Seth Cowles (1763-1842), together with his four brothers, was a successful merchant in Farmington. When he died in 1842, his daughter Susan Cowles (1815-1894) inherited his homelot on Main Street in Farmington. Susan and her husband, Augustus Ward (1811-1883), originally from Massachusetts, removed the existing house and replaced it with the current residence, at 56 Main Street, around 1842. As related in Farmington, Connecticut, the Village of Beautiful Homes (1906):
Augustus Ward was born December 4, 1811. and died April 6, 1883. son of Comfort and Plumea Ward. He was a merchant in New Britain in its earlier days. Marrying a daughter of Mr. Seth Cowles in 1840, he removed to this village and built a new house on the site of the old Cowles mansion. He was a farmer, but had much to do with the Farmington Savings Bank after its organization in 1851, being one of its most able and efficient directors.
In 1891, Susan Cowles Ward sold the house to Henry R. Hatch of Ohio. Within a few days he sold it to Sarah Porter, headmistress of Miss Porter’s School. The house has been owned by the school ever since and is a dormitory called “Ward.” An addition was built in 1902. Read the rest of this entry »
The Thomas Hart Hooker House, on Main Street in Farmington, was built in 1770 by Judah Woodruff for Hooker, a descendant of Thomas Hooker and of Stephen Hart, one of the founders of Farmington. Hooker had married Sarah Whitman Hooker in 1769 and in 1773 they moved to what is now West Hartford. The house was later owned by Samuel Deming, an abolitionist who used his home as a stop on the Underground Railroad. Deming also joined with Austin Williams and John Treadwell Norton in bringing the Africans from the Amistad to Farmington in 1841. The house, now owned by Miss Porter’s School, is on the Connecticut Freedom Trail.
Originally a private residence, built around 1800, the dorm of Miss Porter’s School called “Humphrey” is a Federal Style building which is connected to the “Colony” dorm by a “Senior Room” built in 1970.
Originally built between 1813 and 1818 as a store and warehouse for Elijah and Gad Cowles, this three-story Federal-style structure on Main Street in Farmington was later a drugstore, when it was purchased by Miss Porter’s School in 1901. It later served the school’s Leila Dilworth Jones Memorial Library, until the construction of a new library in 2001.
Built for Jonathan Cowles, a wealthy merchant, in 1799 on Main Street in Farmington. Like the John Watson House in South Windsor, the Jonathan Cowles House is a three-story Federal mansion. It was bought by Miss Porter’s School in 1908 and is now a dormitory known as Colony. This was the dorm lived in by Jacqueline Bouvier when she went to the school.
Julius Gay, a president of the Farmington Savings Bank, was also a historian of the town. His Gothic Revival-style house on Main Street, built in the 1860s or 1870s, was left to Miss Porter’s School in his daughter Florence’s will in 1952.
A 1717 farmhouse, on Main Street in Farmington, was purchased in 1798 and enlarged by Dr. Eli Todd. He had been educated at Yale and settled in Farmington to practice medicine, setting up a hospital for patients with smallpox. Later moving to Hartford, he became a pioneer in the field of psychiatry. He was the principal founder of the Connecticut Retreat for the Insane in Hartford, now known as the Institute of Living, and became its first superintendent, serving until his death in 1833. His house in Farmington would have other owners, including Alfred Pope, who bought the house in 1899 and lived here while his new home, Hill-Stead, was being constructed nearby. Pope made additional alterations to the house in the Colonial-Revival style.