The exact date that the house at 101 Fair Street in Guilford was built is uncertain. It was the site of a seventeenth-century home built by Thomas Cooke, one of the original settlers of Guilford and a signer of the 1639 Guilford Covenant that established the town while the colonists were still at sea. The current house on the site was possibly built by Miles Dudley around 1707, after his 1705/1706 marriage to Rachel Strong, but may contain sections built earlier. Dudley purchased the property in 1702. The Greek Revival doorway dates to the early 1830s.
Built circa 1720, the Captain David Sage House, at 1276 Worthington Ridge in Berlin, remained in the same family until the 1970s. The Sage family donated the land for Sage Park in Berlin. In her History of Berlin (1916), Catharine Melinda North gives the text of a letter, dated January 29, 1906, from Mr. George Sage:
My dear Miss North: It is a pleasure to reply to your request for a history of our farm house. The Sage house was built about the year 1720 by Captain David Sage, (son of John and grandson of David who settled in Middletown in 1652,) who, with his twin brother Benjamin, came to Berlin from Middletown. It might be well to add here that Benjamin’s house built at the same time, stood below David’s and just south of the Clark place. Benjamin Sage married Mary Allen of Berlin, and died in 1734; his house has long since disappeared.
Captain David married Bathsheba Judd of Berlin and they had four sons and four daughters. One son, Deacon Jedediah, married Sarah Marcy of Berlin and remained on the present Sage farm. Another son, Zadoch, lived almost directly across the road from Benjamin, and the old well is now near the site of the house, a few rods north of where the brick schoolhouse stood. As time went by the Sage house was filled with the deacon’s four sons and three daughters, so Captain David moved into the house built by his brother Benjamin and was ninety-three years old when the road was built west toward Mr. Welden’s. I believe Jedediah was deacon of the Second Congregational church for twenty-seven years. He died in 1826 aged eighty-nine years.
Colonel Erastus, his son, married Elinor Dickenson of Berlin and succeeded to the farm where ten children were born to them, my father, Henry, being the one who stayed at home. I have my grandfather’s papers among which is his appointment by the General Assembly to be Colonel of the 4th Regiment of cavalry in the militia and signed by Oliver Wolcott Esq., as governor, and dated the 31st day of May 1819.
The property has been in the family about 186 years, and for five generations. The house has been added to from time to time, but the original has been well preserved with its huge stone chimney, four fireplaces, brick ovens, and the hewn white oak timbers forming the framework are as solid today as when they were raised almost two hundred years ago. Yours sincerely, Geo. H. Sage.
The oldest house in Fairfield is the John Osbourne House at 909 King’s Highway, West. The oldest section consists of the original center-chimney block, which probably began as one-room and was then expanded. A lean-to added several decades after the house was built. The traditional date of construction is 1673, but the later date of 1734 is more likely. The house is traditionally associated with John Osborne, who married in 1673. His father Richard fought in the Pequot War and received a grant of land for his services. The last battle of the war was fought in 1637 in Pequot Swamp, which is located adjacent to the house. The colonial-era section of the house is flanked at both ends by two twentieth-century wings.
Happy Thanksgiving! The house at 1179 Main Street in Glastonbury is associated with Timothy Stevens, Jr. (1705-1746), who may have built it in 1743 on land that he had acquired from his father, Rev. Timothy Stevens. The house has also been given the later date of 1763. In the twentieth century the house was part of Red Hill Farm.
Born in Norwich in 1717, Jedediah Elderkin graduated from Yale and studied law. He settled with his family in Windham in 1745. Elderkin and his next door neighbor and friend, Eliphalet Dyer, were the leading lawyers at the time in eastern Connecticut. Elderkin served many terms in the General Assembly and as Justice of the Peace. He was also a large landowner and manufacturer, notable as a pioneer of silk production in Connecticut. With the coming of the Revolutionary War, Elderkin became a member of the Governor’s Council of Safety and was commissioned as Colonel of the Fifth Regiment of the Connecticut Militia. A close associate of Governor John Trumbull, he undertook many difficult missions, including the conversion of a foundry in Salisbury into a cannon works and the building of a gunowder mill at Willimantic. Elderkin‘s last public service, before his death in 1793, was to attend the state convention which ratified the Constitution of the United States. His house in Windham, at 11 North Road, was built circa 1710. It has several eighteenth and nineteenth century additions.
In 1786, Dan Storrs built the house at 521 Storrs Road in Mansfield on land he had acquired from his brother-in-law, Shubael Conant, Jr. Dan Storrs ran a general store that once stood north of his house. The house was owned by his family until 1903. As related in Vol. III of New England Families, Genealogical and Memorial (1913), Dan Storrs
was born February 7, 1748, at Mansfield. He was a soldier in the revolution, one of the Lexington alarm men, a quartermaster of a Connecticut regiment and was at White Pains. He was an active and enterprising citizen, assisting the government materially by the manufacture of salt-peter, and by his ardent patriotism. He earnestly supported Washington and opposed the policies of Jefferson. He was for many years a merchant at Mansfield, both wholesale and retail, and for twenty-five years conducted a hotel there, known far and wide as the Dan Storrs Tavern, which is still standing. He was also a prosperous farmer and owned much land. He left a large estate in Mansfield, Ashford, Willington and Tolland. He was for many years banker for this section. His store was on the corner of Main street, Mansfield, and the road to Ashford. In physique he was tall, large and robust, and in manner courteous and obliging. After the fashion of his day he wore a queue. He died January 3. 1831. His gravestone is at Mansfield. He married. January 5, 1775, Ruth, daughter of Colonel Shubael Conant, of Mansfield, granddaughter of Rev. Eleazer Williams. His wife died April 18, 1792 (gravestone record) and he married (second) October 28. 1793, Mary, daughter of Constant Southworth of Mansfield.
His son, Zalmon Storrs (1779-1867), is described in volume V of Biographical Sketches of the Graduates of Yale College (1911):
Zalmon Storrs, the second son of Dan Storrs, of Mansfield, Connecticut, and grandson of Thomas and Eunice (Paddock) Storrs, of Mansfield, was born in Mansfield, on December 18, 1779. His mother was Ruth, second daughter of the Hon. Shubael Conant (Yale 1732) and Ruth (Conant) Conant. In 1802 he began the study of law with Thomas S. Williams (Yale 1794), then of Mansfield, but after the death of his elder brother, in April, 1803, he felt obliged to take his place in the management of the large country-store which their father had long conducted, and he continued in that occupation for many years. He was also a pioneer in that part of the State in the manufacture of silk thread, having established a factory in 1835 [in Mansfield Hollow in partnership with his son, Dan P. Storrs].
He was a Justice of the Peace from the spring of 1813 until disqualified by age (in 1849). In May, 1813, he was first sent as a Representative of the town to the General Assembly, and was re-elected for five more sessions,—-the last in 1841. He was the first Postmaster at Mansfield Centre (in 1825), and retained the office for upwards of twenty years. For 1834-35, and again for a period of six years (1843-49) he was Judge of Probate for the district of Mansfield. In 1834 he was the candidate of the Anti-Masonic party for Governor of the State.
He united with the Congregational Church in Mansfield in July, 1823, and was highly esteemed as a pillar of that body. He died in Mansfield on February 17, 1867, in his 88th year, being the last survivor of his College Class .