Left Hartford about 7 o’clock, and took the middle road (instead of the one through Middletown, which I went).— Breakfasted at Worthington, in the township of Berlin, at the house of one Fuller.
The tavern that Washington writes about still stands today at 1055 Worthington Ridge in Berlin. It was built circa 1769 and has later nineteenth century alterations. Ephraim Fuller, listed in the 1790 census, was probably the Fuller who ran the tavern. Additional details about the tavern are recorded in Catharine M. North‘s History of Berlin (1916):
Some years since, when the house was repainted, the date 1769 was discovered on the brick work of the chimney, about half-way between the roof and the top of the chimney. It was built to be used as a tavern with a public hall and ballroom on the second floor. [...] Amos Kirby assumed the proprietorship of Fuller’s tavern about the year 1814, and lived on the place until his death in 1846 at the age of seventy-one. During the latter part of his years he carried on the business of a butcher and peddled meat about the town.
Around 1884, when wallpaper was being removed from the Tavern’s east room on the second floor, a mural displaying Masonic symbols was uncovered. The room had once been part of the ballroom, which once ran across the entire house from east to west and was later converted into a Masonic Lodge room. It is thought to have been the meeting place of Berlin Lodge, No. 20, organized in 1791, which later became Harmony Lodge No. 20 of New Britain and merged with Friendship Lodge No. 33 of Southington in 1995.
The Old South End Schoolhouse in Southington, a one-room school, was built sometime after 1810, when the original and smaller schoolhouse on the site, built around 1760, burned down. The schoolhouse was in use until the new South End Elementary School opened in 1955. The old schoolhouse is now owned and operated as a museum by the Southington Historical Society.
Earlier this month I featured buildings at the Hancock Shaker Village on my site Historic Buildings of Massachusetts. Connecticut also had a Shaker village. It was located in Enfield, but not nearly as many of its buildings have survived and they have been restored as they have at Hancock. On this site, I’ve already featured the South Family Residence and the adjacent laundry, ice house and dairy. The Enfield Shaker community grew to include five “families.” Besides the South Family, there were the North, East and West Families and, centrally located, was the Church Family. The first to be organized, the Church Family had overall control over the entire Enfield Shaker settlement. The last Enfield Shakers left the area in 1917. The State of Connecticut purchased the former Shaker property in 1931 for what is now the Enfield Correctional Institution. One of only two buildings to survive from the Church Family is the former Meeting House/Trustee House. Built in 1827, the building had an open meeting hall for the entire community and (perhaps later?) housed the Trustees, who handled the community‘s dealings with the outside world. Shakers were associated with reform movements, such as abolitionism: Sojourner Truth once spoke at the Meeting House.
The Weisman Building (originally the Meigs Building), located at 105-109 Bank Street in Waterbury, was built in 1902. It is one of the many structures built in the wake of the downtown Waterbury Fire of 1902. This now vacant commercial building has been for sale/lease for many years.
The First Church of Christ, Congregational in Glastonbury has had five church buildings since it was established in the 1690s. As related in Vol. 2 of the Memorial History of Hartford County (1886), the first meeting house was erected on the Green in 1693:
It was enlarged in 1706, and stood until destroyed by fire on the night of Dec. 9, 1734. The second meeting-house, by compromise between the north and south, and by the decision of the General Court, was erected on the main street, about one fourth of a mile south of the Green, standing half in the street, just north of the old Moseley tavern. [...] It was used as a church for more than a century, having been built in 1735. On the division of the society in 1836, by the establishment of the society at South Glastonbury, it was abandoned as a meeting-house, and during the year 1837 was demolished. [...] By the division of the First Society in 1836, and the dilapidation of its ancient edifice, a new meeting-house became a necessity for the mother organization, and it was so voted in society’s meeting January 17, 1837. This was located farther to the north, on land which in 1640 was owned by the Rev. Henry Smith, the first settled minister of Wethersfield (from 1641 to 1648), and later (in 1684) by Samuel Hale, the ancestor of the Hale family. It was built in 1837, under the supervision of David Hubbard, Josiah B. Holmes, George Plummer, Benjamin Hale, and Ralph Carter, as a building committee. It was a very tasteful edifice, with tower, bell, and clock, especially attractive after its enlargement and thorough repair in 1858, which made it a most fitting and beautiful sanctuary. It was burned on the morning of Sunday, Dec. 23, 1866. The church which takes its place was erected in the year following, and with its graceful spire (rebuilt in 1880) forms a prominent object in the views of the valley.
This last church was destroyed in the hurricane of 1938, when the steeple crashed down into the sanctuary. The current church was built the following year on the same site.
Industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie funded the construction of thousands of libraries in North America, Europe and Oceania, including the one at 159 Pearl Street in Enfield. Carnegie provided $20,000 for the library, which covered the land, construction and furnishings. John Pickens, who successfully petitioned Carnegie for the funds in 1910, at first faced resistance from the town, which feared the library would be a burden. Pickens persevered and the library opened on May 5, 1914. The building later became a branch library after a new Enfield Center Library was built in 1967. Interestingly, there is also a Carnegie Library in the London Borough of Enfield.