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.
Mrs. Benjamin Pomeroy, the wife of a shipping merchant, had the house at 658 Pequot Avenue in Southport erected for herself and her daughters. The Second Empire-style house, which features an elaborate front porch and mansard roof, was designed by the architectural firm of Lambert & Bunnell. Constructed in 1868-1869, the house’s builder was Gamaliel Bradford of Fairfield. The house remained in the family until 1946. The house’s carriage house was erected around the same time as the main house.