Archive for the ‘Federal Style’ Category

Capt. John Anthony Wolfe House (1809)

Friday, October 6th, 2017 Posted in Federal Style, Groton, Houses, Mystic | No Comments »

At 3 Gravel Street in Mystic is a house, built between 1809 and 1815, that was traditionally called the “Case Bottle House” because it resembled the shape of the cases in which bottles of liquor were once shipped. It is not the only house in the area to have had that title: the same name was applied to the Elijah Williams House in the village of Wolf Neck in Stonington (noted in The Homes of Our Ancestors in Stonington, Conn. (1903), by Grace Denison Wheeler). The house on Gravel Street was built by Capt. John Anthony Wolfe and has been much altered and enlarged over the years. Restored in 1951, it is now a commercial property, home to Grover Insurance.

Ephraim Perkins, Jr. House (1800)

Saturday, September 30th, 2017 Posted in Chaplin, Federal Style, Houses | No Comments »

The Town of Chaplin is named for Deacon Benjamin Chaplin (1719-1795). He was a wealthy landowner who bequeathed the funds to establish an ecclesiastical society and construct a meeting house for his community, which would be incorporated as a town in 1822. Before his death, Chaplin sold a plot of land to his son-in-law, Ephraim Perkins (1745-1813), a veteran of the French and Indian War. Chaplin’s Congregational meeting house would be built on a half-acre of this parcel in 1815. Perkins, who had moved to Becket, Massachusetts, upon his marriage to Mary Chaplin in 1771, later gave the rest of his land in Chaplin to his son, Ephraim Perkins, Jr. (1773-1851). On that land the younger Ephraim built the house that stands at 28 Chaplin Street. According to Part III of The Family of John Perkins of Ipswich, Massachusetts (1889), by George A. Perkins, Ephraim Perkins married Lucy Merrick on January 1, 1800 and “They resided five years in Mansfield, Conn. [Chaplin was then part of Mandfield], removing in 1805, to Trenton, Oneida Co., New York.” In 1840 they moved to Wisconcin. The Perkins House in Chaplin, the oldest on Chaplin Street, has changed hands many times over the years. The property also has an historic horse barn.

Deacon Simeon Francis House (1800)

Friday, September 29th, 2017 Posted in Federal Style, Houses, Wethersfield | No Comments »

At the corner of Nott Street and Wolcott Hill Road in Wethersfield is a house (248 Nott Street) built in 1800 by Deacon Simeon Francis (1770-1823). Five Children of Simeon Francis would eventually move west, making an epic journey. As described in Indiana and Indianans, Vol. III (1919) by Jacob Piatt Dunn:

Five of the Francis brothers and their two sisters, children of Simeon and Mary Ann, decided after the death of their parents to leave their old home in Wethersfield and seek a new home in the west. Charles and Simeon left home sometime previously. The others embarked on the sloop Falcon at Hartford September 17, 1829, their journey being down the Connecticut River and through Long Island Sound to New York, thence up the Hudson River to Albany and across the state by the Erie Canal to Buffalo, where they were joined by their brother Simeon. A sailing vessel took them over Lake Erie to Sandusky, and thence they procured wagons to cross the State of Ohio to Cincinnati. After a journey fraught with much exposure and lack of proper nourishment they reached Cincinnati, and were thence borne by a small steamboat down the Ohio and up the Mississippi to St. Louis, barely escaping with their lives through the wrecking of one of the boats. They were seventy-seven days in making the journey which can now be made with comfort in less than one-third as many hours.

In 1831 Simeon, Josiah and John went to Springfield, Illinois, taking with them a little old printing press which they brought from Connecticut. On November 10, 1831, the first issue of the Sangamon Journal, now the Illinois State Journal, was brought out by these brothers. Simeon and Allen Francis fostered the youthful ambitions of Abraham Lincoln by loaning him a copy of Blackstone and all the other books possible. They also introduced Mr. Lincoln to the leading social and professional figures of Springfield. It was at the home of Allen Francis that Mr. Lincoln met Miss Todd, whom he subsequently married. Mr. Lincoln reciprocated in 1861 by appointing Simeon Francis paymaster of all the troops in the Northwest, with the rank of colonel, and stationed at Vancouver, Washington. In 1870 he was retired on half pay and returned to Portland, where he established the Portland Oregonian, still a power in the newspaper field.

Mentioned in the above is Allen Francis (1815-1887), who was born in the Wethersfield house. As described in Francis; Descendants of Robert Francis of Wethersfield, Conn. (1906), compiled by Charles E. Francis:

He went to St. Louis when a young man and resided there until 1834. He then moved to Springfield, Ill., and in 1846 he became connected with his brothers. Charles and Simeon, in publishing the Sangamon County Journal, at which time they erected the new Journal buildings. He was for many years a member of the city council of Springfield. In 1861 President Lincoln appointed him the first consul to Victoria, Vancouver’s Island. He resigned in 1884. With his sons he was afterwards engaged in the fur trade with the Indians on the Pacific coast. [. . .]

It was through Hon. Allen Francis that Secretary Seward gained the information concerning the varied resources of Alaska which determined him to enter into negotiations with Russia for its purchase. He was a firm and intimate friend of President Lincoln, and it was at his home in Springfield that
Mr. Lincoln met Miss Todd, whom he subsequently married.

