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 .
The house at 57 Middlefield Road in Durham was built in 1733-1734 by Ithamar Parsons (1707-1786), shortly after his marriage to Sarah Curtis. Parsons carved the date 1734 upside down on the northwest cornerstone of the house’s brownstone foundation. The house passed to his son, Aaron Parsons (1758-1812), who carved “A.P. 1800″ near his father’s inscription on the cornerstone. Aaron willed the south half of the house to his widow, Lucy Hawley Parsons, and the north half to his eldest son Curtis. Lucy and Curtis sold their portions to Marcus Parsons, Aaron’s third eldest son. who was a shoemaker. Marcus married Orpha Robinson in 1812. The house was acquired by Thomas William Lyman in 1853. Thomas W. Lyman was the grandson of Thomas Lyman, IV, who built a large Georgian-style house nearby. The house was sold out of the Lyman family in 1889.
The Samuel Beach House in Branford (not to be confused with a later Samuel Beach House in Branford, built in 1875 as a summer cottage) is located at 94 East Main Street. The WPA Survey of Old Buildings in Connecticut dates the house to 1790. A twentieth-century owner, Samuel W. Beach, restored the house as closely as possible to a late eighteenth-century appearance.
The house at 620 Main Street, at the corner of Foote Road, in Glastonbury was built by Jehiel Goodrich (1741-1818) around 1760 (but traditionally dates to 1743) on land he had received from his father, William Goodrich (1697 or 1701-1787), in 1758. The ell was added later.
One of Connecticut’s oldest surviving houses is the Meigs-Bishop House, at 45 Wall Street in Madison. It is Madison’s second oldest house after the 1685 Deacon John Grave House. The Meigs-Bishop House was built in 1690 by Janna Meigs on land he had received from his father, Deacon John Meigs. As related in the Record of the Descendants of Vincent Meigs: Who Came from Dorsetchire, England, to America about 1635 (1901), by Henry B. Meigs:
Capt. Janna was evidently a man of education, as the importance of the many offices he filled would indicate; was deacon in the church; represented his district in the legislature of the Colony of Connecticut in 1716-’17-’18 and 1726; and was Justice of the Peace for New Haven Colony, annually from 1722 to 1733 inclusive, a position of greater importance then than now. In military life he was Captain of a Company in the Queen Ann wars.
He left the house to his son, Lt. Janna Meigs, who deeded it to his first cousin, Capt. Phineas Meigs. After serving in the Revolutionary War from 1777 to 1780, Capt. Meigs retired from the army and was named captain of the Guilford militia. On May 19, 1782, three British frigates tried to capture an American schooner that had run aground on a sand bar. Capt. Meigs set out from his Wall street home leading his men to battle British soldiers who had landed on shore. In the ensuing fight, Capt. Meigs was shot through the head. He is believed to be the last New Englander to be killed in an action against the British in the Revolutionary War. The green wool round hat he was wearing that night survives and is in the collection of the Connecticut Historical Society. It bears the entry and exit holes of the musket ball that killed Capt. Meigs.
Later owned by the Bishop family, the house has most recently been used for a succession of businesses.