According to Mansfield Four Corners (2003), by Rudy J. Favretti, the house at 1637 Storrs Road in Mansfield was built sometime between 1818 and 1834 by Darius Dexter. It had many owners over the years and was acquired in 1931 by Raymond H. Wallace (1899-1965), professor of plant physiology at UCONN. He and his wife made alterations to the house which included the addition of a sun room.
Although the Town of Mansfield decided to erect a town hall at a meeting held on December 3, 1838, electors wrangled over the details for three years. A building committee was finally confirmed on January 24, 1842 and the building was completed the following year. Located in the village of Spring Hill, near the geographic center of town, the old Town Hall was joined by a new Town Office Building on the same property, built in 1934. In the late 1970s, town offices moved to what is now the Audrey Buck Municipal Building. In 1980, the two older town buildings were occupied by the Mansfield Historical Society, which renovated the Old Town Hall to become a museum.
The house at 661 Middle Turnpike in Mansfield was built sometime before 1816, when the property was first noted in town records. In 1853 the house was acquired by Anson Turner. From 1915 to 1940 the house and farm were owned by the John and Mary Tomaskovic, immigrants from Slovakia. In 1940 it was acquired by Augustus and Ruth Brundage and was owned by the family until 1988. A 1910 graduate of the Connecticut Agricultural College at Storrs (today’s UCONN), Augustus Brundage (born 1890) was appointed State Club Leader for the Extension Service of the Connecticut Agricultural College and the United States Department of Agriculture in 1917. The agricultural clubs became the 4-H and Brundage remained active in the organization after his retirement in 1948. Two of Augustus and Ruth’s sons, Granville and Roger, were killed in action during World War II. Brundage pool in Greer Field House at UCONN was named in their honor. For more information on the house, see Mansfield Four Corners (2003) by Rudy J. Favretti, pp. 89-92.
The first house of worship to be constructed in the Mansfield Depot section of Mansfield was a small meeting room built in the late nineteenth century by the Union Chapel Society. In 1907 the Second Baptist Church of Mansfield was established. As described in the Hartford Courant on December 18, 1908:
At last the hopes of the small settlement of Baptists at Mansfield Depot are to be realized. Rev. Leonard Smith of Mansfield, pastor of the Spring Hill Baptist Church acting as trustee of the Eber Dunham fund, has bought the chapel and land at Mansfield Depot of the Union Chapel Society. The chapel will be remodeled and converted into a meeting house to be known as the Eber Dunham Memorial Church. The purchase has been made possible by a fund left by the late Eber Dunham, who was a religious man living at Mansfield Depot several miles from any church from the pulpit of which were expounded the doctrines that conformed with his religious belief. All during his life he had to drive to church and was regular in attendance, both winter and summer. When he died he made provision whereby a certain number of citizens of his religious belief could band themselves together and form a church and society and this fund could be secured for a meeting house. If not after a certain period the money would be turned over to the state Baptist society. Several times during the past few years has it looked as though the state society would get the fund, but a short time ago the number of Baptists at Mansfield Depot became sufficient to organize a society of their own and now will be effected the complete realization of their cherished hopes in having a place of worship of their own.
At the end of 1908 (as reported by the Courant on January 1, 1909), Rev. Smith called for bids to build an addition to the Union Chapel. The addition would become the main part of the new Eber Dunham Memorial Church, with the older section being used as a conference room. The church would also have a belfrey. Work on the church was scheduled to begin that spring.
