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.
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[.]
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, 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 (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.
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.
The house at 62 Cook Hill Road in Cheshire was built c. 1740, with a wing added in the twentieth century. The house is called “The C.B. Bradley House” in Edwin R. Brown’s Old Historic Homes of Cheshire (1895). Brown writes:
This house was built by Moses Bradley, and is about 140 years old. Here, Oliver, a son, Columbus, a grandson, and Charles B., a great-grandson, resided. In this house, Stephen Rowe Bradley, a son of Moses, was born Oct. 20, 1754, and here he spent his youthful days. As a boy, he was full of mischief, and seemed naturally inclined to play tricks on others. On the turnpike, but a few rods across the lot, Moses Peck lived, in an old-fashioned, lean-tn house. One night, when the family was absent, young Bradley selected this place for one of his exploits.
Inducing other boys to join him, he took the owner’s cart, which was left in the yard, near the house, separated the parts, and, as the back roof reached to within a few feet of the ground, with the aid of ropes, he drew up to the top of the roof, first, the neap and axle, and then, in the same manner, the wheels, and then the body. These separate parts were all put together on the top of the roof, one wheel being stationed on the west roof, and the other on the east, the neap resting on the ridge boards. They then drew up in baskets a sufficient quantity of wood to fill the body of the cart. So that an ox-cart, literally filled with wood, was plainly visible on the top of this house the next morning.
The owner, Mr. Peck, upon his return home, missing his woodpile and seeing other evidence of mischief, made inquiries of his neighbors, who called his attention to the exhibition on the housetop. Mr. Peck at once exclaimed, “Those cussed boys! I’ll fix ’em! I know very well who done it.” Stephen was watching the proceedings from a window in his father’s house with evident delight. This element of mischief seemed to grow as the years increased, and his father came to the conclusion that he could do nothing with him at home, so he decided to send him to Yale College. He at once commenced his preparatory studies under the instruction of the Reverend John Foote. He entered Yale College in the year 1772. As a student at Yale, the elements of sport and mischief in his nature did not lie dormant, but were manifested on several occasions, of which we have record and which evince his natural shrewdness.
[. . .]
Stephen Rowe Bradley graduated at Yale, in the year 1775, with honors. He afterward settled in Vermont, and became one of the most popular men of that State. He was elected to the United States Senate in 1802, and continued a member for 16 years. He was prseident [sic] of this body in 1802, in 1803 in place of Aaron Burr, and in 1808 and 1809 in place of George Clinton. He died at Walpole, N. H., in 1830. aged 75 years.
A remarkable career! Youthful activity, finding expression in mischief, as a boy, became the source of energy and power in mature life.
The house at 1151 South Main Street in Cheshire was built c. 1790-1800. It was the home of Amasa Hitchcock (1739-1827), a veteran of the French & Indian War [not to be confused with another Amasa Hitchcock (1768-1835), Cheshire’s first post master, whose house on South Main Street is no longer standing]. The house remained in the Hitchcock family until 1975.