Charles Mallory Sail Loft (1830)

Friday, February 9th, 2018 Posted in Commercial Buildings, Greek Revival, Industrial, Mystic, Stonington | No Comments »

Charles Mallory (1796-1882) was born in Waterford and learned sail making in New London as an apprentice to his brother-in-law, Nathan Beebe. In 1816 Mallory came to Mystic, where he soon set up his own sail loft. In 1836 he retired from sail making to focus on his fishing, whaling and shipping interests. His descendants would continue as an important shipping and shipbuilding family. Mallory had a sail making loft on the third floor of a building on Holmes Street in Mystic that he constructed circa 1830. All three floors were used for a variety of purposes over the years. In 1951 the building was brought upriver by barge to its current location at Mystic Seaport. The top floor has a sail loft exhibit, the middle floor has a ship rigging loft exhibit and the bottom floor has a ship chandlery exhibit. Read the rest of this entry »

Hodge Memorial Library & Museum (1937)

Wednesday, February 7th, 2018 Posted in Colonial Revival, Libraries, Museums, Roxbury | No Comments »

The first public library in the town of Roxbury was established in October 1896. It was housed in the back rooms of the old Town Hall until Charles Watson Hodge, upon his death in 1936, bequeathed $15,000 to erect a building for a library and museum. Completed in 1937 by Clayton B. Squire, the stone building was named after Charles Hodge’s father, Albert Lafayette Hodge. A north wing addition was completed in 1967 through a donation by Everett Hurlburt. A new building, the Minor Memorial Library, was erected in the early 1990s to become the town’s public library, with the Hodge Memorial, at 4 North Street, continuing as a museum open to the public by appointment only.

Fishtown Chapel (1889)

Sunday, October 29th, 2017 Posted in Churches, Gothic, Mystic, Stonington, Vernacular | No Comments »

The Fishtown Chapel at Mystic Seaport was originally erected by the community of Fishtown in Mystic to serve as a place for Sunday School and prayer meetings in 1889. It took only three weeks to build. For a time around 1900 the Chapel served as a schoolhouse for Groton’s Ninth School District. It then remained unused for many decades until it was moved to Mystic Seaport in 1949. Restored, it was rededicated as a chapel in 1950. As seen in old postcards of the Chapel, it once had a steeple which has since been removed. Read the rest of this entry »

Plymouth Cordage Company Ropewalk (1824)

Tuesday, July 11th, 2017 Posted in Industrial, Mystic, Stonington, Vernacular | No Comments »

Preserved at Mystic Seaport is a section of the original ropewalk of the Plymouth Cordage Company of Plymouth, Massachusetts. The company was founded in 1824 by Bourne Spooner, who had learned the art of ropemaking in New Orleans. He opposed slavery, so he set up his business back home in Plymouth, hiring free labor. Spooner ran the company until his death in 1870, producing rope for many kinds of vessels, including the Great Republic, the largest clipper ship ever built. By the late nineteenth century, the company had become the largest manufacturer of rope and twine in the world. The company remained in business for 140 years. The ropewalk remained in operation until 1947, when changing technology led to the end of its use by the company. In 1951, a 250-foot section of the 1,000-foot ropewalk in Plymouth was saved and reassembled at Mystic Seaport. It came with its machinery, which is no longer powered but is set up as though it were still functioning in order to illustrate the process of spinning rope.

American Seamen’s Friend Society Sailor’s Reading Room (1841)

Saturday, July 1st, 2017 Posted in Italianate, Libraries, Mystic, Organizations, Outbuildings, Stonington | No Comments »

One of the buildings at Mystic Seaport is set up to represent the American Seamen’s Friend Society Sailor’s Reading Room. The Society was incorporated in 1833 to provide moral and religious alternatives to the saloons, boardinghouses and brothels frequented by sailors while in port. The organization is best known for the libraries it placed aboard American ships for the use of sailors. The Society’s records are now held the Collections Research Center at Mystic Seaport. This historic organization is interpreted for Mystic Seaport visitors in a building erected c. 1841 as a work shop and tool shed by Clark Greenman of the George Greenman & Co. Shipyard. Starting in 1951, it was used as the Seaport’s Children’s museum, before housing the Reading Room exhibit. The building originally stood where the Treworgy Planetarium was built in 1960. It was moved to its current location in 1959. Read the rest of this entry »

Seeley-Dibble-Pinkney House (1820)

Tuesday, February 21st, 2017 Posted in Houses, Norwalk, Vernacular | No Comments »

The home of the Rowayton Historical Society is the Seeley-Dibble-Pinkney House, located at 177 Rowayton Avenue in Norwalk. The house was built c. 1790-1820 and has been altered over the years. Part of the basement floor is paved with left over shipping ballast. Alfred Seeley purchased the house in 1820. He was a successful farmer and store-owner. He also built the first packet that traveled between Rowayton to New York. Seeley’s youngest daughter, Hannah Minerva, married Alphonso Dibble, who took title to the house and store in 1890. In turn their youngest daughter, Gertrude Hannah, who was married to William Pinkney, next occupied the house. The house was sold by Dorothy Cowles Pinkney, poet and widow of William Pinkney Jr., to the Sixth Taxing District of Norwalk (Rowayton) in 1971

Lockwood–Mathews Mansion (1864)

Thursday, January 1st, 2015 Posted in Houses, Norwalk, Second Empire | No Comments »

Lockwood–Mathews Mansion

Happy New Year from Historic Buildings of Connecticut! One of Connecticut’s grandest houses is the Lockwood–Mathews Mansion in Norwalk. A 62-room Second Empire-style country house, it was built by LeGrand Lockwood, a New York City businessman and financier, who named the estate Elm Park. Construction of the mansion, designed by Detlef Lienau, begun in 1864 and took four years. Lockwood lavishly furnished his house and displayed art by Hudson River School painters, including the monumental Domes of the Yosemite by Albert Bierstadt. The depreciation of gold in 1869 was a series financial blow for Lockwood, who died in 1872. His heirs lost the estate through foreclosure in 1874. Charles D. Mathews bought the property in 1876 and it remained a residence of the Mathews family until the death of his daughter, Florence Mathews, in 1938. Sold to the City of Norwalk in 1941, the estate became a public park. After the city announced plans to demolish the mansion in 1959, preservationists formed a Common Interest Group and after a prolonged legal struggle were able to save it. The Junior League of Stamford-Norwalk arranged to lease the building from the city and formed the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum of Norwalk, Inc. to restore and operate the mansion as a public museum. The mansion is now undergoing a new renovation, begun in 2007.