The founding members of First Congregational Church and Ecclesiastical Society of Woodbury journeyed from Statford to Woodbury in 1673. Their first meeting house was a simple structure built in 1681. A second replacement meeting house was built on the same site in 1747 followed by the third and current building, erected in 1817-1818. The new building was dedicated on January 13th, 1819.
Guilford farmers began clearing land in the north part of town in 1705. As related in A History of the Plantation of Menunkatuck and of the Original Town of Guilford, Connecticut, Comprising the Present Towns of Guilford and Madison (1897) by Bernard Christian Steiner:
on December 6, 1716, the town voted to grant the petition of the “North Farmers in Guilford,” that they may have “the liberty to hire a minister for 4 months for their ease in attending the worship of God, the Town being at no charge in contributing to the same.”
In 1720 the town
granted 50 acres on Hooker’s Hill “to be disposed for the ministry forever,” and permitted the meetinghouse to be set” on the hill called the ledge, in the highway against Sam’l Bishop’s lot.”
The first meeting house on Mettinghouse Hill was built in 1723 and a separate religious society was granted by the General Assembly in 1725. The current North Guilford Congregational Church building was erected in 1812-1814. Workmen erecting the steeple during the War of 1812 observed British ships on Long Island Sound during the Battle of Stonington. Abraham Coan of Guilford was the architect/builder of the Federal-style church, which stands in a dramatic location on Meetinghouse Hill. The interior was remodeled and the Chancel was added in 1855, possibly to a design by Henry Austin. A rear addition to the church was constructed in 1957.
The house at 238 Tolland Turnpike in Willington was built c. 1820 for Hiram Rider, who served as a judge, county sheriff, Town Selectman, State Representative and State Treasurer. The house passed to his son and grandson. A later occupant was Jennie Church, who wrote for various Connecticut newspapers, including a series of “Pen Pictures” of Willington for the Stafford Press in the 1930s.
Captain Nathaniel Root, Sr. (1757-1840), a farmer, was one of the original seven proprietors who in 1813 agreed to erect a glass factory in Coventry, along the Boston Post Road. The Coventry glassworks would be in operation until 1849. Root built the Federal-style house at 1046 Boston Turnpike in 1809.
The house at 564 Harbor Road in Southport was built in 1823 for Capt. Charles Perry (1795-1870), a shipowner and sea captain. His widow, Sarah Fitch Chidsey, lived in the house until her death in 1882. Their daughter Maria Perry then lived in the house until her death in 1901. A Federal-style residence, the house underwent alterations in 1889 when a rear ell was added, a two-story bay window was installed on the south side and an enclosed porch was added just above the front entrance. From c. 1915 until 1925 the house was used as the parsonage of the Southport Congregational Church.
In 1926 the house was acquired by Egbert C. Hadley, who soon hired the architectural firm of Clark and Arms to remodel the house. Under the direction of architect Cameron Clark the bay window and porch were removed and the interior of the house was altered: the original kitchen became the living room, a new kitchen was built into part of the original dining room, bathrooms were added to the second floor and two bedrooms and a bath were finished in the attic. Cameron Clark went on to become a renowned Colonial Revival architect and his partner John Taylor Arms became a leading American etcher. Very few examples survive of their early architectural partnership. Read the rest of this entry »
The J. Hebbard House in Windham Center is notable for its Late Georgian/Federal front door with fan light. Located at 11 Windham Green Road, the house was built c. 1783. It is also known as the Dr. Guild House. This is most likely Dr. Frank E. Guild, who is described in A Modern History of Windham County, Connecticut, Vol. II (1920):
Dr. Frank E. Guild was born in Thompson, August 14, 1853, son of Rev. John Burleigh Guild and Julia Ann Griggs. His father was a Baptist clergyman who preached at Clinton, Packerville and Thompson, in Connecticut. His son was graduated at State Normal School at New Britain in 1874, and from Long Island College Hospital in 1885, teaching school in the interim as a means to a professional education. Doctor Guild began medical practice in Windham, Conn., in October, 1886, and has continued there since, with oflices also at Willimantic. Has been president of Windham County Medical Society, vice president of the state society; member of town school board of Windham thirty years and chairman of the board for the past fifteen years. He was married April 28, 1887, to Harriet Clark, daughter of Edgar Clark of Putnam, who was a civil engineer and employed in surveying the Boston, Hartford and Erie Railroad. Doctor and Mrs. Guild are, respectively, S. A. R. and D. A. R. members, and Mrs. Gui1d’s grandmother was a real daughter. They have three children, Alan Clark, Harriet Griggs, and Julia Exton Guild.
The main block of the Loomis-Pomeroy House, located at 1747 Boston Turnpike in North Coventry, is a transitional Federal-Greek Revival house. It was probably built c. 1833 by Eleazer Pomeroy (1776-1867), who had been operating a tavern in the vicinity since 1801. He deeded the house to his son George in 1843 and the Pomeroy family continued to own the house and farm until 1873. After passing through various owners, the property was acquired by James Otis Freeman in 1881. It was then owned by Freeman’s daughter Louise and her husband S. Noble Loomis and remained in the Loomis family until 1987. The Loomis farm, called Meadowbrook, extended to 100 acres, but was subdivided after 1968. Louise Loomis was librarian at the Porter Memorial Library across the street. In 1987, June Loomis bequeathed the house to the library association. It was eventually owned by the Town of Coventry, which leased to Coventry Preservation Advocacy for restoration and later sold it to support the Booth & Dimock Memorial Library.