The Keeney Homestead is a colonial saltbox house located at 1026 Forbes Street in East Hartford. Associated with the Keeney family, the house was built around 1750-1780 and was possibly moved to its current address c 1805 from an unknown original location. After a fire damaged the house in the 1940s, it was restored with the interior of an eighteenth-century house from Glastonbury.
The house at 126 King Street in East Hartford was built in 1787 by David Gilman. The house was acquired by Joshua and Jonah Williams in 1796 and was owned solely by Jonah after 1808. Jonah Williams lived in the house until his death in 1846. It was then acquired by Jonah’s nephew (or was it his grandson?) Elijah Ackley (1829-1901). As related in the tenth volume of the Encyclopedia of Connecticut Biography:
The widow of Elijah, Jr. [1801-1829], with the young son, then but six months old, came to East Hartford, Connecticut, to live with her brother, Jonah Williams. Elijah (3) there attended school and made a life business of general farming, starting early in life in the tree nursery business, and many trees in East Hartford and Hartford to-day came from his nursery. Later he took up the growing of tobacco and continued growing it until he died in May, 1901. He was very active in public affairs, a public-spirited citizen, and represented the town of East Hartford in the Legislature, serving in the same session with the late P. T. Barnum. He also served as an assessor, and was chairman of the First Ecclesiastical Society of East Hartford for many years, and was active in the Grange, having served as its treasurer many years and up to the time of his death.
It is not certain when the house at 401 High Street in East Hartford was built, but one of its bricks is inscribed with the date 1779. It may have been built by Capt. Moses Forbes (or Forbs), Sr. in that year, or it could have been built around the time he acquired the property in 1757 (the date indicated by a sign on the house). The house passed to his son, Moses Forbes, Jr. and then his grandson, Orrin Forbes. Forbes descendents lived in the house until 1923. The house was remodeled in the nineteenth century in the Greek Revival style.
The house at 1 Old Tavern Lane in North Haven was built in 1738 as a tavern by William Walter. It was first known as the Half-Mile House (it is located on a half-mile strip of land that was once part of East Haven but later given to North Haven). After the Revolution it was renamed the Rising Sun Tavern. After Walter, the Tavern was run by Gideon Todd (1737-1817) for many years. Todd also maintained the road and charged travelers at a tollgate. Gideon Todd served as a sergeant during the Revolutionary War and was made a state militia captain in 1787. According to tradition guns were hidden from the British during the War in a secret room above the tavern’s kitchen. The interesting story of Todd’s marriage is described in the The Todd Family in America (1920):
Prudence Tuttle was from Wallingford, Conn., her father being an officer there under the King. Gideon Todd was born in North Haven, Conn. Their marriage created a sensation in Colonial society. The Tuttle’s were a wealthy and aristocratic family and when young "Gid" Todd asked their daughters hand in marriage, he was haughtily refused. He was their equal by birth and lineage, but had his fortune yet to make, and they had other views for their daughter. One winter day, there was consternation and dismay in the Tuttle mansion; Prudence was missing and investigation revealed the fact that she had eloped, mounted on a pillon, behind her lover, they had ridden to North Haven and were married. Her parents disowned her and her name was never to be mentioned. As time passed, reports reached them that Gideon Todd was getting on in a remarkable way; accumulating property and esteemed by every one, and they thought it time to forgive the disobedient daughter; so, they loaded a cart with bedding, furniture, and other valuables, and started the hired man with it for her home, they going on horseback. Arriving there first, they found their son-in-law at home, and were courteously received. After a time, the cart drove up to the door and they then announced that they had brought some presents, when Capt. Todd said with dignity, “Time was when the furniture and bedding would have been acceptable, for when we were first married, we slept on the floor on a straw bed; but now I can supply my wife with every comfort, and your presents cannot come into the house; but you will always be welcomed.” And tradition has it, they returned home, as chagrined and mortified, as their neighbors were amused.
