Rev. John McKinstry (1677-1754) was the first minister of Ellington’s Congregational Church. His house, most likely the oldest in Ellington, was built in 1730 and was moved to its present address at 85 Maple Street in 1815 from north of where the Hall Memorial Library was later built.
The house at 234 Hebron Road in Bolton was built c. 1720 by its first owner, Jerijah Loomis (1707-1790), on land that was the original homelot of his father, Ensign Nathaniel Loomis. The house has later alterations, c. 1820, in the Greek Revival style and an addition on the right built c. 1855.
The house at 47 Prospect Place in Bristol was built c. 1880 for A.J Muzzy, an active businessman and politician who, explains his biography in Taylor’s Souvenir of the Capitol (1899), was “popularly known as the ‘Bristol hustler.'” As related in this same biography:
Hon. Adrian J. Muzzy of Bristol, republican senator from the Fourth district, is a highly honored native and merchant of Bristol, and was born January 24, 1851. He received an excellent education in the public schools. At the age of nineteen he formed a copartnership under the style of W. & A. J. Muzzy and carried on a flour and feed business at the old Downs’ mill. In August of 1873, with T. F. Barbour, he opened a store for the sale of clothing and gentlemen’s furnishings, under the name of Barbour & Muzzy. In September, 1876, he sold out his interests in W. & A. J. Muzzy and Barbour & Muzzy and succeeded O. B. Ives in the dry goods business at the Riverside Avenue store. In January of 1883 he admitted his brother, F. L. Muzzy, as a partner. The firm has built up, as it highly deserves, the largest business in that section of the state. Mr. Muzzy was the chief promoter, and one of the charter members of the Bristol and Plainville Tramway Co., and is at present a director and its secretarv. He is also president of the Masonic Building Co., a member of the Masonic Chapter, Royal Arcanum, Son of the American Revolution and Country Club. On May 22, 1873, he married Florence E. Downs of Bristol. They have one child living, Adnenne F., born April 19, 1885.
Eli Phelps was a prosperous tobacco farmer in Windsor. Around 1860 he built the impressive Italianate house that stands at 18 Marshall Phelps Road in Poquonock. As related in the Commemorative Biographical Record of Hartford County (1901):
Hon. Eli Phelps was born at Poquonock, Sept, 1, 1807, and had only such educational advantages as the local schools of that day provided. He was but a young man when his father died, and as the only son the care of the estate fell to him before he had a chance to acquire business experience, yet he managed affairs with conspicuous ability and became one of the most successful farmers of the town, obtaining good results under all circumstances. For some years after his marriage he resided at his father’s old home, later locating at the farm now occupied by our subject. While he left a handsome estate to his children, he was never grasping or unduly economical, and many worthy enterprises were helped forward by his liberality. He was a man of fine physique, six feet tall, weighing 200 pounds, and his mental ability was above the average, his reading and observation enabling him to gain a wide range of practical knowledge. He took an active interest in religious work, serving as treasurer of the Ecclesiastical Society of his town for a long time, and politically he was prominent as a member of the local Democratic organization. At various times he held offices in his town, and for several years he was a member of the General Assembly. He died Sept. 1, 1879, and his remains now rest in the cemetery at Poquonock.
The house at 4 Jared Sparks Road in Willington, built before 1739 (a twentieth-century owner determined a date of 1728), has been designated as the town’s oldest house. It may have been built by John Watson, one of the town’s original proprietors who owned the property in 1727. It later served as the Congregational Church parsonage until 1911.
The house at 108 Tolland Turnpike in Willington was most likely erected c. 1805-1806 by Amasa Reed. It was later owned by the stockholders of the Willington Glass Factory, erected across the street in 1815. William Shaffer, a glassblower, bought the house in 1825 and resided there until his death in 1899.
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 »