The Captain William Clark House at 45 Old Boston Post Road in Old Saybrook is thought to have been built c. 1780/1790, with later alterations made in the Greek Revival style in the 1850s when it was acquired by Thomas C. Acton. The house would become known as Acton Place. T. C. Acton (1823-1898) was a politician and reformer in New York City and was the first person to be appointed president of the city’s Board of Police Commissioners. During the early stages of the New York City Draft Riots in 1863, after police superintendent John A. Kennedy had been incapacitated due to a beating by the angry mob, Acton took active charge of police forces in Manhattan. This tense experience placed a strain on his health and after the Riots Acton took a five year leave of absence from the NYPD. He later served as Assistant U. S. Treasurer, a position he eventually left to establish the Bank of New Amsterdam. In 1896 Acton moved to his summer home in Old Saybrook where he died on May 1, 1898. The house remained in the Acton family well into the twentieth century.
Harmon B. Johnson
Union Army Private
Died For One Flag
March 8, 1865
Harmon B. Johnson served in the 15th Connecticut Infantry Regiment during the Civil War. His name is inscribed on the Soldiers’ Monument in Guilford under the heading “Fredericksburg.” The 15th Connecticut fought at Fredericksburg but Johnson was killed at the Battle of Wyse Fork, fought March 7-10, 1865 near Kinston, North Carolina. The house is now a condominium unit.
At 95 East Main Street in Clinton is a Federal-style house built in 1807 by Edward Wright, Sr. and later inherited by his eldest son, Edward Wright, Jr. His middle of three sons, born in this house, was Horatio Gouverneur Wright. He was a West Point graduate who achieved the rank of general during the Civil War. After the death of Gen. John Sedgwick (also from Connecticut) during the Overland Campaign of 1864, Gen. Wright replaced him as the 6th Corps Commander. He later led VI Corps in the Shenandoah Valley and at the Siege of Petersburg. Since 2002, the house has been the M. Sarba Fine Art Café.
Memorial Hall in Windsor Locks was dedicated in 1890 in honor of the town’s Civil War veterans. Funds for the building‘s construction were provided by Charles E. Chaffee, a textile manufacturer. Soldiers Memorial Hall originally housed the J.H. Converse Post, No. 67, Grand Army of the Republic. The Post, formed in 1884, was named for Major Joseph H. Converse, who was killed in action at the Battle of Cold Harbor, on June 4, 1864. Memorial Hall was designed by Frederick S. Newman in the Richardsonian Romanesque style (Newman also designed the Linden apartments in Hartford and the Chicopee Bank in Springfield) The museum inside the Hall now honors Windsor Locks veterans of all wars and the building hosts the town’s American Legion post. Memorial Hall is open to visitors by guided tour. Read the rest of this entry »
Allen G. Brady, who operated a cotton mill in Torrington, served as a major in the Seventeenth Connecticut Regiment in the Civil War. At the Battle of Gettysburg, Brady took command of the Regiment after the death of Lt. Col. Douglas Fowler during the fighting at Barlow’s Knoll on July 1, 1863. The following day, Brady was wounded in the shoulder. After the War, Brady had a house built on Prospect Street in Torrington, which was at that time a residential area. He later moved to North Carolina to run a rebuilt cotton mill. The Gleeson Mortuary has used the house since 1927.
William Alfred Buckingham was the governor of Connecticut from 1858 to 1866. A wealthy businessman, he entered politics as a Whig, serving several terms as mayor of Norwich. Buckingham later became a republican, winning election as governor in 1858. In 1860, he traveled with Abraham Lincoln as the Illinois Republican made six speeches throughout Connecticut. The two became friends and the governor responded quickly when Lincoln, as president, requested volunteers after the firing on Fort Sumter. Buckingham served throughout the ensuing Civil War, leaving the governorship in 1866 to return to his former business pursuits. He later served as a U.S. senator from 1869 until his death in 1875. Buckingham‘s house, on Main Street in Norwich, was built in 1847. After his death, it was purchased by the veterans group, Sedgwick Post No. 1 of the Grand Army of the Republic. The house, thereafter known as the Buckingham Memorial, has more recently been turned over to the Norwich Historical Society for use as offices and perhaps, in the future, a museum.
The Italianate house of Daniel Hand, at 47 Fair Street in Guilford, was built in 1878-1879 by the builders George W. Seward and Sons. Daniel Hand, born in Madison, was a businessman and philanthropist, who died in 1891 at the age of ninety. Please Read on to learn more about what happened to Hand during the Civil War and his act of generosity 25 years later: