Archive for the ‘Essex’ Category

Capt. Samuel Comstock House (1808)

Thursday, June 1st, 2017 Posted in Essex, Federal Style, Houses | No Comments »

In 1805, Capt. Samuel Comstock II was given land in West Centerbrook (now Ivoryton) by his father. Circa 1808, Capt. Comstock built the house at 123 Main Street (although it may also be an earlier residence, c. 1795, on the site that he enlarged at that time). A sea captain in the West Indies trade, Comstock was the father of Samuel Merritt Comstock, who established his ivory factory across the street in 1847. In 1857, the house was acquired by Marsena Comstock, who started his own ivory business on the property.

Copper Beach Inn (1889)

Thursday, May 18th, 2017 Posted in Essex, Folk Victorian, Houses, Stick Style | No Comments »

Now a restaurant and inn, the former residence at 46 Main Street in Ivoryton (one of the three villages in the Town of Essex) was built in 1889 by Archibald Welsh Comstock (1860-1940). His father, Samuel Merritt Comstock (1809-1878), had founded the S.M. Comstock Company, which manufactured ivory products such as piano keys, billiard balls, dominoes and combs (thus giving Ivoryton its name). After Archibald Comstock’s death in 1940, his estate passed to his wife. The house was sold in 1954 and soon became a restaurant called the Johnny Cake Inn. The Inn was forced into foreclosure in 1966, but in 1972 it was acquired by Robert and Jo McKenzie, who reopened it as the Copper Beach Inn, named for the large tree at the entrance to the property. The business has continued under various owners over the years. It closed for a time in 2013 after another foreclosure, but soon reopened under new ownership. Sadly, the Inn lost its namesake tree earlier this year — taken down after it was discovered its center was rotting due to a fungal disease.

Edwin Griswold House (1838)

Tuesday, May 9th, 2017 Posted in Essex, Greek Revival, Houses | No Comments »

Edwin Griswold (1813-1897) built the house at 33 Main Street in Ivoryton in 1838, on land he had purchased from his father, Daniel Griswold. Edwin was the partner of Samuel Merritt Comstock in the combmaking firm of Comstock & Griswold. Comstock had a house nearly identical to Griswold’s built at the same time on the other side of Bracket Lane. In 1903 the house was acquired by Clarence Bushnell. He and Linwell Behrens were bicycle salesmen who in 1904 started Behrens and Bushnell, one of the first auto dealerships in Middlesex County. The house was later owned by Comstock, Cheney & Co. and was also a parsonage of the Ivoryton Congregational Church.

Essex National Bank (1873)

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2016 Posted in Banks, Colonial Revival, Essex | No Comments »

Essex National Bank

In 1873, the Saybrook Bank erected a new building on Main Street in Essex (its previous building, built in 1849, was taken over by the Essex Savings Bank). The Saybrook Bank was reorganized in 1907 as the Essex National Bank, which remodeled the front facade of the building in 1936-1937 to the appearance it has today. The bank later merged with other banks and today the building houses a branch of Liberty Bank.

Essex Square Theatre (1925)

Saturday, July 30th, 2016 Posted in Colonial Revival, Commercial Buildings, Essex, Theaters | No Comments »

Essex Square Theater

The Benjamin Williams, Jr. Homestead was erected in 1814 at what is now Essex Square in Essex. In 1925 the old house was removed and replaced by the Essex Square Theatre building. The theatre showed movies and also had space for four retail stores and four offices. Films played there until 1972 and in 1984 the building was acquired by Talbots.

Capt. Ezra D. Post House (1844)

Friday, January 29th, 2016 Posted in Essex, Greek Revival, Houses | No Comments »

Capt. Ezra D. Post House

The house at 28 Pratt Street in Essex was built in 1844 by Captain Ezra D. Post, a sea captain, who had previously resided in the house of his father-in-law, Gurdon Smith, at 9 Pratt Street.

Felix Starkey House (1803)

Thursday, January 22nd, 2015 Posted in Colonial, Essex, Federal Style, Houses | No Comments »

Felix Starkey House

The house at 51 Main Street in Essex was built in 1803 by Thomas Millard, a shipcarver and housewright, and was the home of Felix Starkey from 1805 to 1856. Felix Starkey (1777-1856) was a merchant and the brother of Timothy Starkey. He married Esther Hayden. (The sign on the house reads “Timothy Starkey 1720”).