Archive for the ‘Guilford’ Category

Guilford Academy (1794)

Monday, November 20th, 2017 Posted in Federal Style, Guilford, Schools | No Comments »

For sixty years the First and Fourth Congregational Societies in Guilford each maintained their own schoolhouse, located next to each other on the Green. These were then combined into one building of two stories, erected in 1794. The building was moved from the Green to its current location, at 19 Church Street, in 1827. It then housed a secondary school, called the Guilford Academy (aka high school), on the upper floor. As related in A History of the Plantation of Menunkatuck and of the Original town of Guilford, Connecticut (1897), by Bernard Christian Steiner:

In 1837 the [town’s center school] district was divided into four parts and school houses built in the northeast and southwest districts, the northwest district occupying a part of the academy, the upper part of which building was occupied in 1838 by Mr. Dudley as a high school.

The academy closed in 1856, after the Guilford Institute (which would later become the high school) opened. The former Academy building then became a private residence. The front porch was most likely added around that time.

Capt. Samuel Lee House (1750)

Thursday, October 12th, 2017 Posted in Colonial, Guilford, Houses | No Comments »

At the corner of State and North Streets in Guilford is a house (1 North Street) built circa 1750. The Greek Revival front door-surround was added later. The house is named for Samuel Lee (1742-1819), who served in the Coast Guard during the Revolutionary War and was promoted to captain just before the war ended. The house may also have been erected later, around the time of Lee’s marriage to Agnes Dickinson in 1763. There are many stories of Agnes Lee’s bravery during the Revolution when her husband was frequently absent. As recounted in Old Paths and Legends of the New England Border (1907), by Katharine M. Abbott:

Agnes Lee, the wife of Captain Samuel Lee of the Harbor Guard, was a noted foe to Tories. Powder was stored in the attic: one dark night a Tory knocked at her door, when Captain Lee was on duty; “Who’s there?” — “A friend.” — “No, a friend would tell his name,” answered Mrs. Lee, and fired. An hour later, an old doctor of North Guilford was summoned to attend a mysterious gun-shot wound. When the British landed at Leete’s Island, Captain Lee fired the agreed signal; “Grandma Lee responded by blazing away on the cannon set at the head of Crooked Lane, for she had not a son, and Uncle Levi was a cripple.”

According to another account, armed Torries actually burst in and she held them off until her husband arrived to shoot them. On another occasion, Lee barn caught fire and its sparks threatened the powder stored in the attic of the house. With no one else to save the house, Agnes Lee rushed upstairs and closed the the attic window to shut out the dangerous sparks. She later remarked that she hadn’t expected to come back down the stairs alive. The Guilford chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution is named for Agnes Dickinson Lee.

Samuel’s mother and his brother, Levi, also lived with them in the house. In 1794, Levi and his mother sold the house to William Starr, Sr. At that time, Samuel and Agnes built a new house at 292 State Street.

George W. Seward House (1888)

Thursday, September 21st, 2017 Posted in Guilford, Houses, Queen Anne | No Comments »

George W. Seward (d. 1928) was a builder in Guilford who was very active in town affair and served on the board of the Guilford Institute. In 1888, he built for himself the house at 33 Church Street, next door to his shop, which was at 39 Church Street.

Dr. Joel Canfield House (1829)

Thursday, August 10th, 2017 Posted in Federal Style, Guilford, Houses | No Comments »

The house at 78 Church Street in Guilford was built in 1829, just four years after the street was opened. It was erected by Dr. Joel Canfield (1801-1877). According to his obituary by Alvan Talcott, M. D., in the Proceedings of the Connecticut Medical Society, Eighty-Sixth Annual Convention (1877), Dr. Canfield was originally from Chester and studied medicine with Dr. John S. Peters, of Hebron and Dr. Samuel B. Woodward, of Wethersfield. He then studied at Yale in 1823-1824.

He received a license to practice as a physican [sic] and surgeon in March, 1824, and on the 1st day of June following he commenced practice in Guilford, Conn., locating himself, the first year, in the parish of North Guilford. One year afterwards, he removed to the village of Old Guilford, on the same day with the decease of Dr. Joel L. Griffing, of Guilford, a physician of much promise, who died of phthisis at the age of 36. Dr. Canfield succeeded to his business, and had at once a large and lucrative practice. Other practitioners, however, came in after a few years, and divided the business with him.

On January 10, 1827, he married Lucretia M. Bartlett. She died in 1876 and, according to the doctor’s obituary, “he appeared never to have recovered from the shock.” Dr. Canfield was given an honorary medical degree by Yale in 1847. He was also active in the anti-slavery and temperance movements. As his obituary concludes:

On the morning of April 9, 1877, being in usual health, he took the cars for Saybrook, and from thence for Chester, hired some boys to row him across the Connecticut river, and was on his way to visit a brother and a niece in Hadlyme. After walking a few rods in a lonely road, and when out of sight of any human being, he was stricken down by failure of the action of the heart, and died almost immediately. Some five hours afterwards his body was found, his left hand still grasping a stone in the wall for support. His funeral was attended on the 11th, in the Third Church of Guilford, by a full assemblage of his relatives and friends, with very appropriate remarks from his pastor, Rev. George W. Banks. His age was 76 years and 30 days.

Stephen Fowler House (1770)

Thursday, July 20th, 2017 Posted in Colonial, Guilford, Houses | No Comments »

The house at 2545 Long Hill Road in North Guilford was built in 1770 by Stephen Fowler (1744-1814) (it was once thought to have been built by his father, Daniel Fowler, in 1740). The house contained the first post office in North Guilford, and Stephen’s grandson, also named Stephen, served as postmaster until his death in 1869, followed by his daughter into the 1870s. Later, this Stephen’s grandson, Harold E. Fowler (1884-1981), owned the house, which has remained in the Fowler family.

William Starr III House (1826)

Saturday, June 3rd, 2017 Posted in Federal Style, Guilford, Houses | No Comments »

The house at 150 Church Street in Guilford was built in 1826 by William Sarr III (1803-1846) to be the new home of he and his bride, Amelia Chittenden (1805-1842). They were married on January 31, 1827.

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.