On December 31, 1894, a fire in Southport destroyed the commercial/tenement building at the corner of Main Street and Harbor Road in Southport. Known as the Hall Block (possibly built in 1874), it was soon rebuilt in the Italianate style, with shops on the first floor and apartments above. The building, located at 252 Main Street with a flatiron form, was later altered converted in the Colonial Revival style into condominiums.
The house at 72 Welton Hill Road in Roxbury was thought to have been built c. 1790 by the Welton family, which owned land in the eastern part of Roxbury for many years. According to Homes of Old Woodbury (1959), by the early nineteenth century the house was owned by Eleazer Welton, whose widow, Nancy M. Wlton, left it to their son, William Welton. He deeded it to a later Eleazer Welton in 1873. The book Roxbury Place-name Stories: Facts, Folklore, Fibs (2009), by Jeannine Green, dates the house to 1830 and speculates there may have been only one Eleazer Welton. After his first wife Nancy died, he left their son William with her father Syrenus Ward. Eleazer married his second wife, Adelia, in 1849 and his son William was probably quitclaiming his rights in the house in 1873.
The house at 23 Hurlbutt Road in Gales Ferry, Ledyard was built c. 1899 by Adelbert V. Alexander, a carpenter, on land he had acquired from Simeon A. Bailey in 1892. It is said that Alexander also built the nearby Alfred Rogers House, 2 Maple Corners Road, and then built his own house as a mirror image, with the same floor plan in reverse. Rufus W. Hurlbutt, whose family’s farm once covered most of the area of Gales Ferry Village, bought the house in 1920.
Ammi Culver, who owned a brickyard on the banks of the Quinnipiac River, built the house at 290 Quinnipiac Avenue in North Haven in 1857. After his death in 1865, his widow Delia lived their with her children, Benjamin and Martha, and Samuel Sackett, her second husband. Martha Culver (1864-1926) married Frank Smith, but soon divorced him. After traveling for some years, she lived the rest of her life in her old family home in North Haven. She later willed her house and land to the the town, stipulating that the property be used as a community gathering place that would include a library and recreational fields. The Montowese branch of the North Haven Public Library was located in the house for many years. Today Martha Culver Memorial is preserved by the North Haven Historical Society as a house museum and also contains the Brockett collection of early farm tools and equipment.
One of the historic buildings located at Mill Hill Historic Park in Norwalk is the Downtown District Schoolhouse, a one-room school erected in 1826. The schoolhouse originally stood near what was then an intersection of Willow Street and East Avenue. East Norwalk was known as the “Down Town” district until the late nineteenth century. The building was used as a school until 1876 and was later used as a residence. The building was moved several times over the years, settling at Mill Hill when Interstate 95 was built through East Norwalk.
The Greek Revival house at 1104 Main Street in South Coventry dates to circa 1820. By 1857 it was the property of the owners of the D & W Huntington silk mill, located along Mill Brook. It was later the home of Dr. Henry S. Dean (1823-1898). Born in Holland, Massachusetts, Dr. Dean, a graduate of Jefferson Medical School in Philadelphia, practiced medicine in South Coventry and surrounding towns for forty years. In a 1912 poem celebrating the two hundredth anniversary of the First Congregational Church in South Coventry, Forrest Morgan honored the late doctor:
Not cold in our hearts the physician, best brother in homes beyond name.
Whose face that the kind soul illumined bore healing wherever it came;
Who not seldom gave life to the new-born, kept sickness a lifetime at bay.
Then closed the cold eyelids forever and paid the last rites to the clay.
Happy Easter! Granby‘s South Congregational Church was organized on Salmon Brook Street in 1872. Originally called the Congregational Society of Salmon Brook, it met in a hall on the second floor of a building erected for the Granby Library Association in 1869. This structure, later also used as a Town House, burned down in 1917. While one newspaper editor suggested that it was time for the South Church to merge with Granby’s First Congregational Church, this notion conflicted with local beautification plans aimed at developing Salmon Brook as an ideal New England village. The Church and the Town worked together to erect a complex of four community buildings in the Colonial Revival style: the new Church, the Church’s Community House (also available to local groups not affiliated with the Church), a schoolhouse and a library. The 1918 Church was designed by the H. Wales Lines Company of Meriden. The gable-roofed, transverse section at the rear, designed by Carl R. Blanchard, Jr. of New Haven, was added in 1950.