In the first half of the nineteenth century, Ashford Green was the active center of the Town of Ashford. Today, only one building survives from that time: the Ashford Academy, built in 1825. The first floor served as one of the town’s district schoolhouses (the Fifth School District). This schoolhouse was already being planned when a group of local citizens raised money by private subscription to add a second floor for use as a private academy for more advanced students. Academy sessions were held until 1875, after which the building served exclusively as a public school until 1949. Today the Ashford Historical Society uses the building for educational activities and to display some of their artifacts.
The Willington Baptist Church was organized on December 18, 1828 and the Baptist Meeting House was completed the following year. Albert Sharp, a local carpenter, was the builder. Members of an earlier Baptist church, established in the north part of town, joined the congregation of the new church. A conference room and Sunday school room were added to the building in 1842. Willington’s Baptist and Congregational Churches merged in 1911 to form the Federated Church of Willington. The federated congregation built the Clara Hall Elliott Memorial Church that same year and sold the old Congregational church building to the town in 1924. The Federated Church holds services in two buildings, from late September to Easter Sunday in the Hall Memorial Church and in the summer at the former Baptist Meeting House, now called the Hill Church.
The house at 1 Church Street in Roxbury was built in 1784 by Gen. Ephraim Hinman (1753-1829), a Revolutionary War veteran, merchant and prominent leader in the Connecticut Militia. Gen. Hinman also served in the state legislature and spearheaded the incorporation of the Town of Roxbury in 1796. He was born in Southbury and, as described in William Cothren’s History of Ancient Woodbury (1854):
Gen. Hinman removed to Roxbury about the year 1784, and built a house in the center of the village, which for a country residence at that period, was regarded as belonging to the first class. For about thirty years he was engaged in mercantile pursuits. During this time he became an extensive landholder, having in his possession at one time, about one thousand acres. He was not a practical farmer. but his love of real estate induced him to retain it, until the interest he paid, connected with losses he sustained, greatly embarrassed him in his declining years, and thus operated disastrously on the pecuniary interests of his son, who became involved in attempting to relieve his father.
The house at 99 Main Street in the Warehouse Point section of East Windsor was built c. 1810-1830. According to the 1869 Baker & Tilden atlas of Hartford County, the house at that time belonged to B. Sexton. Bezaleel Sexton (1811-1891) was president of the East Windsor Woolen Company. In 1860 he had a patent for “Improvement in Machinery for Drying Cloth.” In 1836 he married Elizabeth Phelps. Their son, Thomas Bezaleel Sexton, Trinity College Class of 1860, later owned a ranch in Sonora, Mexico.
Built in 1800, the Federal-style cape house at 111 Moodus Road in Middle Haddam was constructed (literally) by a shipbuilder, Abel Shepard, and his son, Abel Shepard, Jr. In 1804, father Abel sold it to son Abel, who moved to Cleveland, Ohio five years later. A later owner of the house was Patrick Daly, an Irish immigrant, who much altered the house in 1870, reinforcing the foundation with concrete, changing the roofline and adding the two dormer windows on the front facade.
Christ Church, an Episcopal church at 470 Quaker Farms Road in Oxford, was built in 1812 and was consecrated on September 3, 1817. It was designed by George Boult of Southford. Begun as a mission of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Oxford center, Christ Church became a separate parish in 1826. The church has a crystal chandelier that it received in 1881 as a gift from Trinity Church, Seymour, which itself had received it as a gift from St. Ann’s Church in Brooklyn, New York, where it originally hung. The steeple of Christ Church was rebuilt in 1968.
When the house at 86 Green Hill Road, across from the Green in Washington, was built in 1795 it was a story and a half with a rear lean-to and was known as Squire Marshall’s. Daniel Canfield bought the house in 1798 and raised it to two full stories. Not wishing to pay the $200 required to raise the first floor’s seven feet six inch ceilings, he made the second floor ceilings ten feet high instead. The house remained the residence of the Canfield family until the death of Daniel N. Canfield. Daniel and his brother Lewis were carpenters, farmers and abolitionists. Daniel N. Canfield was town clerk and treasurer and started the Washington public library association. In the 1890s his daughter Florence Canfield Kinney inherited the house, which was rented out for many years. In 1899 one of the small rooms was given to the D.A.R. to use as a historical room. Rev. Herbert B. Turner bought the house to use as a summer home around 1920 and hired architect Ehrick K. Rossiter to redesign the interior, replacing its many smaller rooms with larger spaces.