A Victorian Italianate home among the many colonial and colonial revival houses of Litchfield is the Holmes Morse House at 135 South Street. The house was built in 1874 and in 1920 was listed as the home of Betsy F. Morse (possibly the widow of Holmes Morse?) I don’t know the relationship of Holmes Morse and Holmes O. Morse, who was on the Board of Directors of the Shepaug Railroad Company, became Commissioner of the Superior Court from Litchfield in 1884 and died in 1898.
Happy New Year!!! We begin the year with the Litchfield Historical Museum. The Noyes Memorial Building was constructed in 1901 (and expanded in 1906-1907) to house the town library and the Litchfield Historical Society, the latter of which had been founded in 1856. The building was built by John A. Vanderpoel in memory of his grandmother, Julia Tallmadge Noyes, a local resident and amateur historian who had led the Historical Society for many years. A granddaughter of Benjamin Tallmadge, she had married New York City attorney William Curtis Noyes in 1857. The couple owned the Benjamin Tallmadge House in Litchfield, which was inherited by their daughter, Emily Noyes Vanderpoel. Also an active member of the Historical Society, Emily Noyes Vanderpoel oversaw the completion of the Noyes Memorial Building after the death of her son, John A. Vanderpoel. She wrote two books about Sarah Pierce’s Litchfield Female Academy, which her mother had attended. The library moved out to a new building in the 1960s and the Historical Society then occupied the entirety of the Noyes Memorial, which was expanded in 1989-1990. Read the rest of this entry »
The Lynde Lord House, at 179 North Street in Litchfield, was built in 1771. Lynde Lord, Sr. (d. 1801) was High Sheriff of Litchfield County for many years. His granddaughter, Mary Sheldon Lord, married John Pierpont, a poet who was also successively a teacher, lawyer, merchant, and Unitarian minister. In front of the house is a Colonial Revival fence with urn finials.
The building at 15 South Street in Litchfield, associated with the name Charles Webb, was built in 1819. Its current Greek Revival appearance and front porches are likely due to later alterations. It is a surviving example of the early nineteenth-century commercial structures, with residences above the first floor, that were common in Litchfield at the time. Many similar buildings on West Street were lost a fire in 1886, which destroyed much of the village center. 15 South Street is now home to South Street Antiques.
The advent of the Colonial Revival style had a great influence on Litchfield. One of the most magnificent examples of the Colonial Revival style in town is the house at 133 North Street, built in 1895 as a summer home for F.L. Underwood of New York. It was constructed on the former site of Sarah Pierce‘s famous Litchfield Female Academy.
Retracing our steps down North street toward the center, the next house of historical interest is the Lord house, built in 1785 by Oliver Boardman on Glebe Land. The east side of North street, from the corner of East street to the Lord house, was owned by the church and called Glebe Land.
The land on which the house was built was either leased by or sold to Boardman by the church authorities, and bought of him by Sylvester Spencer, Litchfield’s former real estate dealer. It was also owned by Samuel Beach, who sold it to George Lord, the brother of Augustus, who with his sister resided there until his death at the age of eighty-seven. His sister, Miss Lord, occupied the home until her death in the Spring of 1907 at the age of 80 years and 11 months, when the house descended to her nieces. The side doorstep, an immense block of stone, was brought from Salisbury, requiring twelve pair of oxen to draw it.