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.
For the Fourth of July, here is a saltbox house at 16 Tolland Green in Tolland that was built in 1776. One known resident of the house was a man named Winters. According to Around and About the Tolland Green (2002) by Christine Gray, he was a proprietor of the County House, the hotel attached to the Tolland County Jail, whose wife refused to live at the jail.
The house at 26 Tolland Green in Tolland was probably built sometime in the eighteenth century and was certainly standing by c. 1800. Recent research suggests it may be much older than the traditionally ascribed date of 1800. As explained in a post by the Tolland Historical Society, the land where the house stands was part of a 10-acre parcel acquired by Josiah Goodrich, Sr. in 1725. He had a trading shop on the property, which may have been located in the north wing of the present house. In 1750 Josiah Goodrich, Jr. sold the property to John Huntington, Jr.
The house is traditionally named for Judge Elisha Stearns, who was the first president of the Tolland County Bank, incorporated in 1828. The bank operated briefly inside the house until a bank building was erected in 1829. Frank T. Newcomb, Treasurer of the Savings Bank of Tolland and Tolland County Treasurer, served as postmaster and had a post office in the ell of the house from 1888 to 1893. In the nineteenth century the house was extensively remodeled in the Victorian style. It was later altered again in the Colonial Revival style.
The Steele House at 63 Tolland Green in Tolland dates back to around 1800, although there is evidence it may have started as a late eighteenth-century saltbox. The house was once owned by Benjamin Ashley and later by Lucius Fuller. Several residents served as cashier at the Tolland Bank. The house was enlarged in the mid-nineteenth century and the original central chimney was eventually removed. The Steele House was the last of a series of inns and hotels that had served visitors on Tolland’s village Green. Run by John H. and Alice Webster Steele, it began taking guests in 1914. The Steeles operated the guest house until 1942 and owned it until 1958. Susan and Steve Beeching bought the property in 1985, renovated it and opened it in 1987 as the Tolland Inn, a bed and breakfast.