The brick house at 581 Main Street in Somers was built sometime before 1840. It was first home to Oren Clark and his sons, Ebenezer and Jonathan. The Clarks ran a store next to the house. After 1844, it was the home of Nehemiah Beach Beardsley, who was born January 20, 1780 in Stratford and died February 28 1868 in Somers. In 1805 he married Achsah Morgan (1774-1868), widow of Samuel Dwight Chapin.
William Bulkley, a storekeeper, built the house at 824 Harbor Road in Southport in Fairfield before 1766. Having been spared during the burning of Fairfield by the British in 1779 because Bulkley’s wife had provided hospitality to British troops, it is today the oldest house still standing on Southport Harbor. A colonial three-quarter house, it was remodeled in the Federal period with a fan window in the attic gable and a cornice with triglyph ornamentation. The changes may have been made by David Banks after he purchased the house in 1816. Wakeman B. Meeker bought the house in 1832. Together with his partner, Simon Sherwood, Meeker organized the merchant shipping firm of Meeker & Sherwood, which constructed a wharf and three warehouses across from the house. In the 1850s Meeker built a new house just north of the Bulkley House.
The saltbox house at 450 Harbor Road in Southport in Fairfield was originally built in 1715 by Samuel Bradley in East Haven. Occupied by his descendants until 1945, in 1945-1948 it was moved and reconstructed at its current address.
At 3171 Bronson Road in the Greenfield Hill section of Fairfield is a gambrel-roofed house built in 1757 by Rev. Seth Pomeroy. The son of Seth Pomeroy, a gunsmith and soldier from Northampton, Mass., who would serve in the Revolutionary War, Rev. Pomeroy, a graduate of Yale, served as the minister of the Greenfield Hill Congregational Church from 1757 until his death at the age of 37 in 1770. After Rev. Pomeroy died, the house was owned by Captain David Hubbell who used it as a store until it was purchased by Reverend William Belden, who served as pastor of the Greenfield Hill Church from 1812 to 1821. At one point the house served as an insurance office.
The building at 138 Bank Street in New London was erected in 1840 as residence and has since been significantly remodeled for retail businesses. The Greek Revival-style house was built by Franklin Smith, a whaling captain. As related by Frances Manwaring Caulkins in the History of New London (1860), Capt. Franklin Smith
made the most successful series of voyages, to be found in the whaling annals of the port, and probably of the world! In seven voyages to the South Atlantic, in the employ of N. and W. W. Billings, and accomplished in seven successive years, from 1831 to 1837, inclusive—one in the Flora, one in the Julius Cesar, and five in the Tuscarora-—-he brought home 16,154 barrels of whale, 1,147 of sperm. This may be regarded as a brilliant exhibition of combined good fortune and skill. Two subsequent voyages made by him in the Chelsea, were also crowned with signal success. These nine voyages were accomplished between June, 1830, and August, 1841.
Capt. Smith was accompanied by his wife on four four of his voyages and his only daughter was named Chelsea after the ship on which she was born while at sea. In 1842 Smith became a partner in the whaling firm of Perkins & Smith.
Hilltop Farm, located between Mapleton Avenue and the Connecticut River, just south of the Massachusetts border in Suffield, was developed in the early twentieth century as a country estate and gentleman’s farm by George Hendee, the co-founder of the Indian Motocycle Corporation of Springfield, Mass. Hendee devoted the farm to raising prize dairy cows and poultry. He developed a prize herd of Guernsey cows known as Hilltop Butterfats. In 1913, Hendee began assembling the property for his farm, which by the 1920s had grown to nearly 500 acres. His large manor house, built in 1916, was torn down in 1961 to make way for the sprawling campus of St. Alphonsus College, later occupied by the Lincoln Culinary Institute. The largest and most impressive surviving building from the estate is a massive Dairy Barn (18,700 square feet), constructed by Hendee in 1914. The architect of the manor house, Max Westhoff, may also have designed the barn, which has been called a “Monster Barn” and “Connecticut’s Agricultural Cathedral.” A two-story, Colonial Revival-style building, it is a ground-level stanchion barn with a high drive entrance. Two cylindrical silos flank the entrance on either side.
Later owners subdivided the farm. The parcel containing the barn was part of the former farm that was acquired by Pinnacle Developers in 1999. After local protest about the developers’ plans to build an assisted living facility on the land, Pinnacle sold 127 acres, including the barn, to the Town of Suffield. In 2004, the town sold 7.9 acres, including the barn and other farm buildings, to Educational Properties LLC, which owned the neighboring culinary school (aka the Suffield Conference Center). Educational Properties provided a renewable 99-year lease on the barn to the Friends of Hilltop Farm, which eventually purchased the building in 2013. The organization is restoring the barn and leases 65 acres of adjacent open space owned by the Town of Suffield. The property is now dedicated to agricultural and educational purposes.
St. John’s Episcopal Church in New Hartford is located on Church Street across from Pine Meadow Green (also known as Chapin Park). The Carpenter Gothic edifice was built in 1861 on land donated by the Chapin family. The Chapins were tool manufacturers who developed Pine Meadow as a rural industrial village in the nineteenth century. The church replaced an earlier St. John’s, which was built in 1850 at the south end of Church Street. The church had held its first services in 1849 in Chapin Hall and Hermon Chapin, Sr. had donated the land for the building. The first St. John’s Church burned down in a fire sparked by a Christmas tree, that started late on the 23rd of December, 1859.