The present style of the front facade of the building at 191 to 195 Main Street in Middletown dates to c. 1891, when the original two-and-one-half story structure with a gable roof was raised to a full three stories. The north section of this commercial building was built in 1835 by Joshua Stow, a former county judge and Middletown post master (also a politician and ardent Jeffersonian Republican) who operated a store. In 1845 the building passed to William Trench, who rented it out to various commercial tenants. From 1882 to 1887 it was rented by the Middletown Police, who used it as the town’s first police station. The matching south section of the building was in place by 1856 (and may have been built at the same time as the north half (1835), with the brick fire wall down the center of the building being shared by the owners of the two separate halves).
At 519-529 Campbell Avenue in West Haven is a three-story Tudor Revival commercial building erected in 1900. It was built by the brothers (or father and son?), Alonzo Felton Wood and James P. Wood, who operated a drug store on the first floor.
At 243 State Street in New London is Lyric Hall, a commercial building with an auditorium on the second floor. Originally a theater, by the mid-twentieth century the auditorium space was being used for dance classes. The Classical Revival building was designed by architect James Sweeney of New London. The building has had various owners and been used for different purposes over the years. It has recently undergone restoration work and has very recent new owners.
Happy Halloween!! In keeping with the Fall spirit, today’s building is the Old Cider Mill in Glastonbury. Recognized as the oldest continuously operating Cider Mill in the United States (starting in the early nineteenth century?), the current building was constructed as early as the 1870s.
Located at 146 Hartford Road in Manchester is a former office building of the Cheney Brothers silk mills. The office was built in 1910, replacing an earlier office. After the Cheney Brothers mills closed, the building was owned at different times by the electric company and Manchester Community College. Currently it serves as the offices of Fuss & O’Neill, an engineering firm.
The building at 42 Main Street in North Stonington was built just before 1809 by Daniel Packer and Jedidiah Randall. It served as a store and for a time as a jail. It was moved from another spot on the same lot in the late nineteenth century. The building was the T.S. & H.D. Wheeler Store (a general store) before it was converted into North Stonington‘s Town Hall in 1904. A neighboring garage was converted into a new Town Hall in 1978. Today the old Town Hall is used for the offices of the selectmen, resident state trooper, and other town officials.
Thomas Fitch (1696-1774), a lawyer, was Governor of the Colony of Connecticut from 1754 to 1766. His house, built around 1740, once stood on Earls Hill on the east side of East Avenue in Norwalk. The house was partially burned in the British raid on Norwalk on July 11-12, 1779. Fitch descendants occupied the reconstructed house until 1945. The section of the house that had survived the British raid (part of the house’s kitchen wing) was moved to Mill Hill in 1956 when the rest of the building was demolished to make way for the construction of the Connecticut Turnpike (now I-95). In 1971 the building was restored as a museum to resemble a law office such as one that Governor Fitch might have used in the eighteenth century. The foundations and chimney of the Law Office were constructed using stones from the cellar walls of the original Fitch House. The Law Office is one of three buildings at Mill Hill Historic Park maintained by the Norwalk Historical Society and the Norwalk-Village Green Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution.