Col. Eliphalet Dyer (1721-1807) was one of Connecticut’s notable figures from the period of the Revolutionary War. Born in Windham, he graduated from Yale in 1740 and in 1746 became a lawyer and a Justice of the Peace. Dyer was a founder and leader of the Susquehannah Company, which focused on settling the Wyoming Valley in northeastern Pennsylvania. During the French and Indian War, Dyer was a Lt. Colonel in the militia as part of the expedition to capture Fort Crown Point from the French in 1755 and then, as a Colonel in 1758, he led a regiment in support of Amherst’s and Wolfe’s operations in Canada. Dyer served in the Connecticut legislature from 1742 to 1784 and in the Continental Congress from 1774 to 1783 (except for 1776 and 1779). Appointed to the Council of Safety in 1775, Dyer served until it was disbanded in 1783. Dyer’s daughter Amelia was married to Joseph Trumbull, who also served in the Continental Congress. A justice of Connecticut’s superior court, Eliphalet Dyer was Chief Justice from 1789 until 1793, when he retired to Windham. His home there was a colonial house (17 North Road) built circa 1705-1715.
The house at 297 Silvermine Avenue, in the Silvermine section of Norwalk, was built around 1724. The land for the house was deeded to Jacob St. John by his father Ebenezer St. John in 1722. Jacob St. John gave the property to his only son Abraham in 1765. The lean-to, which gives the house a saltbox form, was probably built when the house was originally constructed. The house also has an original fieldstone chimney.
The house at 51 East Avenue in Norwalk was built circa 1789 for Hezekiah Jarvis (1746-1838). The son of Capt. Samuel Jarvis, Hezekiah Jarvis was the brother of the Episcopal Bishop Abraham Jarvis. According to The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography, Vol. III (1893):
Hezekiah Jarvis lived to a patriarchal age and had the privilege of seeing his descendants to the fourth generation. He is described as a man of great mental gifts, possessing in particular a remarkable memory, fine discernment, a notable logical faculty, and great capacity for reasoning. He was a comprehensive and judicious reader and profound thinker. His disposition was pleasant and cheerful and even in extreme old age he was a delightful companion. Withal, he was a sincere and devout Christian, and the influence of his worthy and honorable life in the church is said to have been remarkable. He held office as warden in the church for a period of fifty-four years. He was well informed in ecclesiastical history and in church doctrines and usages, and brought up his family in accordance with his convictions. Hezekiah Jarvis was a man of inflexible integrity, who sustained throughout his life a reputation for an exalted appreciation of duty and a sense of his obligation to his Maker and his fellow-man.
The house at 846 Southford Road in Southbury was built circa 1785. The house may have been inherited by Aaron Bronson from his father, Noah Bronson. A cordwainer (shoemaker) and button maker, Aaron Bronson (1768-1834) left the house to his son, Augustus, who sold it in 1847. With the exception of a later Greek Revival doorway, the house’s exterior is typical of a late eighteenth-century Cape. The interior is notable for its early Federal-style features. The house has a later kitchen ell, attached at the left rear around 1820. A modern wing was added to the rear of the ell in 1987.
Daniel Eels (1757-1851), a cooper, built a house on Main Street in Cromwell around 1782. He moved to Whitestown, New York in 1795 and sold the property, which then had a number of owners until 1802, when it was purchased by William Smith, who then sold it to his brother Capt. John Smith. The house (373 Main Street) may actually have been built at that time, instead of the earlier date of 1782. In the late nineteenth century, this Colonial/Federal house was altered in the Queen Anne style.
Rev. John Trumbull (1715-1787) became pastor of the Congregational Church in Watertown in 1739. A slave owner, Rev. Trumbull married Sarah Whitman, daughter of Rev. Samuel Whitman of Farmington, in 1744. He was also the uncle of Connecticut’s Revolutionary War governor Jonathan Trumbull. Rev. Trumbull’s first house in town, no longer standing, was a saltbox on the east side of Main Street, south of the church. In 1772 he built a larger house just next to the church. Located at 40 DeForest Street, the house became a tavern (it was Lockwoood’s Tavern and then David Woodward’s Tavern) in the 1790s and was remodeled with a large ballroom on the third floor. Shed dormer windows on the roof and Neoclassical porches at either side of the house were added after 1900.
The house at 9 Totoket Road in Branford was built around 1757, the year that its first owner, Isaac Hoadley (1728-1812), married Elizabeth Blackstone (1731-1818). According to The Hoadley Genealogy (1894) by Francis Bacon Trowbridge:
Isaac Hoadley was a carpenter by trade and probably built the old house in which he, his son Abel, and some of his descendants lived. He inherited his father’s farm in the Damascus district of Branford, and was a well-to-do farmer. He was a leading member of Trinity Episcopal Church in Branford and was its junior warden 1794-1804 and 1806-1807, and senior warden in 1805. He and his wife were buried in Damascus burying-ground.
The house has a Greek Revival doorway, added around 1840 when the house appears to have been substantially renovated.