The Martha J. Newell House is located at 89 High Street in Bristol. Built around 1870, it is an Italianate house that was once the residence of Martha Judd Brewster Newell (d. 1905). Mrs. Newell was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution and the Women’s Board of Missions. She was the wife of Samuel Pomeroy Newell (1823-1888). According to The Brewster Genealogy, Vol. II (1908), compiled and edited by Emma C. Brewster Jones:
Samuel P. Newell was graduated from Yale Law School in 1848, and was a lawyer of extensive practice at Bristol. He served as U.S. internal revenue collector and was judge of Probate Court for the District of Bristol. His son-in-law, John J. Jennings, was his law partner.
The house at 16-18 Spring Street in Bristol was built in 1883 (or perhaps as early as 1870?). It was designed by the Bristol architect Joel T. Case. It later became the home of Edward Dutton Rockwell (1855-1925), who came to Bristol in 1888 with his brother Albert F. Rockwell. Their New Departure Bell Company grew into one of the largest bell factories in America and the largest producer of ball bearings in the world. E.D. Rockwell later left New Departure to become manager of the Liberty Bell Company. The house has lost its original Italianate tower and second-floor porch.
The house at 331 Main Street in Bristol, built c. 1910, is listed as the Curtiss House in the nomination for the Federal Hill Historic District. Around 1918, Charles H. Curtiss, 331 Main Street, was secretary of Local No. 50, Order of Railway Conductors of America. Curtiss had earlier (c. 1910 to c. 1914) lived at 265 Main Street in Bristol. Charles H. Curtiss (1864-1922), a Democrat, served in the state house of representatives from 1919 to 1920.
The house at 211 Washington Street in Forestville in Bristol was built in 1845. It later became the home of Mark F. Spelman, a farmer who purchased the farm on Washington Street, at the head of what is now Central Street, in 1873. The family had earlier lived in Granville, Massachusetts. Spellman’s daughter, Lila Adah Spelman (1866-1945), was born in Granville. She completed her elementary school education in Forestville, but then, because there was no high school in Bristol, she commuted daily by train from Forestville to the Hartford Public High School. She graduated in 1885, taught school in Southington and married William H. Rowe in 1889.
The brick commercial building at 242-244 Main Street in Bristol was built c. 1873 to house the Bristol Savings Bank. Organized in 1870 by Miles Lewis Peck, the bank was previously located in a building that was destroyed by fire in 1873. Bristol town offices were housed on the upper floor of the building until the turn of the century. The space was then occupied by the Bristol Chamber of Commerce. The building is now home to The Shaffer Company, Inc., a mechanical contracting company founded in 1890.
A chapter (called a “tribe”) of the Improved Order of Red Men was established in Bristol in 1890. The organization constructed a three-story brick meeting hall at 43 Prospect Street in Bristol in 1911. Designed by Walter Crabtree and built by B.H. Hubbard Co. of New Britain, the Redmen’s Hall had a state armory on the first floor and a meeting hall on an upper floor. Many town events were held in the hall in the early years of the twentieth century. In 1940 the building was renovated to become a movie theater called the Carberry Theater. The building is now owned by the Christian Fellowship Center.
At 82 Bellevue Avenue in Bristol is an American Foursquare house built c. 1920. It was originally the home of Roger S. Newell (who also once lived in the house at 101 Bellevue Avenue). As described in the Commemorative Biographical Record of Hartford County, Connecticut, Vol. I (1901):
Roger Samuel Newell was born in Bristol, Oct. 18, 1867, and received his academic education in the public schools of that town and of Hartford. He graduated from the Hartford Public High School in 1886, from Yale University in 1889, and from Yale Law School in 1891. He then read law in the office of John J. Jennings, Esq., of Bristol, and in 1891 was admitted to the Bar, after which he continuously practiced his chosen profession as a partner with his preceptor until the latter’s death, April 1, 1900. He was the first clerk of the borough of Bristol, in 1895 was elected judge of the town court, and in 1896 was elected judge of probate, to succeed Elbert E. Thorpe, on the latter’s decease. Socially he and his family are prominent, and he is a member of Franklin Lodge, No. 56, F. & A. M., and Pequabuck Chapter, R. A. M. In politics he is a Republican, and in religious belief a Congregationalist. Mr. Newell was, married in Bristol, Sept. 25, 1895, to Miss Adaline Birge, daughter of Senator John and Mary A. (Root) Birge.