Archive for the ‘Berlin’ Category

Rev. Samuel Clark House (1759)

Tuesday, November 8th, 2016 Posted in Berlin, Colonial, Houses | No Comments »

Rev. Samuel Clark House

Reverend Samuel Clark (1729-1778), a Princeton graduate, was ordained in the Kensington Congregational Church in Berlin 1756 and then served as its minister until his death twenty-two years later. He built the grand house at 67 Burnham Street, one of the earliest brick residences in Connecticut, in 1759, but did not marry until 1766, when he wed Jerusha White. The latter part of his pastorate was contentious and the congregation split into separate societies in 1772. In 1773, Rev. Clark entered into a financially unsuccessful partnership, ending in a quarrel, with merchant Jonathan Hart. At the time of his death the Revolutionary War was underway and Rev. Clark was facing dismissal from his pastorate for suspected Tory sympathies. His house was next occupied by Rev. Benoni Upson, who succeeded him as minister. The Upson family lived in the house into the twentieth century. The house has a white-painted twentieth-century addition to the left of its front facade.

Dr. James Percival House (1784)

Monday, October 10th, 2016 Posted in Berlin, Colonial, Houses | No Comments »

Dr. James Percival House

Dr. James Percival (d. 1807) was a prominent physician in the parish of Kensington in the town of Berlin. He was the father of the poet and naturalist James Gates Percival (1795-1856). The doctor is described by Julius H. Ward in The Life and Letters of James Gates Percival (1866):

He had a strong constitution and a vigorous mind. He easily grasped a subject, and was noted for keeping his own counsel and doing things entirely in his own way. He was social and persuasive in society, but divided his time mostly between his profession and his home. He was not liberally educated, but he had a taste for letters, and was as well read as most Connecticut doctors in his day. Except in winter, when he could use a sleigh, he made his calls on horseback, turning his saddle-bags into a medicine-chest. He was prompt in business and eminent in his profession. It was said of him by a friend: “Few physicians in a country town ever performed more business in a given time than Dr. Percival. This may be asserted of him both as it respects his whole professional life and also his daily visits. With a practice of nineteen years, he left an estate that was inventoried at fourteen thousand dollars.”

The same book describes the doctor’s house (381 Percival Avenue), built in 1784, in which James Gates Percival was born in 1795, and the surrounding neighborhood:

The house of his birth is still standing. It is a plain wooden building, bordering close upon the street, with a long sloping roof in the rear,-—a style of dwelling which our ancestors brought from England. It has now quite other tenants, and its shattered windows and uneven roof and weather-beaten paint show the marks of age. It is situated in one of the most romantic and charming regions in Connecticut. Near at hand is the parish church, standing on an elevated site, in the shade of fine old trees of buttonwood and oak, its low steeple cropping out just above their tops; in front of the house and over the way is an orchard slope; around it are patches of mowing and pasture; and at its foot is a beautiful sheet of water, which turns several mills in its progress, and then dashes over the rocks, and winds away among green meadows. Farm-houses are scattered everywhere among the neighboring eminences and in the valley. The whole neighborhood is remarkable for the rich and varied beauty of its scenery

Kensington United Methodist Church (1893)

Sunday, August 28th, 2016 Posted in Berlin, Churches, Gothic | No Comments »

Kensington United Methodist Church

The Kensington United Methodist Church at the corner of Church and Hotchkiss Streets in Berlin was built in 1893 and a modern education wing added in 1961. The church was first organized in 1858 as the Kensington Methodist Episcopal Church and met in the Berlin Town Hall until their first church was built in 1865 at the corner of Percival Avenue and Sbona Road.

Newton Woodford House (1855)

Saturday, August 13th, 2016 Posted in Berlin, Houses, Italianate | No Comments »

57 Hotchkiss St., Kensington

Around 1855, Newton Woodford, a brass founder from New Britain, settled in Kensington in Berlin. He built an Italian Villa type house at 57 Hotchkiss Street, on land he had acquired from the Hart Manufacturing Company. As related in the Boston Post on Wednesday, October 20, 1875: “Newton Woodford, of the Hart Tool Manufacturing Company, of Kensington, Conn., and a prominent citizen of that place, fell dead of heart disease, while transacting business at New Britain, on Saturday.” The Woodford House is now a two-family residence.

St. Paul Catholic Church, Kensington (1914)

Sunday, July 24th, 2016 Posted in Berlin, Churches, Gothic, Mission/Spanish Colonial, Romanesque Revival | No Comments »

St Paul Church

To serve the Irish community in Kensington (in Berlin), Father Luke Daly of New Britain acquired land on Main Street for a church in 1873. Construction began in October of 1878 and the unfinished church was dedicated in May 1879. St. Paul’s became a full parish two years later. A suspicious fire destroyed St. Paul Church on March 5, 1913. Construction soon began on the current church, at Alling and Peck Streets. The cornerstone was blessed on November 2, 1913 and the church was dedicated on May 24, 1914. According to the Hartford Courant (“Bishop Dedicates Kensington Church,” March 25, 1814):

The edifice itself was built of red brick with Kentucky limestone cornices. The roof is Spanish tile. The architecture is English Gothic with a hint of Spanish mission in the tower. There are three porticos.

Rev. Luke Daly Houses (1873)

Wednesday, July 13th, 2016 Posted in Berlin, Houses, Italianate | No Comments »

80 Main St

88 Main St

Rev. Luke Daly, a Catholic priest, erected two Italianate houses in Kensington at 80 and 88 Main Street about 1873 on land he bought from George D. Boyer. When Daly died he left the houses to the Catholic Church, which owned them for twenty-five years.

Edward A. Cole House (1785)

Friday, June 17th, 2016 Posted in Berlin, Houses, Stick Style | No Comments »

Edward A. Cole House

The Cole family once had an extensive farm in Berlin around the area where the house at 98 Norton Road stands today. The house was possibly built as early as 1785, but it was extensively remodeled and “Victorianized” a century later by Edward A. Cole.