The sign on the house at 534-536 Naubuc Avenue in Glastonbury indicates that it was built c. 1820 by George Wrisley. The Commemorative Biographical Record of Hartford County, Connecticut (1901) mentions a George Wrisley who built a house later occupied by his son, George Smith Wrisley, and grandson, Ransom Wrisley, but that house must have been built earlier than 1820 if it was built by George, Sr. The 1855 map of Hartford county indicates an “H. Risley” living about where the house is located.
The oldest one-room schoolhouse still standing in New Haven County is the Little Red Schoolhouse in Northford in North Branford. Built in 1805, it was used as a school until 1890. The League of Women Voters moved the Little Red Schoolhouse from its original location on Forest Road to its current address at 13 Old Post Road in 1933 to serve as to the Northford Public Library. The building was recently restored to become a museum maintained by the Totoket Historical Society.
The building at 311 Main Street in Wethersfield was built in 1862 as the High Street School. A brick building, it replaced an earlier wooden school building, built in 1770, which stood just to the south-east. It was in this earlier building that Wethersfield’s first library, called the Union Society Library (established in 1783) was located until 1798. The former brick schoolhouse was converted into a residence in 1928 and wooden side dormers were added.
At 220 Main Street in Farmington is a former one-room brick school house built in 1829 to serve the town’s South District. It was used as a school until 1904, when Farmington’s schoolhouses were consolidated into a Center School. In 1905 the former school was sold to Theodate Pope, who designed or remodeled five houses in town to become low-income housing. She converted the school house into a residence and it became the home of Reuben and Lucy Lewis and their eleven children. Reuben Lewis worked at the Lodge, a vacation home for girls working in the big city garment industry that was run by a group of Miss Porter’s School graduates. He was also a railroad porter. His father, Richard Lewis, had settled in Farmington before the Civil War after escaping from slavery on the Underground Railroad. In the 1930s the Lewis family moved out and the building has since been used as an antiques shop, a nursery school, a lawyer’s office and, most recently, Farmington Valley Dance & Music, LLC.
The house at 1344 Saybrook Road in Haddam was built around 1825 by George E. Bailey. It is a late example of a gambrel-roofed Cape house more common to the later eighteenth century. In 1828 he sold the house to Jonathan Dickinson (1792-1861), a shoemaker.
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.