Hollister-Day Cottage (1872)

March 18th, 2017 Posted in Folk Victorian, Houses, Old Saybrook

One of the many lost homes of Hartford is the Barnabas Deane House, which once stood on Grove Street. Barnabas was the brother of Silas Deane of Wethersfield and he is said to built the house on instructions from his famous brother who ended up never returning from Europe to live in it. The house was later home to Nelson Hollister and then was occupied by The Open Hearth. While the Deane House was torn down in the 1920s to make room for a parking lot for the Hartford Club, another home owned by Mr. Hollister, who was a prominent businessman and the first treasurer of the Connecticut Valley Railroad, survives in the Borough of Fenwick in Old Saybrook. Located at 22 Fenwick Avenue, it was built by Hollister in 1872, making it one of the oldest cottages to be constructed in the Fenwick summer colony. In 1888, Hollister’s daughter sold the house to George H. Day of Hartford. Day made many additions to the house, but not always with a concern for aesthetic matters: he once built a second floor lavatory with exposed plumbing running down the house’s exterior! After c. 1917, the cottage served as an annex to the neighboring Riversea Inn. In 1949 it became a private residence again when it was sold to Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Jones, who were the first to make the cottage habitable year-round. You can read more about the cottage in Marion Hepburn Grant’s The Fenwick Story (Connecticut Historical Society, 1974), pages 76-78.

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