Rev. John McKinstry (1677-1754) was the first minister of Ellington’s Congregational Church. His house, most likely the oldest in Ellington, was built in 1730 and was moved to its present address at 85 Maple Street in 1815 from north of where the Hall Memorial Library was later built.
On page 34 of the volume by Lynn Kloter Fahy on Ellington in the Images of America series (Arcadia Publishing, 2005) is an image of the John Robinson House, 107 Maple Street, taken c. 1910. The image shows that the house, built in 1890, once had many more features of the Queen Anne style, including decorative trim and a front porch. The house does retain its original pyramidal roof. Behind the house was Robinson’s blacksmith shop.
The Lucius Chapman House, at 87 Maple Street in Ellington, was built in 1834. It has a later Italianate entrance porch. As related in “Ellington, ” by Alice E. Pinney (The Connecticut Magazine, Vol. IV, No. 2, 1898):
About the beginning of the present century the business of the town changed its location again to a point on the old turnpike a mile east of the present center, near the junction with the road leading to Stafford, where a thriving store was kept in an old red gambrel-roofed house by Dr. James Steele of Tolland. Although he bore the professional title of doctor, he is recorded as being a merchant and a farmer. He died in 1819. Lucius Chapman is said to have kept the store from 1825 until 1856. when he sold out and went West and the place was abandoned for store purposes.
As noted by Henry Willey in Isaac Willey of New London, Conn., and His Descendants (1888), Rebecca Willey, daughter of Asa and Rebecca Wass Willey, was born in 1798 and in 1830 married
Lucius Chapman, a merchant of Ellington, Conn. They removed to Illinois, and were living there in 1861.
Nelson Cheffee was an architect who built a number of Greek Revival houses along Main Street in Ellington. Pictured above is the house at 108 Main Street, built in 1839. I’m not sure if the architect Nelson Chaffee is the Nelson E. Chaffee (1807-1870) who patented an improvement in drying machines in 1849. Read the rest of this entry »
The house at 101 Main Street in Ellington displays features of the Gothic Revival: board-and-batten siding, decorative bargeboards and drip mold window crowns. The house was probably built as a simple version of the Greek Revival style (c. 1832) and later altered (c. 1860) in the Gothic Revival style.
At the head of the Town Green in Ellington is the Hall Memorial Library, which first opened in 1903. The building was designed by architect Wilson Potter of New York, who specialized in schools and libraries and also designed the Bristol Public Library. The library was the gift of Francis Hall, who had left Ellington for Elmira, NY, in honor of his father, Judge John Hall, and his brother, Edward Hall, who had both headed renowned schools in Ellington. A bookseller, Francis Hall went to Japan in 1859 to collect material for a book and to serve as correspondent for Horace Greeley’s New York Tribune. He kept a detailed diary of his experiences in Japan from 1859 to 1866. In Yokohama, he helped found Walsh, Hall and Co., which became the leading American trading house in Japan. Two acres of land in Ellington were purchased from Chauncey C. Chapman for the library, with the understanding that the remaining part of the property would be maintained as a green. A 19,000 square foot addition was made to the library in 1992. Click for some postcard images of the library: 001, 002, 003.