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.
The oldest church building in Hamden is Grace Episcopal Church, built in 1821 and attributed to the architect builder David Hoadley. The church’s first meeting house was built in 1790, in Mount Carmel, on what is today Whitney Avenue. The current church once had a large steeple, built in 1847 and designed by Henry Austin, which blew down in 1915. The present steeple was built in 1921. The church was moved in 1966 from one side of Dixwell Avenue to the opposite side. In the 1990s, Grace Church merged with St. Peter’s on the Hill, founded in 1958. The united church is now known as Grace & St. Peters Episcopal Church.
In 1799, Ezra Bassett, son of Capt. Hezekiah Bassett, purchased land in Hamden and within a few years had built a house along what is now Whitney Avenue. Probably a merchant, Ezra Bassett’s business suffered during the War of 1812, leading to the loss of the house in 1815. It was next owned by Jared Atwater and remained in his family for the rest of the nineteenth century. Although later significantly altered for commercial purposes with original decoration removed and display windows added, the house was more recently restored to its original appearance, with a Federal-style entry and tripartite window. The house now serves as a lawyer’s office.