until the formation of Trinity College, was both college and seminary for this and other dioceses. For several years this institution was open for the instruction of young ladies, and several in this town, and some from other towns, took advantage of this excellent and unusual opportunity for those days.
Until 1865, Bowden Hall was the school‘s only building. Many have been constructed since. In 1867, Bronson Hall was built just north of Bowden Hall and attached to the older building by a passageway. Read the rest of this entry »
The earliest residents of the hip-roofed brick Federal-style house at 2 Washington Avenue – 1 St. John Street in North Haven are not known. Much altered over the years, the house was built c. 1825 on the site where the c. 1680 homestead of Nathaniel Thorpe once stood. In the later nineteenth century the house was the residence of Rev. William T. Reynolds, who was pastor of the North Haven Congregational Church from 1863 to 1893. The house is now an office property.
Part of the house at 130 South Main Street in Suffield was built by Daniel Norton (1751-1814), c. 1812-1814. After his death, the residence was later completed by his son, D. W. Norton. Daniel Washington Norton (1801-1874) was a prominent businessman and a town office holder. In 1870 he headed the committee that planned the celebrations for the Bicentennial of Suffield
The Federal style-house at 62 Main Street in North Stonington was built c. 1802 by Colonel Nathan Wheeler (1772-1829). It was next owned by Nathan’s son, Giles Wheeler (1801-1866), who most likely was the builder of the store that is adjacent to the house. The house is named for later owner Levi Robinson, who owned a trip hammer works where iron was forged.
As described in yesterday’s post, St Philip the Apostle Church in Ashford is a Catholic parish established in 1921. Rev. John Joseph Nilan of Hartford sent Father William J. Dunn to a 135-acre farm he had acquired, land where the church would eventually be built in the 1930s. Until then, Father Dunn resided in an old farmhouse, 48 Pompey Hollow Road, in which he partitioned off a section to serve as a chapel. He had to endure local prejudice against Catholics, but eventually succeeded, with the help of the local Catholic community, in erecting the church. I don’t know who built the Federal-style farmhouse, but it appears to have been erected in 1815. Today the house is home to Antiques at Pompey Hollow.
The house at 107 State Street in Guilford was built in 1787 in the Federal style and has a later Greek Revival entryway. The house was built by two brothers, Samuel and Thomas Scranton, who were both farmers. It would become home to the brothers, their wives and their combined total of nine surviving children. It was inherited by Thomas Scranton, Jr.