The community of Southport in the town of Fairfield has two historic railroad stations (one eastbound and one westbound) on the New Haven Line of the Metro-North Railroad (originally a line of the the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad). The older of the two is the eastbound station, built in 1884 to replace an earlier railroad depot destroyed in a fire. It is typical of the brick stations that were built in Connecticut in the 1880s, but with more than usual attention to its decorative roof that reflects the High Victorian Gothic and Eastlake styles. No longer used as a station, the building is now home to Paci Restaurant. Read the rest of this entry »
A house that dsisplays an excellent example of Eastlake-style decorative woodwork is located at 29 Old Hamburg Road in the Hamburg Bridge area of Lyme. The house was built c. 1798-1804, but acquired its elaborate trim when Henry B. Sisson bought the property in 1867 for $300. Sisson, one of Lyme’s most prominent citizens, was a merchant and served in the state assembly and as town treasurer for 21 years.
Part of a row of historic buildings on Chapel Street in New Haven are two structures with Queen Anne and Eastlake design elements. Located at nos. 841-843 and 845-847, both were built in 1878. They are currently owned by the Young Men’s Institute and the second and third floors at 847 Chapel Street (above no. 845) are the current home of the Institute Library, founded in 1826. Just west is the Optical Building, at 849 Chapel Street, built in 1912 and designed by Leoni Robinson. To the east is the English Building at 837-839 Chapel Street, named for Henry F. English. It was built in 1882, but after a fire a new Renaissance Revival facade by Leoni Robinson was installed in 1898.
The Isaac C. Lewis Cottage (although it’s much bigger than what people think of as a cottage!) is located at 255 Thimble Island Road in the Stony Creek section of Branford. It is an impressive eclectic Victorian house with an outstanding variety of detail that features elements of the Gothic Revival, Second Empire, Eastlake, and Stick styles. It was built as a seaside cottage for Isaac Chauncey Lewis (1812-1893), president of the Meriden Britannia Company and one of Connecticut’s leading industrialists. The cottage was designed by the architect Henry Martin Jones (1828-1908), who had also designed Lewis’s much larger house in Meriden. The cottage was shifted about a hundred feet east, from one side of its lot to the other, in 1917. Read the rest of this entry »
Camp meetings, religious revival meetings where parishioners would set up their carts and tents around a central preaching platform, were once a vital feature of frontier American Protestant Evangelicalism in the nineteenth century. Participants, freed from their daily routines, could attend the almost continuous services that often lasted several days. While Presbyterians and Baptists sponsored camp meetings, these religious gatherings came to be particularly associated with the Methodist denomination. Methodists soon introduced the camp meeting, originally a western phenomenon that flourished before the Civil War, to the east.
The New Haven District of the Methodist Church founded a campground for summer revival meetings in the west end of Plainville (320 Camp Street) in 1865. Methodist camp meetings would continue to be held there every summer until 1957. Initially tents were pitched around a central platform. Soon the Association Building was constructed, where equipment could be stored. Individual churches then began constructing 2-story cottages facing the center of the Campground, along what is known as The Circle. Nineteen of these central cottages survive today. Individual families also began to build their own cottages on the narrow avenues radiating from The Circle, replacing the tents of the campground‘s early years. Most of the cottages date from the 1880s to 1910, although a few were constructed as late as 1925. The present Auditorium building was built around 1905 in place of the original preaching platform. At one time a screened pavilion, the Auditorium is now open to the outside. The Plainville Campground Association purchased the property from the Methodists in 1957. 87 of the cottages are now private residences, the other 39 being owned by various churches. A few of the cottages have been modified for year-round use, while the rest are occupied in the summer. I have additional photos of the Campground: Read the rest of this entry »
At 77 West Town Street in Lebanon is a house built c. 1880 by Isaac Gillette. He was a delegate to the state Constitutional Convention in 1902. Pin Oak seedlings were distributed to each delegate to plant in his home town. Gillette planted his in his front yard, where the Constitution Oak (not pictured above) still grows today.
At 28 Channing Street in New London is a large house that is transitional from the Stick Style to the Queen Anne style. It also has an Eastlake-style porch and different types of siding for each floor. It was built in 1890 by the Bishop Brothers, a firm of contractors and builders. One of the partners was Henry Bishop, whose daughter Mary married Nathan A. Woodworth, who ran a paper manufacturing company. They were the house‘s first residents. The house was later (by 1901) the home of John B. Leahy, of J.B. Leahy & Company, wholesale liquor dealers at 36 Bank Street.