The home of the Rowayton Historical Society is the Seeley-Dibble-Pinkney House, located at 177 Rowayton Avenue in Norwalk. The house was built c. 1790-1820 and has been altered over the years. Part of the basement floor is paved with left over shipping ballast. Alfred Seeley purchased the house in 1820. He was a successful farmer and store-owner. He also built the first packet that traveled between Rowayton to New York. Seeley’s youngest daughter, Hannah Minerva, married Alphonso Dibble, who took title to the house and store in 1890. In turn their youngest daughter, Gertrude Hannah, who was married to William Pinkney, next occupied the house. The house was sold by Dorothy Cowles Pinkney, poet and widow of William Pinkney Jr., to the Sixth Taxing District of Norwalk (Rowayton) in 1971
Clover Nook Farm is an eighth generation family-owned farm at 50 Fairwood Road in Bethany. The farm started in 1765 when David French married Hannah Lines and the couple settled on the French family’s Bethany land. Their son, Harry French, built a farmhouse in 1823 that still stands at the center of the farm. The later generations to run the farm were Harry‘s daughter, Jane, and her husband, Justus Peck; their daughter Charlotte and her husband, Samuel Woodward; their son Sherman, followed by his son, Sherman, Jr.; and now Sherman, Jr.’s daughter Deborah and her husband and son, Eric and Lars Demander.
In 1892 the Ensign-Bickford Company of Simsbury acquired a half interest in the Climax Fuse Company of Avon. By 1907 the companies merged. Following its practice in Simsbury, Ensign-Bickford erected housing for its workers in Avon, including a number of houses built c. 1913 around a small green called Farmington Court. Unusually for the time these were mostly single-family homes instead of multi-family tenements. This was part of a new movement in which industrial companies began erecting suburban-type neighborhoods for their workers. Farmington Court was renamed Columbus Circle in 1930, but which time the residents were primarily Italian-Americans. The Prince Thomas of Savoy Society, an Italan-American social club, built its headquarters nearby in 1932.
The house at 360 Maple Street/1331 Forbes Street in East Hartford was built c. 1800. It was erected by Benjamin Roberts, Sr., possibly as a speculation, on land which, until 1818, was owned by the Congreational church. From the mid-nineteenth through the early twentieth centuries the house was owned by the Winslow family.
The building at 163-169 Main Street in Seymour was built in 1921 and was originally called the Donavan Building. Its front marquee was added c. 1941 when the Stand Theater opened. It later became a second-run theater and is one of Connecticut’s few remaining single-screen movie houses. Its Art Deco interior was restored in the 1990s. The building is owned by the Knights of Columbus.
The older section (which has a window in the gable-end) of the building at 104 Baileyville Road in Middlefield was built in 1876 by George W. Miller for his bone and phosphate mill. The building was later vacant for some years until it was acquired by the Lyman Gun Sight Corporation in 1921. The company remodeled the building in 1927 for the making of telescopic scopes for rifles. A dam was built which created a pond, called Scope Shop Pond, to power the factory (it’s now used by the town for fire protection). Additions to the building were constructed in the 1930s and 1940s. The picture above was taken in 2014, when the building was having work done. The current owner hopes to revitalize this and the former Lyman Gun Sight Factory on West Street. Read the rest of this entry »