The Isaac C. Lewis Cottage (although it’s much bigger than what people think of as a cottage!) is located at 255 Thimble Islands 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 »
At 3-7 Flying Point Road in Stony Creek in Branford is a Victorian-era house built for Frank E. Smith in 1874. Frank E. Smith was a member of the state legislature and his brief biography in Taylor’s Connecticut Legislative History and Souvenir (Vol. V, 1905-1906) is as follows:
Frank E. Smith, of Branford, is the son of Giles Griswold and Emily (Potter) Smith, and was born in New Haven, July 31, 1854. At the early age of sixteen, he became associated with the Stony Creek Oyster Company and for many years has been the largest owner in the company. On November 11, 1876, he married Helen E. Bishop. Two children have blessed the union: Gertrude A., and Maude H. E. Mr. Smith is a member of the Congregational Church, I.O.O.F., A.O.U.W., and N.E.O.P. He is an enthusiastic Republican and has been a valuable member of the School Board. He was a popular member of the Committee on Fisheries and Game.
Long ago the oyster industry ceased to be a simple matter of raking up oysters from the sea bed, culling them and placing them on the market. But that Stony Creek has kept up with the times and the science of growing oysters the reputation of the bivalves bearing the name of the village proves. They go all over the country, and command the high prices of the product that has fame. The largest grower and dealer is the Stony Creek Oyster Company, with a capital of $42,000, of which Henry I. Lewis is president, Maud H. Smith secretary and Frank E. Smith treasurer. Charles E. Smith, of Flying Point, is another large grower and dealer.
The Stick Style/Queen Anne Style house at 1063 Main Street in South Windsor was for John Pantry Jones in 1882, the same year he was elected to the Connecticut General Assembly. John P. Jones was born in Hartford in 1832 and his family settled in South Windsor when he was fifteen. Jones was a prosperous farmer and tobacco grower who served in a number of town offices in South Windsor: Assessor, member of the Board of Relief, Selectman, and Agent of the Town Deposit and School Society Funds. He was descended from early settlers of Hartford. His grandfather, Nathaniel Jones, who served in the Revolutionary War, had a farm in Hartford near what later became State Street and Front Street. His father, John Pantry Jones (1791-1880), who served in the War of 1812, ran a retail grocery and oyster business in Hartford for thirty years and had a house at the intersection of State and Commerce Streets. In 1847 the family moved to their farm in South Windsor.
At 196 South Main Street in Colchester is a house with distinctive Stick style ornamentation. The land was originally sold to Bradford Sparrow by Dennison Smith in 1839. In 1875, a residence here was being rented out to Dr. M. W. Robinson. Alden A. Baker, owned the property from 1877 to 1925, when it was given to his daughter, Lillian Baker Bunyan. She lived in the house with her husband, Edward T. Bunyan, until his death in 1952. It is not certain if Sparrow or Baker is responsible for construction of the house in its present form.
The Methodist church in North Canton was built in 1871. The church, now called the North Canton Community United Methodist Church (3 Case Street), has an education addition at the rear, built in 2001.
A Stick Style residence dating to 1882 (or perhaps as late as 1892?), the Turner House is located at 274 North Main Street in West Hartford. A farmhouse, it was probably built by Daniel Lord, who died in 1893. The farm was then purchased by Margaret Turner, who farmed it with her husband until the 1930s. The land was then sold for a housing subdivision known as Sunny Slope. The house has an interesting external brick chimney that passes through the bargeboard trim at the gable end facing North Main Street.
Camp meetings, religious revival meetings where parishioners would set up their carts and tents around a central preaching platform, were once a vital feature of frontier American Protestant Evangelicalism in the nineteenth century. Participants, freed from their daily routines, could attend the almost continuous services that often lasted several days. While Presbyterians and Baptists sponsored camp meetings, these religious gatherings came to be particularly associated with the Methodist denomination. Methodists soon introduced the camp meeting, originally a western phenomenon that flourished before the Civil War, to the east.
The New Haven District of the Methodist Church founded a campground for summer revival meetings in the west end of Plainville (320 Camp Street) in 1865. Methodist camp meetings would continue to be held there every summer until 1957. Initially tents were pitched around a central platform. Soon the Association Building was constructed, where equipment could be stored. Individual churches then began constructing 2-story cottages facing the center of the Campground, along what is known as The Circle. Nineteen of these central cottages survive today. Individual families also began to build their own cottages on the narrow avenues radiating from The Circle, replacing the tents of the campground‘s early years. Most of the cottages date from the 1880s to 1910, although a few were constructed as late as 1925. The present Auditorium building was built around 1905 in place of the original preaching platform. At one time a screened pavilion, the Auditorium is now open to the outside. The Plainville Campground Association purchased the property from the Methodists in 1957. 87 of the cottages are now private residences, the other 39 being owned by various churches. A few of the cottages have been modified for year-round use, while the rest are occupied in the summer. I have additional photos of the Campground: Read the rest of this entry »