The house at 502-504 Silver Lane in East Hartford was built in 1740 by Russell Smith. It was later converted into a two-family house and, among many other changes, the current two chimneys probably replaced an original large center chimney.
At 1332 Storrs Road, on the campus of the University of Connecticut, is a colonial house that has served as student housing and is now UCONN’s Veterans House. The house was built c. 1757 and was the home of Cordial Storrs. This is most likely the Cordial Storrs (1692-1782) described in The Storrs Family (1886), by Charles Storrs:
Cordial Storrs of Mansfield, Conn., third son and ninth child of Samuel Storrs of Sutton-cum-Lound, Nottinghamshire, England, Barnstable, Mass., and Mansfield, Conn., was born in Barnstable, Mass., Oct. 14, 1692, and came with his father to Mansfield, Conn., in or about 1698. He married Hannah, daughter of Thomas Wood of Rowley, Mass. [They had four children]
Mrs. Hannah Wood Storrs died March 18, 1764. There is a tradition that she joined the Separatists and was disciplined by the church, but there is nothing in regard to this on the church records. The Separatist movement followed the great revivals which prevailed in Windham County in 1740-41. Itinerant preachers went about producing violent excitement among the people, decrying the old religious worship, and organizing new churches.
Cordial Storrs married, Oct. 10, 1765, Mrs. Catharine Bicknell, widow of (Capt.) Zachr. Bicknell of Ashford, Conn. He was sixty-seven [actually closer to 73] years of age at the time of this second marriage, and he seems to have contracted it with great care as to financial matters.
The farm and home of Cordial Storrs were in the North Parish. At the first church meeting of the Congregational church in that Parish, he was chosen deacon “by a very unanimous vote;” an office which he held until his death at the advanced age of ninety years, Oct. 1782.
His son Cordial [born 1728] died, unmarried, in 1755, at the age of twenty-seven, and with him the male line of this branch of the family became extinct. [Their son Jabez died in 1826]
At 668-670 Harbor Road in Southport is a 1787 building that was significantly altered in later years. It may give the impression of being a nineteenth-century mansard-roofed commercial block, but the upper floors began as the homestead of Miah Perry. It was possibly altered and expanded in 1834. By that time the building displayed the influence of the Dutch Colonial style with two low-pitched gambrel roofs intersecting at the street corner. In the 1870s, the house was raised by Nehemiah Jennings to sit above a commercial section. In one part of the new ground floor Jennings ran a market and post office, while the other part contained the John Wood dry goods store. Miss Mary Allis (1899-1987) purchased the building in 1947 and refurbished it the following year. She had started renting space for her antiques store on the southeast corner in 1945. Mary Allis was a major figure in the world of folk-art collecting.
This the 3,000th post at Historic Buildings of Connecticut! That’s 3,000 great buildings throughout the state!
Another early tavern in Coventry was the Pomeroy Tavern, at 1804 Boston Turnpike. It was built in 1801 by Eleazer Pomeroy II (1776-1867) to take advantage of the opening of the Boston Turnpike in 1804. By 1810 the Tavern was also a stage house where stagecoaches would stop (stages had previously stopped at the Hunt House to the west). Pomeroy placed some advertisements in the Hartford Courant seeking to sell the property in 1810-1811. One of these (appearing March 27, April 17 and May 29, 1811) reads:
That valuable and well-known stand, now occupied as a tavern and stage-house, situated in Coventry, north society, thirty rods west of the meeting-house, and sixteen miles from Hartford, on the great middle turnpike and stage-road from Hartford to Boston, and near the intersection of the Providence turnpike-road through Windham, with a large convenient two-story house and large stables almost new, and other out-buildings; and from 30 to 40 acres of choice land under high cultivation, well proportioned for mowing, pasturing, &c; with a well and aqueduct conveying water into the kitchen and barn. Said stand will be sold, a bargain, and possession given when wished.
Samuel Tracy Loomis (1819-1896), a farmer, acquired the property in 1868 and ran a hotel there until he moved to Andover in 1891. He also served as postmaster and the local post office continued to be at the building until 1905. Early stenciling from c. 1815 was found under later wallpaper in the hall on the building’s second floor.
The precise date for the construction of Brigham’s Tavern, at 12 Boston Turnpike in Coventry, is uncertain, but what is certain is that George Washington stopped here for breakfast on November 9, 1789. The full entry from Washington’s Diary for that day reads as follows:
Set out about 7 o’clock, and for the first 24 miles had hilly, rocky, and disagreeable roads; the remaining 10 was level and good, but in places sandy. Arrived at Hartford a little before four. We passed through Mansfield, (which is a very hilly country, and the township in which they make the greatest qty. of silk of any in the State,) and breakfasted at one Brigham’s, in Coventry. Stopped at Woodbridge’s in Et. Hartford [now in Manchester], where the level land is entered upon, and from whence, through East Hartford, the country is pleasant, and the land in places very good; in others sandy and weak. I find by conversing with the farmers along this road, that a medium crop of wheat to the acre is about 15 bushels—of corn, 20—of oats, the same —and in their strong and fresh lands they get as much wheat as they can rye to the acre—but in warm or sandy land the latter yields most. They go more, however, upon grazing than either; and consequently beef, butter and cheese, with pork, are the articles which they carry to market.
The tavern served travelers from 1778 into the nineteenth century. Uriah Brigham, son of Elnathan Brigham, had acquired the property in 1753 from Mathias Marsh. He occupied what is now the rear section of the building, which may date to c. 1717. His son Gershom Brigham was the first tavern-keeper, constructing the tavern sometime before it was first licenced in 1778. The west section was also built around that time or a little later. The sections of the building have been much altered over the years.
The oldest surviving house in the village of North Stonington is the William Sisson House, built in 1776. Located at 69 Main Street, it is unusual in being a hip-roofed Georgian style house, a form more commonly found in the southern states. William Sisson was a joiner (and possibly a farmer as well). The house is in the Historic American Buildings Survey, where it is referred to as House, Post Office Vicinity, North Stonington, New London County, CT.
The house at 52 Main Street in Southport, known as the E. Thorp House, was built in 1792. The historic residence suffered damage from Hurricane Irene in 2011 when a beech tree in the front yard split and crashed through the roof on the left side, damaging three floors. The house was restored by Sterling Building & Restoration using antique lumber materials and carefully recreating historically accurate trim, windows and doors.