The Isaac C. Lewis Cottage (although it’s much bigger than what people think of as a cottage!) is located at 255 Thimble Islands Road in the Stony Creek section of Branford. It is an impressive eclectic Victorian house with an outstanding variety of detail that features elements of the Gothic Revival, Second Empire, Eastlake, and Stick styles. It was built as a seaside cottage for Isaac Chauncey Lewis (1812-1893), president of the Meriden Britannia Company and one of Connecticut’s leading industrialists. The cottage was designed by the architect Henry Martin Jones (1828-1908), who had also designed Lewis’s much larger house in Meriden. The cottage was shifted about a hundred feet east, from one side of its lot to the other, in 1917. Read the rest of this entry »
The house at 136-138 Collins Street in Hartford was built in 1870. An impressive mansard-roofed Second Empire-style house, it was once owned by Isaac Frisbie. He was superintendent of the Hartford Alms House, which once stood on a property to the rear of his house. The Alms House and adjacent Town Farm were abolished in the 1890s when Hartford’s town government was consolidated with its city government. Today the house on Collins Street is used as a halfway house for federal and state inmates who are transitioning back to freedom. The house once had a one-story veranda–traces of its roofline can be seen along the facade of the western half of the house.
Constructed in 1868 as a grand new three-story commercial block with classical detailing, Bacon’s Marble Block is located at at 128 State Street in New London. It was built by Morris W. Bacon, manager of the Pequot & Ocean Transit Steamship Co., who ran a billiard hall in the building. The structure’s original cornice was replaced with a mansard roof before 1901. Beatrice Cuming, a painter, lived and worked on the building‘s upper floors in the 1930s and 1940s. In more recent years, the building sat derelict for twenty-five years, but was then restored with commercial space on the first floor and apartments above. Bacon’s Marble Block also features a faded Uneeda Biscuit sign. The building next door, at 140 State Street, was built in 1873.
The house at 72 Broad Street in Guilford was built c. 1847 for Edward Sherman Fowler, who was born in 1817 in the house at 66 Broad Street to Samuel and Sophie Fowler. He soon moved to New London where he worked as a railroad conductor. In 1855 the Guilford Institute acquired the house and sold it in 1868. A later owner was Alfred N. Wilcox, who served in the Civil War as a sergeant in Co. G, 14th Regt., Connecticut Volunteers. Yet another owner operated a blacksmith shop on the property until 1968. Around 1870, a French Second Empire Mansard roof was added to the house, which had previously had a flat Italianate-style roof. The current front porch was added in 2003.
The Mansard-roofed house at 111 Whitney Avenue in New Haven (pdf) was built in 1870. It is known as the William H. Taft Mansion because the former President (1909-1913) (soon to be Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court) owned the house around the time of the First World War, although he never actually lived in it. He sold the house in 1921. Extensively remodeled in 2008, the house was recently used as the offices of Research Edge, an independent research firm, which later became Hedgeye Risk Management. More recently, the house has become home to the William F. Buckley Jr. Program, a Yale conservative group founded in 2010.
Built circa 1873, the John Newberry King House is a French Second Empire-style residence located at 793 Main Street in South Windsor. It was built for John Newberry King (1822-1895). According to the second volume of the Commemorative Biographical Record of Hartford County (1901):
Hon. John Newberry King, son of Roderick King, and the father of Isaac White King, was born March 24. 1822. He married, Dec. 25, 1848, Julia Ann, daughter of Isaac and Adocia (White) Keeney, and a direct descendant of Perigrene White, who, it is said, was the first white child born after the landing of the Pilgrim Fathers. Mr. King was one of the first to introduce tobacco growing in the town of South Windsor; was among the first to build tobacco sheds, and to engage extensively in the cultivation of that plant. He was one of the substantial men of his period, a man of good ability, excellent judgment and an all-round good and useful citizen. He was a farmer all through his active, busy life, which was lived in a manner worthy of his New England ancestry, and which is to the credit of his posterity. For many years he was active and prominent in the councils of the Democratic party of his section. He served that party on its central committee and in 1879 represented his town in the General Assembly of the State. He was prominently identified with the Masonic Fraternity, and was the principal mover in organizing Evergreen Lodge, No. 114, F. & A. M., of which he was a charter member, and for a number of years its worshipful master. He was successful in the management of his business interests, and accumulated a competence, holding considerable property mostly in his town, also in East Hartford. Mr. King died in 1895, aged seventy-three years.
In 1842, Luther Boardman invented and patented an improved mold for creating britannia silverware. He established a factory in East Haddam where he produced britannia spoons. In 1864, Luther Boardman entered a partnership with his son Norman S. Boardman, under the name L. Boardman & Son. This successful business peaked in the 1860s and 1870s. Norman Boardman had already built the Italianate house at 8 Norwich Road when another grand residence was constructed next door circa 1875. A more eclectic house than its neighbor, it features an Italianate design and an octagonal rear tower on west side with a mansard roof and Eastlake-style iron cresting. There is some confusion over who built the house. The National Register of Historic Places nomination for the East Haddam Historic District lists the house as the Norman S. Boardman House, while an 1880 bird’s-eye-view of East Haddam lists it as the residence of his father, Luther Boardman. An online collection of images from the Boardman Collection at the East Haddam Historical Society has a photo of the house with the description “The Lawton House owned by the Boardman Family.”