According to the 1985 pamphlet Federal Hill: A series of walking tours of the Federal Hill neighborhood and of other areas of interest in Bristol, Connecticut, written and designed by C. Houihan, the 1842 house at 492 Jerome Avenue in Bristol was once the home of Bronson Alcott, the transcendentalist and father of author Louisa May Alcott. But Alcott’s stints as a teacher in Bristol occurred earlier than 1842. He taught for four months in the Fall Mountain District of Bristol in the winter of 1823-1824 and was at the district school on West Street for four months in 1824-1825. His last period as a teacher in Bristol came when he was again at the school on West Street for a few months, in the autumn and winter of 1827-1828. Does anyone know more about this house and its connection to Bronson Alcott?
The house at 50 High Street, in the Baileyville section of Middlefield, was built by Edgar A. Nettleton (1843-1922) with the pay he received after serving in the Civil War (13th Connecticut Volunteer Regiment). Nettleton worked at the Metropolitan Washing Machine Company in Baileyville. He married Philena C. Geer and had at least five children. His son Walter inherited the property in 1923 and lived there until 1947. Walter S. Nettleton was a Master of the Middlefield Grange.
At 3015 Bronson Road in Fairfield is a windmill erected in 1893-1894 by Frederic Bronson on his estate, called Verna Farm. Standing 105 feet high, the Bronson Windmill pumped water from a well 75 feet below ground into a 7,500-gallon wooden storage tank 70 feet up inside the windmill. Note: the wheel on top of the windmill was not installed at time the photo above was taken. It remained in operation into the 1930s. The estate became the property of the Fairfield Country Day School, which gave the windmill to the Town of Fairfield in 1971. The windmill was restored around 1980. Damaged after a storm in 1996, the Bronson Windmill was restored under the management of the Fairfield Historical Society. Today it also serves as a cell phone tower: Sprint restored and rebuilt part of the structure as part of its leasing agreement.
In the first half of the early nineteenth century, a store occupied the lot at 63 Hurlbut Road in Gales Ferry in Ledyard. Starting in 1831, the store was owned by Samuel and Ira Vincent. At Samuel‘s death in 1837, his widow Martha sold off the store goods. She owned the property until 1843 when it was inherited by Ira’s widow, Sarah Baker Vincent (1802-1885). Around 1850, she built a house in place of the store.
Harmon B. Johnson
Union Army Private
Died For One Flag
March 8, 1865
Harmon B. Johnson served in the 15th Connecticut Infantry Regiment during the Civil War. His name is inscribed on the Soldiers’ Monument in Guilford under the heading “Fredericksburg.” The 15th Connecticut fought at Fredericksburg but Johnson was killed at the Battle of Wyse Fork, fought March 7-10, 1865 near Kinston, North Carolina. The house is now a condominium unit.
Happy Halloween!! In keeping with the Fall spirit, today’s building is the Old Cider Mill in Glastonbury. Recognized as the oldest continuously operating Cider Mill in the United States (starting in the early nineteenth century?), the current building was constructed as early as the 1870s.
The building at 42 Main Street in North Stonington was built just before 1809 by Daniel Packer and Jedidiah Randall. It served as a store and for a time as a jail. It was moved from another spot on the same lot in the late nineteenth century. The building was the T.S. & H.D. Wheeler Store (a general store) before it was converted into North Stonington‘s Town Hall in 1904. A neighboring garage was converted into a new Town Hall in 1978. Today the old Town Hall is used for the offices of the selectmen, resident state trooper, and other town officials.