Archive for the ‘Colonial’ Category

Atwater Cottage (1760)

Wednesday, February 14th, 2018 Posted in Colonial, Commercial Buildings, Houses, Wallingford | No Comments »

Atwater Cottage is a gambrel-roofed house at 302 Christian Street on the campus of Choate Rosemary Hall in Wallingford. It was built in 1760 and was used by Caleb Atwater, a wealthy merchant, as a store. He produced gunpowder in a barn behind the house and in 1775 George Washington purchased gunpowder from the store for his army. The building is now a faculty residence.

Phineas Griswold House (1789)

Tuesday, February 6th, 2018 Posted in Colonial, Houses, Windsor | No Comments »

The house at 1312 Poquonock Avenue in Windsor was built in 1789 by Phineas Griswold. The date seems late for this to be the Phineas Griswold who was born in Windsor in 1725 and married Hepzibah Griswold. Perhaps it’s a descendant or relative.

Josiah Wolcott House (1754)

Friday, February 2nd, 2018 Posted in Colonial, Houses, Wethersfield | No Comments »

Suggested dates for the construction of the house at 329 Wolcott Hill Road in Wethersfield have included 1734, 1754, 1764 and 1775. It is said that the nails used in building the house were made by prisoners at Old Newgate Prison. The house, which is named after Josiah Wolcott, has overhangs with dentil molding above both floors. Horace Wells, who pioneered the use of anesthesia (using nitrous oxide) in dentistry, lived in the house for a time in the 1840s [or is this a confusion with another Horace Wells (1789-1853), son of Thomas Wells?]. The Hart Seed Company began in this house in 1892 when Charles C. Hart started packaging seeds in the kitchen. In 1957 the house was purchased by Glenn Weaver, a professor of history at Trinity College who wrote a history of Hartford. His wife Emojean was a teacher at Wethersfield High School.

William Smith House (1730)

Monday, January 22nd, 2018 Posted in Colonial, East Hartford, Houses | No Comments »

The William Smith House at 166 Silver Lane in East Hartford is thought to date to as early as 1730, a year before the dirt path in front became town property. Smith had to arrange with his neighbors and the town to get road access to his home. Smith also owned the house next door, at 158 Silver Lane, which he ran as a tavern. Both buildings have been much altered over the years. In the 1920s, the house was the first in East Hartford to be decorated with electric Christmas lights. By the 1930s and 1940s owner Raymond C. Dunn’s elaborate holiday displays attracted people from far and wide, causing traffic jams. A police officer was needed to direct traffic. A contest for the best Christmas display each year was discontinued because he won every year.

Atwater Homestead (1774)

Friday, January 12th, 2018 Posted in Colonial, Houses, Wallingford | No Comments »

The house at 242 Christian Street in Wallingford was built in 1774 by Caleb Atwater (1741–1832), a wealthy merchant who supplied the patriot forces during the American Revolution. It was located on the Atwater property, which was in the family for many generations. There is a secret passage behind the chimney inside the house, which was possibly a station on the Underground Railroad. The Atwood family property, which became known as Rosemary Farm, was later the childhood home and summer residence of Caleb Atwater’s granddaughter, Mary Lyman Atwater. She married Judge William G. Choate. In 1890, Mary Choate founded a school for girls at Rosemary Farm called Rosemary Hall. The school initially utilized another Atwater family home, no longer extant, that was built in 1758. Soon other houses in the vicinity were rented for the growing school. William Choate also founded the Choate School for boys in 1896. The two schools were neighbors, but remained separate entities. Mary wold host dances for students of both schools at the 1774 homestead. Rosemary Hall moved to Greenwich in 1900, but would move back to Wallingford in 1971 and merge with Choate in 1974. Choate had acquired the Atwater Homestead from Hunt Atwater, a nephew of Mary Atwater Choate in 1933 and it has served as a dormitory since 1936. The school undertook a major restoration of the building, known as Homestead, in 2006.

Chilson-Bailey House (1750)

Monday, January 8th, 2018 Posted in Colonial, Houses, Middlefield | No Comments »

The house at 19 High Street in Middlefield is thought to have been built c. 1750 by Asaph Chilson adjacent to his parents’ house on land they then owned. Asaph acquired ownership of the property, including both houses, in 1756 (his parents had moved to another house the previous year). He sold the property in 1759 to John Lyman and Abraham Camp, whose half-shares were soon acquired by Samuel Russell. In 1770, Russell sold the property (now having only one dwelling house) to Richard Miller. It remained in Miller’s family until it was acquired by Oliver Bailey in 1813. Bailey was married to Anna Wetmore, whose mother had been Richard Miller’s first wife. The surrounding neighborhood would become known as Baileyville after Oliver and Anner’s grandson, Alfred M. Bailey, who contributed to the area’s industrial development, building a dam at Lake Beseck c. 1850.

Joseph Hurlburt House (1760)

Saturday, December 23rd, 2017 Posted in Colonial, East Hartford, Houses | No Comments »

Now a two-family home, the house at 91-93 Burnside Avenue in East Hartford was built c.1760-1775 by a member of the Hurlburt family, probably Joseph Hurlburt (1744-1796). The property passed to his son Nathaniel (died 1819) and then to another son, Luman Hurlburt (1788-1865). Joseph served seven terms as town clerk and Luman served six terms as town selectman. Luman‘s son, Joseph Olmstead Hurlburt (1822-1899), heavily mortgaged the house after his father’s death and it was soon sold out of the family. Both Luman and James Olmstead Hurlburt served as state representatives, in 1841 and 1863 respectively. As related in the Commemorative Biographical Record of Hartford County, Vol. I (1901):

Joseph O. Hurlburt, the father of this family, received his education in East Hartford, and for several years taught in the old North school, Hartford. During the last twenty years of his life he was principal of the Wethersfield high school, and he died March 18, 1899. He was a member of the County and State Teachers Association.