At the corner of Main and Prospect Streets in Bristol is a four-story Romanesque Revival red brick commercial building called the Linstead Block (238 Main Street). It was built by William Linstead, an English immigrant who, according to Men of Progress: Biographical Sketches and Portraits of Leaders in Business and Professional Life in and of the State of Connecticut (1898), “erected many of the large buildings in Bristol all of which compare favorably with the best work of their kind, and are a credit to the town and their builder.” Two storefronts on the Main Street side of the building have been altered, but those on the corner and on the Prospect Street side retain their original cast-iron columns. Trinity Episcopal Church was moved from Main Street around the corner to High Street to make way for the construction of the Linstead Block. The church burned down in 1945 and a new one was erected on Summer Street.
Attached to the Linstead Block and continuing along Prospect Street is the Funck Block (13 Prospect Street), also constructed in 1889. It was built for C. Funck & Son, a furniture company that also made coffins. The undertaking business was located further down Main Street until an addition made to the Funck Block allowed it to join the furniture store in 1930. While the earlier section of the building has cast-iron columns like the Linstead Block, the addition at the end has a Tudor Revival storefront. Ten years later the undertaking business (now Funk Funeral Home) moved to the George W. Mitchell House on Bellevue Avenue. The furniture part of the business was absorbed into the Bristol Furniture Store, which continued for some years on Prospect Street.
Merry Christmas! Pictured above is the Salvation Army’s Bristol Worship and Service Center at 19 Stearns Street in Bristol. Much altered over the years, the building was erected in 1891 for the Swedish Lutheran Lebanon Congregational Church (later simplified to Lebanon Lutheran Church), founded in 1887. In 1963 Lebanon Lutheran merged with Bethesda Lutheran Church of Forestville to form Gloria Dei Lutheran Church. The newly formed church erected a new building on Camp Street in Forestville and the old building on Stearns Street was sold to the Salvation Army, which had previously had its headquarters on Prospect Street.
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).