Palmer-Warner House (1738)

October 26th, 2015 Posted in Colonial, East Haddam, Houses

Palmer-Warner House

Construction of the house at 307 Town Street in East Haddam is traditionally attributed to John Warner (1677-1750) of Hatfield, Massachusetts, c. 1738. He had married Mahitable Chapman Richardson, widow of Lemuel Richardson and daughter of John Chapman, a wealthy East Haddam landowner. The house’s current exterior features date to c. 1790, around the time John‘s grandson, Oliver Warner, was married. Both John and Oliver were skilled blacksmiths who produced hardware such as hinges and latches, some of which are still within the house. There is also a barn on the property that may date to the same period as the house. Adjacent to the property is the Warner family burying ground, now owned by the Town of East Haddam. The house remained in the Warner family until after the Civil War.

In 1936 Frederic C. Palmer (1901-1971), a pioneer restoration architect, acquired the house and restored it the following year, filling it with antiques. Palmer was commissioned to rehabilitate two East Haddam landmarks, the Goodspeed Opera House and the First Church of Christ Congregational. For the Antiquarian and Landmarks Society (now Connecticut Landmarks) he restored the Buttolph-Williams House in Wethersfield and the Joshua Hempsted House in New London. After Palmer’s death his partner, Howard A Metzger (1921-2005), continued to live in the house, leaving it with an endowment to become a museum of Connecticut Landmarks. Although currently maintained by CT Landmarks, the house has yet to be opened as a museum due to financial and other issues.

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