As related in Volume 2 of William Cothren’s History of Ancient Woodbury (1872):
The south Academic Association, formed in 1851, ran “well for a season,” when the shares were bought up by Mr. Parmenns B. Hulse, who taught a private academy for some years, but having a flattering call to go to New York and engage in a book agency, he sold the building” to Mr. Frederick S. Parker, of New Haven, who removed it to the place formerly owned by Hon. Charles B. Phelps, deceased, and fitted it up for a first-class boarding-school, and at the same time enlarged and fitted up, at great expense, the Phelps mansion, for the purpose of accommodating the scholars of such a school. Rev. Alonzo N. Lewis, who had married a daughter of Mr. Phelps, opened here a boarding-school. But, having been invited to become rector of a church at Dexter, Maine, he closed his school, and rented the premises for a dwelling house. It is a very valuable property, and it is hoped that a successful boarding-school may be established there. We have a healthy location, a tidy village, an orderly community, and a most beautiful valley, with pleasant surroundings—a good place for such an institution.
According to Julia Minor Strong’s The Town and People: A Chronological Compilation of Contributed Writings from Present and Past Residents of the Town of Woodbury, Connecticut (1901)
The principals of Parker Academy, so far as can be ascertained, were as follows: Samuel Spooner, P. B. Hulse, Mr. Phinney, Rev. A. N. Lewis, Aritus G. Loomis, James Patterson, Louise Noyes, Wilbur V. Rood, Edwin Turtle, H. C. Talmage, O. C. B. Nason, Edgar H. Grout, Edward S. Boyd, H. B. Moore and Rev. Wm. Weeks. While Mr. Hulse was instructor in Parker Academy Mr. Thompson taught a select school in his residence situated on the adjoining premises. Some times there would be seventy-five scholars in each of the two schools, and it was not uncommon for six or more students to enter Yale or other colleges each year from these schools. Parker Academy was moved to its present location near the post office when Rev. A. N. Lewis was principal, and he conducted a boarding school for pupils in connection with the Parker House, then owned by Frederick S. Parker.
The Woodbury Library Association was established in 1851. In 1902, the former Parker Academy building became the town library. A modern library building was later constructed and the former Parker Academy is now the Library’s Galley Annex.
The house at 346 Main Street South in Woodbury was built between 1751 and 1757, with a larger addition dating to the 1760s. Cyrus Lee, the original owner, operated a tavern in the house and a subsequent owner, Captain Isaac Tomlinson, built an addition which served as an inn and tavern and had a second-floor ball room. Julia Marshall, the next owner, had a bar room on the premises. The use of the house for business purposes continued in the twentieth century and, from the 1940s, it housed antiques shops under several owners. The house has a large addition, with separate living quarters, built in 2000. Today the house is home to The joannajohn Collection.
The Greek Revival house at 317 Main Street South in Woodbury was built in 1838 as the rectory for St. Paul’s Church across the street. Although more recently used for storage, the house attracted attention last December when it was decorated to become the Designer Showcase House for the Woman’s Club of Woodbury’s Annual Holiday House Tour.
The house at 247 Main Street South in Woodbury was built circa 1775 and is known as the Roger Sherman Place. This Woodbury Roger Sherman is not the famous Roger Sherman, but probably a relative. The house looks to have been much altered in the Greek Revival style in later years.
Dr. Harmon W. Shove, of Woodbury, Conn., died of pneumonia, on January 23d, at the age of sixty-nine years. He was one of the most prominent practitioners in the section in which he lived. Dr. Shove was graduated from the Yale Medical College in 1853, and at once entered upon the practice of his profession at Woodbury. By his studious habits and almost unlimited capacity for work, he was, after nearly forty years of active service, still in the full and successful practice of his profession, which, by his unblemished life and dignity of character he helped to advance and elevate.
The Bull Homestead, in Woodbury, was built by Deacon Samuel Bull, a blacksmith who came to the town from Farmington. He adopted Thomas Bull, the son of his brother. Maj. Thomas Bull served in the Revolutionary War. The home was occupied by the Bull family until 1994, when 19 acres of the 100-acre Bull estate, including the Bull House barns and a silo, were purchased to become Country Loft Antiques.
The oldest Masonic Temple in continuous use in Connecticut is the Temple of King Solomon’s Lodge No. 7 (originally chartered in 1765), built high on a rocky cliff on Main Street in Woodbury. The front section of the Temple was built in 1838 on land sold to the Lodge by Ashbel Moody. Construction materials had to be hauled from the street over the face of the rock because Moody’s son-in-law, Levi Douglas, an anti-Mason, would not allow transportation across his family’s land, although he later sold an additional 2 foot strip of land when the building was expanded. A set of stairs from the street (no longer in use) were constructed in 1839. The Temple was enlarged in 1866, with further additions in the twentieth century.