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].
East Hartford has an octagon house on Naubuc Avenue. According to one source, it was built in 1852 for Rev. Benjamin C. Phelps, the minister at Hockanum Methodist Church. According to another source, the house was built in 1858 for the Curtis family and was owned, after 1867, by the Hollister family.
In 1701, the people of Hartford living east of the Connecticut river were granted the right to their own minister. In 1783, when East Hartford became a separate town, the church became the First Congregational Church in East Hartford. The first meeting house was begun in 1699 and took several years to complete. It was later replaced by the second meeting house in 1740, which was torn down in 1835 when the current structure was built on Main Street. The completed church was dedicated in January 1836. The interior was extensively altered after a fire in 1876.
St. John’s Episcopal Church, at Rector and Main Streets in East Hartford, was built between 1867 and 1869. The High Victorian Gothic-style church was designed by Edward Tuckerman Potter, and displays that architect‘s interest in polychromatism, which he would use again in his Church of the Good Shepherd and Parish House in Hartford and Trinity Church in Wethersfield, as well as in the domestic architecture of the Mark Twain House in Hartford. Rev. John J. McCook, the volunteer rector of St. John’s Parish at the time, was instrumental in bringing about the building of the church.