Peters House (1795)

May 3rd, 2011 Posted in Federal Style, Hebron, Houses

The Late Georgian, or Federal style, Peters House, at 150 East Street in Hebron, consists of two sections. The vernacular rear ell was built in the mid-eighteenth century and was home to enslaved African-American residents Caesar and Lowis Peters. They were owned by loyalist Rev. Samuel Peters, who fled Hebron in 1774 to live in England. Cesar was left to tend to the property, which was later seized by the State of Connecticut. After the Revolutionary War, Rev. Peters, still in England, sold off his American assets, Cesar and his wife and children being sold to David Prior of South Carolina. In 1787, Prior and his men came to take the family, who were then rescued by a group of Hebron men, who used the pretext that Cesar owed money to a local tailor as a way to rescue him and his family. In 1789, Cesar and his family were freed by the Connecticut General Assembly and, the following year, Cesar Peters sued David Prior for damages, although he later dropped the suit. The front part of the house was probably built by Jonathan Peters, Rev. Peter’s brother, around 1795. The house, which remained a single family home until 1967, was acquired by the Town of Hebron in 2004. The surrounding land became a recreational facility, but the house was in need of restoration. In recent years there were debates about the future of the house, which was recently added to the Connecticut Freedom Trail. Local residents and descendants of Lois and Cesar Peters urged that the building be restored as a historic site. The town has since received a $200,000 grant from the state for restorations and a film about Cesar and Lowis Peters, Testimonies of a Quiet New England Town, has recently been released.

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