Archive for the ‘Cheshire’ Category

Temple Beth David (1834)

Sunday, October 15th, 2017 Posted in Cheshire, Churches, Colonial Revival, Greek Revival, Synagogues | No Comments »

On April 22, 1834, Methodists in Cheshire formed a building committee to undertake the construction of a meeting house. Called the Wesley Chapel, it is one of the last examples in the country of a chapel designed by John Wesley, the founder of Methodism. As related in Joseph Perkins Beach’s History of Cheshire, Connecticut (1912):

A lot of land centrally located was purchased of Jairus Bunnell, on which was built a brick structure at a cost of $3,000. This was dedicated Nov. 22, 1834, by Rev. Schuyler Seager. During the working of the bartyes mines, the congregation greatly increased and the church and finances were in a flourishing condition; the decrease in numbers caused by the removal of so many families has made the work of the (comparatively) few left much harder; but no diminution of ardor or enthusiasm has ever been noted.

A wooden belfry was added to the building in 1870, but it blew down during a storm in 1897. Church membership began to increase with the growth of Cheshire’s population after World War II. In 1959, the church acquired land at 205 Academy Road for future expansion and eventually decided to erect a new building at that location. The new Cheshire United Methodist Church was completed by February, 1970. The church had already sold its 1834 building to Temple Beth David, the town’s first Jewish synagogue, in 1968. The two congregations shared the old building until the new church was ready. In 1984, Temple Beth David completed phase one of an expansion. The building has a Colonial Revival style front entrance vestibule that was expanded southward to link with the new addition.

Elmer Ives House (1903)

Tuesday, October 10th, 2017 Posted in Cheshire, Folk Victorian, Houses, Queen Anne | No Comments »

At 1393 South Main Street in Cheshire is a Victorian house built in 1903 by Elmer Ives. On the same property, known as Ives Corner, Ives erected a small store building. Calling it the “Why Not Rest” store, he sold tobacco, candy, soda and patent medicine. It was also a trolley freight station. The store was destroyed in 1953 when it was hit by an out-of-control vehicle.

Dr. William L. Foot House (1780)

Friday, April 7th, 2017 Posted in Cheshire, Federal Style, Houses | No Comments »

The house at 29 Wallingford Road in Cheshire was built by Stephen Jarvis circa 1780-1800. It was soon purchased by Dr. William L. Foot (1778-1849), probably around the time of his marriage to Mary Scovill in 1801. Dr. Foot was the son of Reverend John Foote (1742-1813), the second pastor of the Cheshire Congregational Church. Near their home, Dr. Foot operated a pharmacy with his son, John L. Foot.

As related in Old Historic Homes of Cheshire, Connecticut (1895), complied by Edwin R. Brown:

Dr. Foote was an excellent physician of the old-school type. Horace G. Hitchcock stated in his “Recollections of Cheshire” that it was owing to the skill of Dr. Foote that the Cheshire cemetery was not ornamented by a small tombstone sacred to his memory, aged twelve years.

At this home, in the year 1837, Edward Doolittle, the son-in-law of Dr. Foote, died of small-pox, and for a time the house was quarantined.

Dr. Foote was not only prominent as a physician, but also as a leading town official. He was town clerk several years, and was the first judge of probate elected from this district and from this town. His daughters, Abigail and Mary, were prominent singers in the Congregational Church choir, where their voices could be distinctly heard above all others. Dr. Wm. Foote was a son of the Rev. John Foote, whose descendants were once numerous and influential in this town.

The house is now home to Norm’s Barber Shop.

Benedict Ives Homestead (1750)

Friday, March 3rd, 2017 Posted in Cheshire, Colonial, Houses | No Comments »

The house at 257 Fenn Road in Cheshire is described in Edwin R. Brown’s Old Historic Homes of Cheshire, Connecticut (1895):

This old but well-preserved house is situated about one hundred yards directly south of the Silas Ives place. The main part was built by Nathaniel Ives in about the year 1750. Nathaniel was the youngest son of Deacon Joseph Ives, Cheshire’s first settler[.]

