The earliest residents of the hip-roofed brick Federal-style house at 2 Washington Avenue – 1 St. John Street in North Haven are not known. Much altered over the years, the house was built c. 1825 on the site where the c. 1680 homestead of Nathaniel Thorpe once stood. In the later nineteenth century the house was the residence of Rev. William T. Reynolds, who was pastor of the North Haven Congregational Church from 1863 to 1893. The house is now an office property.
The house at 20 State Street in the Pines Bridge Historic District in North Haven was built c. 1790. Around the 1830s the house was willed to David Bassett by his grandfather. The current front entry porch was added in 1936 when the house was remodeled.
The house at 20 Church Street in North Haven was built c. 1780-1800. It was the home of Alfred Linsley in the mid to late-nineteenth century. Today the former residence is home to the Murray-Reynolds American Legion Post 76.
The single-story brick structure at 9 State Street in North Haven once served as the Smith Brothers carriage parts factory. The nomination document for the Pines Bridge Historic District gives the building a date of 1868, although the North Haven Historical Society website says it was built in 1846 by John F. Bronson, possibly as a match factory, and was acquired by the Smith Brothers in 1856. Because of a plaque found in the building engraved “Runaway Hole” it has been speculated that it was part of the Underground Railroad. Around the turn-of-the-century Angelo Ghiselli acquired the property, which became a restaurant. It was next used as apartments and is now a private residence.
The building at 30 Church Street in North Haven was built in 1887-1890 as the town’s Fourth District School. The lead-up to its erection was long delayed, as described by Sheldon B. Thorpe in his North Haven Annals (1892):
This district more frequently named the “Centre District,” has probably always had a larger enumeration of children than any in the town and less room, per capita, to educate them in. In 1872 the proposition to furnish a larger school building was brought forward but voted down. The next year the Board of Education, seeing the need, declared to the district that unless better facilities were provided, its proportion of the public fund would be suspended. This alarmed the obstructionists and their opposition was temporarily withdrawn. A new school site was purchased and proposals to build were invited, but it was impossible to get any farther. For nearly six years, delays of one nature and another were put forward and the lot remained unbuilt upon. The death of Capt. H. H. Stiles, in 1879, a member of the special building committee, rendered a re-adjustment of matters necessary, and the district voted to sell the new site at public auction, November 4, 1879. Its Cost at the time of sale had reached in round numbers, $500. It brought $157.
To appease the Board of Education and compromise with the more radical ones of the district, new furniture was placed in the old building and a tax laid to cancel the debt.
The population was increasing, and in 1884 the project to build came up a second time. It was defeated. It was defeated also in 1885 and 1886. In 1887 it came up again as usual, and in this year secured a recognition. A committee was chosen to more fully inquire into the persistency of the petitioners, and the former unanimously reported insufficient accommodations, and recommended a change of base. The report was adopted, and after a thorough examination the present location was decided upon and purchased in August 1887. It was identically the same tract as bought in 1873, with the addition of a frontage on Pierpont Park, where once stood the ancient Sabbath day houses, and later several sections of horse sheds.
The building was designed by North Haven’s prominent builder Solomon F. Linsley. The two rooms on the first floor were completed and ready for use in 1888 and a third room on the upper floor was fitted up in 1890. The fourth room remained unfinished at the time Thorpe was writing. Thrope goes on to write that
The practical working of the building has been found excellent in all respects. It is equipped with a finished basement, well, slate black-boards, bell, flag, modern furniture, and a local library. The course of study ranges from the kindergarten to that preparatory to entrance to the high school. It receives many pupils from other parts of the town, and is by far a more commodious and better equipped building than the average country town offers.
Today the building is a Masonic Hall, home to Corinthian Lodge #103, which was established in 1868. Corinthian #103’s first Lodge was located in the Northford section of North Branford. After a fire in 1879 Corinthian #103 moved into Totoket Hall in North Branford and in 1917 to Linsley Hall in North Haven. After the Town Fire Marshall ordered Linsley Hall closed because of fire hazard in 1945, the Lodge acquired and renovated the old District No. 4 School, which was dedicated as the new Lodge on November 1, 1947.
Many of the building’s decorative features and many of its windows have been removed over the years.
The house at 39 State Street in the Pines Bridge area of North Haven was built in 1787 by Joshua Simmons. The house had six owners in its first 32 years. In 1801 Simmons sold the house to Jesse Waters, a free African-American, who in turn sold it in 1803 to Thomas Beach, who next sold it to Aaron Munson in 1807. Joel Ray acquired the house in 1813 and he sold it to Amasa Thorp in 1819. The house once had a ballroom on the second floor. The house is now home to Forget Me Not flower shop.
At 1 Trumbull Place in North Haven is the rectory (priest’s residence) of St. John’s Episcopal Church. The rectory was built in 1855 and the third floor and mansard roof were added in the 1880s. As related in North Haven Annals (1892), by Sheldon B. Thorpe:
On the removal of Mr. [Rev. Alonzo G.] Shears to New Haven, the Rev. Seth Davis came from Woodbury, Conn., and officiated part of the time. During his term the present rectory was built—-1855-—and he was its first occupant. He remained two years and was succeeded by the Rev. Joseph Scott. This clergyman was the first, in the long list of clergymen, to be “called” as rector. He gave his whole time to the people and became greatly beloved by them. His salary was $500 and the use of the rectory.