Ichabod Cottage (1795)

July 27th, 2017 Posted in Houses, Ledyard, Vernacular

The village of Gales Ferry in Ledyard is named for Roger Gale, who from 1759 to 1764 owned the ferry there that crossed the Connecticut River. One of his successors was John Allyn, Jr., who owned the ferry rights from 1774 to 1793. He then built the cottage at 54 Hurlbutt Road in 1795. After his death in 1798, the cottage passed to his widow, Priscilla. In 1804, she leased her property to James Eldrege, who who eventually purchased it in 1806. According to tradition, the house was used as a training school by Commodore Stephen Decatur during the blockade of New London in 1813-1814. Ichabod and Dorcas Babcock bought the cottage in 1815. Ichabod Babcock (1758-1848) was a veteran of the Revolutionary War. Their daughter Caroline married Stephen Gray, who built the house next door in 1842. Thomas Latham acquired both houses in 1863 and later rented the 1795 house, which he called “Ichabod Cottage,” to various tenants. Latham, a teacher, may have used the cottage for his private school. The building now has dormer windows, which were added sometime in the twentieth century.

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