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.
Simon Couch Sherwood (1845-1906) of Southport was the son of Edwin Sherwood, a wealthy shipping merchant involved in the trade between New York and Savannah. Simon C. Sherwood is described in the Commemorative Biographical Record of Fairfield County, Connecticut (1899):
Aside from his investments, he is living retired, in the enjoyments of a well-regulated life. On October 14, 1868, Mr. Sherwood was married to Miss Matilda Simpson, of Southport, daughter of John Simpson, and two sons—Simon W. and Richard S.—have been born to them. Mr. and Mrs. Sherwood are identified with the Congregational Church, and he is a member of the executive committee of same. In his political preferences he was once a Democrat, but for some years past has been a Republican. He is a trustee of the Southport Savings Bank. Mr. Sherwood’s honorable business methods and his upright life have gained for him prestige in the community where he has so long made his home, while his genial manner enables him to make friends easily, and when once a friendship is won it is always his. He is a member of the Sons of the American Revolution.
Sherwood’s house, built in 1884 at 67 Westway Road in Southport, features an eclectic mix of Victorian-era stylistic elements. After his death in 1906, the house continued as the residence of his widow and his son Simon Wakeman Sherwood until 1916.
The house at 35 Rose Hill Road in Southport was not always a house. It was built in 1912 by the Southern New England Telephone Co. as its Southport Telephone Exchange. The business office was on the first floor and the telephone switchboard operations were on the second floor. The Telephone Exchange moved to reef road in 1947 and the 1,722-square-foot building was converted to residential use. For a time it was divided into two apartments until recent owners returned it to being a single-family home. The property also has a guest house that was once a four-bay garage used by SNET.
At 494 Harbor Road in Southport in the town of Fairfield is a Gothic Revival house built in 1848 for Allen Nichols, who was in the dry goods business. The house was later remodeled in the Second Empire style and had a cupola, since removed. Nearby are two other houses built by members of the Nichols family.