Clark Tomlinson House (1820)

Thursday, September 28th, 2017 Posted in Federal Style, Houses, Oxford | No Comments »

Named for Clark Tomlinson, the house at 447 Quaker Farms Road in Oxford was built about 1820. By 1835 it was owned by Asa and Hannah Hawkins and in 1868 was owned by Horace E. Hinman (1819-1902). As related in a biography of his son in the Commemorative Biographical Record of Dutchess County, New York (1897), Horace Hinman

was born in Southbury, Conn., and married a native of that place, Mary Hughes, a lady of Scotch descent. They first settled in Southbury and later in Oxford, Conn., Mr. Hinman following the shoemaker’s trade. He is a Democrat in politics, and he and his wife are both consistent members of the M. E. Church. They had four children[.]

The house was later occupied by tenant farmers, became dilapidated, and was restored in 1971.

Jared Risley House (1860)

Wednesday, September 13th, 2017 Posted in East Hartford, Federal Style, Greek Revival, Houses | No Comments »

Jared Risley purchased the lot at 86-90 Burnside Avenue in East Hartford in 1827. The house that currently stands at that address was either an earlier house that he remodeled or a new house that he built on the site, possibly in the 1860s. Jared Risley (1801-1874) and his son, Seldon (1843-1905) were both carpenters. The house displays features of the Federal and Greek Revival styles.

Levi Ward Tavern (1799)

Thursday, August 31st, 2017 Posted in Federal Style, Haddam, Houses, Taverns & Inns | No Comments »

The house at 389 Saybrook Road in Haddam, across from the road leading to Higganum Landing, was operated as a tavern during the area’s heyday as a river port and shipbuilding center. The house was built between 1799 and 1802, the year the Middlesex Turnpike opened. It was erected by Dr. Levi Ward (1771-1861), who soon left Connecticut, as related in Fifty Puritan Ancestors (1902), by Elizabeth Todd Nash:

Levi Ward, Jr., son of Levi and Mary Meigs Ward, born July 29, 1771, graduated at Yale College, studied medicine under Dr. Jonathan Todd, and took his M.D.; married Mehitable Hand, youngest daughter of Capt. Daniel Hand.

. . . .

In 1807 Levi Ward, Sr., John Ward and Levi Ward, M.D., went to the “Genesee Country” [in New York State] to settle. Bergen was then in the wilderness and Indians, bears, wolves, deer, were the neighbors of the little company from Haddam. Dr. Ward was the only physician in that locality, and he was sent for from distant settlements, entailing long wearisome journeys through the forests.

In 1817, from his new home in Bergen, Dr. Ward sold the tavern in Connecticut to George Smith. It was acquired by Cornelius Brainerd (1811-1884) in 1849. As described in The genealogy of the Brainerd-Brainard family in America, 1649-1908, Vol. II (1908), by Lucy Abigail Brainard:

In his earlier years he was a manufacturer of clocks. He was commissioner on roads and ferries in 1868, and commissioner to the Superior Court about 22 years. He was collector in the Second Congressional District in 1864 and the four years following. He was several years justice of the peace and selectman. He was nominated to the Whig State Convention Dec. 23, 1848. He was a committee to procure recruits in the late Civil War. He was county commissioner in 1855 and ’56. He represented the Nineteenth District in 1867 and ’68 in the Connecticut Senate, and was chairman of the committee on agriculture, on contested elections and on education. He introduced the bill for free schools and through his influence it was passed. He has been called “The father of free schools.” He held many offices in the gift of the people, both local and state wise, and was for a number of years United States deputy collector of internal revenue.

He was a power in politics in the Nineteenth District,clear headed and far seeing, doing good service for the Republican Party. His judgment was good and when followed, success in almost every case resulted. Firm and unyielding as a rock, he was nevertheless a true, tried and trustworthy friend. He never dissembled and never betrayed the trust and confidence placed in him. He was treasurer and director in the Higganum Savings Bank from its establishment, and director in “The Bank of New England,” East Haddam, from 1857 to ’74, inclusive.

Dr. Joel Canfield House (1829)

Thursday, August 10th, 2017 Posted in Federal Style, Guilford, Houses | No Comments »

The house at 78 Church Street in Guilford was built in 1829, just four years after the street was opened. It was erected by Dr. Joel Canfield (1801-1877). According to his obituary by Alvan Talcott, M. D., in the Proceedings of the Connecticut Medical Society, Eighty-Sixth Annual Convention (1877), Dr. Canfield was originally from Chester and studied medicine with Dr. John S. Peters, of Hebron and Dr. Samuel B. Woodward, of Wethersfield. He then studied at Yale in 1823-1824.

He received a license to practice as a physican [sic] and surgeon in March, 1824, and on the 1st day of June following he commenced practice in Guilford, Conn., locating himself, the first year, in the parish of North Guilford. One year afterwards, he removed to the village of Old Guilford, on the same day with the decease of Dr. Joel L. Griffing, of Guilford, a physician of much promise, who died of phthisis at the age of 36. Dr. Canfield succeeded to his business, and had at once a large and lucrative practice. Other practitioners, however, came in after a few years, and divided the business with him.

On January 10, 1827, he married Lucretia M. Bartlett. She died in 1876 and, according to the doctor’s obituary, “he appeared never to have recovered from the shock.” Dr. Canfield was given an honorary medical degree by Yale in 1847. He was also active in the anti-slavery and temperance movements. As his obituary concludes:

On the morning of April 9, 1877, being in usual health, he took the cars for Saybrook, and from thence for Chester, hired some boys to row him across the Connecticut river, and was on his way to visit a brother and a niece in Hadlyme. After walking a few rods in a lonely road, and when out of sight of any human being, he was stricken down by failure of the action of the heart, and died almost immediately. Some five hours afterwards his body was found, his left hand still grasping a stone in the wall for support. His funeral was attended on the 11th, in the Third Church of Guilford, by a full assemblage of his relatives and friends, with very appropriate remarks from his pastor, Rev. George W. Banks. His age was 76 years and 30 days.