36 Forest Street, Hartford (1895)

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010 Posted in Hartford, Houses, Queen Anne | No Comments »

The Queen Anne house at 36 Forest Street in Hartford was built around 1895. It stands on the site once occupied by an earlier house that burned down in 1870. That house, rented for many years by the Rev. Nathaniel J. Burton and his wife, Rachel Pine Chase Burton, was one of the homes of the Nook Farm neighborhood, where Mark Twain and Harriet Beecher Stowe also lived. Rev. Burton settled in Hartford in 1857, when he became the pastor of the Fourth Congregational Church. In 1870, he succeeded Horace Bushnell as minister at Park Church, where he remained until his death in 1887. Burton’s son, Richard Burton, was literary critic of the Hartford Courant. He edited a posthumously published collection of his father’s Yale Lectures on Preaching, and Other Writings (1888), republished in 1896 as In Pulpit and Parish. Richard Burton, who was also a poet, later lived in the 1895 house on Forest Street.

Mark Twain Carriage House (1874)

Thursday, February 7th, 2008 Posted in Hartford, Outbuildings, Stick Style | No Comments »


Adjacent to the Mark Twain House in Hartford is the Clemens family’s Carriage House, also built in 1874. Like the High Victorian Gothic Twain House, designed by Edward Tuckerman Potter, the Carriage House features architectural details in the Stick style. In the second floor rooms, above where the horses and carriages were kept, Mark Twain’s coachman, Patrick McAleer, lived with his wife and seven children. McAleer served Mark Twain in various homes he lived in, from 1870-1891 and 1905-1906.

Chamberlin Carriage House (1871)

Wednesday, February 6th, 2008 Posted in Hartford, Italianate, Outbuildings, Stick Style | No Comments »


Franklin Chamberlin was a Hartford lawyer who was also involved in the development of the city’s Nook Farm neighborhood in the nineteenth century. Probably as an investment, he built the house on Forrest Street in 1871 that was purchased by Harriet Beecher Stowe two years later. Around the same time, he sold the adjacent land nearby to Mark Twain to build his house. Finally, in 1884, Chamberlin built as his residence the house on Forrest Street, now known as the Katharine Seymour Day House. Earlier, in 1871, Chamberlin built the carriage house, adjacent to the Stowe and Day houses, that is now used as the Visitor Center of the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center. On the east elevation of the building, Chamberlin’s initials, are carved in brownstone above the side entrance.

Katharine Seymour Day House (1884)

Thursday, June 21st, 2007 Posted in Hartford, Houses, Libraries, Queen Anne | 4 Comments »


Built in 1884 on the corner of Farmington Avenue and Forest Street in Hartford’s Nook Farm neighborhood, for the lawyer and real estate developer Franklin Chamberlin. Chamberlin was also the original owner of of the neighboring Harriet Beecher Stowe House and he sold Mark Twain the land to build his house, which is also next door. The architect of the Chamberlin-Day House was Francis Kimball, who is most well-known for his skyscrapers. It was later owned by Willie O. Burr, owner and editor of the Hartford Times. In 1939, the house was bought by Katharine Seymour Day, the grand-daughter of John and Isabella Beecher Hooker and the grand-niece of Harriet Beecher Stowe. Day was living in the Stowe House and rented the Day House to her cousins. She later used the house to store her collection of art, antiques, and documents, many associated with the Beecher, Stowe, Hooker and Seymour families. In 1941, she founded what would become the Stowe-Day Foundation, now known as the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center. After her death, the Stowe House was restored and the Day House continues today as the offices and research library of the Stowe Center.

The Mark Twain House (1874)

Friday, June 15th, 2007 Posted in Gothic, Hartford, Houses, Stick Style | 1 Comment »


Built in 1874 on Farmington Avenue in Hartford’s Nook Farm neighborhood for Samuel Clemens (aka Mark Twain) and designed in the High Victorian Gothic style by Edward Tuckerman Potter (who was known for his churches, including the Church of the Good Shepherd). Mark Twain lived here from 1874-1891 with his wife, Olivia Langdon Clemens, and their three daughters: Suzy, Clara and Jean. His wife was the one primarily involved in planning with the architect–apparently all Sam Clemens asked for was a red brick house! He also had a servant’s wing and a carriage house and employed about seven or so servants, including his butler, George Griffin, maid Katy Leary and coachman Patrick McAleer. It was while living here that Mark Twain wrote such classic works as The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court. Bad financial decisions, including his investment in the Paige Compositor typesetting machine, led to near bankruptcy, and forced the Clemens family to move to Europe in 1891. After a round-the-world lecture tour, Clemens was able to pay off his debt, but as his eldest daughter Suzy had died in the Hartford house during a return visit there in 1896, the family never returned there and he sold the house in 1904. Over the years, the house was used as a school, a library and an apartment building. It was restored in the 1960s and 1970s and is open as part of The Mark Twain House and Museum.

Charles Boardman Smith House (1875)

Tuesday, June 5th, 2007 Posted in Gothic, Hartford, Houses | No Comments »


One of the few surviving homes built in the nineteenth century in Hartford’s Nook Farm neighborhood. It was built on Forest Street in 1875 for Charles Boardman Smith, of the Smith Worthington Saddlery Company, and was designed by Richard M. Upjohn in the High Victorian Gothic style. It shares similarities with Upjohn’s Connecticut State Capitol building and the (now demolished) West Middle School of 1873.

Harriet Beecher Stowe House (1871)

Thursday, May 10th, 2007 Posted in Gothic, Hartford, Houses | 2 Comments »


Built on Forest Street in Hartford’s Nook Farm neighborhood in 1871 for a lawyer named Franklin Chamberlin, this house was bought two years later by Harriet Beecher Stowe, the author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin. She lived here with her husband, Calvin Stowe (a retired minister and professor) and two unmarried twin daughters, Hatty and Eliza. In 1878 she completed her last novel Poganuc People, based on her early years growing up in Litchfield. After Stowe died in 1896, the twins sold the house and it was later bought, in 1927, by Katharine Seymour Day (Stowe’s great-niece and the granddaughter of Isabella Beecher Hooker), who left it to become a museum. The house was restored in the 1960s and is open to the public as part of the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center.