St. John-Ashwell House (1742)

August 12th, 2011 Posted in Colonial, Houses, New Canaan

In 1742, Jonathan Huested purchased a newly built house, on what is now Park Street in New Canaan, from Henry Inman. The house was next owned by Lt. David St. John. It was later home to the Lieutenant’s granddaughter, Hannah, who married the Congregational minister, Rev. Theophilus Smith in 1831. Her brother, Dr. Samuel St. John, was born in the house in 1813. A notable scientist, he was a professor at the Western Reserve College in Ohio and later the Cleveland Medical College. He later returned to New Canaan, serving for twenty years as Professor of Chemistry at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of New York, and lived in a house across from the old St. John House. A few months before his death, he gave a Historical Address in the Congregational Church on the Centennial, July 4, 1876. The old house remained in St. John family until it was sold to Helen M. Ashwell in 1919. The entrance was originally on the north side, but the current front door faces Park Street.

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