North Guilford Congregational Church (1814)

November 22nd, 2015 Posted in Churches, Federal Style, Guilford | No Comments »

North Guilford Congregational Church

Guilford farmers began clearing land in the north part of town in 1705. As related in A History of the Plantation of Menunkatuck and of the Original Town of Guilford, Connecticut, Comprising the Present Towns of Guilford and Madison (1897) by Bernard Christian Steiner:

on December 6, 1716, the town voted to grant the petition of the “North Farmers in Guilford,” that they may have “the liberty to hire a minister for 4 months for their ease in attending the worship of God, the Town being at no charge in contributing to the same.”

In 1720 the town

granted 50 acres on Hooker’s Hill “to be disposed for the ministry forever,” and permitted the meetinghouse to be set” on the hill called the ledge, in the highway against Sam’l Bishop’s lot.”

The first meeting house on Mettinghouse Hill was built in 1723 and a separate religious society was granted by the General Assembly in 1725. The current North Guilford Congregational Church building was erected in 1812-1814. Workmen erecting the steeple during the War of 1812 observed British ships on Long Island Sound during the Battle of Stonington. Abraham Coan of Guilford was the architect/builder of the Federal-style church, which stands in a dramatic location on Meetinghouse Hill. The interior was remodeled and the Chancel was added in 1855, possibly to a design by Henry Austin. A rear addition to the church was constructed in 1957.

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Frederick A. Fowler House (1848)

November 21st, 2015 Posted in Guilford, Houses, Italianate | No Comments »

Frederick A. Fowler House

The Italianate house at 49 Church Street in Guilford was built c. 1848 by Frederick A. Fowler. He was married to Laura Brooks, sister of Captain Oliver N. Brooks, who also lived at the house for a time. Captain Brooks was the lighthouse keeper at Faulkner’s Island from 1851 to 1882. He was described in Forest and Stream (Vol. LXXX, No. 8, January 18, 1913):

It was a piece of heroism performed on the night of Nov. 23, 1858, that caused Captain Brooks to be spoken of as the “Hero of 1858.” That night the schooner Moses F. Webb went ashore in a heavy gale on Goose Island, not far from Faulkner’s Island. Captain Brooks, disregarding the weather, put out to the stranded vessel in an open boat, and safely took off the five men of the crew. This feat was widely heralded. The Life Saving Benevolent Association of New York presented him a gold medal and the citizens of New Haven gave him a purse of gold.

Captain Brooks was known to every Connecticut ornithologist of thirty years ago as a careful observer of birds, and as possessing in his home at the lighthouse a collection of birds of unusual interest. His name has been quoted in many a list of Connecticut birds during the last forty or fifty years.

Captain Brooks was a delightful man, full of stories of his experiences and observations. He was twice a member of the Connecticut General Assembly.

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Richard Cruttenden House (1849)

November 20th, 2015 Posted in Greek Revival, Guilford, Houses | No Comments »

Richard Cruttenden House

Much altered over the years, the house at 65 Fair Street in Guilford was built in 1849 by Richard Cruttenden. He was descended from Abraham Cruttenden, one of the original settlers of Guilford.

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Dr. Davis S. Brooks House (1790)

November 19th, 2015 Posted in Colonial, Guilford, Houses | No Comments »


The house at 2864 Long Hill Road in North Guilford was built in 1790. It was the home of Dr. David S. Brooks. He married Annis Benton (b. 1764). Dr. Brooks delivered “An eulogy on the Death of George Washington,” at Guilford on February 22, 1800. The eulogy was published in New York in 1823. A facsimile of the only known copy of this work was reprinted by the Blackstone Memorial Library in Branford in 1920. Dr. Brooks later moved to New York, where he died in January, 1826. His son, David B. Brooks, graduated from Yale and practiced medicine in Cromwell starting in 1819. He also later moved to New York where he died in 1830.

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Frances Johnson House (1923)

November 18th, 2015 Posted in Colonial Revival, Houses, Norwich | No Comments »

Frances Johnson House

The Colonial Revival house at 17 Broad Street in Norwich was built in 1923. Its first occupant was Mrs. Frances E. Leonard Johnson, widow of Robert C. Johnson, who had been Assistant treasurer at the Aspinook Company textile mill in Jewett City.

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Platt Farmhouse (1769)

November 17th, 2015 Posted in Colonial, Houses, Watertown | No Comments »

Platt Farmhouse

The country farmhouse at 189 Platt Road in Watertown was built in 1769. The earliest known owner of the house is Jonas Platt of Newtown, who moved to Watertown around 1800. The house later passed from Jonas’ son Hinman to Hinman’s son Henry, who added the front porch and rear addition in the 1880s. His son Edgar Platt sold the farm to the Hresko family, which owned it until 1977. The farmland was then developed as the Winding Brook subdivision. After several years of corporate ownership, the house again became a private residence. On the property is an English bank barn, built c. 1870.

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Lathrop-Mathewson-Ross House (1761)

November 16th, 2015 Posted in Colonial, Houses, Lisbon | No Comments »

Lathrop-Mathewson-Ross House

The Lathrop-Mathewson-Ross House is located on Ross Hill Road in Lisbon. It was built in 1761, possibly by Ezra Lathrop. Jeffery Mathewson acquired the property October 20, 1800. Almira J. Mathewson married George A. Ross, and their descendants owned the property until August 1958. Both Almira and then her daughter, Kate Mathewson Ross, kept diaries with daily entries covering 1873 to 1913. Victorian-era alterations were made to the house, including the addition of a projecting central gable over the front door and a full-length front porch. All of these additions were later removed under the direction of the famed restoration architect, Frederic Palmer. He worked with Edward Peace Friedland and Joan W. Friedland, who bought the Ross Farm in 1958. Edward Peace Friedland was an expert on eighteenth-century architecture and he and his wife were pioneers in historic preservation.

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