The house at 57 Main Street North in Woodbury was built c. 1769 by Elijah Judson. The next year he sold the property to David Terrill. It had many owners over the years, including Jabez Bacon (c. 1795). The house has an extension that was probably used as a joiner’s or carpenter’s shop and later as a summer kitchen and woodshed.
The house at 14 Main Street South in Woodbury may have been built as early as 1748, but was more likely built c. 1796 by Elijah Sherman on land he had acquired in 1791. As related in the c. 1900 book Woodbury and the Colonial Homes:
The Sherman place is now occupied by Chas. Roswell, and the stone door step still bears the date May 19, 1791 A. D., chiseled on it. In the basement of this house, a tannery was located, later being moved across the street.
Elijah Sherman (1754-1844) was born in Stratford, (or perhaps New Milford?). As related in a biography of his son, Rev. Charles Sherman, who became a Methodist minister [Vol. VII of Annals of the American Methodist Pulpit (1861), by William B. Sprague]:
Elijah Sherman, removed in early life from New Milford, his native place, to Woodbury, where he lived till January, 1844, when he died in his ninetieth year. He was a man of vigorous mind and excellent character, and was several times a member of the State Legislature. He commenced the Christian life at the age of forty, and was ever after an active and devoted member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
He had earlier been a member of the Episcopal Church but, as described in The Town and People (1900), edited by Julia Minor Strong:
At what exact date is not positively known, but previous to 1812, Elijah Sherman, Sr., known as “Father Sherman,” became dissatisfied with the Episcopal Church, joined the Methodist denomination, and became very active and zealous in advancing its interests. In 1812 he was appointed the first regular “Class Leader,” the several ministers who had officiated here, having previously fulfilled that office. His home was the house now owned by the Methodist Society, and used as its parsonage. The exact date of its erection is lost, but the ancient grain bins and “smoke house” in the garret, attest to its great age, and it is probable that it was built previous to 1800. After his appointment as “Class Leader,” if not before, his “long kitchen” became the place for all the meetings of the Methodists, and was so used until the erection of the first Church, in 1824, on the site of the present edifice. Even after the church was built, the class and social meetings were still held at Mr. Sherman’s home, until the building of the present church, in 1840.
Elijah Sherman is further described in William Cothren’s History of Ancient Woodbury (1854):
The temperament of Mr. Sherman was humble, earnest, and eminently conscientious; firm in his adhesion to what he deemed to be the line of duty. He could not adopt Calvihistic opinions, then ardently pressed upon the public mind, in all the Congregational pulpits. Swayed by an enthusiastic spiritualism, his sympathies were with those humble heralds of the cross, so efficiently blessed in the morn of Methodism. For twenty years, with some few companions, himself an elder, the worshipers in this faith, assembled in his own house. His religious experiences gave him new developments in Christian duty. Chastened by the death of several children, his faith and zeal and knowledge grew deeper, more ardent and expanded. He became an eminent example of Christian excellence. Under that humble roof, from subdued and pure hearts, prayers gushed forth, not surpassed in pathos and piety by a Massillon or a Bourdaloue. Souls now looking to the great judgment seat with confidence and holy hope, recall with devout gratitude his ardent aspirations in that lowly temple. Had he received the advantages of early education and training, with the compass and melody of his voice, he would probably have made an eloquent and powerful preacher. He lived to see the erection of a Methodist church on his own homestead, and a numerous and devout company of believers worshiping there. He was gathered to his fathers at the advanced age of ninety, in the month of January, 1844.
The Methodist Church sold the house in 1937 and it has since been a private residence.
Jabez Bacon was one of the wealthiest merchants in Connecticut in the eighteenth century. On Hollow Road in Woodbury, next to where his grand residence still stands, Bacon constructed a gambrel-roofed store around 1760. In the 1830s the house and store were acquired by Daniel Curtiss, a successful businessman and entrepreneur. The store was converted into residence around 1933 by Hobart Upjohn. Read the rest of this entry »
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.
The house at 132 Main Street South in Woodbury sits on a hill just south of School Street. It was built in 1763 by Isaac Tomlinson and was owned early in the nineteenth century by John Boughton, a blacksmith. His blacksmith shop is believed to make up part of the barn on the property. Wallace G. Ward, a builder and president of the Woodbury Savings Bank, later owned and made a number of changes to the house, including replacing the original center chimney and lowering the windows so that his mother could more easily look outside. Since 1916 the house has been owned by the Cassidy family, which undertook restoration work in the mid-twentieth century.
The sign on the house at 55 Good Hill Road in Woodbury displays a date of 1685. That was the year Thomas Drakeley, Sr came to Woodbury. He gave one third of his property to his son, Thomas in 1725 and the house was probably built circa 1725-1730. The Drakeley family owned the house until 1918. The West Side School house once stood across from the Drakeley House. It is said that the school had no water so that the children had to use the Drakeleys’ well.