Hawley Armory on the campus of the University of Connecticut in Storrs was built in 1914-1915 for the school’s military department, but its gymnasium and drill hall also served as the location for numerous athletic and social activities over the years. The Armory was named for Willis N. Hawley, a student at what was then called the Storrs Agricultural College. A first lieutenant of the cadet company on campus, he joined the army after graduating in 1898, but before he could fight in the Spanish-American War, he died of typhoid fever at the Red Cross Hospital in Philadelphia. As noted by President George W. Flint in the Annual Report of the Trustees of the Storrs Agricultural College (1899):
When the war with Spain was imminent, and the President of the United States issued his call for volunteers, five students of Storrs Agricultural College responded to the call, and were found to be well qualified for official positions. Of these, First Sergeant Willis N. Hawley was taken sick at Camp Meade, and died in the hospital at Philadelphia, November 19, 1898. When the State shall erect its library building at Storrs Agricultural College, we trust that some memorial will find a place in that structure to show the State’s appreciation of those who are willing to die for her honor, and for the freedom of an oppressed people.
Mention of the Armory and athletics at the College in general is made by Charles A. Wheeler in the Biennial Report (1917):
As chairman of the Athletic Advisory Board from its inception and now of the Athletic Council, which continues the work of the former organization, I think it fitting to mention our greatly increased facilities for athletic work, and the marked improvement in our standing among colleges. The Hawley Armory gives facilities for every student to exercise, and provision for athletic teams in the way of shower baths and dressing room with lockers. Our quartermile track has been re-surfaced with rock screenings and the opportunities for track-work increased. Our main interest in athletics has centered about football, basketball, and baseball. The support of athletics rests upon the student body, the faculty, and such alumni and others as attend the games. Football costs about $800. a year, basketball $300. and baseball $600. The past two years have been a transition period for us in athletics from the high and preparatory school group to the college group. We are now playing college and university teams, and, though victories for us are scarce, we have as a rule made a creditable showing in each game and have the respect of our adversaries. It seems to me that the past two years have shown 100% improvement in athletics. Looking back over a period of thirty years as student and teacher in college, I believe the interest of students in athletics has been a helpful influence in college life, and that our armory and gymnasium, is our most useful college building.
Three Hierarchs Greek Orthodox Chapel opened in 1995 at 28 Dog Lane in Storrs. Erected in an authentic Byzantine style, the Chapel’s interior has icons and frescoes painted by artists from Greece. The Chapel is part of the Center for Hellenic Studies Paideia at the University of Connecticut. The Center also includes the adjacent Makedonia building, built in 1997, where courses are offered on Greek and Byzantine language, history and culture. These are the first and only Greek Orthodox Church and Center for Hellenic Studies in an American State University.
At 1332 Storrs Road, on the campus of the University of Connecticut, is a colonial house that has served as student housing and is now UCONN’s Veterans House. The house was built c. 1757 and was the home of Cordial Storrs. This is most likely the Cordial Storrs (1692-1782) described in The Storrs Family (1886), by Charles Storrs:
Cordial Storrs of Mansfield, Conn., third son and ninth child of Samuel Storrs of Sutton-cum-Lound, Nottinghamshire, England, Barnstable, Mass., and Mansfield, Conn., was born in Barnstable, Mass., Oct. 14, 1692, and came with his father to Mansfield, Conn., in or about 1698. He married Hannah, daughter of Thomas Wood of Rowley, Mass. [They had four children]
Mrs. Hannah Wood Storrs died March 18, 1764. There is a tradition that she joined the Separatists and was disciplined by the church, but there is nothing in regard to this on the church records. The Separatist movement followed the great revivals which prevailed in Windham County in 1740-41. Itinerant preachers went about producing violent excitement among the people, decrying the old religious worship, and organizing new churches.
Cordial Storrs married, Oct. 10, 1765, Mrs. Catharine Bicknell, widow of (Capt.) Zachr. Bicknell of Ashford, Conn. He was sixty-seven [actually closer to 73] years of age at the time of this second marriage, and he seems to have contracted it with great care as to financial matters.
The farm and home of Cordial Storrs were in the North Parish. At the first church meeting of the Congregational church in that Parish, he was chosen deacon “by a very unanimous vote;” an office which he held until his death at the advanced age of ninety years, Oct. 1782.
His son Cordial [born 1728] died, unmarried, in 1755, at the age of twenty-seven, and with him the male line of this branch of the family became extinct. [Their son Jabez died in 1826]