Travelers along the Old Post Road could once find accommodations at Josiah Fowler’s Tavern in Northford (current address 1710 Middletown Avenue). Fowler, who came to Northford in North Branford from Durham, built his tavern in 1776. The front entrance’s original five-pane colonial overlight survives as part of a later Federal doorway. Josiah Fowler‘s son, Maltby Fowler started Northford’s first industrial enterprise when he built a Button Shop in 1830.
The Thomas A. Smith House in Northford (in North Branford) is a Greek Revival residence built in 1860. Located at 16 Old Post Road, it was built for Thomas A, Smith, president of the Paug Manufacturing Company, and was later owned by Stanley T. Williams. In 1957 the house became the parish hall for the Northford Congregational Church.
St. Andrew’s Episcopal Parish in Northford was first organized in 1763 and their first church was consecrated by Bishop Thomas Church Brownell in 1822. A new edifice was built in 1845 and the original building was sold and probably used as a hay barn. The second church burned in 1938. Ground was broken for a new church on October 1, 1939 and the building was dedicated on November 10, 1940. The new building, at the same location as its predecessor (1382 Middletown Avenue) was designed by Alfred W. Boylen of New Haven to resemble the 1845 church, with a simple Gothic interior. The present rectory was built in 1957 and the parish house in 1965.
The Maltby family were prominent in the industrial development of the village of Northford in North Branford. In 1854, brothers Samuel and Julius Maltby became major shareholders in the Paug Manufacturing Company, which produced farm implements and the machines used to make them. In 1816, Samuel Maltby married Charlotte DeWitt, the daughter of the governor of Barbados, who he likely met when he was attending to the family’s business interests in the West Indies. They built a Greek Revival house in 1838 which still stands at 2 Maltby Lane in Northford.
The Congregational church in Northford in North Branford was established in 1750. The original meeting house stood just south of the present church building, which was built in 1846. Designed by Henry Austin of New Haven, the Portland brownstone church originally had a taller wood steeple that was destroyed in a disastrous fire in 1906. The fire also gutted the interior of the church, which had to be reworked. Other changes over the years included the rebuilding of the external walls on at least two occasions (1863 and 1873). Most recently, the church’s newer wooden tower, built after the fire in 1906, was removed in 2010. The wood had rotted to such an extent that the large bronze bell in the tower was unstable (engineers believed that the bell’s weight was the only thing keeping the wood tower from blowing off in a high wind!). The church plans to restore the wood tower and a fundraising campaign is underway to “Save The Bell Tower.”
The Langdon Harrison House, located at 1686 Middletown Avenue in the Northford section of North Branford, was built in 1838. The house features the pedimented facade of the Greek Revival style, but with an atypically wide four-bay front facade. Langdon Harrison was First Selectman in North Branford in 1848-1849. The Connecticut Business Directory of 1856 lists “Langdon, Harrison & Co.” in Northford. He died in 1859.