Archive for the ‘Colonial’ Category

E. Thorp House (1792)

Wednesday, July 1st, 2015 Posted in Colonial, Fairfield, Houses | No Comments »

E. Thorp House

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.

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Shubael Abbe House (1765)

Tuesday, June 16th, 2015 Posted in Colonial, Houses, Windham | No Comments »

Shubael Abbe House

The house at 17 Windham Green in Windham was built c. 1765 by Shubael Abbe (1744-1804). The main entrance to the house was remodeled c. 1950. A WPA photo of the house (which is #54 in the Nomination for the Windham Center Historic District) shows that this remodeling replaced a Victorian portico with a similar design to the surviving bay window and door hood on the north side of the house).

As related in the History of Ancient Windham (1864) by William L. Weaver

Shubael Abbe resided at Windham Center, and was an esteemed and highly respected citizen, active and useful in town, church and State affairs. He graduated at Yale College in 1764, and held many offices of trust, among them, sheriff of Windham County, a commissioner of the School Fund, often a representative to the Legislature, &c.

[. . .] He m[arried] Lucy Chester, Jan. 26, 1774; he d[ied] suddenly, April 16, 1804; she d[ied] June 21, 1818, aged 66. The Rev. Elijah Waterman, his son-in-law, makes the following entry in the Windham Church records respecting his death: “April 16, 1804, Shubael Abbe, aged 59, of an apoplectic fit, between the hours of nine and ten in the morning. He had made every preparation and arranged all his business for the purpose of going to Hartford as a manager of the School Fund. He went out at the door to see that his horse was ready, and as he was returning in to take leave of his family, as usual, he was suddenly struck with apoplexy, and sallied down in the arms of his wife speechless; and, though immediately let blood, he died in a few minutes.[“]

Fifteen years after Shubael Abbe‘s death, his house was acquired by Dr. Chester Hunt (1789-1869). The property included a small office behind the house, which Dr. Hunt used until his death and which now stands on Windham Green. As described in A Modern History of Windham County, Vol. II (1920):

Dr. Chester Hunt, as previously stated, purchased his home at the southwest corner of the Windham Green in 1819, following the death of Sheriff Abbe, who had occupied that place. Dr. Hunt, both of his wives and all of his children died in this house. His last child, Mrs. James M. Hebard, bequeathed the entire property to the present owner, Miss Mary Delia Little, who was a daughter of Dr. Hunt’s sister, Nancy (Hunt) Little, of Columbia. Miss Little was born in Columbia, her parents being George and Nancy (Hunt) Little. She acquired her education in the district and private schools of Columbia and then took up the profession of teaching, which she followed for many years in Columbia, Glastonbury, Burnside and East Hartford, contributing much to the educational advancement of the communities in which she put forth her efforts. She now occupies the old Hunt home, one of the most attractive residences bordering the Windham Green.

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Shubael Conant, Jr. House (1765)

Monday, June 15th, 2015 Posted in Colonial, Houses, Mansfield | No Comments »

Shubael Conant, Jr. House

The house at 552 Storrs Road in Mansfield Center was built around 1765 by Shubael Conant, Jr. (1739-1794). His father, Judge Shubael Conant (1711-1775) was a leading citizen of Mansfield and served as Speaker of the Connecticut General Assembly. As described in the second volume of Biographical Sketches of the Graduates of Yale College (1896), by Franklin Bowditch Dexter, Shubael Conant, Jr.:

was born in Mansfield, Connecticut, on the 10th of August, 1739, being the eldest son of Judge Shubael Conant (Y. C. 1732) by his second marriage with Ruth Conant. Two brothers were graduated here in 1765 and 1776.

He was a farmer in his native town, serving also in various town offices, and especially as Clerk of the Probate Court, of which his father was for some years Judge.

He died in Mansfield in June, 1794, in his 55th year. His estate was bequeathed to his widow, and to his brother and nephews and nieces.

