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.
At 116-122 High Street in Bristol, dating to c. 1880, is one of the oldest apartment blocks in the city. An excellent example of Italianate architecture, it is (unusually for a building of its size) of wood frame construction. The 12-unit building was condemned by the City of Bristol in 2015 and the tenants were forced to move out. The property owner was then arrested for reckless endangerment and property maintenance code violations. A new manager later took over the property.
Starting as a general practitioner in the 1890s in an office on Main Street in Bristol, Dr. William M. Curtis’s successful practice allowed him to build an impressive Queen Anne house at 23-25 High Street in 1905. His residence also served as his office, which accounts for the house having two entrances, one for the family and one for his patients. Dr. Curtis married Genevieve Bierce in 1896 and the couple had a daughter. After Dr. Curtis died in 1914, his family sold the house to another physician, Alburton A. Dewey (1874-1935). Like his predecessor, Dr. Dewey both lived and practiced medicine in the house until his death. The house was then converted into a multi-family dwelling. The house has been documented as part of the Historic American Buildings Survey.
Since 1942, the house at 24 Lincoln Avenue in the Forestville section of Bristol has been the O’Brian Funeral Home, which had been founded in downtown Bristol in 1909. According to the Funeral Home’s website, the house was built in 1890 as a wedding gift from Elias N. Welch to his daughter H. Drusilla Mitchell, but H. Drusilla Mitchell was married to George H. Mitchell in 1857 and her father was Elisha N. Welch, who died in 1887. The website also states that the house’s facade facing East Main Street was designed to resemble a riverboat with its rounded stern and double deck.
The Colonial Revival house at 110 South Street in Bristol was built c. 1909 by local builder George J. LaCourse (1880-1941). He first moved an earlier house from the site, that had been built about a century before by Thomas Barns, Jr. That house was later occupied by Barns’ grandson, Thomas Barnes (who added an e to the family name). LaCourse, who is credited with having built 250 residences in Bristol (both single-family and multi-family), later built a new house for his own family at 57 George Street. In 1918, the influenza epidemic spurred plans to start a hospital in Bristol. The Wallace Barnes Company, which owned the house at the time, sold it to the Hospital Association to use as a temporary home until a new hospital complex was built. In December 1921 the house opened in its new role with space for 22 patients and quarters for nurses. When the new hospital opened the house was converted into a multi-family dewelling.