The house at 49 Barnes Hill Road in Burlington is currently for sale. One of the present owners of the house has provided me the results of some of her research into the history of the property. She writes that
The property was purchased/settled we believe in 1803 (previous owners found a dated cornerstone in the cellar) when Burlington was a part of Bristol (Burlington was incorporated in 1806). The original owners were Amzi [Barnes (1784-1865)] and Sophoronia [Mills] Barnes. We think they built the original structure. They had 10 children, many of whom stayed in the area. Many also died in childhood and are buried in a local Burlington cemetery.
The house has clearly been expanded over time and has been thoroughly renovated for modern living inside. The current main structure we believe dates back to the 1880s and shows up on the Burlington land records then. Our current family room originally served as the “birthing barn” for the new calves on the farm and was later finished as a family room and connected to the main house in the 20th century via a connecting “mud room”.
One of Amzi and Sophronia‘s sons was Isaac Barnes (1830-1909), a meat merchant and lumber dealer who was a member of Connecticut state house of representatives from Burlington in 1867. Another son was Cromwell Barnes, who was the father of Adna North Barnes. Adna had five children with his second wife, Anna Delight Upson Barnes, who are pictured on page 81 of the Images of America volume on Burlington. One of the children was Louis Barnes.
One descendant who lived in the home, Louis Barnes, [was] born during the 1888 blizzard. He was noted as a prize cattle breeder in CT. I believe he is credited with bringing some of the first Swiss cows to America.
The Treadwell House (also known as the Pettibone House) faces the triangular Burlington Green, between Spielman Highway and the George Washington Turnpike. The position taken in the house’s nomination to the National Register of Historic Places in 1982 is that it was built between 1805 and 1816 by John P. Treadwell, who was the 21st governor of Connecticut from 1809 to 1811. The Burlington Historical Society has argued that it was built by Abraham Pettibone, not Treadwell, and should be known as the Pettibone House. The main facade of the house faces south, while the elaborate doorway on the west side is actually not an entrance at all, but is a false door. It is either an original feature of the house or was built quite early in the house’s existence. In its long history, the house has been owned by two ministers (Erastus Clapp and Erastus Scranton) and two town clerks (John A. Reeve and then his son, Arthur J. Reeve). In 1970, the house was bought by the town for use as town offices. Since 1980, it has been used as a branch banking office.
Off Route 4 in Burlington is a house built on a tract of land soon after its purchase by John Wiard, Jr. (1720-1788) in 1754. It was later passed to his son, Seth Wiard and then to Seth Wiard, Jr. The house is notable for having many well preserved eighteenth-century exterior and interior details, as well as Federal-style interior alterations made about 1810. Now set back from the road, the house’s front driveway, parallel to Route 4, marks the road’s original location, before it was moved to the south.
In the eighteenth century, two parishes were established in what was then the West Woods section of Farmington: the New Cambridge Ecclesiastical Society in 1742 and the West Britain Ecclesiastical Society, gathered in 1774 and incorporated in 1783. That same year, the West Britain Society dedicated their meeting house, constructed after several years of contention over where to build it. The two parishes of West Britain and New Cambridge joined in 1785 to form the new town of Bristol, but differences between the two parishes later led to the separation of West Britain as the town of Burlington in 1806. The first meeting house had been outgrown by then. According to Epaphroditus Peck, in a 1906 Address on the history of Burlington, “It is said that this little meeting-house was never finished inside, and that the swallows used to make their nests in the rafters and often fly in and out during service.” A new meeting house was built in 1809, near to the site of the first building which, according to Peck, “was removed to Bristol, and used as a cotton-mill. It afterward became the Ingraham clock-case shop, and was destroyed by fire in December, 1904.” The 1809 Congregational Church of Burlington was moved, reduced somewhat in size, and rebuilt in the Greek Revival style at its current location on the Burlington Green in 1836.
The striking pink, Federal-style Brown-Elton Tavern, located on the Green in Burlington, was built in 1810 as the private home of Giles Griswold, a merchant. It’s design is attributed to builder David Hoadley. By 1820, Griswold had relocated to Georgia and his properties were being foreclosed. The house was soon acquired by Julius Hotchkiss, who died in 1825. His widow, Laura Hotchkiss, later sold the Tavern, which passed through other owners over the years (pdf). The building served as a tavern on the Hartford and Litchfield stage line and later as an inn along the George Washington Turnpike. It was purchased by the Town of Burlington in 1974 and is now home to the Burlington Historical Society, which is restoring the Tavern as a museum.