The Elias Austin House (1743)

January 29th, 2010 Posted in Colonial, Durham, Houses


The Elias Austin House, also known as the Moses Austin House, was built around 1745 and stands on the west side of Main Street in Durham. Elias Austin purchased the lot in 1743 and the property passed to his wife and sons when he died in 1766. One of his sons was Moses Austin, who was born in the house in 1761. Moses Austin later left Durham and reached Texas in the 1820, where the government of Spanish-controlled Mexico granted him land to settle 300 Anglo-American families. Austin died in 1821, but his son, Stephen F. Austin, fulfilled his father’s dream, becoming known as the “Father of Texas.” The Austin House in Durham was sold out of the family in 1783 and has since had many different owners. The building served as Durham’s post office from 1909 to 1935. A front porch supported by pillars once wrapped around three sides of the house, but was removed sometime in the last two decades.

  1. 5 Responses to “The Elias Austin House (1743)”

  2. By Julie on Jan 29, 2010

    I used to live across the street from this house. I lived in the Jesse Cook house at 267 Main St. I love all of the houses on that end of Main St in Durham.

    Suggestion-You might want to look up the Mansfield Poorhouse on Maple Av (in Storrs) I believe. It was run by the Gardiners. If you would like information about it let me know. I have a leaflet from the Mansfield Historical Society on it as I am one of the Gardiner’s decendents.

    I LOVE your blog, as I too am one to drive way further than I should just to take pictures of old builings. Many of the one’s I take are of buildings that I fear are going to be demolished and there will be little record or recent picture.

  3. By Vicki on Jul 26, 2011

    I now live in the house across the street known as number 267. Julie, please contact me ( you are able to supply any old photos of the house or it’s land.
    Thank you.

  4. By William Anderson on Sep 6, 2011

    The Connecticut State Library has at least one photo of the house, sitting on the desk right in front of me for cataloging. The photo was taken in 1935 by Lewis Sprague Mills (and is part of the Mills Collection, collection PG (Photo group) 180, box 1, folder 10, item 15 for reference). The porch mentioned above is present as are the outbuildings which look like they are present in the above picture (hard to tell exactly). A sign reading “Tourists” is stuck in the lawn out front. The photograph should be joining our state digital collection Connecticut History Online soon.

  5. By Susan Gillespie on Aug 16, 2012

    I am the owner of this property. My husband and I bought the home in January of 1998. We lived in Texas many years but I was raised in Durham and graduated from Coginchaug High School and wanted to return home. The porch in question was removed as part of our remodel to restore the home to it’s original state. However, there is a small porch on the rear of the building and we used parts of the Victorian porch on the restoration.

  6. By William J Camp on Jul 16, 2015

    What a great website.

    I am a descendant of John Camp, Sr. through Phineas Camp (who incidentally lived to be within a day of 100 years and is buried in Utica NY, of which he was one of the founders when he left Durham). I am also descended from the Parmalees (and I am sure many other Durham founders). Anyway, I was amazed at how many homes I could find in Durham that my ancestors built and/or occupied. I have never visited Durham, but now have to!!!

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