The house at 650 Gilead Street in the Gilead section of Hebron was erected c. 1770-1771 (possible dates range from 1740 to 1780) by a member of the Youngs-Curtice family or possibly Abijah Rowley, who in 1768 was sold part of the Youngs property by his sister-in-law, Elizabeth Curtice Youngs, widow of Ephraim Youngs, Jr. In 1782 Abijah’s widow, Hannah Curtice, sold the property to her brother, John Curtice. In 1812 he sold it to Rev. Nathan Gillett, who raised the roof to add rooms to the third floor. Rev. Gillett was minister of the Gilead Congregational Church from 1799 to 1824. His successor, Rev. Charles Nichols (minister from 1825 to 1856), then lived in the house and added rooms to the rear. The house was later owned by Ralph T. “Tracy” Hutchinson, who served as Gilead postmaster from 1859 to 1905.
One of the house’s parlors, featuring elaborately carved wood paneling, overhead beams and a corner cupboard, were sold to Yale University in 1930 and removed by architect and architectural historian J. Frederick Kelly. Curators planned to install the room in the Old Yale Art Gallery Building, but the Great Depression prevented the work being undertaken. The woodwork remained in storage until conservation efforts began in 2009. The room has been on view since 2012 at the newly renovated Yale University Art Gallery.
The house at 1559 Main Street in Glastonbury was the home of William Welles, a prominent citizen of the town. Welles was a tutor at Yale. During the Revolutionary War, when students were dispersed away from New Haven, Yale classes were held in the house (May 1777 to June 1778). Welles left Glastonbury c. 1798 and the house was acquired by Joseph Stephens, who operated a forge behind the house near the river. Originally having a saltbox form, the house was later expanded and updated in the Georgian style. It also has a later Greek Revival front doorway.
At 2 Riverside Place at Gales Ferry on the Thames River in Ledyard is a gambrel-roofed house built c. 1796 that is now connected to a much larger addition. The building is owned and operated by the Yale heavyweight crew team and is used to prepare for the nation’s oldest intercollegiate sporting event, the Harvard-Yale Regatta, known as The Race. Yale’s complex at Gales Ferry includes a boathouse. The 1796 house was built by Thomas Geer, who sold it to Capt. Alexander Allyn in 1799. It passed to his daughter Sarah, who married Norman B. Brown, Gales Ferry postmaster. It remained in the family until 1904. It was then acquired by George St. John Sheffield, a great benefactor of Yale rowing (and the son of Joseph Earl Sheffield), and the University purchased the property in 1907.
The house at 72 Willow Street in Southport was built in 1796 by Paul King Sheffield (1764-1845). Born in Stonington, Sheffield engaged in privateering during the Revolutionary War with his father and brother in an armed vessel they equipped and sailed themselves. After the war he moved to Fairfield and married Mabel Thorp, daughter of Capt. Walter Thorp, and became a ship-master and ship-owner. The house on Willow Street was the childhood home of Paul King Sheffield’s son, Joseph Earl Sheffield (1793-1882), who grew up to become a wealthy railroad magnate and philanthropist. Later a resident of New Haven, Sheffield gave Yale University a building and a $130,000 endowment for its scientific department, which was renamed the Sheffield Scientific School in his honor.
Located across from the triangle in New Haven formed where Temple Street diverges from Whitney Avenue is the home of Berzelius, a senior society at Yale University. Founded in 1848, it is a secret society named for the Swedish scientist Jöns Jakob Berzelius. It was originally founded as part of the Sheffield Scientific School, which was later integrated into Yale University. The building, built in 1910, is located at 78 Trumbull Street. It was designed by architect Donn Barber.
Yale’s first building was constructed in 1718 where Bingham Hall now stands. One of the university’s freshman dormitories, Bingham Hall was built in 1928 and encloses the southeast corner of Yale’s Old Campus. Built of Longmeadow brownstone and cast stone, Bingham Hall was designed by Walter B. Chambers. Funds were donated by the children of Charles W. Bingham. With nine floors, it is one of the tallest on the Old Campus and its student residents make use of elevators. The original corner lantern has been replaced by a replica.
Yesterday I featured Linsly Hall at Yale University in New Haven. The other half of what is now known as Linsly-Chittenden Hall was built in 1888-1890 in the Romanesque style. Chittenden Hall was designed by J. Cleveland Cady and was originally intended to be the first part of a grand new university library as envisaged by Yale president Timothy Dwight V. The plan called for the demolition of the Old College Library (now Dwight Hall), but opposition saved the building and ended the original expansion planned for Chittenden. Eventually, Linsly Hall was built to fill the gap between Chittenden and the Old Library. Chittenden’s main reading room features Education, a Tiffany stained glass window. The building was restored in the late 1990s.