At 668-670 Harbor Road in Southport is a 1787 building that was significantly altered in later years. It may give the impression of being a nineteenth-century mansard-roofed commercial block, but the upper floors began as the homestead of Miah Perry. It was possibly altered and expanded in 1834. By that time the building displayed the influence of the Dutch Colonial style with two low-pitched gambrel roofs intersecting at the street corner. In the 1870s, the house was raised by Nehemiah Jennings to sit above a commercial section. In one part of the new ground floor Jennings ran a market and post office, while the other part contained the John Wood dry goods store. Miss Mary Allis (1899-1987) purchased the building in 1947 and refurbished it the following year. She had started renting space for her antiques store on the southeast corner in 1945. Mary Allis was a major figure in the world of folk-art collecting.
This the 3,000th post at Historic Buildings of Connecticut! That’s 3,000 great buildings throughout the state!
Medad Stone was born in Guilford in 1754 and later inherited his father’s tavern on the northwest corner of the Green. Stone was also part-owner of a stage company that carried public mail. Road conditions at the time were bad and in 1803 Stone and his partners petitioned the General Assembly to reroute the Boston Post Road. Confident that the alterations would be made, Stone built a large new tavern of Dutch Colonial design along the proposed route. Located in the West Side of Guilford (modern address 197 Three Mile Course), the tavern had fourteen rooms and ten fireplaces. Although Medad Stone battled for ten years to get his turnpike proposal accepted, the change was never made and the new tavern never opened. Stone, who died in 1815, began farming activities there, which were continued by Joel Davis, who bought the property from Stone’s daughter in 1843. His great-grandson Leonard Davis Hubbard (1909-2001) bequeathed the Tavern to the Guilford Keeping Society in 2001. It was restored to its 1803 appearance and was opened as a museum by the GKS, which also owns the Thomas Griswold House.
The house at 1344 Saybrook Road in Haddam was built around 1825 by George E. Bailey. It is a late example of a gambrel-roofed Cape house more common to the later eighteenth century. In 1828 he sold the house to Jonathan Dickinson (1792-1861), a shoemaker.
At 2 Riverside Place at Gales Ferry on the Thames River in Ledyard is a gambrel-roofed house built c. 1796 that is now connected to a much larger addition. The building is owned and operated by the Yale heavyweight crew team and is used to prepare for the nation’s oldest intercollegiate sporting event, the Harvard-Yale Regatta, known as The Race. Yale’s complex at Gales Ferry includes a boathouse. The 1796 house was built by Thomas Geer, who sold it to Capt. Alexander Allyn in 1799. It passed to his daughter Sarah, who married Norman B. Brown, Gales Ferry postmaster. It remained in the family until 1904. It was then acquired by George St. John Sheffield, a great benefactor of Yale rowing (and the son of Joseph Earl Sheffield), and the University purchased the property in 1907.
The house at 51 Main Street in Essex was built in 1803 by Thomas Millard, a shipcarver and housewright, and was the home of Felix Starkey from 1805 to 1856. Felix Starkey (1777-1856) was a merchant and the brother of Timothy Starkey. He married Esther Hayden. (The sign on the house reads “Timothy Starkey 1720″).
At 3171 Bronson Road in the Greenfield Hill section of Fairfield is a gambrel-roofed house built in 1757 by Rev. Seth Pomeroy. The son of Seth Pomeroy, a gunsmith and soldier from Northampton, Mass., who would serve in the Revolutionary War, Rev. Pomeroy, a graduate of Yale, served as the minister of the Greenfield Hill Congregational Church from 1757 until his death at the age of 37 in 1770. After Rev. Pomeroy died, the house was owned by Captain David Hubbell who used it as a store until it was purchased by Reverend William Belden, who served as pastor of the Greenfield Hill Church from 1812 to 1821. At one point the house served as an insurance office.
Dating to around 1800, the building at the corner of Bank and Pearl Streets in New London was part of the business operations of Jonathan Starr‘s family. Starr, who lived across the street, operated the Chester & Starr lumberyard and a grocery store at the site. According to the New London Heritage Trail plaque at the site: “Coffins and groceries both sold here.” The building now houses a restaurant and bar.