The house at 30 Tolland Green in Tolland is an example of a older building that was later completely transformed. It was built in 1848 by William F. Wescott as a simple gable-front structure. Daniel Ely Benton owned this vernacular residence for a few years while he operating a general store on the corner. Two doctors later owned it and practiced medicine here: Dr. W. H. Clark owned it until moving to New York State in 1888; it was acquired by Dr. Willard N. Simmons in 1889, the same year he received his MD from the University of Vermont and married Alice Phillips. As related in Men of Progress (1898), a Connecticut biographical compendium:
At the time he began his medical studies he was a nurse in the Retreat for the Insane in Hartford. After two years and a half there, he divided his time between the Hartford Hospital and the Connecticut Hospital for the Insane in Middletown, Connecticut. He was also Assistant to Dr. J. E. Root in the Hartford Free Dispensary. He began practice in Tolland, his wife’s home, in August 1889, and has remained there since, building up an excellent practice. Most of this time he has been Physician of the county jail and Town Physician. Under appointment by Governors he several times has examined prisoners as to their sanity. From June 1, 1892, to June 1, 1896, he was a Deputy Sheriff of Tolland county, and for eight years has been Medical Examiner of the town.
The house was altered to the bungalow style in 1922.
The house at 714 Tolland Stage Road in Tolland was built circa 1790 as a saltbox. After a fire in 1868, the house was rebuilt in the Italianate style by Dr. Gilbert Preston, who owned it from 1845 until his death in 1883. Many of Dr. Preston’s medical instruments and other items are on display at the Old Jail Museum in Tolland. The house was later the residence of Dr. Preston’s daughter Sarah (1854-1939). As related in the Commemorative Biographical Record of Tolland and Windham Counties (1903):
[Henry Young] was married second, April 21, 1896, to Sarah C. (Preston) Lathrop, of Tolland, a daughter of Dr. Gilbert H. and Sarah (Cogswell) Preston, the former of whom was for many years the leading physician of Tolland, where his personal standing was also very high.
The house was next owned by Sarah’s granddaughter, Florence Edith Meacham Anderson (1900-1966). In 1997 the then owner replaced the original wraparound porch with the current entry portico and added a sunroom on the south side.
The house at 76 Tolland Green in Tolland, built in 1883, rests on eleven hand-cut granite blocks. Built for Ransel Agard (1815-1889), it was home to five generations of the Agard family. Ransel taught school for a number of years and then, according to the Commemorative Biographical Record of Tolland and Windham Counties (1903),
In 1844, in partnership with a party by the name of Woodruff, Mr. Agard opened up a grocery business on Asylum street, in Hartford. Several years later the firm name was changed to Sumner & Agard, his brother-in-law, William Sumner, having become his partner. The business prospered and a few years after, Mr. Agard became the sole proprietor. Then he rented his business property in Hartford and bought a store in Vernon, Conn.; in 1866 he removed a stock of goods from Hartford, and until 1871 conducted the largest general store in Vernon. At that time he sold the business and settled in Tolland, retiring from activity and spending his last days in comfort and enjoyment in his pleasant home, dying here on Jan. 27, 1889. Mr. Agard was a stanch Republican, having borne testimony all his life in favor of the abolition of slavery. No inducement could be offered to cause him to accept political office, although he supported the standard bearers of his party with characteristic vigor.
In 1889 he was elected to the position of manager of the Underwood Manufacturing Co., of Tolland, Conn., the business being the manufacture of belts and belting. This company is now known to the commercial and industrial world as the William Sumner Belting Co., of which Mr. Agard has been the president since its formation, in 1898.
On Sept. 15, 1874., Mr. Agard was married to Miss Catherine Bissell, a daughter of Sanford Bissell, of South Windsor. [. . . .] Mr. Agard is one of the leading men of Tolland, and is President of the Savings Bank of Tolland, being elected to that position in 1902, and he is financially interested in many lines. For many years he has been a leader in the Congregational Church and since 1896. has been one of its deacons, and is also a member of the Society’s committee of this church. In politics he has been a life-long Republican, but has declined political honors for many years, serving now only on the school board.
The house at 89 Tolland Green in Tolland was built c. 1790 by a member of the Howard family. Bishop Francis Asbury, who played a major part in the spread of Methodism in the United States, held a conference of Methodist ministers in the house in August 1793. As related in the Life and Labors of Francis Asbury, Bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church in America (1896), by George G. Smith:
Methodism had come to New England to stay, and the Conference was to meet at Tolland. With a blister behind his ear for a sore throat and a poultice on his foot for rheumatism, he consented to rest a little while, but only for two days. He was again attacked by the rheumatism, and was not able to walk from his horse to the house, and had to be lifted down from the saddle and up again.
Our conference sat at Tolland. Lame as I was, I went through the business; and notwithstanding I was tired out with labour, heat, and pain, and company, I must also preach; so I submitted; and endeavoured to apply 2 Tim. ii, 24-26.
As explained in the Souvenir History of the New England Southern Conference in Three Volumes (1897)
The preaching service was held in the partially finished chapel. Bishop Asbury was present and preached on II. Timothy ii: 24-26, “The servant of the Lord must not strive,” etc. The text was peculiarly apt for the people and the time, for Dr. Williams of the Congregational Church had recently bitterly attacked the Methodist Church usages and doctrines. Dr. Williams afterwards acknowledged his mistake, and invited Methodists to hold prayer meetings at his home.
In 1794 Bishop Asbury again stayed at the house, which later became a Methodist parsonage for a time.
In 1805 Dr. Jeremiah West (1753-1806), who had served as a surgeon in the Revolutionary War, deeded the house at 4 Tolland Green in Tolland to the Missionary Society of Connecticut. The house, built circa 1760, served for a time as Tolland’s Congregational Church parsonage. John H. P. Rounds acquired the house from the church in 1898. Rounds was the last driver of the horse-drawn mail stage from Rockville. He also served as Assessor in Tolland and was a candidate for Connecticut state house of representatives from Tolland in 1904.
The Swiss Chalet-style house at 704 Tolland Stage Road in Tolland is one of the most notable buildings in the area of Tolland Green. It was built in 1859 for Charles Underwood, who in 1851 had inherited the leather belting factory across the street established by his father, Moses Underwood. Charles and his brother Henry would expand the business as the Underwood Belting Company. Charles Underwood also engaged extensively in agricultural pursuits and served in the Connecticut state senate in 1868 and 1869.
The house at 699 Tolland Stage Road in Tolland was built c. 1792. According to Around and About the Tolland Green (2002) by Christine Gray, a resident of the house was a Dr. Brace, an apothecary whose medicine bottles are on display at the Old Tolland County Jail and Museum.