Albert F. Rockwell House (1876)

January 15th, 2008 Posted in Bristol, Houses, Queen Anne


Clifford S. Brown was the first owner of an 1876 Queen Anne-style house on Summer Street in Bristol, which was designed by Joel T. Case. Case’s houses are known for having unusual features, with this example having a square corner tower, uncommon for the Queen Anne style. The house was later sold to the inventor Alfred F. Rockwell, who lived there with his wife Nettie. He would later build a large mansion in Bristol, called Brightwood, which has since been destroyed.

Born in Woodhull, New York, Albert Fenimore Rockwell worked at various trades in different places, including several years in Florida in the fruit and hardware businesses. Leaving Florida because of yellow fever, he came to Bristol in 1888 and, in the next year, founded the New Departure Manufacturing Company with his brother Edward. Originally set up to produce a new doorbell based on clockworks, Rockwell’s company would become very successful making bicycle lamps and coaster brakes, which Rockwell patented with Harry P. Townsend. Later, New Departure became the world’s largest producer of ball bearings. Rockwell also produced various automobiles between 1908 and 1911, including the Rockwell taxicab and various Houpt-Rockwell models. In 1913, he was ousted from New Departure, which later became part of General Motors, but went on to purchase the Marlin Firearms Company, manufacturing Marlin-Rockwell machine guns and automatic rifles during the First World War. Before his death in 1925, he donated land for the city to build what is now called the Memorial Boulevard Middle School, on the road called Memorial Boulevard. He also donated the land for Rockwell Park.

  1. 2 Responses to “Albert F. Rockwell House (1876)”

  2. By Ryan on Dec 11, 2008

    This house is now owned by a vintage Limousine company called Timeless Classics LLC. The website estimates its value at $307,000, lists it as having 8 bedrooms, 5 baths, and about 4,500 sq. ft. of living space.

    I am unable to find anything else out about this home, but I wonder if the Bristol city council would have anything like a blueprint for this?

  3. By Tyler on Jun 20, 2015

    i think the Cloutiers lived there or still live there

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