A Methodist church in the Forestville section of Bristol was established in 1855. The Forestville Methodist Church purchased a former Episcopal church building on Maple Street in 1864 and moved it to Forestville. This building was later enlarged to make room for an organ. On May 3, 1900, the church was struck by lightning during a severe thunderstorm and destroyed in the ensuing fire. The corner stone for a new church was laid on September 12, 1900 and it was dedicated on December 27, 1900. The church, designed by George W. Kramer of New York, is a brick edifice with a brownstone foundation. The name of the church, which is located at 90 Church Avenue in Forestville, was later changed to Asbury United Methodist Church.
The young society was served in turn by noble and faithful ministers. The church multiplied and prospered. During the years 1857-8 the pastor was Rev. John W. Simpson. During this period a revival commenced on Chippins Hill, extended to Polkville (Edgewood) and other places. Conversions were many. On New Year’s Day, 1858, Mr. Simpson preached in the schoolhouse at Polkville. John Humphrey Sessions, who had previously “professed religion” attended the service, and before the meeting closed he was so impressed by a divine power that he here made a complete consecration of himself to God and precious results soon followed. That fact, simple in itself, has meant much to the town of Bristol and to the Methodist Church in particular. Mr. Sessions was an able, vigorous and successful business man. As he prospered the Methodist Church prospered.
In 1880, the congregation grew and moved to a new church, closer to the center of town, at the corner of the corner of Center and Summer Streets. This building was enlarged in 1888 and then replaced by a new edifice, which was dedicated in 1894. By then, the church was known as the Prospect Methodist Episcopal Church (now it is the Prospect United Methodist Church at 99 Summer Street). The church‘s construction was funded by John Humphrey Sessions.
The Bristol National Bank, organized by John H. Sessions and Charles S. Treadway, was chartered in 1875. Sessions was president until his death in 1899 and was succeeded by Treadway, who died in 1905. The bank occupied a building on Main Street, built in 1877-1878, until a new building (245-247 Main Street), built in 1904-1905, was ready for occupancy in August, 1905. The 1878 building was then demolished, as the Hartford Courant described the plans on March 31, 1904, “so that the bank will have an open space between it and the driveway which goes to the freight depot of the “Consolidated” railroad.” As the Courant described the new building on August 3, 1905:
The bank building occupies one lot north of the old bank on Main street, which was erected in 1878. It has a liberal frontage on Main street and is two stories high. The construction is of Roman brick with white marble trimmings and in front are four large pillars. There are two floors; the first is used exclusively by the bank and the second contains the law offices of Judge Roger S. Newell, William J. Malone, the probate court rooms, and the patent law department of the New Departure Manufacturing Company, which occupies three rooms.
Morse Richtmeyer of the Ideal Laundry was the first resident of the house at 38 Spring Street in Bristol. The house was built circa 1886 by the noted Bristol builder Joel T. Case. In later years, the house’s Italianate cupola was removed, but more recently it has been restored.
According to Bristol Historic Homes (2005), the house at 67 Maple Street in Bristol was built around 1790 and was the home of clockmaker Benjamin Ray, who owned the Ives Eureka Shop on North Main Street. If the house dates back to 1790, then its Greek Revival front facade is a later (early nineteenth century) addition. According to Federal Hill, A Series of Walking Tours of the Federal Hill Neighborhood and of Other Areas of Interest in Bristol, Connecticut (1985), the house was used as a store by Samuel Smith to sell the clocks he made with his partner, Chauncey Boardman. The rear of the house was altered in 1874 by Benjamin Lewis.