At the intersection of Potash Hill Road and Westminster Road in Sprague is a house built in the eighteenth century (c. 1790) by Joshua Perkins (1740-1832). It is known as Ashlawn for the ash trees that once stood in front of the house. The rear ell was built c. 1740 (second quarter of the eighteenth century), probably by Joshua Perkins’s father, Captain Matthew Perkins (1713-1773). Both men were prominent farmers and members of the Hanover Society (Congregational Church). Ashlawn‘s nomination form for the National Register of Historic Places gives its address as 1 Potash Hill Road, but the house‘s address is now 179 Potash Hill Road.
An ecclesiastical society in the village of Hanover, in what is now the town of Sprague, was incorporated in 1761. This led to the gathering of a congregational church in 1766. A meeting house was erected about the same time, in the center of Hanover. The current Hanover Congregational Church, at 266 Main Street, is a Greek Revival structure. I have not been able to determine if this building is the original church that has since been modified or a is a replacement built later.
As an industrial village in the nineteenth century, Baltic, in the town of Sprague, became a regional center for the Catholic Church in eastern Connecticut. Buildings constructed for Saint Mary of the Immaculate Conception Parish (founded in 1886) include St. Mary Convent, built in 1888, and the Academy of the Holy Family, built in 1914. The Georgian Revival-style church was built in 1911.
The Roderick Block is a “flatiron”-shaped Victorian Eclectic commercial building in the industrial village of Baltic in Sprague. It was built in 1898 by Raymond J. Jodoin, a businessman who was Baltic’s largest landowner. He also served several terms as Sprague’s First Selectman and in the state legislature. Born in St. Hyacinth, Quebec, Jodoin‘s family came to Baltic in 1865, when he was seven weeks old, during a period of mass immigration of French-Canadians. According to the Legislative History and Souvenir of Connecticut, Vol. VII (1910):
At the age of nine years he went to work in the mill at Baltic. He saved his earnings until he was able to buy a small livery stock and successfully conducted this business several years. In April, 1888, Mr. Jodoin went to Providence, where he secured a position as traveling salesman in the wholesale grocery house of Waldron Wightman & Co. He remained with them ten years and then accepted a similar position with Daniels & Cornell, of Providence, with whom he has since remained. His territory covers Eastern Connecticut. Southern Massachusetts and Western Rhode Island.
As related in an article in the Bridgeport Herald of April 3, 1910 (“Representative Jodoin Urged for Democratic State Ticket”):
Mr. Jodoin is much attached to his home village, Baltic, and some years ago when he began to invest his savings in real estate there, he met with dark phrophesies of financial loss from all his friends, but his judgment has been justified since by the increase in the value of his investments. He is one of the heaviest individual owners of real estate in the town, and has been found always ready to back any movement that promised to be of advantage to the place. Throughout the village are seen many evidences of his public spirit, and he is most popular with all classes. Kindly and charitable, he is ever ready to help those less fortunate, but with his characteristic modesty he dislikes to have his good deeds known.
On West Main Street in the village of Baltic is a former town hall for the town of Sprague. A brick structure in the Colonial Revival style, it was built in 1911. The current Town Hall, built in 1955, is located at 1 Main Street. Read the rest of this entry »
The Baltic Methodist Church was built in 1904 at 22 West Main Street in the Baltic section of Sprague. In May 2010, the church merged with the Lee Memorial United Methodist Church in Norwich. Church leaders decided to keep their former building in Baltic in use by reopening it in August 2010 as a Community Center for the people of Sprague.