The earliest residents of the hip-roofed brick Federal-style house at 2 Washington Avenue – 1 St. John Street in North Haven are not known. Much altered over the years, the house was built c. 1825 on the site where the c. 1680 homestead of Nathaniel Thorpe once stood. In the later nineteenth century the house was the residence of Rev. William T. Reynolds, who was pastor of the North Haven Congregational Church from 1863 to 1893. The house is now an office property.
According to a guide to the South Britain Historic District, produced by the Town of Southbury, the house at 32 East Flat Hill Road, called the Downs House, was acquired as a residence by the minister of the South Britain Congregational Church in 1791. Does this relate it to the Moses Downs House at 639 South Britain Road? Further, the guide indicates that it was used in the 1870s for a school for girls and the lower level was once a tavern. The National Register of Historic Places Inventory Nomination for the South Britain Historic District dates the house to 1750 (based on assessor’s records) and indicates it was once a toll house.
The unusual building at 926-940 Farmington Avenue in Kensington was built c. 1875 by the brothers, Augustine F. Wooding and Ralph A. Wooding. They started a business making dog collars, later expanding to harness trimmings and saddlery hardware. In the 1896, they built a dam and pond and were granted a contract to supply water to trains on the New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad. The building’s tower was then erected to serve as a water tower. Known as the Tower House, in later years the building was used as apartments. Read the rest of this entry »
The Greek Revival house at 83 Old Boston Post Road in Old Saybrook was built in 1847 by Rufus C. Shepard, a deacon of the Congregational Church who served as County Commissioner and Representative in the state legislature.
Much altered over the years, the house at 20 Hurlbutt Road in Gales Ferry Village in Ledyard was built in 1848 by Ralph Arthur, who soon sold it to Henry Comstock (1811-1854). A whaling captain, Comstock departed on the Louisa Beaton in 1853 on what would be his final voyage. He died of “African fever” at Ascension Island on March 23, 1854.
William Howe Thompson (1813-1901) acquired his father’s farm in the village of Melrose in East Windsor after his marriage to Huldah Chapin (1818-1897) in 1836. There he erected a Greek Revival farmhouse in 1850 (219 Melrose Road). Thompson had an office in the wing of his home from which he managed his various farms. He was also a civic leader, serving as selectman and tax assessor in East Windsor and as a representative in the state legislature in 1861-1862. Deacon Thompson was also one of the founders of the Broad Brook Congregational Church. Shortly before his death Thompson sold the farm to his neighbor, John Pease. In 1957 the farm passed from the Pease to the Smigiel family, which grew tobacco. Today the property survives as a particularly well-preserved example of a Connecticut River Valley farmstead, with associated nineteenth-century barn, tobacco shed and pumphouse.