The Lathrop-Mathewson-Ross House is located on Ross Hill Road in Lisbon. It was built in 1761, possibly by Ezra Lathrop. Jeffery Mathewson acquired the property October 20, 1800. Almira J. Mathewson married George A. Ross, and their descendants owned the property until August 1958. Both Almira and then her daughter, Kate Mathewson Ross, kept diaries with daily entries covering 1873 to 1913. Victorian-era alterations were made to the house, including the addition of a projecting central gable over the front door and a full-length front porch. All of these additions were later removed under the direction of the famed restoration architect, Frederic Palmer. He worked with Edward Peace Friedland and Joan W. Friedland, who bought the Ross Farm in 1958. Edward Peace Friedland was an expert on eighteenth-century architecture and he and his wife were pioneers in historic preservation.
Reverend David Hale of Coventry was the younger brother of Nathan Hale. He served as pastor of the Newent Congregational Church in Lisbon from 1790 to 1803. In 1795 he built a house in Lisbon (4 Newent Road) that continued to be used as the church parsonage until the late 1960s when it became a private residence. It is now home to an antiques shop known as The Skeleton Key at the Hale House.
As described in the History of New London County, Connecticut, with Biographical Sketches of its Pioneers and Prominent Men (1882), compiled by D. Hamilton Hurd:
In June, 1790, Mr. David Hale, of Coventry, was ordained. He was a brother of the accomplished and chivalrous Capt. Nathan Hale, who was executed as a spy on Long Island by order of Sir William Howe. Mr. Hale was a man of very gentle and winning manners, of exalted piety, and a fine scholar. He carried his idea of disinterested benevolence to such an extent that, if acted upon, it would overturn all social institutions. He thought it to be a man’s duty to love his neighbor, not only as himself, with the same kind of love, but also to the same degree, so that he should not prefer, even in thought, that a contingent calamity, such as the burning of a house or the loss of a child, should fall on his neighbor rather than on himself. Mr. Hale supplied the deficiencies of his salary by keeping a boarding-school. As an instructor he was popular; his house was filled with pupils from all parts of the county, but ill health and a constitutional depression of spirits obliged him to resign this employment, and eventually his pastoral office. His mind and nerves were of that delicate and sensitive temperament which cannot long endure the rude shock of earthly scenes. He was dismissed in April, 1803, returned to Coventry, and there died in 1822.
At 291 North Burnham Highway (Route 169) in Lisbon is a colonial “Cape Cod”-type house built in 1790. It was the home of John Palmer, who was a revivalist preacher during the period of the Great Awakening. A Separatist, or “Strict Congregationalist,” leader from 1746 until his death in 1807, Palmer was a dissident from the established Congregational church. In 1749, he became the pastor of the Separatist Brunswick Church, which was located in what is now the town of Scotland. While most Separatist churches of the time lasted only a few years, the Brunswick Church was not formally disbanded until 1813. The exterior of the Palmer House was significantly remodeled (removing some later alterations) during a restoration that followed a fire in 1968. Today the house is part of Heritage Trail Vineyards.
The Congregational Church in Newent (Lisbon) began as The Meeting House Assembly in 1723. The congregation occupied two buildings before the current Newent Congregational Church was dedicated in 1858. It was designed and built by Ebenezer Tracey, a prominent cabinetmaker from Lisbon. Lisbon’s old “Town House” was moved in 1953 and attached to the southwest corner of the church.
The John Bishop House is a Federal-style house in Newent in Lisbon. The Bishop family were early settlers of Lisbon, when it was a part of Norwich. The house is notable for having a well shaft in the pantry/buttery, so the family did not have to go outside to get water. The house is now the John Bishop Museum, run by the Lisbon Historical Society. Work was done in 2011 to replace the house’s wood roofing.
Like Knesseth Israel in Ellington and Agudas Achim in Hebron, Anshei Israel, at 142 Newent Road in Lisbon, is an example of one of Connecticut’s rural synagogues. A Colonial Revival building, it was built in 1936 on land given by Harry Rothenberg, a member of the congregation. The synagogue’s fifteen founding families were Jewish immigrants from Poland and Russia who lived in Lisbon and other nearby towns. More immigrants from eastern Europe joined the congregation in the wake of World War II. The building is now maintained by the Lisbon Historical Society.
Although the Andrew Clark House, at 45 Ross Hill Road in Lisbon, is a central-chimney house built in 1740, its facade displays the elegant detailing of the architecture of the Federal Period (1780s-1820s). These alterations were probably made in 1798, as that date appears in a panel set in the chimney. The National Register of Historic Places nomination for the house gives its date as 1798. When Andrew Clark, who served in the state legislature in 1824, purchased the land in 1792, records did not indicate any buildings standing on the property. Clark died in 1831 and when his widow, Elizabeth Partridge, died in 1858 she left the house to her sister, Dolly Partridge Herskell (aka Haskell) and her husband, George B. Herskell. The house then became known as the Haskell House. It underwent extensive restoration in 1967. Its current owners are dealers in antiques and a modern addition to the property contains an antiques showroom.