Built on Prospect Hill Road in Cromwell in 1854, the Ebenezer W. Beckwith House is one of very few Octagon houses in Connecticut. The house served as a residence and boarding school, which by 1866 was known as the Mineral Springs Military Institute. Later, the house was rented by Dr. Winthrop B. Hallock as a retreat for the insane. In 1887, Hallock purchased the house from Beckwith’s daughter and it became the main structure of the private sanitorium known as Cromwell Hall. After Cromwell Hall closed in the 1950s, the house became the administration building for Holy Apostles College and Seminary. Various additions have been added to the building over the years, including the porte-cochere.
The Greek Revival-style home of Edward Savage, on Main Street in Cromwell, was built in 1837. Savage had inherited half of his father’s farm and then bought the other half from his brother. He was also involved with manufacturing, founding the Savage Revolving Firearms Co. in 1858. The house was later significantly altered, with the addition of the cupola, porches and a new wing on the north side. Some of these changes were probably in response to the popularity of the Italianate style on Cromwell’s Main Street in the 1850s and 1860s.
Joseph W. Waters was a New York-born industrialist who came to Cromwell and worked for the J & E Stevens Company. He married John Stevens‘ daughter Sarah and around 1865 he had an Italianate-style house built on Main Street in Cromwell. After Waters was killed in an accident, his widow married George Gillum of Portland. She lived in the residence until her death in 1896.
The Stevens-Frisbie House is an Italianate-style home built in 1853-1854 at the intersection of Main Street and New Lane in Cromwell. It was built by John Stevens, who came to Cromwell in the 1830s and, with his brother Elisha, founded the J & E Stevens Company, which manufactured hardware and toys, including mechanical banks. After John Stevens’s death, his widow sold the house to Russel Frisbie in 1892. Frisbie was superintendent of J & E Stevens and had lived in a neighboring house on Main Street since 1873. The house was passed down in the Frisbie family, until it was bequeathed, with all of its Victorian-era furnishings, to the Cromwell Historical Society in 1968. It now serves as the Society’s headquarters and is open to the public for tours as a historic house museum. The most significant alteration to the house has been the turn-of-the-century addition of a Colonial Revival-style front porch.
The Savage and Butler Homestead, a Federal-style house on Main Street in Cromwell, was built in 1806 by a sea captain named Absalom Savage. After he died at sea of yellow fever in 1821, his widow, Sally Wilcox Savage lived in the house until her death in 1834, when it was inherited by their son, Ralph Bulkely Savage. His daughter, Carrie Augusta Savage married George Sylvester Butler, and the house has remained in the Butler family to the present. There is a pdf file about the house celebrating its 200th anniversary.