Tomorrow is the 34th Annual Mark Twain Holiday House Tour, which features several houses in Hartford/West Hartford and the Hartford Club. One of the houses on the tour is located at 734 Prospect Avenue. A Queen Anne house, it was built in 1910 for Dr. J.W. Felty, a prominent surgeon. The Kansas City Journal of June 30, 1897 noted:
Dr. Felty Leaves Kansas.
Abilene, Kas., June 29. (Special ) Dr. J.W. Felty. vice president of the State Medical Society and of the Association of Santa Fe Surgeons, left today for Hartford, Conn., where he will locate. He has practiced in Abilene for thirteen years and is one of the best known physicians in the state
Mention of Dr. Felty’s work can be found in an article written by his colleague, Dr. Thomas N. Hepburn, a urologist who was the father of Katharine Hepburn, “Clinical Tests of Kidney Function” in the Yale Medical Journal of March 1912 (Vol. 18, No. 7):
Unilateral Kidney Disease. Under the heading of unilateral kidney diseases come the tubercular kidneys, the renal calculi, hydronephrosis, pyonephrosis, and pyelitis. In tests of this class of cases, ureteral catheterization, in order to compare the work of the two kidneys, is essential. It is necessary not only to make a diagnosis of the condition of the diseased kidney, but, more important still—and here is where any test that lends itself to quantitative estimation reigns supreme—it is necessary to know whether the other kidney is capable of functioning for both. A case of multiple calculi, sent me by Dr. Felty of Hartford, illustrates the point here made. From the appearance of the X-ray plate, made by Dr. Heublein, Dr. Felty was sure the kidney should be removed if possible. He wished to know how well the other kidney was functioning. With double ureteral catheterization, I found that the man excreted no phthalein from the diseased kidney, and the other kidney showed an output of 40 per cent. in one hour. Dr. Felty removed the diseased kidney, and the man made an uneventful recovery.
Dr. and Mrs. J. W. Felty with their son, Dr. A. R. Felty, of Hartford, Conn., spent three weeks here during August renovating their new home on Interlachen Avenue, purchased from Mrs, Rogers. The interior has been newly papered and other improvements added to the House and grounds. Plans are in the hands of an architect for a veranda and pergolas, which will be built when Dr. and Mrs. Felty come down in February. Dr. Felty is a distinguished surgeon of his home city and his son, who is a graduate of Yale and Johns Hopkins, is one of the house physicians in Johns Hopkins Hospital. Dr. Felty’s daughter married a brother of Mr. Woolley, son-in-law to Mr. E. W. Brewer of this place. Dr. and Mrs. Felty greatly enjoyed their visit here and declared themselves delighted with their new property, which is in the choicest residential district of town.
The borough of Pine Orchard in Branford is a small community of 300 households that started as a summer colony in the late nineteenth century. Landowners Frank and Henry Wallace provided land on Chapel Drive for the construction of a non-denominational chapel to be used for summer services. Between 1872 and 1892, the Wallace brothers and their father, Robert Wallace of Meriden and later Wallingford, had developed what is now Island View Avenue in Pine Orchard as a waterfront residential enclave. Plans for the Pine Orchard Union Chapel were approved on July 4, 1896 and the building, designed by the New Haven architectural firm of Brown and Berger, was completed a year later. The Chapel had no resident minister, so ministers came from neighboring communities to lead services. The Chapel was originally painted in a darker color, but in the early twentieth century it was painted white. The chapel was closed for regular services in 1963. Community residents worked to preserve the building, which is now regularly rented out for weddings. Read the rest of this entry »
A Methodist group in East Norwalk began to hold prayer meetings and Sunday school classes in individual homes in the winter of 1870-1871. The basement of the home of James L’Hommedieu was soon set up as a regular place of worship. The growing congregation soon adapted an old railroad workmen’s shanty, which was being used by the L’Hommedieu brothers as a carpenter shop, as a new house of worship. Eventually a new church building was completed in 1872 on the corner of Rowan Street and East Avenue. The church was Norwalk’s fourth Methodist church, following those in South Norwalk, Central Norwalk and Rowayton. Planning for a new and larger church began in 1889. The old church was moved across the street and on its former site the cornerstone for the present East Avenue United Methodist Church was lain in 1890. The new church was dedicated on March 1, 1891.
The Queen Anne house at 128 Milne Street in Bridgeport was built in 1896 for Michael Casey, a teamster at Frank Miller & Company, a coal company which was in business until 1907. The house’s architect was Harrison G. Lamson. Read the rest of this entry »
In 1818, the North Groton Union Library was established in the area that would later become the town of Ledyard. One of the original subscribers who helped found the library was Gurdon Bill, whose son Henry Bill (1824-1891) later became a wealthy publisher in Norwich. In 1867 Henry Bill approached town leaders on the subject of donating a new library. The new Bill library collection and the earlier library collection were housed at the Congregational Church. The number of books rapidly grew rapidly through donations made by both Henry Bill and his brothers, who had also become successful. Among the Bill brothers were Gurdon Bill, who became a publisher in Springfield, Massachusetts; Charles Bill, who became a traveler; Frederic Bill, who donated the Bill Memorial Library in Groton; and Ledyard Bill, the first child born in Ledyard after it became a town, who settled in Paxton, Massachusetts and wrote the History of the Bill Family (1867).
As related in the History of the Town of Ledyard, 1650-1900, by John Avery:
When the library was first created, book-cases were made and placed in the gallery of the Congregational Church. Here the books were kept for nearly twenty-six years, but in later years, the Bill brothers, seeing the necessity of a separate and permanent home for the growing library, secured a location on the “Common” near the church at the centre, and contributed the sum of three thousand dollars for the construction of a suitable edifice, and under the supervision of Mr. Frederic Bill, there was erected, for library purposes, an appropriate building, that will remain a monument to the generosity of the family for many years to come. This building was suitably dedicated on the day of our annual meeting in 1893. It contains a hall, room for the meeting of the trustees, and a spacious apartment where the library is located. The walls are adorned with pictures of the trustees, many of the citizens of the town, also many natives of the town of Ledyard, who have gone out from among these rocks and hills and become eminent in other states.
Daniel Eels (1757-1851), a cooper, built a house on Main Street in Cromwell around 1782. He moved to Whitestown, New York in 1795 and sold the property, which then had a number of owners until 1802, when it was purchased by William Smith, who then sold it to his brother Capt. John Smith. The house (373 Main Street) may actually have been built at that time, instead of the earlier date of 1782. In the late nineteenth century, this Colonial/Federal house was altered in the Queen Anne style.