Tower House (1875)

January 11th, 2017 Posted in Berlin, Houses, Industrial, Second Empire | No Comments »

The unusual building at 926-940 Farmington Avenue in Kensington was built c. 1875 by the brothers, Augustine F. Wooding and Ralph A. Wooding. They started a business making dog collars, later expanding to harness trimmings and saddlery hardware. In the 1896, they built a dam and pond and were granted a contract to supply water to trains on the New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad. The building’s tower was then erected to serve as a water tower. Known as the Tower House, in later years the building was used as apartments. Read the rest of this entry »

Rufus C. Shepard House (1847)

January 10th, 2017 Posted in Greek Revival, Houses, Old Saybrook | No Comments »

The Greek Revival house at 83 Old Boston Post Road in Old Saybrook was built in 1847 by Rufus C. Shepard, a deacon of the Congregational Church who served as County Commissioner and Representative in the state legislature.

Arthur-Comstock House (1848)

January 9th, 2017 Posted in Gothic, Houses, Ledyard | No Comments »

Much altered over the years, the house at 20 Hurlbutt Road in Gales Ferry Village in Ledyard was built in 1848 by Ralph Arthur, who soon sold it to Henry Comstock (1811-1854). A whaling captain, Comstock departed on the Louisa Beaton in 1853 on what would be his final voyage. He died of “African fever” at Ascension Island on March 23, 1854.

Waterbury Assembly of God (1900)

January 8th, 2017 Posted in Churches, Gothic, Naugatuck | No Comments »

Waterbury Assembly of God is a church located at 101 Prospect Street in Naugatuck. The church was built c. 1900. I think it may have been built originally as a Baptist Church, as described in History of Waterbury and the Naugatuck Valley, Connecticut, Vol. I (1918), by William J. Pape:

Among the citizens living in the Salem society soon after 1800 were a number of Baptists, who first worshipped in the church in Waterbury. In October, 1817, sixty persons living in Salem, Prospect and Bethany were set off from the Waterbury society to organize a new church in the localities indicated. Two meeting-houses were built, one on Fulling Mill Brook, and by December 22, 1819, the second was organized in the Straitsville locality.

It is the one on Fulling Mill Brook which later became the Naugatuck Baptist Church, with a fine church edifice on Prospect Street, in Union City.

William H. Thompson House (1850)

January 7th, 2017 Posted in East Windsor, Greek Revival, Houses | No Comments »

William Howe Thompson (1813-1901) acquired his father’s farm in the village of Melrose in East Windsor after his marriage to Huldah Chapin (1818-1897) in 1836. There he erected a Greek Revival farmhouse in 1850 (219 Melrose Road). Thompson had an office in the wing of his home from which he managed his various farms. He was also a civic leader, serving as selectman and tax assessor in East Windsor and as a representative in the state legislature in 1861-1862. Deacon Thompson was also one of the founders of the Broad Brook Congregational Church. Shortly before his death Thompson sold the farm to his neighbor, John Pease. In 1957 the farm passed from the Pease to the Smigiel family, which grew tobacco. Today the property survives as a particularly well-preserved example of a Connecticut River Valley farmstead, with associated nineteenth-century barn, tobacco shed and pumphouse.

Ebenezer Dayton House (1730)

January 6th, 2017 Posted in Bethany, Colonial, Houses | No Comments »

The house at 388 Amity Road in Bethany was built c. 1730. Its earliest known owner, c. 1780, is Ebenezer Dayton, a privateer of the Revolutionary War. A dramatic robbery took place in this house in 1780. The robbery was planned at the Turel Whittemore Tavern in Seymour. The incident is described by John Warner Barber in Connecticut Historical Collections (1836):

On the night following the 14th of March, 1780, the house of Capt. Ebenezer Dayton, then residing in this place, was broken into and robbed by seven men, who were tories, and headed by a British officer, from Long Island. Mr. Dayton’s house was situated nearly opposite where the first meeting house in Bethany was erected, about half a mile south of the present Congregational church, and about ten miles N. W. of New Haven.

The particulars of this robbery, were obtained from the Rev. Mr. Dayton, son of Capt. Dayton, mentioned above. Mr. Dayton, who belonged to Long Island, was on account of his attachment to the American cause, obliged to leave that island, and bring his effects with him to Bethany. A number of men, some of his neighbors, were obliged to leave the island for the same cause, and brought a considerable quantity of money with them, and for a while resided in Mr. Dayton’s house. With these facts, the robbers appear to have become acquainted. At the time of the robbery, Mr. Dayton was absent on business at Boston, and the men who had been staying in the house, had left the day before, so that there was no one in the house but his wife, Mrs. Phebe Dayton, three small children and two servant colored children. About midnight while they were all asleep, the window in the bedroom where Mrs. Dayton was sleeping, was burst in at once, seven armed men rushed in, passed through the room and immediately rushed into the chambers, expecting (it is supposed,) to find the men who had left the day before. While they were up stairs, Mrs. Dayton went to the front part of the house, raised the window and endeavored to alarm the neighbors. Mr. Hawley, the minister of the parish, and Dr. Hooker, the physician of the place, both lived within 20 rods distance; both had lights in their houses at the time, and both heard the alarm, but did not know from whence it proceeded. The robbers hearing Mrs. Dayton, came down, and tearing a sheet into strips tied her hands behind her, made her sit in a chair and placed her infant (about six months old,) in her lap, while one of the robbers placing the muzzle of his gun near her head, kept her in this position for about two hours, while the house was thoroughly ransacked from top to bottom. They found about 450 pounds in gold and silver, which belonged to Mr. Dayton, besides other valuable articles; what they could not conveniently carry off they wantonly destroyed, breaking in pieces all the crockery, furniture, &tc. The whole amount of property carried off and destroyed, including bonds, notes, &c. amounted to five thousand pounds.

The robbers left the house about 2 o’clock and went to a place in Middlebury, called Gunn town, where they were secreted in a cellar by a family who were friendly to the British cause. While they were on their way to Gunn town, they met a young man by the name of Chauncey Judd of Waterbury, on a bridge, who had been to see the young lady he afterwards married. Fearing he might discover them, they took him along with them. In the cellar kitchen where they were all secreted, there was a well. Into this well they talked of putting Mr. Judd; but the old lady of the house begged they would not think of it, as it would spoil the water. They stayed in this house a number of days: afterwards they went to Oxford, where they were secreted for several days longer in a barn; from thence they went to Stratford, took a whale boat and crossed over to Long Island. The people at Derby, having received information of their passing through that place two whale boats and crews, commanded by Capt. William Clarke and Capt. James Harvey, pursued them to the Island, and were fortunate enough to catch them all but one, just within the British lines. They were brought back, tried condemned and sent to Newgate; they however, broke prison and finally fled to Nova Scotia.

In the 1830s the house was owned by Colonel Elihu Sanford. In 1929 the house was moved 300 feet north of its original location to its current address.

Nicholas Vincent House (1842)

January 5th, 2017 Posted in Folk Victorian, Houses, Norwalk, Vernacular | No Comments »

Nicholas Vincent, New York ship builder, erected the house at 184 Rowayton Avenue in Rowayton, Norwalk in 1842 for his son John R. Vincent. The house next door was built the same year for his daughter, Catherine. John R. Vincent was a ship carpenter who also owned a livery stable and a saloon.