Archive for the ‘Colonial’ Category

David Badger House (1790)

Thursday, November 16th, 2017 Posted in Cheshire, Colonial, Houses | No Comments »

The house at 571 West Main Street in Cheshire was built c. 1790 by David Badger. He was an early proponent of the Episcopal Church in Cheshire and served as one of the earliest clerks of St. Peter’s Parish. As explained in Old Historic Homes of Cheshire (1895):

It will be observed that this house faces the east instead of fronting the road. The reason given is that Mr. Badger desired his front rooms so arranged that he could from his front windows, or standing in his front door, get a view of the steeple of the Episcopal Church

The house was later owned by John Fields, whose sons Orrin and Samuel would both reside there as well.

Samuel Thorpe House (1701)

Wednesday, October 25th, 2017 Posted in Colonial, Houses, Wallingford | No Comments »

The saltbox house at 220 Thorpe Avenue in Wallingford may date to as early as 1701. At that time the property was owned by Samuel Thorpe, one of the town’s first settlers. He may have been a nonconformist who chose to live away from the center of town. The fact that the house is possibly old enough to be one of the three oldest houses in town was only recently discovered by a realtor in 2015. Read the rest of this entry »

Calvin Willey House (1776)

Monday, October 23rd, 2017 Posted in Colonial, Houses, Tolland | No Comments »

The house at 41 Tolland Green in Tolland was built circa 1776. In the early nineteenth century, it became the home of Calvin Willey (1776-1858), postmaster and judge of probate, who served as a United States Senator from 1825 to 1831. Willey was chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture in the Nineteenth Congress. After leaving Congress, he returned to his law practice. The house was later acquired by Minnie Helen Hicks, who opened it as a guest house called Meadow Crest. It is now owned by the United Congregational Church of Tolland.

Abraham Clark House (1785)

Monday, October 16th, 2017 Posted in Colonial, East Hartford, Houses | No Comments »

The house at 104 Silver Lane in East Hartford is a classic colonial saltbox. It was built c. 1785-1786 as a small three-room cottage with a rear shed roof by Abraham Clark, who had acquired the land in 1785. The structure was expanded into a five-bay saltbox around 1814 when there was a blacksmith shop just west of the house. There is evidence a tunnel once connected the house with the Hockanum River, about 250 yards away.

Capt. Samuel Lee House (1750)

Thursday, October 12th, 2017 Posted in Colonial, Guilford, Houses | No Comments »

At the corner of State and North Streets in Guilford is a house (1 North Street) built circa 1750. The Greek Revival front door-surround was added later. The house is named for Samuel Lee (1742-1819), who served in the Coast Guard during the Revolutionary War and was promoted to captain just before the war ended. The house may also have been erected later, around the time of Lee’s marriage to Agnes Dickinson in 1763. There are many stories of Agnes Lee’s bravery during the Revolution when her husband was frequently absent. As recounted in Old Paths and Legends of the New England Border (1907), by Katharine M. Abbott:

Agnes Lee, the wife of Captain Samuel Lee of the Harbor Guard, was a noted foe to Tories. Powder was stored in the attic: one dark night a Tory knocked at her door, when Captain Lee was on duty; “Who’s there?” — “A friend.” — “No, a friend would tell his name,” answered Mrs. Lee, and fired. An hour later, an old doctor of North Guilford was summoned to attend a mysterious gun-shot wound. When the British landed at Leete’s Island, Captain Lee fired the agreed signal; “Grandma Lee responded by blazing away on the cannon set at the head of Crooked Lane, for she had not a son, and Uncle Levi was a cripple.”

According to another account, armed Torries actually burst in and she held them off until her husband arrived to shoot them. On another occasion, Lee barn caught fire and its sparks threatened the powder stored in the attic of the house. With no one else to save the house, Agnes Lee rushed upstairs and closed the the attic window to shut out the dangerous sparks. She later remarked that she hadn’t expected to come back down the stairs alive. The Guilford chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution is named for Agnes Dickinson Lee.

Samuel’s mother and his brother, Levi, also lived with them in the house. In 1794, Levi and his mother sold the house to William Starr, Sr. At that time, Samuel and Agnes built a new house at 292 State Street.

Jonathan Bidwell House (1768)

Thursday, October 5th, 2017 Posted in Colonial, East Hartford, Houses | 1 Comment »

Long thought to date to the seventeenth century (a plaque on the house once displayed the year 1666), the house at 475 Tolland Street in East Hartford is now thought to be the house referred to by Joseph O. Goodwin in East Hartford: Its History and Traditions (1879): “The house next east of this, owned by Oliver W. Elmer, was the homestead of Jonathan Bidwell. He died in 1815.” It was likely built around the time of Bidwell’s marriage to Anne Benton in December 28, 1768. It was then owned by Bidwell’s son, also named Jonathan, who died in 1858. Oliver W. Elmer bought the house in 1864 from Bidwell’s daughter, Ruhamah Bidwell Elmer. The house once had a “coffin door” on the west side that was removed around 1987.

David Minor House (1770)

Tuesday, September 26th, 2017 Posted in Colonial, Houses, Woodbury | No Comments »

The house at 100 Main Street South in Woodbury was built between 1765 and 1776 by a member of the Minor family. The sign on the house displays the name David Minor, with a date of about 1770. David’s son, Simeon Minor, inherited the land, house and barn in 1776. The house passed from the Minor family to Jabez Bacon in 1784 and to Samuel Robbins in 1818. Later owners would make extensive alterations to the house.