William Tully House (1750)

Monday, April 10th, 2017 Posted in Colonial, Houses, Old Saybrook | No Comments »

In 1745, William Tully of Saybrook divided his property among his heirs, with land at North Cove going to his son, also named William Tully. Soon after (c. 1750), the second William Tully built the house that still stands at 135/151 North Cove Road in Old Saybrook. Perhaps starting with just one room, the house has been much enlarged over the years. The house is also known as Heartsease, perhaps for the flower Viola tricolor that once grew in the yard. The name may also have originated during the period of time the building served as a summer house for female workers. At one time the house was known as the Whittlesey House for Captain John Whittlesey, who seems to have owned it at some point in the eighteenth century. During the Revolutionary War, on the night of August 8, 1779, a notable incident took place at the house. A group of Tories from Middletown had been caught having brought goods down the Connecticut River to sell to the British. Their confiscated merchandise was stored in the basement of the Tully House under the charge of the third William Tully, then 21 years old. As related by Mabel Cassine Holman in “Along the Connecticut River” (The Connecticut Magazine, Vol. XI, No. 4, 1907):

eight Tories came to the house and demanded entrance. Tully refused to open the door. Without further words it was broken in. Taking his old flint gun, Tully fired; the musket-ball passed through the first man, who still advanced, but the one directly back of him dropped dead. Tully turned upon the other six, wounding one with his bayonet; the remainder escaped by the windows. When the first man whom Tully shot discovered the ball had passed through him he dropped dead with one hand on the window and the other grasping a chest of tea.

The fourth William Tully was a noted doctor. Born in the house in 1785, he graduated from Yale in 1806 and then studied at Dartmouth Medical College, receiving his medical license in 1810. He practiced medicine in various places, including Middletown, CT and Albany, NY, before serving as professor of materia medica and therapeutics at the Medical Institution of Yale College from 1829 to 1842. As related in Biographical Sketches of the Graduates of Yale College, Vol. VI (1912):

For a time his relations with his colleagues were satisfactory; but eventually he was dissatisfied with his compensation, and imagined that there was a conspiracy to slander him, so that he ceased giving his lectures in the spring of 1841. His resignation of his professorship was not accepted until August, 1842. Subsequently he spent nearly a year in South Carolina, without his family. In the spring of 1851 he removed to Springfield, Massachusetts, where he died on February 28, 1859, in his 74th year. During his later years his professional occupation was mainly in consultation, and his circumstances were sadly straitened. He was buried in New Haven.

Dr. Tully was much respected during his lifetime as a particularly learned doctor and a research-oriented professor. As related in Sketches of the Old Inhabitants and Other Citizens of Old Springfield of the Present Century (1893), by Charles, Wells Chapin:

The late Noah Webster, D.D., in the preparation of his dictionary, acknowledged his indebtedness to Dr. Tully for important aid, in that he had the supervision of the department of the work relating to the subject of medicine. Dr. Tully died February 28, 1859, aged 73 years

In 2002, the Tully House was at the center of a preservation struggle between an owner who wanted to demolish it and preservationists.

Youngs-Rowley-Curtice House (1770)

Friday, November 4th, 2016 Posted in Colonial, Hebron, Houses | No Comments »

650-gilead-street

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.

William Welles House (1750)

Thursday, June 4th, 2015 Posted in Colonial, Glastonbury, Houses | No Comments »

1559 Main St., Glastonbury

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.

Thomas Greer House (1796)

Wednesday, January 28th, 2015 Posted in Colonial, Houses, Ledyard | No Comments »

2 Riverside Place, Gales Ferry

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.

Paul King Sheffield House (1796)

Wednesday, December 31st, 2014 Posted in Fairfield, Federal Style, Houses | No Comments »

Paul King Sheffield House, Southport

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.

Berzelius (1910)

Monday, June 30th, 2014 Posted in Collegiate, Neoclassical, New Haven, Organizations | No Comments »

Berzelius

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.

Bingham Hall, Yale University (1928)

Saturday, January 11th, 2014 Posted in Collegiate, Gothic, New Haven | No Comments »

Bingham Hall

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.