Camp meetings were a notable feature of religious life in nineteenth-century America and some continue in existence today. This site has already featured the Plainville Campground and Camp Bethel in Haddam. Another religious campground is the Willimantic Camp Meeting Association. It was established by Methodists who held the first meeting here on September 3, 1860. Today it is an interdenominational Evangelical Association. At its height the camp had 300 buildings, primarily cottages built by individual churches or families. A third of them were destroyed by the hurricane of 1938 and another hundred were lost to neglect over the ensuing decades. 100 cottages remain and constitute an architectural treasure. Read the rest of this entry »
Although built circa 1734, the house at 700-712 Main Street in Branford has been much altered with Queen Anne-style elements. It was built by Ephraim Parish, Jr. and was known as the Old Parish Tavern. In 1811 the building was renovated by Rev. Timothy Gillett, who resided there until his death in 1866. Rev. Gillett was pastor of the First Church of Branford for 59 years and founded Branford Academy in 1820. Today the building contains offices and one residential unit.
The grand house at 91 North Cliff Street in Ansonia was built c. 1887 for Robert and Elizabeth Wood. Robert Wood was a factory superintendent at the Wallace and Sons brass mill. The house was later owned by the Tuttle family and c. 1960 it became the John T. Bennett Funeral Home.
The house at 38 Prospect Place in Bristol was erected around 1890 for Carlyle Barnes, son of Bristol industrialist Wallace Barnes. In 1857 Wallace Barnes started a company that manufactured springs and hoops for skirts. After his father’s death in 1893, Carlyle Fuller Barnes (1852-1926) and his four brothers saved the company during rough financial times by switching to the manufacture of wheels and other parts for bicycles. The company would eventually develop into the Barnes Group, a leading industrial and aerospace manufacturer. In 1942 the house was converted to become Grace Baptist Church. After the church moved into a new building in 1957, the house again became a private residence.
The house at 59 Maple Avenue East in Higganum (part of Haddam) was built c. 1903 for Charles E. Kahrman (1851-1911). Born in England, Kahrman was superintendent at the Lower Mill of the D & H Scovil Hoe Company. He financed the purchase of the land and construction of his home with a bonus from his employer. The house was inherited by his son Everett E. Kahrman (1882-1959) and remained in the family until 1966.
Built c. 1885, the house at 228 North Street in Willimantic was the home of William Peter Jordan (1863-1953), a hardware dealer who was born in Lebanon, Connecticut. His career is described in A Modern History of Windham County, Connecticut, Vol. II (1920):
in 1884 he directed his attention to commercial pursuits by accepting a clerkship in the drug store of Wilson & Leonard of Willimantic. After a time Mr. Wilson became sole proprietor and in 1890 sold to Mr. Jordan an interest in the business, which was then conducted under the firm style of F. M. Wilson & Company. Mr. Jordan was a partner in the enterprise until 1898, when he joined his brother, Frederick D. Jordan, in a partnership and thus became prominently connected with the hardware trade of Willimantic. He has continued in this line and the business has since been reorganized under the name of the Jordan Hardware Company, of which he is the secretary and treasurer. The company conducts both a wholesale and retail business and their patronage is very gratifying.
William P. Jordan does not confine his efforts to a single line, however, for he is identified with many important business interests which constitute leading factors in the commercial and industrial development of the city. He is now the treasurer of the Windham Silk Company, of which he became a stockholder and director in 1901. He is also the president of the Watts Laundry Machinery Company, engaged in the manufacture of presses and mangles, on which they hold patents, their output being shipped all over this country and also to France under government contract. Mr. Jordan also became a stockholder and one of the directors of the Willimantic Trust Company, which he assisted in organizing in 1915, and he is identified with the Willimantic Industrial Company and is president of the Jordan Automobile Company, which is featuring the Dodge, Buick and Cole cars, their sales territory covering Windham and New London counties in the sale of the Dodge and Cole, while their sale of the Buick cars covers a part of Windham county and of Tolland and New London. Mr. Jordan’s interests have thus become important and extensive and his activities place him in the foremost rank of the leading business men of his adopted city.
This is my 50th post for Manchester! The Queen Anne house at 134 Oakland Street in Manchester was built c. 1890 by Frank Hall on land he had acquired in 1887. The house is currently owned by artist Hans Weiss who has his studio next door.