This house was built by [Col.] Benjamin Hall for his son, Charles Chauncey Hall, about the year 1750, and is one of the best examples of the old, lean-to houses, with stone chimney, now standing. Charles Chauncey Hall married Lydia Holt in 1751, and a large family were born and brought up here, among whom was Charles C, the grandfather of Charles H. and Frank N. Hall, also Benjamin Holt Hall, who also resided here during his life. Two daughters of the latter married Joseph Hitchcock, the father of Samuel. Another daughter married Capt Asa Peck, and another married George Peck, who lived here. Charles C. Hall, while a resident, held a negro boy as a slave. The boy ran away, and Mr. Hall advertised his escape, offering a reward of $2 for his capture. Charles Chauncey Hall died in 1776.
It is related of George Peck, a later resident, that in the days of the militia he was duly appointed corporal of the Cheshire company. Stepping up to the top-most step of the Congregational Church, he remarked: “I thank you for the honor conferred upon me by appointing me your corporal. I feel abundantly qualified for the position, but I shall not accept.” This speech was in keeping with Mr. Peck’s ready wit.
This property has been in the hands of Col. Benjamin Hall and his direct descendants for 170 years. If this old house had the power of speech, what a life history it would be able to disclose!
In 1805 Dr. Jeremiah West (1753-1806), who had served as a surgeon in the Revolutionary War, deeded the house at 4 Tolland Green in Tolland to the Missionary Society of Connecticut. The house, built circa 1760, served for a time as Tolland’s Congregational Church parsonage. John H. P. Rounds acquired the house from the church in 1898. Rounds was the last driver of the horse-drawn mail stage from Rockville. He also served as Assessor in Tolland and was a candidate for Connecticut state house of representatives from Tolland in 1904.
The house at 20 State Street in the Pines Bridge Historic District in North Haven was built c. 1790. Around the 1830s the house was willed to David Bassett by his grandfather. The current front entry porch was added in 1936 when the house was remodeled.
The Shelley House, at 248 Boston Post Road in Madison, dates to the late seventeenth/early eighteenth Century, with specific dates variously given that include 1709/1710 and 1730. This exceptionally well-preserved structure is a rare surviving example of a house that was clearly built in several stages, following a pattern believed to have been common at the time: starting with a one-room, two-story dwelling with a stone wall at one end (the east half), a second section added later (the west half) and finally a lean-to at the rear. Traditionally known as the William Shelley House and also known as the Stone-Shelley House, it underwent a controversial restoration c. 2008.
Although built circa 1734, the house at 700-712 Main Street in Branford has been much altered with Queen Anne-style elements. It was built by Ephraim Parish, Jr. and was known as the Old Parish Tavern. In 1811 the building was renovated by Rev. Timothy Gillett, who resided there until his death in 1866. Rev. Gillett was pastor of the First Church of Branford for 59 years and founded Branford Academy in 1820. Today the building contains offices and one residential unit.
In 1714, John Twitchell (c. 1699-1739) built a small one-story with attic dwelling at what is now 90 Oxford Road in Oxford. Around 1741 the Washband (or Washburn) family purchased the property and enlarged the house to serve as a tavern. In 1784, coinciding with the opening of the Oxford Turnpike, the family enlarged the building again, adding what amounted to a new house attached to the old one. The Washband family operated the tavern for several generations. Before the Civil War, the tavern was a stop on the Underground Railroad. Hiding places are said to exist in the cellar. The former tavern is now home to Daoud & Associates.
Dr. James Percival (d. 1807) was a prominent physician in the parish of Kensington in the town of Berlin. He was the father of the poet and naturalist James Gates Percival (1795-1856). The doctor is described by Julius H. Ward in The Life and Letters of James Gates Percival (1866):
He had a strong constitution and a vigorous mind. He easily grasped a subject, and was noted for keeping his own counsel and doing things entirely in his own way. He was social and persuasive in society, but divided his time mostly between his profession and his home. He was not liberally educated, but he had a taste for letters, and was as well read as most Connecticut doctors in his day. Except in winter, when he could use a sleigh, he made his calls on horseback, turning his saddle-bags into a medicine-chest. He was prompt in business and eminent in his profession. It was said of him by a friend: “Few physicians in a country town ever performed more business in a given time than Dr. Percival. This may be asserted of him both as it respects his whole professional life and also his daily visits. With a practice of nineteen years, he left an estate that was inventoried at fourteen thousand dollars.”
The house of his birth is still standing. It is a plain wooden building, bordering close upon the street, with a long sloping roof in the rear,-—a style of dwelling which our ancestors brought from England. It has now quite other tenants, and its shattered windows and uneven roof and weather-beaten paint show the marks of age. It is situated in one of the most romantic and charming regions in Connecticut. Near at hand is the parish church, standing on an elevated site, in the shade of fine old trees of buttonwood and oak, its low steeple cropping out just above their tops; in front of the house and over the way is an orchard slope; around it are patches of mowing and pasture; and at its foot is a beautiful sheet of water, which turns several mills in its progress, and then dashes over the rocks, and winds away among green meadows. Farm-houses are scattered everywhere among the neighboring eminences and in the valley. The whole neighborhood is remarkable for the rich and varied beauty of its scenery