A Catholic chapel was built in Tariffville in Simsbury in 1856 and was destroyed by fire in 1876. A newly completed church was dedicated to St. Bernard in 1879. St. Bernard’s became a parish in 1881. The church was destroyed by fire in 1892 and the current Saint Bernard’s Roman Catholic Church, a wood-frame Gothic edifice on Maple Street, was dedicated in 1895.
The building which now serves as Simsbury’s third Town Hall was built in 1907 as Simsbury High School. The building’s design, by Edward Hapgood of Hartford, is believed to follow that of Homerton College, Cambridge University. When the high school, moved to a new building in the 1960s, the old building became Horace Belden Elementary School. It was renovated in 1993-1994 to become Simsbury Town Hall.
Trinity Episcopal Church in Tariffville, Simsbury was founded in 1848 and began holding worship services in Mitchelson Hall on Elm Street in Tariffville. Trinity purchased a former Presbyterian Church in 1856, but this building was seized to make way for railroad tracks in 1871. The present church, designed by Henry C. Dudley, was constructed on Church Street in 1872-1873. A parish house was built behind the church in 1932 and a modern classroom and office wing was added in 1968.
The house at 690 Hopmeadow Street in Simsbury was built between 1905 and 1910 for Joseph Ralph Ensign and his wife, Mary Phelps Ensign. Joseph Ensign had succeeded his father, Ralph Hart Ensign, as president of the Ensign-Bickford Company. In 1955, the house became the Parish House for First Church across the street. Today, it is home to a branch of Webster Bank and the Arts Exclusive Gallery.
The Stick-style house at 348 Hopmeadow Street in Simsbury was built in 1879 on the site of a c.1679 house, built by John Pettibone, Sr. The house was later owned by Rosetta Pettibone Bestor (1769-1825), wife of Dr. John Bestor. After her death, it was purchased by John Owen Pettibone in 1826. A large landowner, he was a probate judge of Simsbury and served in the State Senate. After his death in 1876, the property passed to his niece, Charlotte Pettibone Winslow, who tore down the old house and built the present one. She was the widow of Rev. Horace Winslow, who had retired and moved to Weatogue. According to the Commemorative Biographical Record of Hartford County (1901):
Mr. Winslow was married, May 8, 1850, at the Church of the Puritans, New York City, by the pastor, the Rev. George B. Cheever, D.D., to Charlotte Henrietta Pettibone, daughter of the late Capt. Jonathan and Mrs. Fanny Rosanna (Phelps) Pettibone, of Simsbury, Conn. Mrs. Winslow has for more than fifty years been a worthy and sustaining helpmate to her husband, and has always been interested in his work. She is of a kind and lovable disposition, and her devotion to her husband and children is unsurpassed. She was born at Weatogue, Simsbury, and was only three years old when she attended her first school, was a pupil of various private schools, and was graduated at the age of sixteen at Hartford Female Seminary, with first rank in her class. She also took courses in French, Music and Art while residing in Hartford, and later at New York City, being for a time a pupil at the private school of Madame Okill. About the year 1844, Miss Delia Bacon, of New Haven, sister of Rev. Leonard Bacon, D.D., conducted a class of young ladies in higher branches of study, This class Miss Pettibone joined, giving special attention to the Bible, to Shakespeare, and to philosophy, and the few months spent in New Haven were most delightful and profitable, as Miss Bacon was a lady of rare ability and attainments.
Author Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811-1896) and her husband, Calvin Stowe (1802-1886), had twin daughters named Harriet (Hattie) Beecher (1836-1907) and Eliza Tyler (1836-1912) Stowe. Neither twin married, but they lived with their parents, traveling with their mother and managing the family’s households in Hartford and in Mandarin, Florida. After their mother’s death in 1896, the twins settled in Simsbury, where their brother, Charles E. Stowe, was the minister at the First Church of Christ. According to the new Images of America series book on Simsbury, their former house at 965 Hopmeadow Street was provided for them by their brother when he became minister in 1891. They wouldn’t have moved there until their mother died, so perhaps the house was built in 1891? Today, the house is used for offices.