The Old Merrick House, also known as the Rice-Merrick House, at 244 Tolland Turnpike in Willington is a Colonial Cape built before 1771 by John Rice. Gideon Merrick acquired the property in 1811. The Merrick family operated a store next door for a number of years.
The house at 1820 Main Street in East Hartford was built c. 1750. It was the home of Levi Goodwin (1757-1836), a tobacco farmer, who kept a tavern behind his home that faced the King’s Highway (now Ellington Road). Hearing news of the Lexington alarm, he left to serve in the Revolutionary War. Upon his return from the War he held a celebration at his tavern at his own expense that lasted for three days. As described in The Goodwins of Hartford, Connecticut, Descendants of William and Ozias Goodwin (1891), complied by James Junius Goodwin
He marched for Boston, April 17, 1775, on the Lexington alarm, and was paid for ten days’ service. He enlisted as a private in the Company of Capt. Jonathan Hale, in the Regiment commanded by Col. Erastus Wolcott, which was called out January, 1776, for six weeks, service, to aid the army under General Washington in the vicinity of Boston. He was also in the Company of Capt. Abraham Sedgwick, in the Battalion commanded by Col. John Chester, raised in June, 1776, to reinforce the army under General Washington at New York. These troops were in the battles of Long Island, August 27, and of White Plains, October 28, their term of service expiring on the 25th of December of the same year. For his services in this war he received a pension from the United States Government. His residence was in East Hartford, and he represented that town in the Legislature of October, 1818. He married Jerusha Drake, daughter of Jonathan Drake of East Windsor. Levi Goodwin died April 24, 1836, aged 78. Jerusha (Drake) Goodwin died March 26, 1832, aged 76.
The house at 439 Simsbury Road in Bloomfield was built in 1750 by a member of the Cadwell family. The site was once headquarters of the Hartford to Wesfield stage line. In 1830, the house was purchased by James Prosser, who remodeled it to become the Prosser Inn. James’ son, Levi Prosser, later lived in Massachusetts. In 1900 he left one sixth of his estate ($16,255.85) to the Town of Bloomfield to establish what is now the Prosser Public Library.
The house at 409 Washington Street in Norwich was once the site of Isaac Huntington’s blacksmith shop. In 1722, James Norman acquired the property from Christopher Huntington and either converted the existing building into his residence or removed it and built a new one on the site. As related in Old Houses of the Antient Town of Norwich (1895) by Mary E. Perkins:
In 1714, the town grants to Isaac Huntington 4 rods of land (frontage 2 rods), “on ye side of ye hill to be taken up between Sergt. Israel Lathrop’s orchard and Sergt. Thomas Adgate’s cartway,” and here he builds a shop, and in 1717 he receives a grant of land south of this “to build a house on,” but he evidently prefers to buy his grandfather’s homestead, when the opportunity offers, and the land and shop (frontage rods) are sold in 1722 by Christopher Huntington, who has become the owner, to James Norman. James Norman either alters the shop into a dwelling, or builds a new house, which seems to stand on the former site of the shop.
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Miss Caulkins mentions a James Norman, who, in 1715 was captain of a vessel engaged in the Barbadoes trade, and in 1717 was licensed to keep a tavern. This James Norman may be the one whose house we have just located, or possibly the latter was the son of the sea captain. He was in 1723 a “cloathiar.” No record has been found of his marriage, or of the birth of children, but we know that a James Norman married after 1730 Mary (Rudd) Leffingwell, widow of Nathaniel Leffingwell, of whose estate he was the administrator. Mary (Leffingwell) Norman died in 1734. James Norman died in 1743, leaving a widow, Elizabeth, and three children, Caleb, Mary, and Joshua, the two latter choosing their brother Caleb for guardian. The heirs divide the property in 1753-4.
For the Fourth of July, here is a saltbox house at 16 Tolland Green in Tolland that was built in 1776. One known resident of the house was a man named Winters. According to Around and About the Tolland Green (2002) by Christine Gray, he was a proprietor of the County House, the hotel attached to the Tolland County Jail, whose wife refused to live at the jail.
The house at 136 Chestnut Tree Hill Road Extension in Oxford was built in 1768-1769 by Isaac Beecher (1748-1789). It remained in his family until 1811. John Riggs, Beecher’s son-in-law, next owned the house until the title was transferred to Abijah Chatfield in 1816. The house was owned by members of the Chatfield family until 1908. The house has since had many occupants. In the 1940s it was the home of photographer Alfred Cheney Johnston (1885-1971), who set up his studio in the barn. Johnston was a glamour photographer famed for his portraits of Ziegfeld Follies showgirls.
The Jesse Atwater House, 443 Amity Road in Bethany, was built between 1750 and 1760. The house has a two-story front porch that was added in the nineteenth century when the property was used as a “fresh air” home for city children.