Colonel Joshua Huntington (1751-1821), a merchant and ship owner, occupied the house at 11 Huntington Lane in Norwich, built for him by his father, Jabez Huntington, in 1771. During the Revolution Joshua Huntington served as a Lieutenant in the militia at Bunker Hill. He also outfitted privateers to attack British ships. He was an agent for Wadsworth & Carter of Hartford, engaged in supplying the French army at Newport with provisions, and he had charge of the prizes sent by the French navy to Connecticut. He is described by Lydia Huntley Sigourney in Letters of Life (1866):
Colonel Joshua Huntington had one of the most benign countenances I ever remember to have seen. His calm, beautiful brow was an index of his temper and life. Let who would be disturbed or irritated, he was not the man. He regarded with such kindness as the Gospel teaches the whole human family. At his own fair fireside, surrounded by loving, congenial spirits, and in all social intercourse, he was the same serene and revered Christian philosopher.
The house at 82 Green Hill Road, on the north side of the Washington Town Green, was erected in 1790 by Samuel Leavitt, who is said to have made enough money in one year dealing in cattle and hogs to build it [this may be the Samuel Leavitt whose son, John Wheeler Leavitt, became a prominent New York City businessman and grandfather of artist Cecilia Beaux]. The house passed to his son William and then to Simeon Mitchell, who changed the original roof to a mansard in 1867. It was changed to the current gambrel roof by Edwin Fickes, who purchased the house in 1940. Fickes’ daughter Harriet Webb Fickes married Donald W. Chadwick and they are the owners listed for the house in the 1975 Report of the Historic District Study Commission.
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”).