Having previously constructed the Gothic Revival house at 53 Fair Street in Guilford in 1860, James Monroe erected another residence at 63 Fair Street in 1865. The builder was William E. Weld. Typical of the Gothic Revival style, the house has prominent gables, board and batten siding and windows with drip molds.
The first of two Gothic Revival houses built by James Monroe on Fair Street in Guilford is the house at No. 53, built in 1860. James Monroe was part of the firm of Jasper Monroe & Sons on Boston Street. He also erected several building around town. A later resident was George Cruttenden. The house has board and batten siding, typical of the Carpenter Gothic style, and also has Italianate-style entry porch.
The Carpenter Gothic-style cottage, with board and batten siding, at 196 King Street in East Hartford was built by Spencer H. Burnham on land he acquired from his grandfather, Selah Burnham, in 1874. Burnham, a Civil War veteran, tobacco farmer and carpenter, who served as Selectman in 1878, probably built the house around the time of his marriage to Mary C. Anderson on January 11, 1881.
The house at 84 Green Hill Road in Washington was built in 1915 for Dr. Harry E. Stewart, a Yale graduate who came to town from New Haven as an assistant to Dr. Frederick Wersebe, whose residence and office was at 13 Wykeham Road. Dr. Stewart’s house had a gymnasium on the upper floor because of his passion for physical education. He served as the Physical Director of the New Haven Normal School of Gymnastics, Physical Director of the Wykeham Rise School for Girls and as Yale University athletic coach. The house was later owned by Henry S. Mowbray, an architect [I think he was the son of the artist Henry Siddons Mowbray], who converted it to contain three apartments.
The traditional date for the house at 886 Main Street North in Southbury is 1715, although it was more likely to have been built around 1780. The earliest owners are not known, but it passed through several families in the nineteenth through early twentieth century. In 1938 it was bought by Daniel and Marguerite Croucher. By then the house’s condition had deteriorated. The Crouchers rehabilitated the house in the Colonial Revival style, removing Victorian-era additions, which included a front porch. Daniel Croucher was a New York City antiques dealer. He acquired the neighboring White Oak School House in 1940. From 1954 to 1964 the house was owned by Helena Penrose, another New York antiques dealer. Howard and Priscilla Richmond, also antiques dealers, acquired the house from Penrose’s estate in 1965. They used the former school house as their antiques shop. Before retiring to Southbury in 1957, where he started a second career in the antiques business, Howard K. Richmond had been a graphic designer and art director in New York. He created the original layout and logo for Life magazine in 1936. He also did advertising and publicity work for Lord & Taylor, Bloomingdale’s, Elizabeth Arden and Saks Fifth Avenue.
The house at 212 Center Street in Southport was built by Francis Jelliff, a carpenter and builder. Much altered in later years, the house has since been restored to its original Greek Revival style. He also constructed another house in the 1870s for his son Charles E Jelliff, which was moved in the 1950s to 154 Taintor Drive to make way for the construction of I-95. Francis Jelliff is described in the Commemorative Biographical Record of Fairfield County, Connecticut (1899). He was
born December 8, 1816, at Westport, Conn., a son of David and Polly (Pike) Jelliff, the latter of whom was born in Southport, Conn. They had their home in Westport, where they reared their family of three children: Francis, Eliphalet and Mary. Of these, Eliphalet died young, and Mary married Sellick Sherman. Francis learned the trade of carpenter when a boy, serving a long apprenticeship, as was customary in those days, and followed that business throughout life at Southport, after a period spent in journeyman work in New York and elsewhere, among other jobs putting up cabins on vessels. In all respects he was a superior mechanic. Prior to his marriage he built his home on the corner of Pequot and Center streets, where he spent the balance of his life. In connection with carpentering he did a considerable amount of business in building and contracting, erecting many buildings in Southport and other towns, doing the entire work on the Southport Savings Bank, building the school house in the borough, and was a partner in the construction of both the Episcopal church and Congregational church. Beginning life a poor boy, he, by industry, perseverance, honesty of purpose and economy, became wealthy, at his death leaving a handsome competence.
In the 1890s the Berlin Iron Bridge Company in East Berlin was expanding and this led to a real estate boom. Fred W. Lang purchased land from Mary O. Bunce, who was very active in the real estate market at the time, and built four adjacent Victorian Vernacular houses on Main Street which he rented to the Bridge Company’s employees. The least altered of these is at 129 Main Street. According to the 1891 Berlin Agricultural Fair Bulletin, Fed W. Lang ran a bakery cart to Kensington, Berlin, East Berlin, Westfield, and West Cromwell from corner of Hart and Hawkins Streets in New Britain. In the 1880 census his occupation is listed as Retail Bread Dealer.