Now converted to commercial use, the pyramidal-roofed house at 270 Main Street South in Woodbury has a sign that indicates it was built before 1795 by Rev. Noah Benedict. From 1760 until his death in 1813, Rev. Benedict served as the third pastor of Woodbury’s Congregational Church. There is another house in Woodbury, built in 1760 by Rev. Noah Benedict, so he must have moved at some point. The house at 270 Main St S has been home to B. Bourgeois Historic Lighting since 1999.
An Episcopal parish was formed in Woodbury in 1740. As related in the first volume of the History of Ancient Woodbury (1854), by William Cothren: “The old town house on the ground now occupied by the carriage house of N. B. Smith, Esq., was, after the erection of the new Congregational house in 1747, occupied by the Episcopalians for stated worship until the erection of the present church edifice in 1785.” Woodbury is known as “The Birthplace of the Episcopacy in America,” because it was here, in the Glebe House (the minister’s residence, home of Rev. John Rutgers Marshall) that Samuel Seabury was elected the first Bishop of Connecticut, the first Episcopal Bishop in America. In 1785, work began on the parish‘s own church building. The exterior of the edifice was completed in 1786, but funds had been exhausted. The Glebe House was sold and the proceeds used to finish the interior of the church. The first service in St. Paul’s Church was held in November of 1787. A new steeple was added in 1812 and the church was painted inside and out. The completed St. Paul’s Episcopal Church was consecrated by Bishop Thomas Church Brownell in 1822.
A sign on the house at 337 Main Street South in Woodbury reads “Built by Zaccharias Walker 1691.” Also known as Zechariah or Zachary Walker, Rev. Zaccharias Walker led a group of religious dissidents from the church in Statford to found the town of Woodbury in 1673. He became the new town’s first Congregational minister. The house was probably built for Rev. Walker’s son, also named Zaccharias (Deacon Zachariah Walker). Born in Statford in 1670, he married Elizabeth Miner around 1689/1690, about a year before the house was built.
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.