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.
At 98 Fair Street in Guilford is a mansard-roofed house built c. 1869-1870 in the French Second Empire style. It was built by Edwin Alonzo Leete (1822-1870), a cabinetmaker and undertaker. Behind the house is a building (1090 Boston Post Road) he used as his workshop and display room. Leete had previously lived in an octagon house on Fair Street. A veteran of the Civil War, Leete served six months in Co I, 14th CT Regiment and fought at the Battle of Antietam. After his death, his son Edward and grandson Earle continued the undertaking business and also developed an interest in antique furniture. As related in Vol. II of A Modern History of New Haven and Eastern New Haven County (1918):
Edward Morris Leete acquired his education in the schools of Guilford, Connecticut, and there learned the furniture business with his father and also mastered the undertaking business. He continued in the furniture trade in Guilford until 1912. His wife [Eva Bishop] from 1885 had been dealing in New England antique furniture and the business grew so extensive that in 1912 the E. B. Leete Company was incorporated and the modern furniture business of Mr. Leete was discontinued in order that he might concentrate his entire attention upon the antique furniture trade which had been developed.
[. . .] The parents and second son [Earl Bishop Leete] are all interested in the antique furniture business which is carried on under the name of Mrs. Leete as the E. B. Leete Company, for the trade was developed and built up by Mrs. Leete, whose fame as a dealer in colonial and antique furniture is very wide. She is the president of the company and has been dealing in this line of goods for thirty years. She is probably the best authority in New England on colonial furniture and is the largest dealer in and collector of New England antique furniture. She has four old houses in Guilford completely filled with this furniture on display and exhibition and she also has two large storehouses filled with it. Her collection of antique furniture is the largest in New England and many pieces in her possession are more than two hundred and fifty years old. She loaned the antique furniture for and furnished completely the Connecticut House at the Jamestown Exposition at Jamestown, Virginia, and through the Society of Colonial Dames furnished the Connecticut houses at the St. Louis and Chicago fairs. Her patronage is very extensive and gratifying and she has among her patrons many of America’s best known families. She has made a very close and discriminating study of the subject and her comprehensive knowledge of furniture, its value, its methods of manufacture and the period at which it was made enables her at all times to speak with authority upon the subject. Moreover, she displays a most enterprising and progressive spirit in the conduct of the business, possessing marked executive ability. She is also one of the organizers and a charter member of the Dorothy Whitfield Historical Society.
In 1843, 123 members of the First Congregational Church of Guilford who were strongly anti-slavery decided to form their own church, the Abolition Church, later renamed the Third Congregational Church of Guilford. These members had been refused permission by First Church to hold meetings of the local Anti-Slavery Society. They were also supporters of Rev. Aaron Dutton, First Church’s minister from 1806 to 1842, who had resigned due to dissensions within the congregation over his abolitionist stance. As related in The History of Guilford, Connecticut (1877), by Ralph D. Smith:
The present house of worship was built in 1844, and dedicated to the service of God, January 1, 1845. It was remodeled in 1862, and supplied with a suitable organ in 1873.
A chapel at the rear was added in 1879. By 1919 church membership had dwindled. The congregation of Third Church rejoined First Church and sold the building (49 Park Street) to Christ Church for use as a parish house. The building‘s steeple was removed in the 1920s because it had begun to lean. For several years, the former church was used as a movie theater, a kindergarten and a dancing school. In 1933 the building was sold again and renamed the Chapel Playhouse. It was converted for use by a summer stock theater group, the New York-Guilford players, and for the Guilford Town Players. The Christian Science Society bought the building in 1951 and restored it, changing their name in 1955 to the First Church of Christ, Scientist.