John Ventres, Jr. built his house in the Shailerville section of Haddam between 1805, when he and his brother Samuel first acquired the land, and 1812, around the time John married his second wife, Anne Shailer. Ventres died in 1884 and his third wife, Mabel, sold the house to John’s son George in 1896. The house remained in the family until 1907. The original large center chimney was at some point replaced by two smaller brick chimneys. Read the rest of this entry »
When Nathaniel Cook purchased land at the intersection of Walkley Hill and Hayden Hill Roads in Haddam in 1818, a Federal-style house already existed on the property. In this home, Nathaniel’s son John Edwin Cook was born in 1830. An ardent abolitionist, John E. Cook participated in John Brown’s Raid on Harpers Ferry in 1859. Cook arrived in Harpers Ferry in 1858, with the mission of scouting the area for John Brown. While there, he worked as a schoolteacher, book agent, and lock tender for the C&O Canal. He also married Mary Virginia Kennedy, a local woman. When the Raid ended with the capture of Brown and most of his followers, Cook was one of the party who escaped. He was later captured in Pennsylvania and tried in Virginia. Cook was hanged on December 16, 1859.
Built around 1810, on Bridge Road in Haddam, the Shailer-Banning House originally had a gable roof, which was altered to the current hip roof around 1840. At that time, the house was also probably stuccoed. The house was built by David Shailer and later was home to his daughter, Ursula, and her husband, Benjamin Banning, who were married in 1835. Their daughter, Anna U. Minor, then lived in the house until 1874.
At the intersection of Walkley, Hayden Hill, and Saybrook Roads in Haddam is a Georgian-style house, originally built in 1785, but with significant Victorian era alterations. These include a central gable and two dormer windows on the front facade, a porch wrapping around three sides of the house, and enlarged windows. The house was built by Simon Hazelton, Sr., who had been a captain in the Revolutionary War. In the twentieth century, the house was converted to become a rest home known as the Walkley Hill Home.
Haddam Neck, on the east bank of the Connecticut River, was originally settled around 1710. For thirty years, the residents made the trip each Sunday across the River to attend church services in Haddam. In 1740, residents of Haddam Neck joined with those of Middle Haddam (in East Hampton) to form a seperate ecclesiastical society, the First Congregational Church of Middle Haddam. The first meetinghouse was constructed in 1744 on Hog Hill, between the two communities, and this was replaced by a new building in 1813, located near Hurd Park. Middle Haddam residents withdrew to form their own church in 1855. The current Haddam Neck Congregational Church, a wooden Gothic Revival church in a woodland setting, was built at the foot of School House Hill in 1873-1874. In 1916, Haddam’s old 1822 schoolhouse was moved adjacent to the church to serve as a parish house.
Dating to about 1880, the Haddam Neck Congregational Church Parsonage on Schoolhouse Road in Haddam Neck may have been moved from another location to become the parsonage around 1882. The Church has rented the house since 1941.
In 1832, Joseph K. Selden built a house on Quarry Hill Road in Haddam Neck, although the following year he moved to Ohio. The house was purchased by Harris Cook and was later rented and then purchased by Alexander Dallas, a stonemason born in Scotland. After a fire in 1880 nearly destroyed the house, Dallas rebuilt the originally Federal style house, changing the facade to reflect the Gothic Revival.