The brick commercial building at 2977 Whitney Avenue in Hamden was built in 1877 (or possibly earlier, circa 1853, unless it replaced an earlier building on the site) by James Ives (1815-1889). A prominent manufacturer and developer of local business, Ives operated a factory, built by his father Elam Ives, on the Farmington Canal that produced brass carriage hardware. He later built a new factory on the Mill River. He also engaged in other manufacturing endeavors, including the Mt. Carmel Screw Works. The area around the factory was known as Ivesville and the intersection of Whitney Avenue and Ives Street, where the Ives Building is located, is known as Ives Corner. Ives rented out the building as a general store. There was also a post office, where Ives’ brother Lucius was postmaster, and a meeting hall in the building. After 1913, the building was home for many years to Levine’s Market. In 1934, Sydney Levine devoted a section of the market to the sale of alcoholic beverages, a business which has since grown into today’s Mt. Carmel Wine and Spirits. Read the rest of this entry »
Lucerne is the name of the castle-like mansion at 20 Davis Street in Hamden. Designed by the architects Brown and Von Beren, it was built in 1906 for Frederick D. Grave. A German immigrant who arrived in America in 1861, Grave learned the cigar trade and in 1884 founded his own company in New Haven. Still in business, the company has been known since 1911 as F.D. Grave & Son. The mansion is now home to the architectural offices of Kevin Roche John Dinkeloo and Associates.
The house at 3369 Whitney Avenue in Hamden was built around 1815 by Orrin Todd, the son of local builder Simeon Todd. The house was originally located on the opposite side of the road, until the Farmington Canal was laid out to pass through Todd’s land. He sold his property to the Farmington Canal Company and moved to Ohio. The house was then moved to its current site by Butler Sackett, a businessman who also purchased and moved other houses along the canal route. In the later nineteenth century, a general store was attached to the house.
Sterling Bradley was a well-known citizen in nineteenth-century Hamden, who served as a selectman in 1832, 1833 and 1834. In 1829, he inherited the second of two houses built by his father, Amasa Bradley, on Whitney Avenue in the Mount Carmel section of town. As described in The Connecticut Quarterly, Vol. IV, No. 4 (1898):
Sterling Bradley, a life-long resident of Hamden, became the sole proprietor of the Cheshire turnpike during the latter part of the time when toll was collected. His stalwart form was a familiar figure, usually accompanied by a team of unusually fine oxen. At one period his home became the country tavern that furnished refreshment to the throngs of people that traveled over his road.
As described by John H. Dickerman in the Colonial History of the Parish of Mount Carmel (1904):
Sterling Bradley, whose houses and barns still stand as he built them on the old colonial highway, afterward the turnpike, was an early promoter of choice cattle. His Durham stock long held precedence in the town, and his name became proverbial as associated with fine oxen. It was the custom at the County fair to award a liberal premium to the most numerous and best team of oxen exhibited by any town within the county. The team started at or near the home of Sterling Bradley and continued to augment as it proceeded through the town until one hundred and twenty-five yoke of oxen were gathered in the “round up” on New Haven Green. Mount Carmel always carried home the banner of victory when an effort was made to get out its full quota.
While continuing to operate the tavern in the house built by his father, Sterling Bradley built a new house, around 1835, across the street, at 3997 Whitney Avenue.
The house at 3217 Whitney Avenue in Hamden was built around 1770 by Jonathan Dickerman (1719-1795), father of the Jonathan Dickerman who built the 1792 farmhouse now at 105 Mt. Carmel Avenue. The elder Jonathan Dickerman settled in what is now Hamden in 1743. During the Revolution, he served on New Haven’s Committee of Inspection. The house was next owned by his son, Amos Dickerman and then by Amos’ son Ezra (1800-1860). Three years after Ezra’s death, the house was sold by his heirs. Today, the house has modern siding and has recently lost its original central chimney.
Built around 1875, the Italianate house at 3341-43 Whitney Avenue in Hamden was built for Joseph H.K. Miller. He was employed by the Mount Carmel axle works factory of Frederick Ives, part of the New Haven area’s carriage building industry. By 1880, Joseph’s brother, Willis E. Miller, became a partner in the company, which was thereafter known as Ives and Miller. The factory was in operation until 1907.
The Coopers were early settlers in Hamden. James Cooper built the house at 2052 Whitney Avenue around 1810 (or perhaps as early as 1780). The widow of Cooper’s grandson William married Thomas Hartley in the 1870s and the house remained in the Hartley family for over a half-century.