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.
The Queen Anne/Shingle style house at 220 Summer Street in Bristol was built in 1890 (as displayed on the side chimney). It was the home of Epaphroditus Peck (1860-1938), a lawyer who served as an associate Judge of the Court of Common Pleas for Hartford County, 1897-1912, an instructor at Yale Law School, 1903-1913, and a Representative in the state legislature, 1925-1935. He was a founder of the Bristol Public Library in 1891 and wrote A History of Bristol, published in 1932.