James Johnston, Jr. House (1907)

June 20th, 2017 Posted in American Foursquare, East Hartford, Houses, Shingle Style | No Comments »

James Johnston, Jr. had a long career at the Aetna Fire Insurance Company of Hartford, starting in 1902. Listed as a stenographer in 1909, by the mid-1930s he was agency supervisor of the company’s the southern department. Johnston’s 1907 house, an example of the American Foursquare house form, is at 15 Elm Street in East Hartford. Johnston held a number of public offices in East Hartford, including city clerk, fire commissioner, and serving on the board of education. According to an article that appeared in the Hartford Courant, July 18, 1940, James Johnston of 15 Elm Street protested that he and several others had been ignored by the 1940 Census. An checkup reveled that the East Hartford division might have missed as many as 300 persons.

Ira Smith House (1791)

June 19th, 2017 Posted in Greek Revival, Houses, Prospect, Vernacular | No Comments »

Ira Smith of Prospect was born in 1757 at his family homestead on Cheshire Road in Prospect. He served fifteen months in the Revolutionary War, going in place of his father, who was drafted in 1777. Ira was a private in Capt. Jesse Kimball’s company of Col. John Chandler’s 8th Connecticut Regiment. He was at Peekskill, at Germantown, detached for the defense of Fort Mifflin, and at Valley Forge. Smith later applied for a pension, giving a deatailed account of his service. After returning home, Ira Smith built the house at 61 Cheshire Road in Prospect sometime between 1779, when he married Elizabeth Judson, and 1791, when his father, Ephriam Smith, gave him 35 acres of the family farm. Ira and Ephriam were among the founders of Prospect’s Congregational Church. Ira died in 1835 and his son, John Andrew Smith, lived in the home until he died in 1878. It was then purchased by the Plumb family, who today operate Plumb Farm Flowers.

St. James’s Episcopal Church, West Hartford (1962)

June 18th, 2017 Posted in Churches, Gothic, West Hartford | No Comments »

St. James Episcopal Church was organized in West Hartford in 1843. It was named St. James by Rev. Dr. George Burgess because St. John’s Church had just been erected in Hartford and Dr. Burgess felt that St. John’s brother, St. James, should also be honored. In 1855, the parish erected a church on the west side of Goodman Green. The congregation had limited growth for many years because West Hartford was long a rural community and most residents were members of the Congregational or Baptist churches. Many Episcopalians were drawn to St. John’s Church, which moved from Main Street in Hartford to Farmington Avenue, just across city line in West Hartford, in 1909. The congregation of St. James Church experienced rapid growth in the 1930s and 1940s and eventually outgrew its original church building. The parish soon undertook a three fold building program, purchasing a rectory in 19149, building a parish house in 1954 and constructing a new church, at 1018 Farmington Avenue, in 1962. The church was designed by Jeter and Cook of Hartford and Standard Builders was the general contractor.

Pierpont Store (1845)

June 17th, 2017 Posted in Commercial Buildings, Greek Revival, Italianate, North Haven | No Comments »

The building at 31 State Street in North Haven was built c. 1845 by Rufus Pierpont (1818-1855), adjacent to the 1795 Pierpont Homsetead, to serve as a general store. His son, Joseph Pierpont, continued the business, was operated by the family until 1942, when it closed during World War II due to a lack of help. A Greek Revival building, it was enlarged and remodeled in the Italianate style with a storefront on the west side and a side porch and projecting bay on the south side. These alterations were the work of Solomon Linsley, a Civil War veteran and local builder in North Haven.

Smith & Winchester Manufacturing Company (1908)

June 16th, 2017 Posted in Industrial, Italianate, Windham | No Comments »

The former factory complex of the Smith & Winchester Manufacturing Company, which produced paper making machinery, is located at 11 Machine Shop Hill Road in South Windham. The main building displays two dates: 1828 and 1908. The latter is probably the date that particular building was constructed. The former date is when Phelps & Spafford, the forerunners of Smith & Winchester, were first established in South Windsor. That company closed in 1837 and was sold to Charles Smith and Harvey Winchester. The company continued manufacturing through the 1960s.

689 Tolland Stage Road, Tolland (1820)

June 15th, 2017 Posted in Houses, Industrial, Tolland, Vernacular | No Comments »

The house at 689 Tolland Stage Road in Tolland was built c. 1820. It was originally located across the street, then called the Rockville Road. Around 1850, the lower level of the building was used as a workshop by Ira K. Marvin, who had settled in Tolland in 1820 and made carriages and wagons. In 1842 he had a serious illness and turned from carriage-making to farming. In 1851 he became a deacon of the Baptist Church. His son, Edwin, served in the Civil War and wrote the regimental history of the Fifth Connecticut.

Charles Wolcott House (1840)

June 14th, 2017 Posted in Greek Revival, Houses, Wethersfield | No Comments »

Dated to c. 1840-1850 (or perhaps as early as 1820), the hip-roofed house at 431 Wolcott Hill Road in Wethersfield was the home of Charles Wolcott [possibly Charles Wolcott (1819-1900)]. In the mid-twentieth century it was owned by William C. Stuart. The chimney has been move from its original position.