attended the common schools at Haddam, and was graduated from a business college in Poughkeepsie, N. Y. Returning home, he entered the employ of D. & H. Scovil, of Higganum as a bookkeeper, and later was made superintendent, in which position he remained until one year ago. May 18, 1882, Mr. Burr was married to Clara E. daughter of Oliver C. and Augusta Neff, of Higganum. To this union were given two children—Eugene Orlando, who is employed as bookkeeper for D.& H. Scovil, and Ethel Clara, who is a student in Wesleyan University. Mr. Burr was interested in politics, voting somewhat as his conscience dictated, but did not desire political preferment, having twice refused the nomination for representative. Both he and his wife have been consistent members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, of which he was a trustee and steward, also treasurer of the church for some years. He was steadfast, straightforward in his business, devout in his religion and conscientious in politics.
Burr acquired the lot at 33 Maple Street in Higganum (part of Haddam) in 1876 and traveled the country looking for a house design he wanted to duplicate for his own residence. In the end he decided to go with plans he created himself. Construction on the house began in 1881 and was completed the following year, after his marriage. The house remained in his family until 1952.
One of the many lost homes of Hartford is the Barnabas Deane House, which once stood on Grove Street. Barnabas was the brother of Silas Deane of Wethersfield and he is said to built the house on instructions from his famous brother who ended up never returning from Europe to live in it. The house was later home to Nelson Hollister and then was occupied by The Open Hearth. While the Deane House was torn down in the 1920s to make room for a parking lot for the Hartford Club, another home owned by Mr. Hollister, who was a prominent businessman and the first treasurer of the Connecticut Valley Railroad, survives in the Borough of Fenwick in Old Saybrook. Located at 22 Fenwick Avenue, it was built by Hollister in 1872, making it one of the oldest cottages to be constructed in the Fenwick summer colony. In 1888, Hollister’s daughter sold the house to George H. Day of Hartford. Day made many additions to the house, but not always with a concern for aesthetic matters: he once built a second floor lavatory with exposed plumbing running down the house’s exterior! After c. 1917, the cottage served as an annex to the neighboring Riversea Inn. In 1949 it became a private residence again when it was sold to Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Jones, who were the first to make the cottage habitable year-round.
Charles M. Gilman was a lawyer and an incorporator of the Southport Trust Company. His large house, located at 139 Main Street in Southport, was designed J. C. Cady. Gilman hired another New York architect, William H. Beers, to design the house’s library addition. Erected in 1900, the addition well matches the architectural style of the earlier section, which combines elements of the Italianate, Gothic and Stick styles of architecture. Original plans for both the house and addition are housed at the Fairfield Museum and History Center Library.
The house at 227 Melrose Road in East Windsor was built by John M. Pease (1832-1891) in 1860, the year he married Laura Lucinda Phelps. Pease became a successful farmer and his son, John B. Pease, acquired the neighboring Thompson Farm and farmhouse around 1900.
The only church of this village is an offshoot from the Congregational church of Windham. For twenty-five years, more or less, services have been conducted here on occasional Sabbaths or on week-day evenings. The old Fitch school house is used for religious services. This is a building once intended for a private school, and is rented of private owners for religious services. It stands near and is connected with the Warner House, a hotel of commodious size standing near the depot of the New London Northern railroad. It is now owned by Alfred Kinne. For a few years back religious services on Sunday have been omitted, but in March, 1888, a Society of Christian Endeavor was formed here, and in the following December a church was organized, which now numbers eighteen members. During the winter a revival occurred. Since December 7th, 1888, preaching services have been held every Sunday afternoon by the pastor of the old church at Windham Centre. A Sunday school is also maintained here.
Once this church, which was a branch of the Windham Congregational Church, was established in the village in 1888, a Ladies’ Missionary Society was also formed which began collecting for a fund to erect a church edifice in South Windham. As related in the Hartford Courant (“Church Dedication,” October 22, 1902):
President Guilford Smith of the Smith Winchester Company became interested in the project and it was very largely through the generosity of Mr. and Mrs. Smith that the branch society is now possessed of the beautiful church. The donations of Mr. and Mrs. Smith were supplemented by those of almost every one who resided in the village and by many who lived out of the place, but had it not been for the generous gifts of land and money by Mr. and Mrs. Smith it is not likely that the society would have realized its long cherish[ed] hope for many years.
The Courant article further concluded that “probably no manufacturing village of the size can boast of so finely appointed and convenient a church building.” The church, located at 361 South Windham Street, was dedicated on October 21, 1902.
The Windham Textile and History Museum (411 Main Street in Willimantic) presents the nineteenth and early twentieth century history of Willimantic’s textile industry, focusing on the Willimantic Linen Company, whose former mill buildings are located just across the street. These mills were later owned by the American Thread Company. In 1985 they were acquired by developer Jonathan Dugan. The museum opened in 1989 in two buildings erected by the company in 1877 and donated by Dugan in 1986. One is the former company store (pictured above), which had a library for workers on the third floor called Dunham Hall. The other (pictured below) is called the Dugan Mill, the upper floor of which was added during the first decade of the twentieth century to be used as the headquarters for the American Thread Fire Brigade. It later became a meeting hall which was recently restored for use by the museum.
The house at 76 Tolland Green in Tolland, built in 1883, rests on eleven hand-cut granite blocks. Built for Ransel Agard (1815-1889), it was home to five generations of the Agard family. Ransel taught school for a number of years and then, according to the Commemorative Biographical Record of Tolland and Windham Counties (1903),
In 1844, in partnership with a party by the name of Woodruff, Mr. Agard opened up a grocery business on Asylum street, in Hartford. Several years later the firm name was changed to Sumner & Agard, his brother-in-law, William Sumner, having become his partner. The business prospered and a few years after, Mr. Agard became the sole proprietor. Then he rented his business property in Hartford and bought a store in Vernon, Conn.; in 1866 he removed a stock of goods from Hartford, and until 1871 conducted the largest general store in Vernon. At that time he sold the business and settled in Tolland, retiring from activity and spending his last days in comfort and enjoyment in his pleasant home, dying here on Jan. 27, 1889. Mr. Agard was a stanch Republican, having borne testimony all his life in favor of the abolition of slavery. No inducement could be offered to cause him to accept political office, although he supported the standard bearers of his party with characteristic vigor.
In 1889 he was elected to the position of manager of the Underwood Manufacturing Co., of Tolland, Conn., the business being the manufacture of belts and belting. This company is now known to the commercial and industrial world as the William Sumner Belting Co., of which Mr. Agard has been the president since its formation, in 1898.
On Sept. 15, 1874., Mr. Agard was married to Miss Catherine Bissell, a daughter of Sanford Bissell, of South Windsor. [. . . .] Mr. Agard is one of the leading men of Tolland, and is President of the Savings Bank of Tolland, being elected to that position in 1902, and he is financially interested in many lines. For many years he has been a leader in the Congregational Church and since 1896. has been one of its deacons, and is also a member of the Society’s committee of this church. In politics he has been a life-long Republican, but has declined political honors for many years, serving now only on the school board.