Reverend Benjamin Trumbull (1735-1820) was a notable Congregational minister and an early American historian. Born in Hebron, he graduated from Yale in 1759 and then studied under Reverend Eleazer Wheelock. Ordained in 1760, he was pastor in North Haven for sixty years and also served as a chaplain during the Revolutionary War and in 1777 as a captain of sixty men from Mt. Carmel (Hamden) and North Haven. Rev. Trumbull was the author of a number of works. He wrote a series of letters in the Courant in support of Connecticut’s claim to the Susquehanna purchase. These were collected in a pamphlet published in 1774 entitled A Plea, In Vindication of the Connecticut to the Contested Lands, Lying West of the Province of New-York. Rev. Trumbull also wrote a Complete History of Connecticut from 1630 till 1764, a two-volume work published in 1797. He labored many years on his three-volume General History of the United States of America, only completing the first volume, which was published in 1810. He was awarded a D.D. degree from Yale in 1796.
It was in the summer of the latter year  that he came to North Haven church, and November 14th was ordained as its pastor. The following year he purchased a tract of land of Joseph Pierpont, and began the erection of a dwelling house upon it. The old mansion is still standing and in excellent repair. It is the property of Hon. Ezra Stiles, who has occupied it something more than 60 years. As a historic point, there is none greater in the town. The great double doors were ever ajar. Over its threshold were ceaselessly trooping scores of busy feet. Ministers, messengers, committees, referees and strangers made it a religious caravansary and rested in its shadow. Hither came during the revolutionary war aids and officers with despatches, and later eminent historians and theologists tarried within its walls.
It stood a few rods east of his meeting-house, upon the summit of a gentle ridge, and commanded a view of the entire village. The late Hon. Ezra Stiles owned it a little more than sixty years. Its admirable preservation to-day attests the work of the painstaking, careful builder of that period. The “Society Lott” doubtless furnished the lumber. The frame of the building is of oak, dimensions 28×35. The timbers are massive and hard as iron. The covering of rent oak clapboards, smoothed beaded and jointed to a line, has defied heat and cold, sun and storm, upward of a century and a quarter and is apparently good for another term of service full as long. Exteriorly, with the exception of a bay window on the southern end, the old parsonage is as the aged divine left it. The quaint mouldings and devices surmounting windows and doors attest that unusual ornamentation was bestowed upon it. It presented a striking contrast to the humble domicile on the plain below where the Rev. Mr. Stiles [Rev. Trumbull’s predecessor] lived, and was indeed what it came at length to be called, “the quality house” of the village. Every part was builded for service, and long service at that. The enormous chimney contains a mass of material. Six separate flues connecting with as many wide fireplaces are constructed within it, and it is five feet square where it emerges from the roof, while its base, hidden deep in the earth, covers probably not less than one hundred square feet. The original color of the mansion was red, White houses were uncommon until after the year 1800, and only two places in the town had blinds for their windows in 1829.
The great double doors of this hospitable mansion were ever ajar. Over the threshold tradition tells us, were ceaselessly trooping many busy feet, and its owner soon became widely known. Ministers and messengers journeying to and fro to religious gatherings, took roundabout roads to call on this rising divine. Referees, committees, consociations, came to test his judgment and his wife’s hospitality, both exhaustless. As he came in later years to be still more widely celebrated, the calibre of his visitors increased. Many an eminent man visiting Yale college thought his mission far from complete until he had ridden out to North Haven and Visited “Dr. Trumbull.”
Possibly the oldest continuously occupied residence in North Haven is the Bassett House at 3 Ives Street at Outer Ridge Road, part of property owned by Captain John Bassett from 1695 c. 1714, which had buildings on it when divided by his sons in 1719. The rear section of the western half of the house (a “half-house”) was probably in existence by 1720, by which time it was owned by Captain Bassett’s son, Joseph Bassett. By the time of his death in 1761, Joseph Bassett had expanded the house into a “saltbox” form. His son, Joseph Bassett, Jr., served in the Revolutionary War and was wounded during Tryon’s Raid on New Haven in 1779. He expanded the house by building another half-house on the eastern side. His son, Jacob Bassett (1775-1844), a prominent citizen of North Haven, updated the eastern section in the Federal style, raised the roof to two-and-a-half stories and moved the front entrance to the north gable. The house passed from the Bassett family around the time of the Civil War. Edward E. Minor acquired the house in 1918 and worked with architect C. F. Townsend to restore the house, an early example of a historically accurate restoration.