Blog Archives

Old Gungywamp (1670)

Monday, August 22nd, 2011 Posted in Colonial, Houses, Wallingford | No Comments »

Gungywamp is an archaeological site in Groton, known for its stone chambers and double circle of stones. The builders of these structures and their function has yet to be definitively established. Old Gungywamp is a colonial saltbox house. It was built around 1670 near the Thames River in Groton, not far from the Gungywamp complex. In the 1920s, it was acquired by Elmer D. Keith, an antiquarian who was later the director of the WPA Federal Writer’s Project Census of Old Buildings in Connecticut and author of Some Notes on Early Connecticut Architecture (1938). He moved Old Gungywamp from Groton to its current location at 892 Clintonville Road in Wallingford.

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Bryan-Downs House (1785)

Friday, August 19th, 2011 Posted in Colonial, Houses, Milford | No Comments »

The first residents of the Bryan-Downs House, originally located on the Post Road between Milford and New Haven, were Jehiel Bryan, Jr. wed Mary Treat, who were married in April, 1784. It was then the home of their daughter, Mary Esther, and her husband, Ebenezer Downs. Their son, Ebenezer Jr., inherited in 1837 and made a number of major changes to the house, replacing the original stone chimney with a smaller one and remodeling the interior. After Ebenezer’s death in 1873, the family rented out the house, which was later dismantled and stored for several years. In 1977, it was erected on the Milford Historical Society property, where today it forms part of the Wharf Lane complex of historic houses.

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Loomis Homestead (1640)

Saturday, August 6th, 2011 Posted in Colonial, Houses, Windsor | No Comments »

The oldest house in Windsor is the Loomis Homestead, located on the campus of Loomis Chaffee school. The oldest part of the house is now the south ell, built by Joseph Loomis in 1640. His son, Deacon John Loomis built the main section in 1788. In the 1870s, planning began for what would become Loomis Chaffee, established by five Loomis siblings, children of Colonel James Loomis and Abigail Sherwood Chaffee, who had all lost their own children. The school’s first buildings, completed in 1913-1916, were designed to match the axis of the Loomis Homestead, several degrees off of true north. The old house itself remained in the Loomis family until Miss Jennie Loomis deeded it to the Loomis Institute in 1901. She continued to reside in the house until her death, in 1944. Then it became a residence for a member of the Loomis Chaffee School faculty and continues as a museum and memorial to the Loomis family.

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Captain James Cornish House (1720)

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011 Posted in Colonial, Houses, Simsbury | 5 Comments »

The Captain James Cornish House is a colonial saltbox structure at 26 East Weatogue Street in Simsbury. The house has an original barn, also constructed in 1720. The property has recently undergone some remodeling and the construction of an extensive rear addition.

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Clark-Stockade House (1780)

Saturday, June 18th, 2011 Posted in Colonial, Houses, Milford | No Comments »

About 1659, Deacon George Clark began construction of the first house in Milford to be built outside the early settlement’s protective stockade. The building, known as the Stockade House, was expanded over time into a saltbox structure. It is also called the “Nathan Clark Stockade House,” named for a grandson of George Clark. This original house was dismantled in 1780 by Michael Peck, a builder, and David Camp, his assistant. They constructed a new house, using building materials salvaged from the one they took down. In the twentieth century, the house served as a rooming house, tea room and Milford’s first public hospital. In 1974, the Clark-Stockade House was moved from Bridgeport Avenue to become part of Wharf Lane, the Milford Historical Society’s complex of colonial houses.

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Peter Parley House, Southbury (1777)

Tuesday, May 24th, 2011 Posted in Colonial, Houses, Southbury | No Comments »

The house at 990 Main Street North in Southbury was built by Benjamin Hinman for his son Sherman in 1777. According to Biographical Sketches of the Graduates of Yale College with Annals of the College History, Vol. III (1903), by Franklin Bowditch Dexter, Sherman Hinman

married on February 9, 1777, his third cousin, Molly, youngest daughter of Captain Timothy and Emma (Preston) Hinman, of Southbury, and settled as a merchant and farmer in his native town. He built there an expensive brick house, and lived in dashing splendor for a few years, but was soon reduced to comparative poverty by his extravagance. His wife died on April 30, 1791, in her 34th year, and he married again shortly after. He died in Southbury on February 19, 1793, in his 41st year.

The house is known today as the Peter Parley House because Samuel Griswold Goodrich, who wrote many popular children’s books and textbooks under the name “Peter Parley,” lived in the house for a time, before his death in 1860. Goodrich was buried in Southbury. The house underwent extensive renovations in the 1890s and the History of New Haven County, Connecticut, Volume 2 (1892), edited by J. L. Rockey, states that it “was a pleasant country resort in 1890, kept by Egbert Warner.” In 1918, the house became a German Lutheran home for the aged (now the Lutheran Home of Southbury) and is connected to a modern complex of buildings.

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The Eli Lewis House (1764)

Friday, April 22nd, 2011 Posted in Bristol, Colonial, Houses | No Comments »

Josiah Lewis was a successful farmer who came from Southington and settled in Bristol. He had nine sons and, according to the 1907 history of Bristol,

Nine sons grew up and married, to each of whom he gave a farm of a hundred acres, a house, a barn, a cow, a hive of bees, and a Waterbury sweet apple tree. Five of these houses, including his own, were built on the Farmington road, three near the cemetery and two beyond the woods of Poker Hole. Four of the Lewis houses are still standing, built much after the same plan, all large, spacious houses, such as those early settlers used to build, when the heating of a house was not an important item in the yearly expenses. They were built before the Revolution and for years formed an uninterrupted row of Lewis possessions.

One of these houses, at 11-13 Lewis Street, was built by Josiah Lewis for his son Eli Lewis, who served in the Revolutionary War and crossed the Delaware under the leadership of George Washington.

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