Built in 1754, the house at 43 Park Street in Guilford was originally home to Stephen Spencer, a blacksmith who had his forge on the south side of the house. In the 1840s and 1850s an upstairs room was rented for use as a schoolroom. In the 1870s, the south wing of the house was added by owner Daniel Auger. Elias Bates bought the house in 1894 and it remained in the Bates-Burton family for over a century.
Not to be confused with the earlier David Parmelee House next door (68 Water Street; built in 1780), the David Parmelee House at 74 Water Street in Guilford is a Federal house, built in 1807 by architect Abraham Coan for the younger David Pamelee, who was a blacksmith. The house has a rear ell thought to have once been part of an outbuilding dating to c. 1640 which belonged to Samuel Desborough, an original settler of Guilford.
The house at 96 Fair Street in Guilford was built in 1785 for Abraham Woodward, who sold it in 1797. A century later it was owned by Edward M. Leete, who had a funeral business, and his wife Eva Bishop Leete, who was a respected antiques dealer. The house was passed on to their son, Earle B. Leete. In 1998-1999, the house was renovated to become the new home of the Women and Family Life Center.
William E. Weld, a builder of many homes in Guilford in the nineteenth century, built the house at 88 Boston Street for Albert B. Wildman in 1852. Albert Boardman Wildman (1810-1878) was a merchant whose store was at 11 Boston Street (also built by Weld). Wildman was eulogized by Henry Pynchon Robinson in Guilford Portraits (1907):
ALBERT BOARDMAN WILDMAN.
June 2, 1810—May 2, 1878.
He stood uprightly tall and manly fair,
And wore on his smooth face the higher air
Of honor and proved probity, unswerving.
It seemed quite natural nor needed nerving
From sermon or from motive practical;
The gift, its own reward, more actual.
He was a merchant, of an older time,
When six pence passed by candlelight for dime.
Tuttle he knew and loved and linked the name
With his; merchants of good report and fame,
Successful through their dealing days and lives.
Not such as bold and meritless connives
To seize and turn the common weal to woe,
But sought by willing suffrage he did go
And added Guilford to the common sense;
Then through the war he served by son and pence.
His manner frank and fair and mild and genial,
As fellow man, well would treat a menial.
A father of the town, he walked our ways
And then from life retreated, full of praise.
In 1851 Israel Stowe Spencer purchased an iron foundry on Fair Street in Guilford. The company Spencer founded, I. S. Spencer’s Sons (his sons, Christopher and George B. Spencer joined him in 1857), added a brick foundry to the property in 1869. It was enlarged in 1880. The company produced cast iron products, such as legs for school desks, lamp pedestals and bicycle parts. Frederick C. Spencer, I. S. Spencer‘s grandson, built the tower at the south end of the building in 1910. The company ceased operations in 1982. The building was converted into condominiums in 1987. Its former address was 20 Fair Street and is now 18 Fair Street.
At 85 Boston Street in Guilford is a colonial saltbox house, believed to have been built around 1735 by Thomas Burgis, Sr. for his eldest son. Thomas Sr. was a shoemaker and tanner, originally from Yorkshire, who exported shoes from Guilford to the West Indies. In 1735, Thomas Burgis, Jr. married Hannah Dodd. Their son, Thomas III, graduated from Yale in 1758 and for a time was schoolmaster in North Guilford. He married Olive Dudley in 1769 and lived in the house for many years. It remained in the Burgis family until 1844. The house acquired its saltbox form around 1800, when a rear lean-to was added. The house also has a later Federal-style doorway. Restoration of the house began in 1956, when it was purchased by Helen Pigott. Additional work has been done by its present owners.
Abraham Coan, a Guilford builder-architect, built his house at 29 Broad Street on the foundation of the earlier Chittenden House. Its design was influenced by the work of builder-architect Peter Banner, who was designing the house of Yale’s president and other buildings on the Yale campus at the time. Banner later designed the Park Street Church in Boston. Coan had a joiner’s shop near his home. The house was purchased by Simon Chittenden in 1857 and named “Mapleside.” The entrance was then moved from the front to the west side of the house.