The Valley National Bank, with offices at the corner of Main and Bank Streets in Seymour, was formed in 1900. In 1904 it dissolved and was replaced by the Seymour Trust Company. The company erected a new building in 1922-1923 at 115 Main Street, which opened on October 26, 1923. Today the building is a branch of Bank of America. It has a single-story stone-faced addition, built in 1981, that stretches south of the main block. Read the rest of this entry »
Abiel Canfield (1753-1812) served in the Revolutionary War. He married Mary Barlow of Statford in (1754-1840) in 1779. In the back yard of his 1784 house at 83 West Street in Seymour, Canfield had a shop where he manufactured brass and pewter buttons, buckles, and sleigh bells.
The house at 59 West Street in Seymour was built in 1940 as the home of Katharine Matthies, daughter of the Seymour industrialist, George Matthies. She was a philanthropist, who left as her legacy the Katharine Matthies Foundation, established following her death in 1987. Since 1995, the house has been the headquarters of the Seymour Historical Society.
Located across from where Pearl Street splits from South Main Street, on a high bluff above the Naugatuck River, is a structure that was perhaps built as early as 1740. It was acquired around 1778 by E. Turel Whittemore and served as a tavern. At that point, the building was only one story high. The second story was added in 1867 by Martin Castle, who dismantled the building’s old chimney and used the stones to constructed the terraced wall in front of the property. On the northwest corner of the old tavern was a barroom, where in 1780 a group of Torries planned the robbery of the home of the Patriot, Capt. Ebenezer Dayton, which was located in Bethany. This infamous incident led to the dramatic kidnapping, in nearby Oxford, of the Patriot boy, Chauncey Judd, a 16-year-old member of the Oxford militia, who ran into the fleeing robbers. They were later captured and sent to Newgate Prison and Judd was freed. The Whittemore Tavern has housed various businesses over the years.
The Sanford-Humphreys House is located at the south-west corner of West and West Church Street in Seymour. It’s oldest section, to the rear, was built in the 1790s by Dr. Samuel Sanford, who became Seymour’s first physician in 1793 and established a smallpox hospital in 1797. After Dr. Sanford’s death, in 1803, the house was enlarged to its present size with the construction of what is today the main block of the structure. It was probably enlarged by General David Humphreys, who at the time was also establishing, with Captain Thomas Vose of Derby, a manufacturing business operating various mills called T. Vose & Company in Humphreysville, as Seymour was then called. In 1810, the company became known as the Humphreysville Manufacturing Company. Judge John Humphreys, the nephew of David Humphreys, later lived in the house. The authors of The History of the Old Town of Derby, Connecticut, 1642-1880 (1880) quote a resident of Seymour who was a contemporary of Humphreys as follows:
Two nephews of Colonel Humphreys represented him in the manufacturing business, and may have had considerable interest therein. The younger, William Humphreys—a fine young man as I first remember him—was the head of the counting-house, and, I think, cashier. The other, John, must have been a lawyer, for he was known as Judge Humphreys, and lived in one of the best houses in the neighborhood, a square white building that stands now on Falls hill, where the road that leads to Bungy crosses the highway. Judge Humphreys and his wife, an elegant, handsome lady, were great favorites with the Colonel, and were generally looked up to in the neighborhood as superior persons. He was one of the finest looking and most dignified men that I remember. Indeed, the whole Humphreys family were remarkable for great personal beauty, both in that and the next generation. Two of Judge John’s daughters, Mrs. Canfield and Mrs. Pease, were beautiful and elegant women.
The first Ecclesiastical Society in what is now Seymour was formed in 1789, when the area was still a part of Derby and known as Chusetown (and later as Humphreysville). The first meeting house was built in 1791 on on Pearl Street, where there is now a Methodist Church. The second meeting house was completed in 1825 where the Old Congregational Cemetery is today. It was known as the Village Church and then the Humphreysville Church. The third and current church was built in 1846-1847 and enlarged, with an addition on the south end, in 1890, when the church was also incorporated as the Seymour Congregational Church. The Albert Swan Memorial parish house was built adjacent to the church in 1907. The church buildings had to be extensively restored after the Flood of 1955.
Seymour’s old two-and-a-half story High School, with its imposing bell tower, was built in 1884 to 1886. At one time considered one of the most efficient and well-equipped high schools of its kind, the institution grew over the years and an annex building was constructed next door. Finally outgrowing the available space, a new high school was built in 1916 and the old buildings, known as the Center School and Annex, became an elementary school until 1977. After briefly housing the Seymour Historical Society museum in three of its classrooms, the old high school building has since been converted into offices for private businesses. The Annex building now contains the Seymour Board of Education, Senior Center, and a nursery school and teen center.