Archive for the ‘Houses’ Category

Wadsworth-Dorman House (1826)

Tuesday, May 30th, 2017 Posted in Farmington, Houses, Vernacular | No Comments »

The house at 165 Main Street in Farmington was possibly built as early as 1826 by Sidney Wadsworth (1786-1846), whose family homestead is across the street. Rumah Dorman (1837-1916), wife of Civil War veteran Edward H. Dorman, bought the house in 1865. Erected as a one-and-a-half story tenement, the house was enlarged in the early twentieth century by Rumah Dorman’s son, Frank E. Dorman. He also added a wraparound front porch that has since been removed. Frank E. Dorman served as sheriff and for a time was a night watchman at the Hillstead estate where he sometimes made the night rounds with Theodate Pope Riddle, who had trouble sleeping. The house was sold out of the family in 1963. Read the rest of this entry »

South Britain Academy (1835)

Monday, May 29th, 2017 Posted in Greek Revival, Houses, Schools, Southbury | No Comments »

The house at 698 South Britain Road in South Britain, Southbury was built c. 1835-1840 as a school called the South Britain Academy. The Academy, started around 1820, had a library and an Institute for Elocution and Debating. The school had closed by the 1860s and the building was converted into a residence. In 1922 it was acquired by Henry McCarthy, a merchant, and his wife, Helen McCarthy, who worked as secretary of Southbury’s board of Selectmen from 1943-1965 and then worked for the town’s social services office.

Jennie and Edward Gilbert House (1871)

Saturday, May 27th, 2017 Posted in Haddam, Houses, Second Empire | No Comments »

The house at 429 Saybrook Road in Higganum was built by Cornelius Brainerd (1811-1884) as a wedding present for his daughter, Jennie (Jane Jerusha), who married Edward Dwight Gilbert, a merchant, on June 1, 1871. When the Higganum Savings Bank was chartered in 1874, E. D. Gilbert was secretary and his father-in-law was treasurer, a position Gilbert would later hold. Gilbert also served as postmaster. The later couple moved to Cornelius’ house and sold the 1871 house, which has since lost its original elaborately carved porch.

Gen. William W. Harts House (1729)

Saturday, May 20th, 2017 Posted in Colonial, Houses, Madison | No Comments »

The house at 908 Boston Post Road in Madison, currently in a dilapidated condition, was recently subject to a foreclosure. The first person to build on the property was Ensign Nathaniel Dudley, c. 1729-1730, and the building was then expanded over time with several additions. Capt. Edward Griffin (1762-1802), who sailed schooners between between Boston and Haiti, acquired the house in 1799 from Lyman Munger. On one voyage, Capt. Griffin once threw his son Harry overboard after a quarrel. The cook threw over a chicken coop to keep Harry afloat and the young man was later rescued by a passing ship. Capt. Griffin was a slave owner who committed a heinous act. Hearing that revenue officers were coming to his house to assess his property, he entombed two of his slaves by walling them in the basement and leaving them to die.

The house had a number of owners after Capt. Griffin. Unoccupied from 1895 until 1909, it then became the summer home of Martha Hale and her husband, William Wright Harts (1866-1961). An 1889 graduate of West Point, Harts served in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, eventually rising to the rank of Brigadier General. He oversaw a number of large construction projects, involving fortifications and river and harbor engineering. In 1901, he was sent to the Philippines, where he built roads and designed and constructed Fort McKinley (now Fort Bonifacio).

During World War I, Harts served in France and was appointed military governor of the Paris District and then Chief of Staff of the Army of Occupation in Germany. He was also a military aide to President Woodrow Wilson. Back in the United States, he supervised construction of the Lincoln Memorial and the Arlington Memorial Amphitheater. He lived in Madison full time after 1930. The general’s uniform is now in the collection of the Madison Historical Society. In the years since his death in 1961, the house, which came to be called the “General’s Residence,” has been a wedding dress shop, a restaurant, and a bakery.

Copper Beach Inn (1889)

Thursday, May 18th, 2017 Posted in Essex, Folk Victorian, Houses, Stick Style | No Comments »

Now a restaurant and inn, the former residence at 46 Main Street in Ivoryton (one of the three villages in the Town of Essex) was built in 1889 by Archibald Welsh Comstock (1860-1940). His father, Samuel Merritt Comstock (1809-1878), had founded the S.M. Comstock Company, which manufactured ivory products such as piano keys, billiard balls, dominoes and combs (thus giving Ivoryton its name). After Archibald Comstock’s death in 1940, his estate passed to his wife. The house was sold in 1954 and soon became a restaurant called the Johnny Cake Inn. The Inn was forced into foreclosure in 1966, but in 1972 it was acquired by Robert and Jo McKenzie, who reopened it as the Copper Beach Inn, named for the large tree at the entrance to the property. The business has continued under various owners over the years. It closed for a time in 2013 after another foreclosure, but soon reopened under new ownership. Sadly, the Inn lost its namesake tree earlier this year — taken down after it was discovered its center was rotting due to a fungal disease.

Old Congregational Church Parsonage, Coventry (1792)

Wednesday, May 17th, 2017 Posted in Coventry, Folk Victorian, Houses, Vernacular | No Comments »

When the house at 99 High Street in Coventry was built as the Congregational Church‘s parsonage, c. 1792, the church building was located nearby, facing what is now Veterans Memorial Green. By the time the church’s congregation merged with that of the Village Church on Main Street in 1869, the former parsonage had become a private residence. Built as a one-story structure, the house was raised to two stories after the Civil War, with the front porches likely added about the same time. The hexagonal corner porch was probably added c. 1900.

Henry Hull House (1840)

Tuesday, May 16th, 2017 Posted in Greek Revival, Guilford, Houses | No Comments »

The Greek Revival house at 215 State Street in Guilford was built c. 1840. It was the home of Henry Hull (1813-1885), originally of Killingworth, who married Lydia L Bishop of Guilford on March 22, 1838.