The Thomas Hart Hooker House (1770)

Tuesday, November 25th, 2008 Posted in Colonial, Farmington, Houses | No Comments »


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.

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“Humphrey” (1800)

Saturday, July 26th, 2008 Posted in Farmington, Federal Style, Houses | No Comments »


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.

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Cowles Store (1813)

Wednesday, March 26th, 2008 Posted in Commercial Buildings, Farmington, Federal Style | No Comments »


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.

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The Jonathan Cowles House (1799)

Sunday, December 16th, 2007 Posted in Farmington, Federal Style, Houses | No Comments »


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.

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The Julius Gay House (1860)

Sunday, December 9th, 2007 Posted in Farmington, Folk Victorian, Gothic, Houses | No Comments »


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.

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The Dr. Eli Todd House (1798)

Friday, December 7th, 2007 Posted in Colonial, Colonial Revival, Farmington, Houses | 2 Comments »


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.

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The Francis Cowles House (1840)

Monday, December 3rd, 2007 Posted in Farmington, Houses, Italianate | No Comments »


The Francis Cowles House, built circa 1840 (another source estimates circa 1844 and another circa 1835) on Main Street in Farmington, represents a transition in style from the Greek Revival (the colonnaded front porch) to the Italianate (the low pitched roof with bracketed cornice). A plaque in the building indicates it was built circa 1835 and was acquired for the school by the trustees of Miss Porter’s estate in 1901. (A now defunct website had mistakenly indicated that the house was purchased by Sarah Porter for her school in 1889). The house now serves as a dorm called “Brick“. The house is located on the site of the house where Sarah Porter’s father, the Rev. Noah Porter, was born, in the house of his father, Robert Porter. (Note: post edited 5/28/15 to reflect corrected info).

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