The house at 52 Hurlbutt Road in the village of Gales Ferry in Ledyard was probably built around 1827 by William Browning, who acquired the land that year from his father-in-law, Jabez Averill (Browning married Eliza A. Averill in 1826). In 1822 Browning had purchased the nearby Thames River ferry, which he operated until 1856. He also had a store on the Upper Wharf. He sold the house to Simeon A. Bailey in 1843. Bailey’s second wife, Esther Bailey, sold land in the rear of the property to the Norwich & Worcester Railroad in 1898. Frederick Moulton purchased the house from the bankrupt railroad in 1942. The rear ell of the house was significantly altered in the 1960s with the addition of dormers and a porch.
The house at 22 Hurlbutt Road in Gales Ferry was built by Orlando Bolles (1807-1895), a whaling captain. He had purchased the land on which the house stands in 1844, before setting out on a two-year journey on the whaling schooner Exile. After his return he built the house in 1847, but sold it just three years later to William Fitch of Montville, a relative of his wife, Ellen Fitch. In 1856, the house was acquired by Bolles’ daughter, Harriet, and her husband, Charles L. Crandall. After her husband’s death in 1875, Harriet and her sister, Annie Bolles Pierce, spent their summers at the house in Gales Ferry and their winters in New York. After Harriet’s death in 1926 the house passed to her sister, who died in 1941. She willed the house to the New England Southern Conference of the Methodist Church, which then sold it to Courtland Colver, Sunday School Superintendent.
The house at 56 Hurlbutt Road in Gales Ferry was built c. 1842 by Stephen Gray, a carpenter. In 1863, Gray’s son sold the house to Thomas Latham (1840-1914), a teacher who had a select school on the property and taught at schools in Ledyard, Groton and Montville for 56 years.
The town of Ledyard was set off from Groton and incorporated in 1836. Previous to this the territory which it covers was for many years known as the Second or North Parish in Groton. The Ecclesiastical Society in this North Parish was organized in 1725, with six or seven members, and at once took measures to find, by actual measurement, the exact centre of the parish as the proper place for a meeting-house. That centre was found to be “in the north-east corner of Stephen Morgan’s goat pasture.” Upon the spot thus designated the erection of a meeting-house was begun in 1727. The present church edifice stands partly on the same ground, but a little further back from the highway. The Congregational Church was organized in 1729. The early history of the Church for about 80 years, is veiled in obscurity. During the last 39 of these 80 years the Church had no settled pastor, and at sometime in this period became extinct; and its records, if it ever had any, have been lost.
The situation was rectified beginning in 1808, when the church began raising funds to repair its meeting-house. In 1811 the Ecclesiastical Society again had a settled minister, Rev. Timothy Tuttle, who served as pastor for fifty-three years. It was during his pastorate that the old meeting-house was taken down and the current church building was constructed in 1843.
At 2 Riverside Place at Gales Ferry on the Thames River in Ledyard is a gambrel-roofed house built c. 1796 that is now connected to a much larger addition. The building is owned and operated by the Yale heavyweight crew team and is used to prepare for the nation’s oldest intercollegiate sporting event, the Harvard-Yale Regatta, known as The Race. Yale’s complex at Gales Ferry includes a boathouse. The 1796 house was built by Thomas Geer, who sold it to Capt. Alexander Allyn in 1799. It passed to his daughter Sarah, who married Norman B. Brown, Gales Ferry postmaster. It remained in the family until 1904. It was then acquired by George St. John Sheffield, a great benefactor of Yale rowing (and the son of Joseph Earl Sheffield), and the University purchased the property in 1907.
In the first half of the early nineteenth century, a store occupied the lot at 63 Hurlbutt Road in Gales Ferry in Ledyard. Starting in 1831, the store was owned by Samuel and Ira Vincent. At Samuel‘s death in 1837, his widow Martha sold off the store goods. She owned the property until 1843 when it was inherited by Ira’s widow, Sarah Baker Vincent (1802-1885). Around 1850, she built a house in place of the store.
Capt. Allyn Williams (1769-1813), a carpenter, built the Cape Cod-type house at 2 Allyn Lane in Gales Ferry in Ledyard in 1803. He had earlier owned a house, purchased in 1798, that was near the Upper Wharf, close to the ferry across the Thames River. He died in 1813 and the house was acquired from his widow, Susannah Ormsley Williams, by his third cousin, Christopher Allyn, in 1820. Christoper Allyn was a whaling captain who made five trips between 1831 and 1843 and was a part owner of a store near the Lower Wharf from 1821 until his death in 1871. The house was then owned by his son Noyes B. Allyn, who was an active civic leader and supporter of the church in Gales Ferry. The house has an ell built in 1855.