Built around 1805, the Daniel Morris House in Branford originally stood on Main Street. In the late nineteenth century it was moved to its current address at 51 Bradley Street (which is why it has a high brick foundation).
At 220 Main Street in Farmington is a former one-room brick school house built in 1829 to serve the town’s South District. It was used as a school until 1904, when Farmington’s schoolhouses were consolidated into a Center School. In 1905 the former school was sold to Theodate Pope, who designed or remodeled five houses in town to become low-income housing. She converted the school house into a residence and it became the home of Reuben and Lucy Lewis and their eleven children. Reuben Lewis worked at the Lodge, a vacation home for girls working in the big city garment industry that was run by a group of Miss Porter’s School graduates. He was also a railroad porter. His father, Richard Lewis, had settled in Farmington before the Civil War after escaping from slavery on the Underground Railroad. In the 1930s the Lewis family moved out and the building has since been used as an antiques shop, a nursery school, a lawyer’s office and, most recently, Farmington Valley Dance & Music, LLC.
In 1741 John Lyman (1717-1763) purchased the first parcel of the land in Middlefield that his descendents would develop and that is part of Lyman Orchards today. John’s great-grandson, David Lyman II (1820-1871) was a prosperous farmer who did much to develop the Town of Middlefield. He co-founded the Metropolitan Washing Machine Company and brought the Air Line railroad to Middlefield. In 1859 David Lyman II added a rear wing to a c. 1785 house, built on the property by his grandfather, David Lyman I. In 1862 he removed the 1785 house and the following year began construction of a new home on the site, completed in 1864. Designed by New Haven architect Rufus G. Russell, the new Lyman Homestead maintained a Georgian-type form but elaborated with the stylistic elements of the Italianate country villa and Gothic Revival cottage. The house, at 5 Lyman Road in Middlefield, has continued to be owned by the Lyman family and since 2000 has been available to rent for events.
According to his obituary in The Bankers’ Magazine, and Statistical Register, Vol. 38, No. 11 (May, 1884):
Francis D. Perry President of the Southport (Conn.) National Bank, died after a short illness in that town on April 16th, in his seventy-fifth year. He had been for over thirty years an officer of this bank, and of its predecessor, the Southport Bank. He was also for some years Secretary and Treasurer of the Southport Savings Bank, and to these institutions devoted his energies with fidelity, perseverance, and marked ability. Mr. Perry was a man who won, by his high personal character, universal respect and regard. Thoroughly conscientious, decided in his opinions, but courteous, considerate and liberal, he exemplified the best type of the faithful official and the Christian gentleman. The boards of directors of the two banks, at a special union meeting, passed unanimously a series of resolutions expressive of their high regard and appreciation of the deceased.
Perry’s Greek Revival house, at 678 Pequot Avenue in Southport, is similar in design, with a five columned front portico, to his brother Henry Perry’s house at 45 Westway Road in Southport. They may have been designed or built by the same person. Perry was a member of Trinity Parish and after his widow died in 1893 the house was left to the parish as a rectory.
The first meetinghouse in Madison was erected in 1705, on the southeast section of the town green. It had neither a bell nor a steeple and galleries were only added in 1715. A new meetinghouse was dedicated in May 1743, to which a steeple was added in 1799. The present First Congregational Church was built in the Federal style on the north part of the green in 1837-1838. As described in A Modern History of New Haven and Eastern New Haven County, Volume 1 (1918), by Everett G. Hill:
When the people built for the third time in 1838, they had the common struggle to break away from the green. There was a strong party that favored building on Deacon Hart’s lot north of the green, but so resolute was the minority that forty-seven members actually withdrew from the church in 1841, because of the change. The commanding site north of the green was chosen, and it and the building placed thereon have ever since been the pride of the people of Madison, the delight of all who visit the town. It is a building of notable architecture, acknowledged by all good judges to be one of the finest country churches of its type in New England. A handsome modern chapel was added to its equipment, on a plot just east of the green, in 1881.
The house at 60 Church Lane in Westport was built c. 1889-1890. It was the home of William Sturges and in 1917 was listed as the home of Frank Sturges, a mill employee. It was later home to the Fable family until it was sold to the Westport Chamber of Commerce in 1999. The building was restored and won a Preservation Award in 2004 from the Westport Historical Society.
The Glastonbury Knitting Company (begun as the Glastenbury Knitting Company in 1855) later expanded to Manchester with a mill at Manchester Green. A mill was first built on the site in 1851 and rebuilt after a fire in 1861. The mill produced men’s long woolen underwear. An interesting item that appeared in the September 2, 1911 issue of Fibre and Fabric: The American Textile Trade Review (Vol. 54, No. 1382) stated that:
The Glastonbury Knitting Co. shut down their mill at the Green last Saturday for a week. So many of the employees desired a vacation that the managers decided to shut down. The company is fairly busy, and at the present time gives employment to about 70 hands.
The mill was expanded over the years (did it reach its current form in 1901?), but closed in the 1920s (although the company’s mill in Glastonbury was in operation until 1936). Since that time the old mill building (501 Middle Turnpike East) has been used as an antique store, drug store, bar, a printer’s shop, a shoe store, a warehouse, a bookshop and two different furniture stores. Read the rest of this entry »