St. John the Baptist Ukrainian Catholic Church (1902)

June 28th, 2015 Posted in Churches, Glastonbury, Victorian Eclectic | No Comments »

St John the Baptist Ukrainian Catholic Church

In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Grove Street in Glastonbury was the home to a diverse immigrant community that included Germans, Poles and Ukrainians. Many residents worked nearby at the Williams Brothers Silver Company. A German Lutheran Church, built on Grove Street in 1902, became St. John The Baptist Ukrainian Catholic Church in 1925. The area was redeveloped in the 1970s and the church was in the path of a new road linking Main Street and the New London Turnpike. In 1973, developer David MacClain was given approval for a residential project to be built across from his Glen Lochen Marketplace (completed 1975). His proposal included providing a new home for the church at the corner of a new Grove Street. He only charged the church for moving fees that were within the $45,000 the Redevelopment Agency had paid for the building. The church was moved to its current address at 26 New London Turnpike early in 1974.

Sources: “Ukrainian Church, a Landmark, Seen Surviving Redevelopment,” by George Graves (Hartford Courant, August 19, 1973); “Redevelopment Agency Vows To Keep Church,” by George Graves (Hartford Courant, September 28, 1973); “Ukrainian Church Expected To Be Relocated This Week,” (Hartford Courant, February 10, 1974).

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Elisha Stevens House (1863)

June 27th, 2015 Posted in Cromwell, Houses, Italianate | No Comments »

385 Main St., Cromwell

The Italianate house at 385 Main Street in Cromwell was built circa 1863 and once had a stuccoed brownstone exterior that was incised to resemble dressed masonry. The house has many high style decorative features. The front veranda dates to the later nineteenth century. The house was built by Elisha Stevens, who founded J. & E. Stevens with his brother John in 1843. The company produced toys and hardware and Elisha Stevens became very wealthy. In 1869 he started a new company with toy designer George W. Brown called Stevens & Brown. The company failed in 1874 and a bankrupt Stevens had to sell the house. In 1875 it was acquired by Osbourn Coe, a Middlefield farmer, who occupied it until his death in 1899. The house is currently part of a large health care facility and is connected to modern additions.

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Alfred W. Woodbridge House (1897)

June 26th, 2015 Posted in East Hartford, Houses, Queen Anne | No Comments »

Woodbridge House

The house at 1422 Main Street in East Hartford was built in 1897 by Alfred Ward Woodbridge. He owned land nearby and sold off building lots along what would be called Woodbridge Avenue.

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Somers Inn (1804)

June 25th, 2015 Posted in Greek Revival, Hotels, Somers | No Comments »

Somers Inn

The Somers Inn, 585 Main Street in Somers, originally opened in 1804 as the Kibbe Hotel (some sources indicate 1768, which may have been an earlier building on the site). It was run by Warren Kibbe and then by George Kibbe. The building started as a Federal-style structure with a hip roof, but it was remodeled around 1860 as a Greek Revival building. In 1931 it became Ye Olde Homestead Inn, run by Alphonse and Hilda Joerg and George and Emily Schiessl. In the early 1960s was renamed The Somers Inn. The historic property, which has not offered lodgings in many years, has been a popular restaurant. It was recently sold and reopened in April as the Cooper House Tavern.

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Westport Library (1908)

June 24th, 2015 Posted in Libraries, Neoclassical, Westport | No Comments »

Westport Library

The Westport Reading Room and Library Association was founded in 1886 and was initially located on the second floor of the Hurlbutt Block. In 1896 Ambrose S. Hurlbutt generously reduced the lease and the Library moved to the first floor. It also started a building fund to construct its own home across the street. Morris Ketchum Jesup, a New York City banker and philanthropist, who was born in Westport in 1830, donated land and funding for the new building, which was dedicated on April 8, 1908. The building fund was then redirected to the endowment and acquisition of new books. The library grew and a new wing facing the Saugatuck River was added in 1956. Eventually a new Westport Public Library building was opened adjacent to Jesup Green on the Saugatuck River in 1986. In 2013 the Westport Library dropped the word “Public” from its name. The former library building on Post Road East is now used as retail and office space.

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J. O. & T. W. Wheeler House (1843)

June 23rd, 2015 Posted in Houses, North Stonington, Vernacular, Victorian Eclectic | No Comments »

104 Main St., North Stonington

Built in 1843 (or perhaps c. 1860) for two blacksmiths, the house at 104 Main Street in North Stonington is a vernacular residence with Victorian-era embellishments. John Own Wheeler (1818-1900) and Thomas William Wheeler (1822-1900) (who may have been a laborer and not a blacksmith) were sons of Jesse Wheeler (1786-1852), who was also a blacksmith.

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Horatio H. Abbe House (1865)

June 22nd, 2015 Posted in East Hampton, Greek Revival, Houses, Italianate | No Comments »

15 Main St., East Hampton

In 1865, Horatio H. Abbe (1829-1902) of East Hampton built the Greek Revival-style north section of the house at 15 Main Street. The following year, Abbe was one of the founders of the Gong Bell Company, which manufactured bell toys and other metal toys. Around 1871, reflecting his growing prosperity, Abbe added the Italianate-style south section of the house, which includes a tower and veranda. As related in an obituary of Abbe that appeared in The Iron Age (Vol. LXX, September 11, 1902), Abbe was born in Enfield.

He was married January 26, 1853, to Miss Laura A. Hayes. After engaging in business with a brother he went to East Hampton July 31, 1862, beginning his business life there as a machinist in the employ of Markham & Strong.

January 1, 1866, he, with E. C. Barton, Ezra G. Cone and A. H. Conklin, formed the partnership of the Gong Bell Mfg. Company for the manufacture of the Abbe Gong Door Bell, of which Mr. Abbe was the inventor. This business relationship continued harmoniously and without a break for 33 years, or until the death of Ezra G. Cone, in 1898, when a joint stock company were incorporated, of which Mr. Abbe became the president and Mr. Conkiin secretary and treasurer.

Mr. Abbe was widely known in Masonic circles, of which he was a thirty-second degree member, he being prominently connected with a number of lodges and commanderies. The funeral services were held at his late residence, the interment being at Enfield, Conn.

Mr. Abbe is mourned by those who were intimately associated with him as an honored citizen and one whose generosity, loyalty and genial ways endeared him to a Iarge circle of friends and acquaintances.

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