In 1861 Moses Bulkeley, a prosperous Southport merchant, had a highly detailed Gothic Revival house erected at 176 Main Street. Designed by the Bridgeport architects Lambert & Bunnell, the house has distinctively Gothic pointed arches, decorated bargeboards and lancet windows. The tower was added to the house in 1886 by Moses Bulkeley’s son Oliver. From 1922, when the porch was extended, until 1958, the house was used as an inn.
The house at 564 Harbor Road in Southport was built in 1823 for Capt. Charles Perry (1795-1870), a shipowner and sea captain. His widow, Sarah Fitch Chidsey, lived in the house until her death in 1882. Their daughter Maria Perry then lived in the house until her death in 1901. A Federal-style residence, the house underwent alterations in 1889 when a rear ell was added, a two-story bay window was installed on the south side and an enclosed porch was added just above the front entrance. From c. 1915 until 1925 the house was used as the parsonage of the Southport Congregational Church.
In 1926 the house was acquired by Egbert C. Hadley, who soon hired the architectural firm of Clark and Arms to remodel the house. Under the direction of architect Cameron Clark the bay window and porch were removed and the interior of the house was altered: the original kitchen became the living room, a new kitchen was built into part of the original dining room, bathrooms were added to the second floor and two bedrooms and a bath were finished in the attic. Cameron Clark went on to become a renowned Colonial Revival architect and his partner John Taylor Arms became a leading American etcher. Very few examples survive of their early architectural partnership. Read the rest of this entry »
At 3237 Bronson Road in the Greenfield Hill section of Fairfield is a Colonial Revival house built in 1882. It was once the home of Isaac Milbank, a gunsmith, who had his brick workshop behind the house. Later purchased by the Greenfield Hill Congregational Church for use as a school, the house has been much altered and an addition was built in 2012.
The house at 212 Center Street in Southport was built by Francis Jelliff, a carpenter and builder. Much altered in later years, the house has since been restored to its original Greek Revival style. He also constructed another house in the 1870s for his son Charles E Jelliff, which was moved in the 1950s to 154 Taintor Drive to make way for the construction of I-95. Francis Jelliff is described in the Commemorative Biographical Record of Fairfield County, Connecticut (1899). He was
born December 8, 1816, at Westport, Conn., a son of David and Polly (Pike) Jelliff, the latter of whom was born in Southport, Conn. They had their home in Westport, where they reared their family of three children: Francis, Eliphalet and Mary. Of these, Eliphalet died young, and Mary married Sellick Sherman. Francis learned the trade of carpenter when a boy, serving a long apprenticeship, as was customary in those days, and followed that business throughout life at Southport, after a period spent in journeyman work in New York and elsewhere, among other jobs putting up cabins on vessels. In all respects he was a superior mechanic. Prior to his marriage he built his home on the corner of Pequot and Center streets, where he spent the balance of his life. In connection with carpentering he did a considerable amount of business in building and contracting, erecting many buildings in Southport and other towns, doing the entire work on the Southport Savings Bank, building the school house in the borough, and was a partner in the construction of both the Episcopal church and Congregational church. Beginning life a poor boy, he, by industry, perseverance, honesty of purpose and economy, became wealthy, at his death leaving a handsome competence.
In 1750, Zalmon Bradley constructed a saltbox house at 105 Meeting House Lane in the Greenfield Hill neighborhood of Fairfield. Before 1800 the house was expanded by Bradley’s sister Sarah and her husband Dudley Baldwin (perhaps then or later it was remodeled with a hip roof). The house was owned for over a century by the Baldwin family and Dudley’s brother, Abraham Baldwin, lived there for a time. Abraham Baldwin was a delegate to the constitutional convention in 1787 and founder of the University of Georgia. Other notables frequented the house, including Joel Barlow, a politician, diplomat and poet who was one of the Hartford Wits, and Talleyrand, Napoleon’s chief diplomat. The house has recently been restored and remodeled.
At 668-670 Harbor Road in Southport is a 1787 building that was significantly altered in later years. It may give the impression of being a nineteenth-century mansard-roofed commercial block, but the upper floors began as the homestead of Miah Perry. It was possibly altered and expanded in 1834. By that time the building displayed the influence of the Dutch Colonial style with two low-pitched gambrel roofs intersecting at the street corner. In the 1870s, the house was raised by Nehemiah Jennings to sit above a commercial section. In one part of the new ground floor Jennings ran a market and post office, while the other part contained the John Wood dry goods store. Miss Mary Allis (1899-1987) purchased the building in 1947 and refurbished it the following year. She had started renting space for her antiques store on the southeast corner in 1945. Mary Allis was a major figure in the world of folk-art collecting.
This the 3,000th post at Historic Buildings of Connecticut! That’s 3,000 great buildings throughout the state!
The house at 52 Main Street in Southport, known as the E. Thorp House, was built in 1792. The historic residence suffered damage from Hurricane Irene in 2011 when a beech tree in the front yard split and crashed through the roof on the left side, damaging three floors. The house was restored by Sterling Building & Restoration using antique lumber materials and carefully recreating historically accurate trim, windows and doors.