Meeting House Hill in North Guilford is noted for the impressive view of its two early-nineteenth-century churches: the North Guilford Congregational Church and St. John’s Episcopal Church. The latter, located at 129 Ledge Hill Road, was built in 1812-1814 in the Federal style. The church was originally founded by members who had left the North Congregational Church in 1747, building their first small meeting house south of the hill in 1754. By 1812 they had developed a solid relationship with their neighboring church, which donated land for them to to build a new church on Meeting House Hill. The top section of the original steeple was removed and replaced with a belfry in 1843. The interior was remodeled and the chancel, sacristy, and vestry were added in 1870. Around the same time, Gothic arches were added to the windows as well. The belfry was repaired after being struck by lightning in 1890. Originally standing on large stones, the church did not acquire a permanent foundation until the 1950s. A rear addition added in 1972.
The cornerstone for St. John’s Episcopal Church, at the northeast corner of the Green (current address: 3 Trumbull Place) in North Haven, was laid in 1834. Episcopalians in the town first gathered to organize their own Episcopal church in 1759. The current Gothic Revival church was preceded by a wooden church, without a steeple, dedicated on the same site on St. John’s Day, December 27, 1761.
Happy New Year! The Carpenter Gothic house at 216 Saybrook Road in Higganum was built around 1855 by Norman Smith (1831-1895), a farmer. In 1854 he had married Mary Clark Willard of Brattleboro, Vermont. Their son, George Norman Smith, inherited the house but resided in Hartford.
On the death of John Slater, May 27, 1843, his sons John F. and William S. inherited his interest in the mills at Hopeville and Jewett City, Conn., and at Slatersville, R. I., and they formed a partnership under the name of J. & W. Slater, adjusting their affairs so as to be equal partners. In March, 1845, this firm sold their Hopeville property, and in 1849 bought the interest of Samuel Slater’s heirs in the mill at Slatersville. In 1853, after the lease of this last-mentioned property to A. D. and M. B. Lockwood had expired, William S. Slater took the management of the Slatersville mill, and John F. Slater that of the Jewett City mill. The partnership of the brothers continued until Jan. 1, 1873, when it was dissolved, each taking the mill of which he had been the manager.
John F. Slater was also a principle investor in what would become the Ponemah Mills in Taftville. According to the “Walking Guide to Historic Broadway & Union Street,” the house at 274 Broadway in Norwich was built c. 1870 and in the late nineteenth century was the home of his son, William A. Slater (1857-1919). The book Norwich in the Gilded Age: The Rose City’s Millionaires’ Triangle (2014) by Patricia F. Staley, explains that the house at 274 Broadway was the home (by 1876) of Marianna Lanman Hubbard Slater (1824-1889), who married John F. Slater in 1844. (presumably she lived in the house with her husband). That book indicates that her son, William A. Slater, lived [at some point] in the Slater mansion, a now demolished house at 228 Broadway. William Slater founded the Slater Memorial Museum in Norwich in honor of his father. In the 1950s, the house at 274 Broadway became the residence of the Roman Catholic Bishop of the Diocese of Norwich.
An Episcopal parish, believed to be the oldest in Litchfield County, was organized in Roxbury in 1740. The first Episcopal church building in Roxbury was built soon after (certainly by 1763 and perhaps as early as the 1740s). That church, which does not survive today, was located on “Old Roxbury Road” near the junction with “Lower Country Road.” The current church building, at 4 Weller’s Bridge Road, was erected in 1807. It took the name Christ Church in 1841. Its current Carpenter Gothic style dates to 1861, when the structure was rotated from its original eastward facing position to face south and was completely renovated.
Merry Chriatmas! According to a 1980 survey of historic buildings in Old Saybrook, St. John’s Roman Catholic Church, at 161 Main Street was built in the early twentieth century. The parish was founded in 1884. It began as mission of St. Jospeph’s Church in Chester. St. John’s became a separate parish in 1914, so I suspect the church was built around that date.
The house (which combines Gothic Revival and Italianate features) at 100 Main Street in South Glastonbury was built around 1878 by George S. Andrews (1819-1891). In 1866, he opened a feldspar quarry in South Glastonbury and started what is said to have been the first feldspar mill in Connecticut. What is now called “Old Maids Lane” was built by Andrews to transport the feldspar to the family’s dock on the Connecticut River.