Nathaniel Ives had six sons who all served in the American Revolution. His son Jotham, according to Brown,

took an active part in the defence of his country, enlisting under Captain Bunnell of Wallingford, whose company joined Wadsworth’s Brigade to reinforce Washington’s army at New York. He was engaged in the battle of Long Island, August 7. 1776, and White Plains, October 28th, the same year; also accompanied Washington on his retreat through New Jersey. On his return from the war, he became part owner in his father’s house, and later received a deed for his entire interest. He married Lillis Fisk of Providence. R.I.

As Brown relates, their son,

Benedict Ives built the addition to this house and resided here until his death, at the age of 83 years. Uncle Benedict was well known throughout the town as a man fond of his books and a good story. His wife, Betsy Bristol (Aunt Betsy she was called), was noted for her hospitality to friend or traveler, and it was a common saying, by those who frequently passed her door, that “If we can reach Aunt Betsy’s by noon, we are sure of a good dinner.”

Bowden Hall, Cheshire Academy (1796)

Thursday, January 26th, 2017 Posted in Cheshire, Federal Style, Schools | No Comments »

Bowden Hall, part of the campus of Cheshire Academy, is the oldest schoolhouse still in continuous use in the state of Connecticut. Located at the corner of Academy Road and Highland Avenue in Cheshire, it was erected in 1796 for the Episcopal Academy, which would become the Cheshire School in 1903, the Roxbury School in 1917 and finally Cheshire Academy in 1937. As described in Edwin R. Brown’s Old Historic Homes of Cheshire (1895):

The original academy was erected in the year 1796. This included only the square building north of Bronson Hall; the corner-stone was laid with Masonic honors, April 28, 1796. An address was delivered on this occasion by Rev. Reuben Ives, through whose influence, more than of any other one man, the academy was established [in 1794] at Cheshire. He was followed by Rev. Dr. Bronson [the Academy’s first principal], who delivered an able and appropriate address. This is the oldest institution of its kind in this country, being for many years the most celebrated seat of learning in the State, under the control of the Episcopal Church, and, until the formation of Trinity College, was both college and seminary for this and other dioceses. For several years this institution was open for the instruction of young ladies, and several in this town, and some from other towns, took advantage of this excellent and unusual opportunity for those days.

Until 1865, Bowden Hall was the school‘s only building. Many have been constructed since. In 1867, Bronson Hall was built just north of Bowden Hall and attached to the older building by a passageway. Read the rest of this entry »

Deacon Joseph Ives House (1724)

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2017 Posted in Cheshire, Colonial, Houses | No Comments »

Deacon Joseph Ives (1674-1755) was one of the first settlers in what is now Cheshire. He built the house at 280 Fenn Road in Cheshire in 1724. As related in J. L. Rockey’s History of New Haven County, Connecticut, Vol. I (1892):

In the southeast portion of the town and near the residence of Mrs. Silas Ives, Joseph Ives settled in the year 1694; the same year of his marriage to Esther Benedict. He was one of the first, if not the first settler, in what is now Cheshire. He was chosen the first deacon of the Congregational church in 1724, and served the church in that capacity until the year 1739, at which time the second church edifice was erected. Deacon Ives was a very useful and devoted member of the infant parish. In this same house also his son Joseph and grandson Titus resided. The latter was a revolutionary soldier and was with Washington’s army at Harlem, N. Y., where he died in the year 1777. A letter written by his wife, and sent to him at Harlem, during his last sickness, and also the gun used by him in the colonial struggle for independence, are now extant and are preserved as precious memorials by the family of Mrs. Silas Ives, who are descendants, who reside within a few feet of the old Ives homestead, and who own and occupy the same property that has been in the possession of Deacon Joseph Ives and his descendants for about 200 years.

Ebenezer Bunnell House (1740)

Monday, December 19th, 2016 Posted in Cheshire, Colonial, Houses | No Comments »

The Colonial Cape at 87 Main Street in Cheshire was built c. 1740 and was originally the home of Ebenezer Bunnell (1713-1786). A succession of families owned the house, including Ira Bronson of Wolcott, who operated a blacksmith shop on the property from 1834 to 1842. It is also known as the Belknap House.