At 19 Windham Green Road in Windham Center is a house built c. 1755. It has an attached structure on the east side that was once a store. The house has a nineteenth-century Victorian rear ell and the store has an eighteenth-century rear ell. The combined structure is known as the Eleazar Fitch-John Ripley House and Store. Col. Eleazer Fitch (1726-1796) served in the French and Indian War and served as high-sheriff of Windham County from 1752-1776. He later moved into a new grand house in 1763 that was destroyed by fire in 1923. During the Revolutionary War Fitch was a loyalist, although he was related by marriage to Windham’s leading revolutionary Eliphalet Dyer.
Hyde Kingsley of Willimatic became wealthy in the lumber and coal business in the 1860s and 1870s. He was partner in the firm of Loomer & Kingsley with Silas Loomer, who would build the Loomer Opera House in Willimantic (torn down in 1940). In 1883 Kingsley retired and the lumberyard was acquired by George K. Nason. That same year Kingsley built a Queen Anne house at 133 Prospect Street in Willimantic.
The J. Hebbard House in Windham Center is notable for its Late Georgian/Federal front door with fan light. Located at 11 Windham Green Road, the house was built c. 1783. It is also known as the Dr. Guild House. This is most likely Dr. Frank E. Guild, who is described in A Modern History of Windham County, Connecticut, Vol. II (1920):
Dr. Frank E. Guild was born in Thompson, August 14, 1853, son of Rev. John Burleigh Guild and Julia Ann Griggs. His father was a Baptist clergyman who preached at Clinton, Packerville and Thompson, in Connecticut. His son was graduated at State Normal School at New Britain in 1874, and from Long Island College Hospital in 1885, teaching school in the interim as a means to a professional education. Doctor Guild began medical practice in Windham, Conn., in October, 1886, and has continued there since, with oflices also at Willimantic. Has been president of Windham County Medical Society, vice president of the state society; member of town school board of Windham thirty years and chairman of the board for the past fifteen years. He was married April 28, 1887, to Harriet Clark, daughter of Edgar Clark of Putnam, who was a civil engineer and employed in surveying the Boston, Hartford and Erie Railroad. Doctor and Mrs. Guild are, respectively, S. A. R. and D. A. R. members, and Mrs. Gui1d’s grandmother was a real daughter. They have three children, Alan Clark, Harriet Griggs, and Julia Exton Guild.
The house at 106 Windham Street in Willimantic was built in 1894 for Giles H. Alford (1827-1900). Born in Otis, Massachusetts, Alford studied at the Westfield Normal School and became a teacher in Windsor. As described in the Commemorative Biographical Record of Tolland and Windham counties, Connecticut (1903):
In 1851 Mr. Alford went to Riverton, Conn., to take a position as clerk in the store of his uncle, Alfred Alford, who was extensively engaged in the furniture business at that point. At this time he made his first visit to Willimantic, part of his work being to deliver a load of chairs to a customer in that city. After a short time spent with his uncle, Mr. Alford bought out the Union Shoe Co., of Riverton. then comprising a general store, and this was his first business venture. Although he incurred a heavy load of debt, he pulled through, and became the sole owner of the establishment. During the first years of the Civil war Henry Alford cared for the store while Giles H. Alford was engaged in Virginia and Maryland as a sutler with Gen. McClellan’s army in 1861 and 1862.
In 1862 Mr. Alford removed to Willimantic, Riverton not affording as broad a field as he desired. In company with his cousin, James Alford, he opened a grocery store on Main street, in the present location of Purinton & Reade, but the close confinement soon undermined their health, and both retired from the store, Giles H., exchanging his interest for a farm belonging to Chauncey Turner in Mansfield, to which point he removed at once. Farm life restored his health, and after about two years he was again strong and rugged. According[ly] he sold the farm and became a traveling salesman for the Upson Nut Co., of Unionville, Conn. He came into contact with machine manufacturers, and for eight years followed the road. During this time his family lived at Unionville, but later removed to Willimantic. It was also during this time that Mr. Alford bought the bankrupt hardware stock of Mr. Simpson, and put it in charge of his oldest son. Upon his retirement from the road he went into this business himself. C. N. Andrew was at one time a partner with him, and later bought his interest in that store. At a later period Mr. Alford opened the hardware store where he is found at the present time, in company with his son, the firm being G. H. Alford & Son. This son was Howard R. Alford, and on his death, his brother, Carl R., succeeded to his interest, and the firm is unchanged in its title.
The house at 17 Windham Green in Windham was built c. 1765 by Shubael Abbe (1744-1804). The main entrance to the house was remodeled c. 1950. A WPA photo of the house (which is #54 in the Nomination for the Windham Center Historic District) shows that this remodeling replaced a Victorian portico with a similar design to the surviving bay window and door hood on the north side of the house).
As related in the History of Ancient Windham (1864) by William L. Weaver
Shubael Abbe resided at Windham Center, and was an esteemed and highly respected citizen, active and useful in town, church and State affairs. He graduated at Yale College in 1764, and held many offices of trust, among them, sheriff of Windham County, a commissioner of the School Fund, often a representative to the Legislature, &c.
[. . .] He m[arried] Lucy Chester, Jan. 26, 1774; he d[ied] suddenly, April 16, 1804; she d[ied] June 21, 1818, aged 66. The Rev. Elijah Waterman, his son-in-law, makes the following entry in the Windham Church records respecting his death: “April 16, 1804, Shubael Abbe, aged 59, of an apoplectic fit, between the hours of nine and ten in the morning. He had made every preparation and arranged all his business for the purpose of going to Hartford as a manager of the School Fund. He went out at the door to see that his horse was ready, and as he was returning in to take leave of his family, as usual, he was suddenly struck with apoplexy, and sallied down in the arms of his wife speechless; and, though immediately let blood, he died in a few minutes.[“]
Fifteen years after Shubael Abbe‘s death, his house was acquired by Dr. Chester Hunt (1789-1869). The property included a small office behind the house, which Dr. Hunt used until his death and which now stands on Windham Green. As described in A Modern History of Windham County, Vol. II (1920):
Dr. Chester Hunt, as previously stated, purchased his home at the southwest corner of the Windham Green in 1819, following the death of Sheriff Abbe, who had occupied that place. Dr. Hunt, both of his wives and all of his children died in this house. His last child, Mrs. James M. Hebard, bequeathed the entire property to the present owner, Miss Mary Delia Little, who was a daughter of Dr. Hunt’s sister, Nancy (Hunt) Little, of Columbia. Miss Little was born in Columbia, her parents being George and Nancy (Hunt) Little. She acquired her education in the district and private schools of Columbia and then took up the profession of teaching, which she followed for many years in Columbia, Glastonbury, Burnside and East Hartford, contributing much to the educational advancement of the communities in which she put forth her efforts. She now occupies the old Hunt home, one of the most attractive residences bordering the Windham Green.
The house at 28 North Road in Windham was built c. 1780. It is believed to have been built by Isaac Clark, a carpenter-builder from Canterbury. The house has an elaborate Palladian-inspired front facade.