The house at 47 Prospect Place in Bristol was built c. 1880 for A.J Muzzy, an active businessman and politician who, explains his biography in Taylor’s Souvenir of the Capitol (1899), was “popularly known as the ‘Bristol hustler.'” As related in this same biography:
Hon. Adrian J. Muzzy of Bristol, republican senator from the Fourth district, is a highly honored native and merchant of Bristol, and was born January 24, 1851. He received an excellent education in the public schools. At the age of nineteen he formed a copartnership under the style of W. & A. J. Muzzy and carried on a flour and feed business at the old Downs’ mill. In August of 1873, with T. F. Barbour, he opened a store for the sale of clothing and gentlemen’s furnishings, under the name of Barbour & Muzzy. In September, 1876, he sold out his interests in W. & A. J. Muzzy and Barbour & Muzzy and succeeded O. B. Ives in the dry goods business at the Riverside Avenue store. In January of 1883 he admitted his brother, F. L. Muzzy, as a partner. The firm has built up, as it highly deserves, the largest business in that section of the state. Mr. Muzzy was the chief promoter, and one of the charter members of the Bristol and Plainville Tramway Co., and is at present a director and its secretarv. He is also president of the Masonic Building Co., a member of the Masonic Chapter, Royal Arcanum, Son of the American Revolution and Country Club. On May 22, 1873, he married Florence E. Downs of Bristol. They have one child living, Adnenne F., born April 19, 1885.
The house at 38 Prospect Place in Bristol was erected around 1890 for Carlyle Barnes, son of Bristol industrialist Wallace Barnes. In 1857 Wallace Barnes started a company that manufactured springs and hoops for skirts. After his father’s death in 1893, Carlyle Fuller Barnes (1852-1926) and his four brothers saved the company during rough financial times by switching to the manufacture of wheels and other parts for bicycles. The company would eventually develop into the Barnes Group, a leading industrial and aerospace manufacturer. In 1942 the house was converted to become Grace Baptist Church. After the church moved into a new building in 1957, the house again became a private residence.
At 248 Main Street, corner of High Street, in Bristol is a three story brick commercial building built c. 1896 with remodeled first-floor storefronts. It is called the Neubauer Building and was possibly built by George W. Neubauer, a German immigrant who established himself in Bristol as a wood clock case carver before expanding into many other business ventures.
Grace Baptist Church in Bristol was founded in 1888 and was originally known as the Swedish Baptist Church. The name was later changed when its parishioners began to include many who were not of Swedish descent. The church was located on Goodwin Street until 1942 when it moved into a converted residence at 38 Prospect Place. Outgrowing the building, a new church was built at the corner of King Street and Louisiana Avenue, completed in 1957. (For more info, see: “Baptist Church Launches $40,000 Building Drive,” Hartford Courant, February 5, 1955).
The house built in 1882 for John Henry Sessions (also known as John H. Sessions, Jr.) in Bristol stands at 60 High Street, next to the house built later for his father, John Humphrey Sessions. As related in the 1907 history of Bristol, John Henry Sessions was
born in Polkville, February 26, 1849, and received a liberal education at the schools of Bristol. In 1873 he was admitted into the firm of J. H. Sessions & Son, trunk hardware manufacturers. He was a director of the Bristol Water Company at its organization and at the death of his father became its president. At the time of his father’s death he was elected vice president of the Bristol National Bank. Mr. Sessions, though a staunch Republican, took no active part in politics. In 1883 he was elected secretary of the Bristol Board of Fire Commissioners. On May 19, 1869 he married, Miss Maria Francena Woodford, who was born September 8, 1848, a daughter of Ephraim Woodford, of West Avon. Conn., and one son was born to them, Albert Leslie, born January 5, 1872.
The house at 52 High Street in Bristol was built in 1888 for John Humphrey Sessions (1828-1899) and his wife, Emily Bunnell Sessions. Both were born in Burlington. As described in the 1907 history of Bristol:
In November, 1854, Mr. John Humphrey Sessions, a young man of 26 years, formed a partnership with Henry A. Warner, and rented a small factory in Polkville (Edgewood, as it is now called), in which to conduct a woodturning business. The small capital which he invested was the result of his hard labors, for early-in life he had been thrown entirely upon his own resources.
This partnership was dissolved in 1865, Mr. Sessions continuing in his own name the business, which at first consisted mainly of wood turnings for the various clockmakers in the vicinity, and which grew rapidly from the beginning.
In 1869 he bought a plot of ground on North Main street, Bristol, and built the main wooden building, now standing, and moved his plant to Bristol.
About 1870 he purchased the trunk hardware business that had belonged to his deceased brother, Albert J. Sessions, and the business was a success from the commencement. In 1879 Mr. Sessions bought the property of the Bristol Foundry Co. on Laurel St., and together with his son Wm. E. Sessions, formed the Sessions Foundry Co. This business, like the others, proved a great success, and in 1896 they moved into their present plant on Farmington avenue.
All his life Mr. Sessions was identified with important concerns of the town. In 1875 he was one of the founders of the Bristol National Bank and was elected its first president, a position he held until the time of his death. He was president of the Bristol Water Company at the time of his decease. He was one of the original stockholders of the Bristol Electric Light Company and was its president until it merged into the Bristol & Plainville Tramway Company; was a stockholder in the Bristol Press Company.