Happy Thanksgiving!!! Here’s a Colonial house in Haddam, at 95 Jacoby Road. It was built in the first third of the eighteenth century, possibly around 1720. Around that time Stephen Smith came to Haddam from West Haven. He distributed land to his four sons in 1753, this house going to Captain John Smith (1728-1808), a seafarer. His son, John Smith, Jr., was a blacksmith. According to tradition he forged the links of a chain across the Hudson River intended to interfere with British shipping during the Revolutionary War. He also shod a horse for George Washington. John Smith III was an apprentice blacksmith under his brother-in-law Elisha Stevens, who later founded the J & E Stevens Company in Cromwell. The house remained in the Smith family until 1899. In the mid- 20th century the property was home to Joseph and Mae Harrington from New York who grew strawberries and grapes that were sold at Rozniaks in Higganum. Joseph Harrington was the author of the Lieutenant Kerrigan mystery series. The house is unusual in Connecticut for having a large cellar fireplace. The property also has a barn dating to 1725-1730 and a creamery shed that was connected to the house in 1978 to become a library.
The house at 2864 Long Hill Road in North Guilford was built in 1790. It was the home of Dr. David S. Brooks. He married Annis Benton (b. 1764). Dr. Brooks delivered “An eulogy on the Death of George Washington,” at Guilford on February 22, 1800. The eulogy was published in New York in 1823. A facsimile of the only known copy of this work was reprinted by the Blackstone Memorial Library in Branford in 1920. Dr. Brooks later moved to New York, where he died in January, 1826. His son, David B. Brooks, graduated from Yale and practiced medicine in Cromwell starting in 1819. He also later moved to New York where he died in 1830.
The country farmhouse at 189 Platt Road in Watertown was built in 1769. The earliest known owner of the house is Jonas Platt of Newtown, who moved to Watertown around 1800. The house later passed from Jonas’ son Hinman to Hinman’s son Henry, who added the front porch and rear addition in the 1880s. His son Edgar Platt sold the farm to the Hresko family, which owned it until 1977. The farmland was then developed as the Winding Brook subdivision. After several years of corporate ownership, the house again became a private residence. On the property is an English bank barn, built c. 1870.
The Lathrop-Mathewson-Ross House is located on Ross Hill Road in Lisbon. It was built in 1761, possibly by Ezra Lathrop. Jeffery Mathewson acquired the property October 20, 1800. Almira J. Mathewson married George A. Ross, and their descendants owned the property until August 1958. Both Almira and then her daughter, Kate Mathewson Ross, kept diaries with daily entries covering 1873 to 1913. Victorian-era alterations were made to the house, including the addition of a projecting central gable over the front door and a full-length front porch. All of these additions were later removed under the direction of the famed restoration architect, Frederic Palmer. He worked with Edward Peace Friedland and Joan W. Friedland, who bought the Ross Farm in 1958. Edward Peace Friedland was an expert on eighteenth-century architecture and he and his wife were pioneers in historic preservation.
The house at 132 Main Street South in Woodbury sits on a hill just south of School Street. It was built in 1763 by Isaac Tomlinson and was owned early in the nineteenth century by John Boughton, a blacksmith. His blacksmith shop is believed to make up part of the barn on the property. Wallace G. Ward, a builder and president of the Woodbury Savings Bank, later owned and made a number of changes to the house, including replacing the original center chimney and lowering the windows so that his mother could more easily look outside. Since 1916 the house has been owned by the Cassidy family, which undertook restoration work in the mid-twentieth century.
At 170 Old Post Road in Old Saybrook is a gambrel-roofed house built c. 1790 (before 1803) by Phineas Bushnell (1718-1803), shortly after he married his second wife, Hepsibah Lewis of Killingworth, in 1789. The house passed to his son Samuel Bushnell (1748-1828), who had married Hepzibah Pratt in 1775. Their daughter, Hepzibah (1776-1818), married Samuel Dickinson (1774-1861) in 1796. The house was later owned by their son, John Seabury Dickinson (1807-1879) and then by his son, John S. Dickinson (1846-1922), who served as a Town Selectman, was president of the Saybrook Musical and Dramatic Club and was a founder and first president of a literary society known as the Crackers and Cheese Club. The house remained in the Dickinson family until 1934. Renovated in 1958, the house was recently listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Gambrel-roofed cape-style house at 29 Joshuatown Road at Hamburg Bridge in Lyme is architecturally distinguished. It is the only surviving example in the state of a distinctive type of chimney vaulting: an arched passage through a split chimney, with an elaborate doorway surround at the back of the passage. The house was built c. 1790-1803 by Captain William Johnson. He was a mason and the second floor has a large arch-ceilinged room that was used as a Masonic Hall. Captain Johnson died in 1818 and widow Mitty soon sold the house, although she returned to Hamburg Bridge in 1848 and bought another house on Joshuatown Road.