He married Anna, third daughter of Peter and Rebecca (Storrs) Aspenwall, of Woodstock and Windham, Connecticut, who was born on October 26, 1748, and died in the early part of the year 1807.

In 1813, the house was acquired by Isaac Arnold, a carpenter.

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John Dudley House (1675)

Friday, June 12th, 2015 Posted in Colonial, Houses, Madison, Taverns & Inns | No Comments »

Dudley House

The saltbox house at 566 Boston Post Road in Madison was long thought to have been built by John Dudley in 1675, making it the oldest house in town. The nomination for the Madison Green Historic District instead attributes it to Gilbert Dudley with a date of c. 1740. A plaque by the Madison Historical Society gives a date of c. 1720. On April 11, 1776, while on his way from Cambridge to New York, George Washington stopped to dine at the house, which was then a tavern run by Captain Gilbert Dudley.

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Moses Downs House (1755)

Wednesday, June 10th, 2015 Posted in Colonial, Houses, Southbury | No Comments »

Moses Downs House

At 662 South Britain Road in the village of South Britain in Southbury is a house built c. 1755-1760 by Moses Downs. Also known as the Perry House, it originally had a saltbox form, but was later enlarged to two full stories. It also has a Greek Revival doorway from the 1850s. A carriage house and a shed on the property are thought to date to c. 1780. When South Britain established its own Congregational church society, separate from Southbury, its first meeting was held at the Downs House on June 5, 1766. As related in South Britain Sketches and Records (1898) by W. C. Sharpe:

It was voted that the Society hire preaching for two months and meet at the dwelling house of Moses Downs for public worship. On the 15th of September it was voted to build a meeting house[.]

The house later became the Methodist parsonage. As related by Sharpe in the same book,

The following is from an old letter (not dated) from Titus Pierce, the venerable town clerk and local historian, to Henry M. Canfield, Esq.:

“Religious meetings were held at first in the chamber of what is now the Methodist parsonage. The chamber was undivided and loose boards were laid for a garret floor on which corn was laid. Here I will relate an anecdote as I heard it from my father. An aged negro by the name of Jethro was famous for opening his mouth to an enormous extent when singing. While touching on his highest strains an unruly boy in the garret had shelled a handful of corn which he threw directly into Jethro’s mouth, which caused great consternation in coughing, gagging, &c.

Sharpe also explains that:

Deacon Eben Downs removed first from West Haven to Southbury, then to South Britain. He bought most of the land in the central part and built his house a little west of the widow George Curtiss’ dwelling house, which was pulled down a few years ago. His oldest son, Moses, built the house now occupied as the Methodist parsonage, also the old red house which stood opposite Downs’ store, and late in life he built the house now occupied as the Congregational parsonage, where he died.

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William Welles House (1750)

Thursday, June 4th, 2015 Posted in Colonial, Glastonbury, Houses | No Comments »

1559 Main St., Glastonbury

The house at 1559 Main Street in Glastonbury was the home of William Welles, a prominent citizen of the town. Welles was a tutor at Yale. During the Revolutionary War, when students were dispersed away from New Haven, Yale classes were held in the house (May 1777 to June 1778). Welles left Glastonbury c. 1798 and the house was acquired by Joseph Stephens, who operated a forge behind the house near the river. Originally having a saltbox form, the house was later expanded and updated in the Georgian style. It also has a later Greek Revival front doorway.

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Keeney Homestead (1750)

Friday, May 22nd, 2015 Posted in Colonial, East Hartford, Houses | No Comments »

1026 Forbes Street, East Hartford

The Keeney Homestead is a colonial saltbox house located at 1026 Forbes Street in East Hartford. Associated with the Keeney family, the house was built around 1750-1780 and was possibly moved to its current address c 1805 from an unknown original location. After a fire damaged the house in the 1940s, it was restored with the interior of an eighteenth-century house from Glastonbury.

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