Archive for the ‘Madison’ Category

Gen. William W. Harts House (1729)

Saturday, May 20th, 2017 Posted in Colonial, Houses, Madison | No Comments »

The house at 908 Boston Post Road in Madison, currently in a dilapidated condition, was recently subject to a foreclosure. The first person to build on the property was Ensign Nathaniel Dudley, c. 1729-1730, and the building was then expanded over time with several additions. Capt. Edward Griffin (1762-1802), who sailed schooners between between Boston and Haiti, acquired the house in 1799 from Lyman Munger. On one voyage, Capt. Griffin once threw his son Harry overboard after a quarrel. The cook threw over a chicken coop to keep Harry afloat and the young man was later rescued by a passing ship. Capt. Griffin was a slave owner who committed a heinous act. Hearing that revenue officers were coming to his house to assess his property, he entombed two of his slaves by walling them in the basement and leaving them to die.

The house had a number of owners after Capt. Griffin. Unoccupied from 1895 until 1909, it then became the summer home of Martha Hale and her husband, William Wright Harts (1866-1961). An 1889 graduate of West Point, Harts served in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, eventually rising to the rank of Brigadier General. He oversaw a number of large construction projects, involving fortifications and river and harbor engineering. In 1901, he was sent to the Philippines, where he built roads and designed and constructed Fort McKinley (now Fort Bonifacio).

During World War I, Harts served in France and was appointed military governor of the Paris District and then Chief of Staff of the Army of Occupation in Germany. He was also a military aide to President Woodrow Wilson. Back in the United States, he supervised construction of the Lincoln Memorial and the Arlington Memorial Amphitheater. He lived in Madison full time after 1930. The general’s uniform is now in the collection of the Madison Historical Society. In the years since his death in 1961, the house, which came to be called the “General’s Residence,” has been a wedding dress shop, a restaurant, and a bakery.

Madison Post Office (1940)

Thursday, May 4th, 2017 Posted in Colonial Revival, Madison, Public Buildings | No Comments »

The United States Post Office in Madison (781 Boston Post Road) was completed in 1940. Inside is a New Deal era mural called “Gathering Seaweed from the Sound,” painted by William Abbott Cheever in 1940. The building and mural were created using Treasury Department funds.

Memorial Town Hall, Madison (1897)

Thursday, April 6th, 2017 Posted in Madison, Monuments, Neoclassical, Public Buildings | No Comments »

Memorial Town Hall in Madison was built in 1897 to honor the town’s Civil War veterans. Vincent Meigs Wilcox, a wealthy merchant, was donor to both the hall and another, more traditional Civil War monument, the Wilcox Soldiers’ Monument. The building originally served as a community center, becoming Madison’s Town Hall in 1938. A new town hall was built in 1995, but the old hall continues to house some municipal offices, meeting rooms, and the Charlotte L. Evarts Memorial Archives.

Jonathan S. Wilcox House (1830)

Tuesday, March 7th, 2017 Posted in Federal Style, Houses, Madison | No Comments »

Housed at the William L. Clements Library at the University of Michigan are the diaries of Jonathan Samuel Wilcox (1791-1875), a Madison storekeeper. Covering nearly thirty years (1844-1875), the diaries document Wilcox’s business and religious activities (he describes his church attendance and evaluates the sermons he heard there, sometimes after attending three sermons at three different churches on the same day), as well as his political involvement. A staunch Democrat, Wilcox was hostile to abolitionists and opposed the Civil War. Several of his children and other relatives lived in Augusta, Georgia (collections of family letters are held by libraries at Yale and the University of Georgia. Wilcox’s own house, built in the Federal-style in 1830, is located at 558 Boston Post Road across from the Green in Madison.

Abraham Cruttenden House (1735)

Thursday, December 29th, 2016 Posted in Colonial, Houses, Madison | No Comments »

The book Madison: Three Hundred Years By the Sea (1976), p. 39, dates the Abraham Cruttenden (or Crittenden) House to 1639. Abraham Cruttenden was one of the original settlers of what would become Madison and he arrived in New Haven with other settlers of Guilford in 1639. A more recent dating of the house, which is a Colonial cape at 123 Boston Post Road in Madison, is 1735. In 1967, Yale architect Albert Riese erected a mid-century modern box at the rear of the house as a wing for his elderly mother. Riese’s daughter and her husband extensively renovated the house in 2012.

William Shelley House (1730)

Friday, October 14th, 2016 Posted in Colonial, Houses, Madison | No Comments »

Shelley House

The Shelley House, at 248 Boston Post Road in Madison, dates to the late seventeenth/early eighteenth Century, with specific dates variously given that include 1709/1710 and 1730. This exceptionally well-preserved structure is a rare surviving example of a house that was clearly built in several stages, following a pattern believed to have been common at the time: starting with a one-room, two-story dwelling with a stone wall at one end (the east half), a second section added later (the west half) and finally a lean-to at the rear. Traditionally known as the William Shelley House and also known as the Stone-Shelley House, it underwent a controversial restoration c. 2008.

Jonathan Coe House (1852)

Saturday, September 10th, 2016 Posted in Greek Revival, Houses, Madison | No Comments »

Moxie

The house at 52 Wall Street in Madison, built c. 1852, was the home of Jonathan Coe (1800-1880), a machinist and house joiner. It is now Moxie Bar and Restaurant.