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.
. . . . . .
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.
The house at 39 State Street in the Pines Bridge area of North Haven was built in 1787 by Joshua Simmons. The house had six owners in its first 32 years. In 1801 Simmons sold the house to Jesse Waters, a free African-American, who in turn sold it in 1803 to Thomas Beach, who next sold it to Aaron Munson in 1807. Joel Ray acquired the house in 1813 and he sold it to Amasa Thorp in 1819. The house once had a ballroom on the second floor. The house is now home to Forget Me Not flower shop.
The house at 820 Worthington Ridge in Berlin was once attached to the neighboring house of hat-maker Joseph Booth, built c. 1800. It was moved to its current address sometime in the 1870s or 1880s. Booth is known to have operated a shop on the property, which later housed businesses that manufactured spectacles, jewelry, harnesses and cigars, but it is uncertain if the house at 820 Worthington Ridge was that shop.
At 12 Church Street in Roxbury is a house built circa 1790 for Judge Nathan Smith (1770-1835). According to Homes of Old Woodbury (1959), p. 250, the front section of the house was built sometime after the original rear section and the columns in front, like those of the Phineas Smith House in Roxbury, came from a church in New Haven that had burned in a fire. Nathan Smith and his brother Nathaniel both attended Tapping Reeve’s Litchfield Law School. Nathan Smith was a lawyer and Whig politician. He served as Prosecuting Attorney for New Haven County from 1817 until his death and as United States Attorney for the district of Connecticut from 1828 to 1829. He was a delegate to the Connecticut state constitutional convention in 1818 and an unsuccessful candidate for governor of Connecticut in 1825, losing to Oliver Wolcott. Smith served as a US Senator from 1833 to 1835, dying while in office in Washington, D.C., where President Andrew Jackson and his Cabinet attended his funeral in the Senate Chamber. There is a nineteenth-century barn on the Smith property in Roxbury, perhaps built by Smith’s nephew, Nathan R. Smith (b. 1811).
The house at 218 Main Street South in Woodbury was built about 1798 or a little earlier by Lee Terrill, who sold it just two years later. In 1816, owner Herman Stoddard sold part of the property to the First Congregational Church to build a new meeting house.
A house that dsisplays an excellent example of Eastlake-style decorative woodwork is located at 29 Old Hamburg Road in the Hamburg Bridge area of Lyme. The house was built c. 1798-1804, but acquired its elaborate trim when Henry B. Sisson bought the property in 1867 for $300. Sisson, one of Lyme’s most prominent citizens, was a merchant and served in the state assembly and as town treasurer for 21 years.
Before being subdivided in the twentieth century, the land around the Woodruff House at 126 Woodruff Road in Farmington was farmland. Major Ozem Woodruff (1773-1849), who built the brick house around 1821, was a farmer who raised various livestock and operated a saw and grist mill. He also had an orchard and made gin, cider and brandy. In 1794 Ozem Woodruff married Martha Scott (1775-1843). Woodruff left Farmington in 1847 to join his oldest son Ozem in Louisiana. His youngest son George continued to run the farm in Farmington, which remained in the family into the twentieth century (c. 1934). The house has a large stone masonry addition dating to the twentieth century.