The building at 165 Main Street in East Hartford was built around 1870 and was originally the Hockanum School house. By the 1940s, overcrowding (there were four kindergartens housed in portable classrooms) led to the opening of a new Hockanum School in 1949. For many years the former school building was used by the town as the Hockanum Library.
In Martin Park in East Hartford the town’s Historical Society maintains a complex of three historic buildings. One of these is the Burnham Blacksmith Shop, built c. 1850, which originally stood on the Burnham family farm. Today, the building contains a collection of nineteenth and early twentieth century tools and equipment used in the East Hartford area.
The Goodwin Schoolhouse in East Hartford was built in 1821 by George Goodwin, Jr., a paper manufacturer. He built the school on his own property on Burnside Avenue and hired a teacher to teach his own children and those of his neighbors. A one room schoolhouse, the building was used as a school until 1855, when the students started attending town schools. The former school was moved to Martin Park in 1975 as a gift to the town from George Goodwin, grandson of the original builder. It is open as a museum operated by the Historical Society of East Hartford.
Samuel Forbes was a successful tobacco grower in East Hartford. His 1878 Second Empire house is at 398 Silver Lane. Behind the house is an old harness shop building, a surviving trace of the small local manufacturing enterprises that existed in the area before tobacco came to dominate the economy of East Hartford.
The Historical Society of East Hartford has a complex of three historic buildings in Martin Park. The oldest is the Makens Bemont House, commonly called the Huguenot House. It was built by Edmund Bemont in 1761 and was purchased, four years later, by his son, Makens Bemont, a saddle maker. The house’s last owner donated it to the Historical Society in 1968 and in 1971 it was moved to the park from its original location at the intersection of Tolland Street and Burnside Avenue. Since its relocation and restoration, the Huguenot House has acquired a reputation as a haunted house.
Selden Brewer was a successful tobacco grower in East Hartford, who built his impressive house between 1827 and 1833. A tradition about the house states that Selden’s father, Samuel Brewer, transported the bricks used in the house‘s construction from Wethersfield over the frozen Connecticut River in 1827. The house originally stood on Main Street, on the northern end of the Brewer Tobacco Plantation, but in the 1980s, through the efforts of the Historical Society of East Hartford, it was moved to its current location at the intersection of Main and Naubuc Streets. The Historical Society’s offices are on the second floor and the rooms on the first floor can be rented for meetings and small banquets. [It's interesting to compare images of some of the rooms as they appear today compared with historical photos taken of the furnished rooms over sixty years ago].