Camp Bethel is a historic Christian camp meeting site in the Tylerville section of Haddam that is located on a high bluff overlooking the Connecticut River. It was established in 1878 by the Life and Advent Union. In the early years as many as 10,000 people would gather on the property for several weeks each summer. At first they stayed in tents but later began building small cottages on their camp sites. Over the years Camp Bethel grew to include a chapel, a memorial hall, two boarding houses and over forty cabins. Most of these structures were built between 1889 and 1920. The current Dining Hall was built in 1992, replacing an earlier building destroyed by fire. Camp Bethel continues to operate as a camp meeting site today, one of the few that survive in New England. It is owned by the Camp Bethel Association, a non-denominational, evangelical organization that holds camp meetings each August and also rents the facility to different religious and educational groups for retreats, conferences and workshops. [If you are interested in learning about another camp meeting site with Victorian cottages in Connecticut, see my post about the Plainville Campground]. Read on to learn more about some of the buildings and to see more images of Camp Bethel! Read the rest of this entry »
The community of Southport in the town of Fairfield has two historic railroad stations (one eastbound and one westbound) on the New Haven Line of the Metro-North Railroad (originally a line of the the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad). The older of the two is the eastbound station, built in 1884 to replace an earlier railroad depot destroyed in a fire. It is typical of the brick stations that were built in Connecticut in the 1880s, but with more than usual attention to its decorative roof that reflects the High Victorian Gothic and Eastlake styles. No longer used as a station, the building is now home to Paci Restaurant. Read the rest of this entry »
A house that dsisplays an excellent example of Eastlake-style decorative woodwork is located at 29 Old Hamburg Road in the Hamburg Bridge area of Lyme. The house was built c. 1798-1804, but acquired its elaborate trim when Henry B. Sisson bought the property in 1867 for $300. Sisson, one of Lyme’s most prominent citizens, was a merchant and served in the state assembly and as town treasurer for 21 years.
The summer cottage at 6 Linden Point Road in the Stony Creek area of Branford was built in the 1870s or 1880s. The road to Flying Point was opened in 1870, opening the area to development. This was a period when Stony Creek was a popular summer colony. The cottage is an example of the Stick and Shingle styles. The house has been significantly remodeled/rebuilt in recent decades.
The house at 60 Church Lane in Westport was built c. 1889-1890. It was the home of William Sturges and in 1917 was listed as the home of Frank Sturges, a mill employee. It was later home to the Fable family until it was sold to the Westport Chamber of Commerce in 1999. The building was restored and won a Preservation Award in 2004 from the Westport Historical Society.
At 34 Prospect Hill Road in the Stony Creek section of Branford is the William J. Clark House, which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places as “Stick Style House at Stony Creek.” Designed by Henry Austin, the house was built in 1878-1880 as the summer home of William Judson Clark of Southington. In 1854, with his two brothers, Clark had founded the Clark Brothers Company, which manufactured nuts, bolts, washers, screws and rivets. Clark lived in an 1860 house in Southington.
The Isaac C. Lewis Cottage (although it’s much bigger than what people think of as a cottage!) is located at 255 Thimble Island Road in the Stony Creek section of Branford. It is an impressive eclectic Victorian house with an outstanding variety of detail that features elements of the Gothic Revival, Second Empire, Eastlake, and Stick styles. It was built as a seaside cottage for Isaac Chauncey Lewis (1812-1893), president of the Meriden Britannia Company and one of Connecticut’s leading industrialists. The cottage was designed by the architect Henry Martin Jones (1828-1908), who had also designed Lewis’s much larger house in Meriden. The cottage was shifted about a hundred feet east, from one side of its lot to the other, in 1917. Read the rest of this entry »