Archive for the ‘Colonial’ Category

Case-Cowles House (1771)

Monday, June 26th, 2017 Posted in Colonial, Farmington, Houses | No Comments »

The house at 144 Main Street in Farmington was built sometime between 1771 and 1797. In the former year, the land was acquired by John Case, who died in 1791. Originally from Simsbury, Case made hats with his son Coral, for whom he may have bought the land. The house was built by either Coral, who died in 1800, or his father. In 1810 it was acquired by Richard Cowles (1786-1845), a prominent citizen who served as town treasurer (1832-1839) and state representative (1834).

Mixer Tavern (1710)

Thursday, June 8th, 2017 Posted in Ashford, Colonial, Taverns & Inns | 1 Comment »

The oldest sections of the Mixer Tavern, a five-bay, wood-frame building at 14 Westford Road [the intersection of Westford Road (CT 89) and Pompey Hollow Road (US 44)] in Ashford, date to 1710, the year John Mixer (born 1667/8) purchased the property and applied for a tavern license. In 1722 he moved to Suffield. From 1757 to 1799, the Tavern was known as Clark’s Tavern, owned and operated by Benjamin Clark. The Marquis de Chastellux and four other French officers of Rochambeau’s army stopped here on November 5, 1782. It was next owned by Joseph Palmer, a doctor and brigadier general in the militia. The Palmer family owned it until 1845. In later years, it was called the General Palmer Inn and the Pompey Hollow Inn. The building has been expanded over the years and underwent restoration in the 1920s and again since then. It is now a private residence.

Edmund Gookin House (1724)

Wednesday, June 7th, 2017 Posted in Colonial, Houses, Norwich | No Comments »

The colonial saltbox house at 199 West Town Street in Norwich, adjacent to Bean Hill Green, is listed in assessor’s records as dating to 1724. A sign on the house gives a date of 1723 and the name John Waterman, Jr. This is presumably the John Waterman (1694-1742), who was called junior to distinguish him from his uncle of the same name. John Waterman, Jr. was one of the neighboring proprietors who re-set the green’s boundaries at a Town Meeting in 1729.

The sign next lists “Edmund Quincy Gookin, 1726.” According to Old Houses of the Antient Town of Norwich (1895), by Mary Elizabeth Perkins, Edmund Gookin, or Goodkin, (1688-1740), of Sherborn, Mass., bought the Norwichtown house of Sarah Knight (who operated a tavern) in 1722 and resided there until 1733, later purchasing a house in the Bean Hill district. Gookin was a follower of the Church of England and the first Episcopalian services in town were held at his house in 1738. According to Frances Manwaring Caulkins’ History of Norwich (1866):

The Gookin House was on the central plat of Bean Hill, “bounded southerly on the main road and easterly on the Green:” (now belonging to C. C. Williams.) The last of the Gookin family in Norwich was an ancient spinster, Miss Anna Gookin, who held a life interest in tho house for more than thirty years, and died in 1810, aged about eighty.

The last listing on the sign is “Lt. Jacob Witter’s Tavern, 1774.” Lieutenant of a militia company, Jacob Witter (1737-1798) kept a tavern/public house at Bean Hill. He was the son-in-law of Capt. Ebenezer Baldwin, who sold Witter his Bean Hill house in 1778. Witter then used that house as a tavern. An intriguing reference in the Genealogy of the Allen and Witter Families (1872), by Asa W. Allen, reads:

Jacob Witter, son of Ebenezer, married and lived on Bean Hill. He had no children and was insane.

Today the house is used as offices. Read the rest of this entry »

Clark Homestead (1779)

Friday, June 2nd, 2017 Posted in Colonial, Houses, Prospect | No Comments »

The Colonial Cape at 89 Clark Hill Road in Prospect was built in the late 1770s by Amos Hotchkiss (1751-1820). Merritt and Keturah Clark bought the house early in the nineteenth century. Their children included Gould S. Clark, who settled in Middlebury, and Merritt Clark, Jr., who lived in the family homestead in Prospect. His son, Halsey Steele Clark, would built a new house at 95 Clark Hill Road after his marriage to Fannie Phipps on May 25, 1881. (For more information, see View From the Top (1995) by John R. Gurvin). Read the rest of this entry »

Thaddeus Cook House (1758)

Wednesday, May 31st, 2017 Posted in Colonial, Houses, Wallingford | No Comments »

The large house at 1640 Tuttle Avenue in Wallingford was built in 1758 by Col. Thaddeus Cook (1728-1800). As related in Charles Henry Stanley Davis’ History of Wallingford, Conn (1870), Thaddeus Cook

was born in that part of the town now embraced in the township of Cheshire. On the breaking out of the war of the Revolution he entered into the service of his country; was made Colonel of his regiment, and was under the command of Gen. Gates during the memorable battle at Saratoga in 1777, and greatly distinguished himself as a brave and skillful officer. He died in Wallingford, Feb. 28, 1800, aged 72 years.

The Colonel’s Orderly Book, which preserves a notable order from Gen. Benedict Arnold, is in the collections of the American Antiquarian Society in Worcester, Mass. Thaddeus’ grandfather, Samuel Cook, was one of the original settlers of Wallingford and the family owned a large amount of property in town, which extended into what would become the town of Cheshire. Cook Hill Road is named for the family.

Gen. William W. Harts House (1729)

Saturday, May 20th, 2017 Posted in Colonial, Houses, Madison | No Comments »

The house at 908 Boston Post Road in Madison, currently in a dilapidated condition, was recently subject to a foreclosure. The first person to build on the property was Ensign Nathaniel Dudley, c. 1729-1730, and the building was then expanded over time with several additions. Capt. Edward Griffin (1762-1802), who sailed schooners between between Boston and Haiti, acquired the house in 1799 from Lyman Munger. On one voyage, Capt. Griffin once threw his son Harry overboard after a quarrel. The cook threw over a chicken coop to keep Harry afloat and the young man was later rescued by a passing ship. Capt. Griffin was a slave owner who committed a heinous act. Hearing that revenue officers were coming to his house to assess his property, he entombed two of his slaves by walling them in the basement and leaving them to die.

The house had a number of owners after Capt. Griffin. Unoccupied from 1895 until 1909, it then became the summer home of Martha Hale and her husband, William Wright Harts (1866-1961). An 1889 graduate of West Point, Harts served in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, eventually rising to the rank of Brigadier General. He oversaw a number of large construction projects, involving fortifications and river and harbor engineering. In 1901, he was sent to the Philippines, where he built roads and designed and constructed Fort McKinley (now Fort Bonifacio).

During World War I, Harts served in France and was appointed military governor of the Paris District and then Chief of Staff of the Army of Occupation in Germany. He was also a military aide to President Woodrow Wilson. Back in the United States, he supervised construction of the Lincoln Memorial and the Arlington Memorial Amphitheater. He lived in Madison full time after 1930. The general’s uniform is now in the collection of the Madison Historical Society. In the years since his death in 1961, the house, which came to be called the “General’s Residence,” has been a wedding dress shop, a restaurant, and a bakery.

Abner Kirtland House (1767)

Monday, May 8th, 2017 Posted in Colonial, Deep River, Houses | No Comments »

The house at 19 Union Street in Deep River was built c. 1767 by Lieut. Abner Kirtland (1745-1834). He was the son of Capt. Philip Kirtland (1693-1764), one of the first settlers of what would become Deep River. Abner Kirtland served in the Revolutionary War, being commissioned 1st Lt. in Col. William Worthington’s Regiment of the 7th Conn. Militia in 1780.