The house at 380-382 Main Street in Cromwell was originally a center-chimney residence. Built between 1744 and 1758, probably by Israel Wilcox, it was sold by Charles Wilcox to Capt. Daniel Ranney in 1757. Capt. Ranney, who had become wealthy in the West Indies trade, died the following year and the house eventually was passed on to his grandson, Capt. James Butler and then was owned (1831) by Stillman K. Wightman, a lawyer who had married Butler’s daughter Clarissa. After his son Edward K. Wightman was killed in 1865 in the Civil War, Stillman K. Wightman made a long journey through a war-torn countryside to recover his son’s body in North Carolina. Greek Revival additions were made to the house around 1830. The property remained in the family until 1912. Colonial Revival alterations were made around 1920. The house, also called the William Ranney House, is haunted and was featured in an episode of the TV series “A Haunting.”
The oldest surviving building in West Haven is the Ward-Heitmann House at 277 Elm Street. It may have been built as early as 1684 and was certainly on the site by 1725. The house was built by Ebenezer Clark, who sold it in 1730 to John Humphreville, who had married Clark’s sister Rebecca. The house remained in the Clark family until 1788, when it was purchased by sea captain Thomas Ward (d. 1839). It remained in the Ward family until George Ward sold it to Susan Perrin in 1861. She eventually sold it to Louisa Ward Heitmann, George Ward’s sister, in 1868. Her daughter, Henrietta Heitmann, inherited the house in 1897. She was engaged in various business ventures and also added the north wing to the house and used it as a dame school. The house passed out of the Ward-Heitmann family when Charles Elliott Pickett purchased it in 1910. In the twentieth century the house had a number of owners and for a time housed an antiques store and later a tearoom. The Milano family owned the house from 1949 to the early 1990s and left it to the National Trust for Historic Preservation, which sold it to the Ward-Heitmann House Museum Foundation in 1995. The house was then restored to become a museum.
The sign on the house at 114 Perry Avenue, in the Silvermine section of Norwalk, identifies it as the Ralph Keeler House, built c. 1750. The Keelers were one of the founding families of Norwalk. Also known as the Isaac Camp property, the house has elsewhere been dated to c. 1778. Verneur E. Pratt (1891-1966) moved to Norwalk in the late 1920s and lived in the house. An inventor and entrepreneur, Verneur Pratt converted the adjacent carriage barn (116 Perry Avenue, built c. 1800) into a laboratory in the late 1930s. Pratt invented the Optigraph Reading Machine, an early microfilm reader.
The Abraham Scranton House, a Colonial saltbox at 548 Boston Post Road in Madison, opposite the Green, may have been built in 1703, 1720 or 1750. The latter date is when it came into the Scranton family.
The Benton-Beecher House in Guilford was originally located on Broad Street, where the the First Congregational Church now stands. It was built in 1740 and was the home of Lot Benton and his wife, Catherine Lyman. They had no children of their own but they adopted Mrs. Benton’s nephew, Lyman Beecher. He came to this house on his vacations as a student at Yale. Lyman Beecher eventually became a prominent Congregational minister. In Guilford he met Roxana foote, whom he married in 1799. Their children included Harriet Beecher Stowe and Henry Ward Beecher The Benton House was left by Lot Benton to Lyman Beecher, who sold the land to church in 1829 so that it could be removed to make way for the construction of the new meeting house. The house was moved by 35 yoke of oxen to its present location at 485 Whitfield Street.
The house at 1283 Saybrook Road in Haddam was built about 1775 by Benjamin Ray on land he had inherited, with his brother Peter, from their father James Ray (1689-1786) the year before. The brothers sold the property to John Ely in 1804. His son William sold the house in 1839 to the Odber family (William’s daughter Harriet had married John Odber).
William Bulkley, a storekeeper, built the house at 824 Harbor Road in Southport in Fairfield before 1766. Having been spared during the burning of Fairfield by the British in 1779 because Bulkley’s wife had provided hospitality to British troops, it is today the oldest house still standing on Southport Harbor. A colonial three-quarter house, it was remodeled in the Federal period with a fan window in the attic gable and a cornice with triglyph ornamentation. The changes may have been made by David Banks after he purchased the house in 1816. Wakeman B. Meeker bought the house in 1832. Together with his partner, Simon Sherwood, Meeker organized the merchant shipping firm of Meeker & Sherwood, which constructed a wharf and three warehouses across from the house. In the 1850s Meeker built a new house just north of the Bulkley House.