The traditional date for the house at 886 Main Street North in Southbury is 1715, although it was more likely to have been built around 1780. The earliest owners are not known, but it passed through several families in the nineteenth through early twentieth century. In 1938 it was bought by Daniel and Marguerite Croucher. By then the house’s condition had deteriorated. The Crouchers rehabilitated the house in the Colonial Revival style, removing Victorian-era additions, which included a front porch. Daniel Croucher was a New York City antiques dealer. He acquired the neighboring White Oak School House in 1940. From 1954 to 1964 the house was owned by Helena Penrose, another New York antiques dealer. Howard and Priscilla Richmond, also antiques dealers, acquired the house from Penrose’s estate in 1965. They used the former school house as their antiques shop. Before retiring to Southbury in 1957, where he started a second career in the antiques business, Howard K. Richmond had been a graphic designer and art director in New York. He created the original layout and logo for Life magazine in 1936. He also did advertising and publicity work for Lord & Taylor, Bloomingdale’s, Elizabeth Arden and Saks Fifth Avenue.
The house at 2 Church Street, corner of Broadway, in North Haven was built in 1794. Its original resident was Dr. Joseph Foote, who is described by Sheldon Brainerd Thorpe in North Haven Annals (1894):
Prior to 1760 but little is known of the medical history of the parish. In that year Dr. Walter Munson came here and is the first known practitioner. In 1790 he was the regularly established physician of the town. In the latter year, a rival entered his field, in the person of Dr. Joseph Foot, born in Northford, Conn., 1770.
Dr. Foot was hopeful and enthusiastic, and his devotion to his calling, gave him in a brief time a place among the North Haven people. Dr. Munson abandoned the field in a few years and his successor thus became fully installed as the “town physician.” He purchased of the widow of the tory Lemuel Bradley, the corner, now known as the Cowles property, and in 1794 began the erection of the present dwelling.
Having made a home ready, he married Mary Bassett of Hamden, February 16, 1797. [. . .] Dr. Griggs says of her: “She came to do her husband good; she was a prudent woman from the Lord; she was not content to promote his temporal interests, she endeavored to win him to Christ by her own consistent piety.”
These counsels, it is recorded, he did not always heed. It was not until her death, after only four years of married life, in which two children, Mary and Jared, were born, that he realized her value. Her loss proved in a measure his salvation. He became thoughtful attentive to his Bible, and a participant in many religious duties.
His second wife was Eunice Foote of Northford Conn., second cousin to him and likewise a descendant of Nathaniel Foote. Her he married January 26, 1803. Four children were born of this union [. . .]
As a physician his skill early won for him the confidence of the public. He was highly esteemed by his medical brethren. His specialty was the
treatment of febrile diseases.
At his advent here, his sole possessions were a horse and a watch. He accumulated a goodlv property by his industry. His circuit was not confined to
North Haven, for he frequently visited Durham, Wallingford, Cheshire, North Branford, “Dragon,” Hamden, and had he so chosen, could have farther widened his area of practice. His charges were moderate, from twenty-five cents to half a dollar being the usual fee for a professional call, except in cases at long distance. The main stock remedies he always carried, esteeming it a hardship to compel his patrons to ride to New Haven for medicines which he could easily carry in his “saddle-bags” or tin box. He died April 24, 1836, aged 66 years, and was buried in the old cemetery. An imposing red granite obelisk marks his resting place, on the south face of which is written :
AN EMINENT CHRISTIAN PHYSICIAN.
An early section (possibly the east end) of the house at 165 Maple Street in East Hartford may date to as early as c. 1702. The house was enlarged, probably in the 1780s, when it would have also acquired its gambrel roof. According to local tradition the house was built by Isaac Porter, who also built a house at 74 Porter Street in East Hartford.
One of the five oldest houses in Connecticut is the Bushnell Farm house at 1445 Boston Post Road in Old Saybrook. It began as a two room, one story, thatch roofed post and beam house built by the Elder Joshua Bushnell. It is listed in the National Register of Historic Places as the Elisha Bushnell House and J. Frederick Kelly, in his classic Early Domestic Architecture of Connecticut (1924), calls it the Older Bushnell House. The house was expanded over the two centuries that the Bushnell family owned it. The property has a number of outbuildings, including an early eighteenth-century barn, a loom house (the Bushnells were both farmers and weavers) and a building referred to as the slave house. Maintained as a private residence in an excellent state of preservation, the property is often opened to schools, historical societies and the Connecticut River Museum Summer Camp.
The house at 883 Worthington Ridge in Berlin was built by Reverend Nathan Fenn (1749-1799), first minister of the Worthington parish, around the time of his ordination in 1780. As related by Catharine Melinda North in her History of Berlin (1916):
Jesse Eddy, who succeeded Mr. Fenn as owner of the property, had a large tin shop that stretched across the south yard, where many men were employed.
This shop was burned and rebuilt. Mr. Eddy was assisted in his business by his sons, George and Frederic.
One Sunday, a warm day in summer, George went with a companion to East Berlin and went in bathing at the factory pond. The water was unusually high, after a heavy rain, and George was drawn by an undercurrent over the dam and was drowned. Fifty men turned out to search for his body but it was not until after the water subsided that it was found caught in a tree.
Mr. James B. Carpenter purchased the Eddy shop and moved it down west of Deacon North’s store, where it forms the residence part of Mr. Damon’s place.
Nathaniel James married the daughter of Jesse Eddy, and, after that, the family used the house as a summer residence only, while their winters were spent in New York City.
Afterwards, the Rev. Seth Bliss owned the property for several years. It is now the residence of Charles S. Webster.