Having previously constructed the Gothic Revival house at 53 Fair Street in Guilford in 1860, James Monroe erected another residence at 63 Fair Street in 1865. The builder was William E. Weld. Typical of the Gothic Revival style, the house has prominent gables, board and batten siding and windows with drip molds.
The first of two Gothic Revival houses built by James Monroe on Fair Street in Guilford is the house at No. 53, built in 1860. James Monroe was part of the firm of Jasper Monroe & Sons on Boston Street. He also erected several building around town. A later resident was George Cruttenden. The house has board and batten siding, typical of the Carpenter Gothic style, and also has Italianate-style entry porch.
William E. Weld was a carpenter and builder and ran a lumber business in Guilford for almost fifty years in the nineteenth century. He built many houses in town, including the Albert B Wildman House (1852), the Frederick A. Weld House (built for his brother in 1852) the Benjamin Bradley House (1860) and the Julia Labadie House (1872). Weld built his own house in 1850 at 45 Boston Street.
Richard Davis Coan built the house at 15 Fair Street in Guilford around 1841. He married Flora Hitchcock Granniss. Richard Coan is described in New England Families, Genealogical and Memorial, Vol. III (1913):
He spent the greater part of his life in the place of his birth, and being a builder by occupation erected many houses and public buildings there. Later he removed to New Haven, where he was actively engaged in the building business, a member of the lumber and manufacturing firm of Lewis & Beecher Company, who conducted large planing mills, and was one of the leading industries of the city. He was known by the title of major, commanding the Guilford troops on muster day. He was very prominent in the work of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, and later in the Church of the Ascension, and being a musician of note was active in the choirs of both churches. After his removal to New Haven. Mr. Coan built a fine residence on Wooster street, which was at that time the finest residential section of the city.
The house in Guilford was later owned by Beverly Monroe, who ran a store on Boston Street established with his father and brother.
The house at 64 Fair Street in Guilford was built in 1796 by Seth Bishop. He soon mortgaged the house to brothers Joel and Nathaniel Griffing and sold it in 1801 to Captain Joel Griffing (1762-1826). His brother, Judge Nathaniel Griffing (1767-1845), lived in a similar house nearby at 6 Fair Street that Joel had previously owned. From 1802 to 1825, the south chamber on the second floor of the Bishop House (which has a ceiling a foot higher than the other rooms) and two adjacent rooms, were used for meetings of St. Alban’s Lodge No. 38, a Masonic Lodge that now meets in Branford. A history of the Lodge indicates that on several occasions, meeting were canceled so as not to disturb a sick member of the Griffing family.
In 1769, Reuben Stone built the house at 22 Broad Street in Guilford, near the home of his brother, Caleb Stone. Reuben Stone (1726-1804) was a supporter of the Revolutionary War who procured supplies for the soldiers. In 1842, the Greek Revival entryway was added and the house was altered from one-and-a-half stories with a steeper roof to two-stories. The house was later owned by Leverett C. Stone (1819-1892) and other Stone descendants.
Medad Stone was born in Guilford in 1754 and later inherited his father’s tavern on the northwest corner of the Green. Stone was also part-owner of a stage company that carried public mail. Road conditions at the time were bad and in 1803 Stone and his partners petitioned the General Assembly to reroute the Boston Post Road. Confident that the alterations would be made, Stone built a large new tavern of Dutch Colonial design along the proposed route. Located in the West Side of Guilford (modern address 197 Three Mile Course), the tavern had fourteen rooms and ten fireplaces. Although Medad Stone battled for ten years to get his turnpike proposal accepted, the change was never made and the new tavern never opened. Stone, who died in 1815, began farming activities there, which were continued by Joel Davis, who bought the property from Stone’s daughter in 1843. His great-grandson Leonard Davis Hubbard (1909-2001) bequeathed the Tavern to the Guilford Keeping Society in 2001. It was restored to its 1803 appearance and was opened as a museum by the GKS, which also owns the Thomas Griswold House.