Archive for the ‘Queen Anne’ Category

Mary B. Clark House (1896)

Wednesday, September 20th, 2017 Posted in Houses, Queen Anne, Windham | No Comments »

The house at 74 Windham Street in Willimantic was built for Mary B. Clark in 1896, four years after the town selectmen voted to extend Windham Street north from Valley Street, opening lots near the new Willimantic Normal School. Born in 1844 in Coventry, Mary Bidwell Winchester was the niece of the founder of the Smith and Winchester Company, paper manufacturers in South Windham. She married and later divorced Daniel S. Clark Jr., a machinist who was five years her junior. After the divorce, Mary Clark became wealthy investing in real estate, however in late 1905 her behavior was becoming erratic. She became terrified her house would be burgled while she slept. She kept the lights on all night and fired her revolver at sheets on the close-line outside that she believed might be potential burglars. When the police arrived to investigate, they were threatened with a “dose of lead.” Mrs. Clark was arrested for discharging firearms in the city limits. She was eventually taken to the Hartford Retreat for the Insane, where she remained until her death in 1929 at the age of 84.

There is an interesting article detailing the history of the house: Part One|Part Two|Part Three.

See also, “Her Mind Shies at Burglars. Conservator Appointed for Willimantic Woman. Is Sane Except at Mention of Thieves,” (Hartford Courant, December 7, 1905).

Acton Library (1873)

Friday, September 15th, 2017 Posted in Colonial Revival, Folk Victorian, Libraries, Old Saybrook, Queen Anne | No Comments »

The original Acton Library building in Old Saybrook was erected in 1873 on land donated by Thomas Acton at the corner of Old Boston Post Road and Pennywise Lane. The Library was dedicated on July 4, 1874. Thomas C. Acton (1823-1898) was a New York City politician and Police Commissioner whose summer home in Old Saybrook was across the street from the library. Begun as a subscription library, it became a public library in 1904. A new Acton Library was constructed in 1967 at 60 Old Boston Post Road. The former library, at 40 Old Boston Post Road, was bought from the town by architect Robert Wendler in 1970. He converted it into a single-family residence.

Daniel Bryan House (1890)

Friday, July 7th, 2017 Posted in East Hartford, Houses, Queen Anne | No Comments »

In 1889, Daniel Bryan acquired the lot at 54 Wells Avenue and soon after erected the house that still stands there. Its gables are shingled and have decorated bargeboards and there is a distinctive circular corner porch. Bryan was a farmer, a janitor at East Hartford’s Wells Hall and the High School, and by 1900 was Superintendent of Center Cemetery. He was possibly the Daniel L. Bryan, whose years were 1855-1921.

Douglas Library, Hebron (1898)

Tuesday, May 23rd, 2017 Posted in Hebron, Libraries, Queen Anne | No Comments »

The Hebron Library Association was formed in 1889, taking over the 200 volumes of the Hebron Literary Society, formed the previous year. Originally requiring a yearly subscription, in 1899 the organization became a free library. Books were located at the home of the Association’s president, Dr. Cyrus H. Pendleton, until a library building was erected at 22 Main Street in Hebron in 1898-1899. Its name was changed to the Douglas Library in 1949, after Dr. Charles J. Douglas endowed a large sum of money in memory of his wife, Ida Porter Douglas. She had no only greatly assisted the library over the years, but had been the driving force organizing Hebron’s Bicentennial Celebration in 1908. An addition to the building was erected in 1957. The library was much expanded and thoroughly modernized in the late 1990s. The library became a town department in 2005.

Citizens Engine Company No.2, Seymour (1892)

Friday, March 31st, 2017 Posted in Public Buildings, Queen Anne, Seymour | No Comments »

A volunteer fire company, initially called Ocean Fire Company #1, was formed in Seymour in October 1882. The following month it was renamed Humphrey Engine and Hose Company #1 and in 1884, after the purchase of a new steam engine, was reorganized as Citizens Engine Company No.2. The company’s original firehouse was replaced with a new brick building with granite trim (current address 26 DeForest Street) in 1892. The tower was added in 1897 and a concrete addition was built in 1976.

First Congregational Church of South Windham (1902)

Sunday, March 5th, 2017 Posted in Churches, Folk Victorian, Gothic, Queen Anne, Windham | No Comments »

The early religious history of the village of South Windham (part of the town of Windham) is provided by Richard M. Bayles in his History of Windham County, Connecticut (1889):

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.

Windham Textile and History Museum (1877)

Wednesday, March 1st, 2017 Posted in Folk Victorian, Industrial, Queen Anne, Windham | No Comments »

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.