The house at 1820 Main Street in East Hartford was built c. 1750. It was the home of Levi Goodwin (1757-1836), a tobacco farmer, who kept a tavern behind his home that faced the King’s Highway (now Ellington Road). Hearing news of the Lexington alarm, he left to serve in the Revolutionary War. Upon his return from the War he held a celebration at his tavern at his own expense that lasted for three days. As described in The Goodwins of Hartford, Connecticut, Descendants of William and Ozias Goodwin (1891), complied by James Junius Goodwin
He marched for Boston, April 17, 1775, on the Lexington alarm, and was paid for ten days’ service. He enlisted as a private in the Company of Capt. Jonathan Hale, in the Regiment commanded by Col. Erastus Wolcott, which was called out January, 1776, for six weeks, service, to aid the army under General Washington in the vicinity of Boston. He was also in the Company of Capt. Abraham Sedgwick, in the Battalion commanded by Col. John Chester, raised in June, 1776, to reinforce the army under General Washington at New York. These troops were in the battles of Long Island, August 27, and of White Plains, October 28, their term of service expiring on the 25th of December of the same year. For his services in this war he received a pension from the United States Government. His residence was in East Hartford, and he represented that town in the Legislature of October, 1818. He married Jerusha Drake, daughter of Jonathan Drake of East Windsor. Levi Goodwin died April 24, 1836, aged 78. Jerusha (Drake) Goodwin died March 26, 1832, aged 76.
The house at 439 Simsbury Road in Bloomfield was built in 1750 by a member of the Cadwell family. The site was once headquarters of the Hartford to Wesfield stage line. In 1830, the house was purchased by James Prosser, who remodeled it to become the Prosser Inn. James’ son, Levi Prosser, later lived in Massachusetts. In 1900 he left one sixth of his estate ($16,255.85) to the Town of Bloomfield to establish what is now the Prosser Public Library.
To serve the Irish community in Kensington (in Berlin), Father Luke Daly of New Britain acquired land on Main Street for a church in 1873. Construction began in October of 1878 and the unfinished church was dedicated in May 1879. St. Paul’s became a full parish two years later. A suspicious fire destroyed St. Paul Church on March 5, 1913. Construction soon began on the current church, at Alling and Peck Streets. The cornerstone was blessed on November 2, 1913 and the church was dedicated on May 24, 1914. According to the Hartford Courant (“Bishop Dedicates Kensington Church,” March 25, 1814):
The edifice itself was built of red brick with Kentucky limestone cornices. The roof is Spanish tile. The architecture is English Gothic with a hint of Spanish mission in the tower. There are three porticos.
As described in View from the Top: The Story of Prospect, Connecticut (Biographical Publishing Company: 1995), by John R. Guevin, the house at 3 Union City Road in Prospect was built by Asahel Chittenden, who served in the Revolutionary War, enlisting in 1780. He married Anna Lewis in 1783 and ten years later acquired land from his father-in-law John Lewis, a congregational minister, to build the house. In 1803 Chittenden opened a store in his home, which also had an upstairs ballroom. After his death in 1813, the property was left to his widow, who remarried in 1816 to Robert Hotchkiss. Asahel’s son, Edward Chittenden, later owned the house. From 1828 to 1830 he served as first town clerk of the newly established Town of Prospect and also became postmaster in 1830. He sold the house in 1833 to Woodward Hotchkiss and in 1839 moved to Waterbury, where he became proprietor of a tavern called the Mansion House. In 1852 Hotchkiss sold the building to Harris Platt and his wife Lucinda. It is now home to Pavlik Real Estate.
The house at 28 Marsh Road in East Plymouth was built c. 1830 by clockmaker Wyllys Hinman. The son of Philemon Hinman, Wyllys Hinman (1798-1888) later settled in Illinois. Hinman sold the house 1833 to Luther Driscoll (1791-1858), who had married his sister Eunice that same year. Driscoll also later moved to Illinois. Note: the house has been repainted a darker color since the above photograph was taken.
The house at 45 Nod Road in Avon was built c. 1785-1789. It has been much altered over the years, acquiring several additions. In the 1830s the house was owned by Amasa Woodford, who was part of the movement that led to Avon becoming an independent town in 1830. Part of the Woodford family farm, which has been in continuous operation since 1666, is now the Pickin’ Patch on Nod Road.
In 1905 the house was acquired by Joseph Wright Alsop IV (1876-1953), a gentleman farmer, insurance executive and member of a well-known political family. Alsop was a member of Connecticut’s House of Representatives, 1907-1908 and state senate, 1909-1912. He also served as a First Selectman in Avon from 1922 to 1950. He was married to Corinne Robinson Alsop (1886-1971), a niece of President Theodore Roosevelt and a leading suffragist. Corinne Robinson Alsop who served in the state House of Representatives in 1924–1927 and again in 1931–1933. While owned by the Alsops, the house was part of their large stock-breading and dairy business called Wood Ford Farm. They added the house’s Colonial Revival front portico in the 1930s. Her husband died in 1953 and in 1956 Corinne remarried to Francis W. Cole, former chairman of the Travelers Insurance Company.
The grand Greek Revival house at 750 Harbor Road in Southport was built c. 1843-1844 by Oliver H. Perry [Not to be confused with the famous Oliver Hazard Perry]. Oliver Henry Perry was the son of Walter Perry, a ship owner and merchant, and the brother of Austin Perry and Gurdon Perry, who built their own houses in Southport in 1830. Although he graduated from Yale Law School and was admitted to the bar in 1841, Oliver Perry did not practice law but instead was a shipping merchant and financier. He was elected Connecticut Secretary of State in 1854 and in the same year had a vital role in securing a charter for the Southport Savings Bank. He was was also a member of Connecticut General Assembly, serving as Speaker of the House in 1859-1860. The house, originally called “The Harborage,” has four Doric columns supporting a Greek Revival pediment. In 2007 its current owners were engaged in a legal conflict with the Historic District Commission over a large concrete sculpture on the property. The state Supreme Court sided with the Commission and the sculpture was removed.