Archive for the ‘Southbury’ Category

Mitchell-Williams Store (1904)

Thursday, July 6th, 2017 Posted in Commercial Buildings, Southbury, Vernacular | No Comments »

Featuring a distinctive “picturesque vernacular” design, the general store at 667 South Britain Road in Southbury has served the village of South Britain since it was built in 1903-1904. It was originally the store of George W. Mitchell, who built it on the site of a previous store that had burned. Mitchell also had interests in Kansas, where he was president of the Goodrich Cattle Company. Mitchell‘s daughter Abbie Evelyn married Charles Williams, who succeeded his father-in-law as proprietor in 1926. The second floor of the building has apartments. The store is also notable for having a cast iron storefront manufactured by the George L. Mesker Company of Evansville, Indiana.

South Britain Academy (1835)

Monday, May 29th, 2017 Posted in Greek Revival, Houses, Schools, Southbury | No Comments »

The house at 698 South Britain Road in South Britain, Southbury was built c. 1835-1840 as a school called the South Britain Academy. The Academy, started around 1820, had a library and an Institute for Elocution and Debating. The school had closed by the 1860s and the building was converted into a residence. In 1922 it was acquired by Henry McCarthy, a merchant, and his wife, Helen McCarthy, who worked as secretary of Southbury’s board of Selectmen from 1943-1965 and then worked for the town’s social services office.

Downs House (1750)

Thursday, January 12th, 2017 Posted in Houses, Southbury, Vernacular | No Comments »

32 East Flat Hill Rd., South Britain

According to a guide to the South Britain Historic District, produced by the Town of Southbury, the house at 32 East Flat Hill Road, called the Downs House, was acquired as a residence by the minister of the South Britain Congregational Church in 1791. Does this relate it to the Moses Downs House at 639 South Britain Road? Further, the guide indicates that it was used in the 1870s for a school for girls and the lower level was once a tavern. The National Register of Historic Places Inventory Nomination for the South Britain Historic District dates the house to 1750 (based on assessor’s records) and indicates it was once a toll house.

Old Town Hall, Southbury (1873)

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2016 Posted in Italianate, Public Buildings, Southbury, Vernacular | No Comments »

Old Town Hall Museum, Southbury

Southbury‘s first Town Hall was built in 1873 in the South Britain section of town. In the preceding years South Britain had developed as an industrial center and come to rival Southbury’s town center in importance. Annual town meetings had alternated between the two until South Britain used its influence to have the Town Hall erected at 624 South Britain Road, just before a period of industrial decline set in. The building continued to serve as the center of town government until 1964. It is now operated as a museum by the Southbury Historical Society.

Old South Britain Library (1904)

Saturday, September 17th, 2016 Posted in Libraries, Shingle Style, Southbury | No Comments »

South Britain Library

The old South Britain Library, 576 South Britain Road, was the first library building erected in the Town of Southbury. It was built in 1904 by Axel Wilson for $746 on land donated by the Mitchell family. The library was operated by the private, non-profit South Britain Library Association. In 1969 a new town library building was erected on on Main Street, taking over from the old South Britain Library. The current Southbury Public Library is located at 100 Poverty Road in a building completed in 2006. Since 1983 the Southbury Historic Building Commission has maintained the old South Britain Library building. It now houses Southbury’s Library of Local History and Genealogy, managed by the Southbury Historical Society.

Hurd-Osborn-Oatman House (1806)

Wednesday, June 15th, 2016 Posted in Federal Style, Hotels, Houses, Southbury, Taverns & Inns | No Comments »

George Thompson House (1806)

Located at 1531 Southford Road in the village of Southford in Southbury, the Hurd-Osborn-Oatman House was built in 1806 by George Thompson as a hotel. As explained by John L. Rockey in the second volume of his History of New Haven County, Connecticut (1892):

In the period of time when the turnpike was the great thoroughfare between New Haven and Litchfield, Southford being 20 miles from the former place and 25 miles from the latter, hotels were here kept and were well patronized. [. . . ] The hotel known as the Oatman House for 35 years, was built by George Thompson in 1806, and first kept by him and then by his brother-in-law, Benjamin S. Hurd, followed by John Peck. Enos Foot was the landlord in 1845.

George Thompson and Benjamin Smith Hurd married two sisters, Clarissa and Esther, daughters of Adin Wheeler, who helped to fund construction of the hotel. The hotel had many owners over the years. Benjamin Blagg Osborn, son of merchant and Revolutionary War patriot Shadrach Osborn, was tavern-keeper in the 1820s. Charles R. Oatman (1827-1904), under whose name the hotel was long known, acquired the property in 1870. Oatman married Orinda T. Hurd, daughter of Benjamin R. Hurd, in 1850. The Oatman family owned the hotel until 1899 and even under later owners it was still known for many years as the C. R. Oatman Hotel. It later became the Fennbrock Dairy.

H. Curtis House (1740)

Friday, May 13th, 2016 Posted in Colonial, Houses, Southbury | No Comments »

Curtis House, South Britain

The house at 584-586 South Britain Road in Southbury, called the H. Curtis House, is thought to be the oldest house in the South Britain Historic District. Possibly built as early as 1740, the house retains a gambrel roof, although much else has been changed over the years.