West Haven’s Union School is a former school building at 174 Center Street. Built in 1889 to 1890, when West Haven was part of the town of Orange, it served as a grammar school and for thirty-five years as a high school. It replaced a series of earlier wooden school buildings. Union School is a brick structure with terra cotta and East Haven red-sandstone trim. It was designed by Leoni W. Robinson, a leading architect in New Haven. An addition to the building, identical in plan and detail, was built to the rear in 1914. The former school is now used for senior housing.
The Capewell Horse Nail Company was founded in 1881 by George Capewell, who invented an improved machine for making horseshoe nails. Located next to the old Capewell factory in Hartford is the company’s office building (60 Popieluszko Court, formerly Governor Street), built around 1900. Designed by an unknown architect, the office building features an elaborate brick, brownstone and terra-cotta façade.
The house (pdf) at 240 West Main Street in Cheshire was built circa 1845 for Augustus C. Peck, a mechanic. In the 1860s, the Greek Revival house was purchased by Dr. M.M. Chamberlain, who enlarged and modified it with Victorian additions.
The Roderick Block is a “flatiron”-shaped Victorian Eclectic commercial building in the industrial village of Baltic in Sprague. It was built in 1898 by Raymond J. Jodoin, a businessman who was Baltic’s largest landowner. He also served several terms as Sprague’s First Selectman and in the state legislature. Born in St. Hyacinth, Quebec, Jodoin‘s family came to Baltic in 1865, when he was seven weeks old, during a period of mass immigration of French-Canadians. According to the Legislative History and Souvenir of Connecticut, Vol. VII (1910):
At the age of nine years he went to work in the mill at Baltic. He saved his earnings until he was able to buy a small livery stock and successfully conducted this business several years. In April, 1888, Mr. Jodoin went to Providence, where he secured a position as traveling salesman in the wholesale grocery house of Waldron Wightman & Co. He remained with them ten years and then accepted a similar position with Daniels & Cornell, of Providence, with whom he has since remained. His territory covers Eastern Connecticut. Southern Massachusetts and Western Rhode Island.
As related in an article in the Bridgeport Herald of April 3, 1910 (“Representative Jodoin Urged for Democratic State Ticket”):
Mr. Jodoin is much attached to his home village, Baltic, and some years ago when he began to invest his savings in real estate there, he met with dark phrophesies of financial loss from all his friends, but his judgment has been justified since by the increase in the value of his investments. He is one of the heaviest individual owners of real estate in the town, and has been found always ready to back any movement that promised to be of advantage to the place. Throughout the village are seen many evidences of his public spirit, and he is most popular with all classes. Kindly and charitable, he is ever ready to help those less fortunate, but with his characteristic modesty he dislikes to have his good deeds known.
At 87 Mountain Road (corner of Buena Vista Road) in West Hartford is the town’s oldest extant schoolhouse, a brick structure known as the Old West School. Since 1936, the former school has been occupied by the West Hartford Art League, which purchased the building from the town in 1965 on the condition that it be preserved and used exclusively for non-profit cultural and educational purposes.
Camp meetings, religious revival meetings where parishioners would set up their carts and tents around a central preaching platform, were once a vital feature of frontier American Protestant Evangelicalism in the nineteenth century. Participants, freed from their daily routines, could attend the almost continuous services that often lasted several days. While Presbyterians and Baptists sponsored camp meetings, these religious gatherings came to be particularly associated with the Methodist denomination. Methodists soon introduced the camp meeting, originally a western phenomenon that flourished before the Civil War, to the east.
The New Haven District of the Methodist Church founded a campground for summer revival meetings in the west end of Plainville (320 Camp Street) in 1865. Methodist camp meetings would continue to be held there every summer until 1957. Initially tents were pitched around a central platform. Soon the Association Building was constructed, where equipment could be stored. Individual churches then began constructing 2-story cottages facing the center of the Campground, along what is known as The Circle. Nineteen of these central cottages survive today. Individual families also began to build their own cottages on the narrow avenues radiating from The Circle, replacing the tents of the campground‘s early years. Most of the cottages date from the 1880s to 1910, although a few were constructed as late as 1925. The present Auditorium building was built around 1905 in place of the original preaching platform. At one time a screened pavilion, the Auditorium is now open to the outside. The Plainville Campground Association purchased the property from the Methodists in 1957. 87 of the cottages are now private residences, the other 39 being owned by various churches. A few of the cottages have been modified for year-round use, while the rest are occupied in the summer. I have additional photos of the Campground: Read the rest of this entry »
In 1836, Henry P. Haven (1815-1876; A biography of Haven by Henry Clay Trumbull, entitled A Model Superintendent, was published in 1880) established the Gilead Sunday School in Waterford. In 1876, Gilead Chapel was built at the corner of Foster Road and Parkway North to serve as the home of this interdenominational school. After the school closed in the early 1940s, the building was used for a decade by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Days Saints. Vacant several years thereafter, in 1969 it was purchased by Raymond Schmitt for his his Historic Johnsonville Village in Moodus in East Haddam. The building was taken down and reassembled in Moodus at the intersection of Johnsonville Road and Neptune Avenue.