Archive for the ‘Ledyard’ Category

Ichabod Cottage (1795)

Thursday, July 27th, 2017 Posted in Houses, Ledyard, Vernacular | No Comments »

The village of Gales Ferry in Ledyard is named for Roger Gale, who from 1759 to 1764 owned the ferry there that crossed the Connecticut River. One of his successors was John Allyn, Jr., who owned the ferry rights from 1774 to 1793. He then built the cottage at 54 Hurlbutt Road in 1795. After his death in 1798, the cottage passed to his widow, Priscilla. In 1804, she leased her property to James Eldrege, who who eventually purchased it in 1806. According to tradition, the house was used as a training school by Commodore Stephen Decatur during the blockade of New London in 1813-1814. Ichabod and Dorcas Babcock bought the cottage in 1815. Ichabod Babcock (1758-1848) was a veteran of the Revolutionary War. Their daughter Caroline married Stephen Gray, who built the house next door in 1842. Thomas Latham acquired both houses in 1863 and later rented the 1795 house, which he called “Ichabod Cottage,” to various tenants. Latham, a teacher, may have used the cottage for his private school. The building now has dormer windows, which were added sometime in the twentieth century.

Alfred Rogers House (1899)

Thursday, April 20th, 2017 Posted in Houses, Ledyard, Vernacular | No Comments »

The house at 23 Hurlbutt Road in Gales Ferry, Ledyard was built c. 1899 by Adelbert V. Alexander, a carpenter, on land he had acquired from Simeon A. Bailey in 1892. It is said that Alexander also built the nearby Alfred Rogers House, 2 Maple Corners Road, and then built his own house as a mirror image, with the same floor plan in reverse. Rufus W. Hurlbutt, whose family’s farm once covered most of the area of Gales Ferry Village, bought the house in 1920.

Gales Ferry School House (1868)

Friday, March 17th, 2017 Posted in Greek Revival, Ledyard, Schools | No Comments »

The community of Gales Ferry in Ledyard was served for generations by a one-room schoolhouse. The surviving school building, erected in 1868, is the third to have stood on the same site (4 Hurlbutt Road) since 1750. It was used as a school until a new two-room building (now the Gales Ferry Community Center) was opened in January 1929. The former Gales Ferry School House was later restored by the Ledyard Historical Society.

28 Hurlbutt Road, Gales Ferry, Ledyard (1945)

Saturday, February 18th, 2017 Posted in Colonial Revival, Houses, Ledyard | No Comments »

The Colonial Revival cottage at 28 Hurlbutt Road in Gales Ferry, Ledyard was built in 1945.

Arthur-Comstock House (1848)

Monday, January 9th, 2017 Posted in Gothic, Houses, Ledyard | No Comments »

Much altered over the years, the house at 20 Hurlbutt Road in Gales Ferry Village in Ledyard was built in 1848 by Ralph Arthur, who soon sold it to Henry Comstock (1811-1854). A whaling captain, Comstock departed on the Louisa Beaton in 1853 on what would be his final voyage. He died of “African fever” at Ascension Island on March 23, 1854.

Former Gales Ferry Methodist Church (1857)

Sunday, April 24th, 2016 Posted in Churches, Ledyard, Vernacular | No Comments »

Former Gales Ferry Methodist Church

The building at 6 Hurlbutt Road in the Gales Ferry section of Ledyard was erected in 1857 as the Gales Ferry Methodist Church. The church was established in 1803 and their first church building was a structure that had been moved to the site in 1815. This was replaced by the 1857 church, to which an addition was built on the rear in 1954 that doubled the size of the building. The church moved to a new building in the mid-1960s and in 1969 the old church was purchased by Church & Allen Funeral Service. After being on the market for several years the building was converted to retail use in 2011. Next door is the former church parsonage built in 1928.

John J. Lawless House (1912)

Tuesday, February 16th, 2016 Posted in American Foursquare, Houses, Ledyard | No Comments »

John J. Lawless House

The house at 36 Hurlbutt Road in Gales Ferry, Ledyard, was built in 1912 for John J. Lawless, a lawyer and military veteran. Active in New London, Lawless apparently had homes in both Ledyard and the Quaker Hill section of Waterford, his home town. As related in the Gales Ferry news section of the Norwich Bulletin of Saturday, July 10, 1915:

Mr. and Mrs. John J. Lawless entertained Monday Mrs. Carlos Chapman of Groton, Mrs. D. J. Cavanaugh, the Misses Beaudry and Earle Wooten of New London. In the evening Ernestine Talbot, Mrs. Lawless’ young daughter, entertained her young schoolmates and some friends with fireworks and light refreshments on the lawn.

They were celebrating Independence Day on July 5 (no doubt because July 4 that year was a Sunday). A description of the career of John J. Lawless can be found in A Modern History of New London County, Vol. II (1922), edited by Benjamin Tinkham Marshall:

John J. Lawless was born at Vinal Haven, Maine, May 17, 1876. He received the preliminary portion of his education in the public schools of New London, having been brought to this city when very young by his parents. After graduating from the New London High School, during which time his attention had been turned forcibly to the legal profession, he decided to make it his career in life and, accordingly, prepared for college at Mystic Valley Institute, graduating from this institution in 1901 and subsequently matriculating at the Albany Law School, from which he won the degree of Bachelor of Laws in the class of 1903. Returning to New London, he entered the law office of Abel P. Tanner, where he remained until 1904, when, after passing his bar examinations, he established himself in the practice of his chosen profession which has proven extraordinarily successful, having grown extensively up to the present time.

Major Lawless has always been interested in military life, and during the Spanish-American War enlisted as a private in Company A, Connecticut Volunteer Infantry, being later commissioned a second lieutenant. After the war he was commissioned captain of the Third Regiment, and held this post for many years. The World War offered him another opportunity and this he was quick and eager to grasp. Successfully passing the examinations for major at Fort H. G. Wright, New York, he was sent to Plattsburg, where he was assigned to the 9th Company of the New England Training Division, and was mustered out of service July 15, 1919. Major Lawless is now a member of the American Legion, and is also past commander of the George M. Cole Camp, United Spanish War Veterans.

[. . .]

Respected as he is both in New London and his home town, Waterford, his advance can have known no deviation from the strictest probity and the most up-right methods. Such a record is certainly worthy of emulation.

Major Lawless married, July 5, 1910, Alice Wilbur Talbot, daughter of George L. and Emma Wilbur Talbot, of Putnam, Connecticut.