William Bulkley, a storekeeper, built the house at 824 Harbor Road in Southport in Fairfield before 1766. Having been spared during the burning of Fairfield by the British in 1779 because Bulkley’s wife had provided hospitality to British troops, it is today the oldest house still standing on Southport Harbor. A colonial three-quarter house, it was remodeled in the Federal period with a fan window in the attic gable and a cornice with triglyph ornamentation. The changes may have been made by David Banks after he purchased the house in 1816. Wakeman B. Meeker bought the house in 1832. Together with his partner, Simon Sherwood, Meeker organized the merchant shipping firm of Meeker & Sherwood, which constructed a wharf and three warehouses across from the house. In the 1850s Meeker built a new house just north of the Bulkley House.
The saltbox house at 450 Harbor Road in Southport in Fairfield was originally built in 1715 by Samuel Bradley in East Haven. Occupied by his descendants until 1945, in 1945-1948 it was moved and reconstructed at its current address.
At 3171 Bronson Road in the Greenfield Hill section of Fairfield is a gambrel-roofed house built in 1757 by Rev. Seth Pomeroy. The son of Seth Pomeroy, a gunsmith and soldier from Northampton, Mass., who would serve in the Revolutionary War, Rev. Pomeroy, a graduate of Yale, served as the minister of the Greenfield Hill Congregational Church from 1757 until his death at the age of 37 in 1770. After Rev. Pomeroy died, the house was owned by Captain David Hubbell who used it as a store until it was purchased by Reverend William Belden, who served as pastor of the Greenfield Hill Church from 1812 to 1821. At one point the house served as an insurance office.
Yesterday I featured the Gurdon Perry House, located at 780 Harbor Road in Southport in Fairfield. Nearby at 712 Harbor Road is the home of Austin Perry, brother of Gurdon. Both men were members of a family of wealthy ship owners and merchants. Both houses were built around the same time, circa 1830, but the Austin Perry House had a Corinthian portico added in the 1840s. It is considered to be one of the finest porticos of its type on a house in the United States.
The house at 780 Harbor Road in the Southport section of Fairfield was built circa 1830 by Walter Perry (1770-1837) for his son Gurdon Perry (1807-1869). The Perry family were ship owners and merchants and Walter Perry owned Southport’s waterfront district. While typical of the large homes of wealthy merchants of the time, the house was built when Southport was just about to experience two decades of phenomenal growth as a shipping port. Merchants in Southport would soon be constructing even grander residences with greater architectural ambitions.
Southport was for many years a part of the Fairfield parish. The people of Southport, having built a meeting-house in their own village in 1841, resolved at a meeting held February 18, 1843, to form a new church, and therefore called a council of the five neighboring churches for March 7, 1843. This council organized “The Southport Congregational Church,” with a membership of twenty-eight. The sermon in the afternoon was by the Rev. Lyman Hotchkiss Atwater, of Fairfield. In the evening the meeting-house was set apart to the worship of God, the Rev. Dr. Nathaniel Hewit, of Bridgeport, preaching the dedication sermon. The church was received into the Fairfield West Consociation June 6, 1843.
The Pequot Library in Southport (in Fairfield) was founded in 1889 by Elbert B. Monroe and his wife, Virginia Marquand Monroe (1837-1926), who was the adopted daughter of Fairfield jeweler and businessman Frederick Marquand. The library building, located at 720 Pequot Avenue in Southport, was built in 1893 on the the grounds of the Marquand home, a Greek Revival house built in 1832, which was demolished to make way for the library. This was a site originally settled by Frederick Marquand‘s ancestor Henry Marquand in 1768. Frederick Marquand‘s brother was Henry G. Marquand, the noted financier, philanthropist and art collector. The library opened to the public in April of 1894. Constructed of sandstone blocks with a red tile roof, the building was designed by architect Robert H. Robertson.