As related in The Genealogy of the Brainerd Family in the United States, with Numerous Sketches of Individuals (1857), by David Dudley Field:
Abraham Brainerd [of Higganum] married Almira M. Clark, of Southwick, Massachusetts, June 5, 1840, and has two children:
Francis Gertrude Brainerd, born Aug. 15, 1841. William ” ” July 29, 1849.
They lived on the paternal homestead a few years, and then moved to Madison. They keep a house of entertainment on the shore of the Sound, near the East Wharf, where they furnish sea food for those who call upon them, or board with them. Among the latter are numbers, especially in the warm season of the year, seeking health from sea air and sea food.
The family returned to Higganum (in Haddam) where Abraham Brainerd built the vernacular Italianate house at 34 Maple Avenue on land he had acquired from Orrin Freeman in 1861. As related in The Genealogy of the Brainerd-Brainard Family in America, Vol. II (1908), by Lucy Abigail Brainard:
He was commissioner on ferries from 1869 to ’74, inclusive. He was grand juror in 1862; justice of the peace from 1846 to ’51, inclusive; selectman in 1847; notary public and postmaster at Higganum for three years, and commissioner of the Superior Court from 1869 to ’75, inclusive. He was a representative from Haddam in 1846, and nominated delegate to the Whig State Convention in 1848. He lived in the Brainerd district, Higganum, Conn. Mr. Abraham Brainerd d. Aug. 7, 1884, ae. 68 yrs. Mrs. Almira M. (Clark) Brainerd d. Aug. 5, 1890.
The house at 59 Maple Avenue East in Higganum (part of Haddam) was built c. 1903 for Charles E. Kahrman (1851-1911). Born in England, Kahrman was superintendent at the Lower Mill of the D & H Scovil Hoe Company. He financed the purchase of the land and construction of his home with a bonus from his employer. The house was inherited by his son Everett E. Kahrman (1882-1959) and remained in the family until 1966.
Benjamin Smith, a descendant of early settlers of Haddam, erected the house at 432 Candlewood Hill Road in 1807, the year he married Lydia Burr, daughter of Captain Jonathan Burr. Their son Benjamin W. Smith inherited the house in 1833. He left Haddam in 1856 and sold the house to the Skinner family. The house once had a central chimney that was removed about 1904.
The house at 110 Maple Avenue in Higganum in Haddam is a transitional Greek Revival/Italianate structure. It was built in 1856 by Storrs (sometimes spelled Stores and Storris) Lee Hubbard on land he had acquired the previous year. Born in 1825, Hubbard, a farmer, was the son of Stephen Hubbard and Sarah Johnson Hubbard. In 1846 he married Martha Ely. In 1894, Hubbard left $3,600 to the Middlesex County Orphans’ Home. It was used to pay off the mortgage of a house the Home had bought on Wyllys Avenue in Middletown c. 1890.
Camp Bethel is a historic Christian camp meeting site in the Tylerville section of Haddam that is located on a high bluff overlooking the Connecticut River. It was established in 1878 by the Life and Advent Union. In the early years as many as 10,000 people would gather on the property for several weeks each summer. At first they stayed in tents but later began building small cottages on their camp sites. Over the years Camp Bethel grew to include a chapel, a memorial hall, two boarding houses and over forty cabins. Most of these structures were built between 1889 and 1920. The current Dining Hall was built in 1992, replacing an earlier building destroyed by fire. Camp Bethel continues to operate as a camp meeting site today, one of the few that survive in New England. It is owned by the Camp Bethel Association, a non-denominational, evangelical organization that holds camp meetings each August and also rents the facility to different religious and educational groups for retreats, conferences and workshops. [If you are interested in learning about another camp meeting site with Victorian cottages in Connecticut, see my post about the Plainville Campground]. Read on to learn more about some of the buildings and to see more images of Camp Bethel! Read the rest of this entry »
Methodist meetings were held in Higganum (in Haddam) in the Old Red Schoolhouse from 1834 until it burned down in 1857. The congregation then met in private home until they built a church at 248 Saybrook Road in 1862. It is the only Methodist Church remaining in the town of Haddam (an earlier church erected in 1837 on Walkley Hill Road is no longer standing).
Jeremiah Shailer (1770-1845) built the house at 168 Camp Bethel Road in Haddam around the time of his marriage to Jerusha Shailer (1766-1843), i.e. just before 1800. Their daughter, Maria, married Smith Clark and her son, Jared Shailer Clark (1824-1888), a farmer and teacher who held the office of constable and justice of the peace, later occupied the house. The house’s original Federal-style doorway was later removed.