Thompsonville in Enfield was once home to a substantial carpet manufacturing industry. In 1901, the Hartford Carpet Company of Enfield merged with the E.S Higgens & Company of New York to form the Hartford Carpet Corporation. Expansion followed and in c. 1902-1905 the company built a large mill building for the production of Axminster, a type of tufted-pile carpet. Located at the southern end of the factory complex, the Axminster Building is a four-story structure with a strong structural system to contain the many massive broadlooms required for production of Axminster. The building’s east end was once a common wall shared with the Color House, which has since been demolished. A new Axminster building was constructed in 1923. By that time the Hartford Carpet Corporation had merged with the Bigelow Carpet Company of Clinton, Massachusetts to form the Bigelow-Hartford Carpet Company (1914). Today the former carpet mill complex has been converted into the Bigelow Commons apartments. Read the rest of this entry »
Richard Davis Coan built the house at 15 Fair Street in Guilford around 1841. He married Flora Hitchcock Granniss. Richard Coan is described in New England Families, Genealogical and Memorial, Vol. III (1913):
He spent the greater part of his life in the place of his birth, and being a builder by occupation erected many houses and public buildings there. Later he removed to New Haven, where he was actively engaged in the building business, a member of the lumber and manufacturing firm of Lewis & Beecher Company, who conducted large planing mills, and was one of the leading industries of the city. He was known by the title of major, commanding the Guilford troops on muster day. He was very prominent in the work of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, and later in the Church of the Ascension, and being a musician of note was active in the choirs of both churches. After his removal to New Haven. Mr. Coan built a fine residence on Wooster street, which was at that time the finest residential section of the city.
The house in Guilford was later owned by Beverly Monroe, who ran a store on Boston Street established with his father and brother.
The Southmayd Building, at 542-544 Main Street in Middletown, is an outstanding example of a nineteenth-century commercial block with a cast-iron facade. It was built by George M. Southmayd, who was in the undertaking business. His father John B. Southmayd had started the business at his home, which stood on the same site. In 1911 Ludwig Krenz bought the building (It is also known as the Southmayd-Krenz Building) and opened a bar and restaurant and it has been used for that purpose ever since under various owners. Read the rest of this entry »
O’Rourke’s is a world famous diner in Middletown. Located at 728 Main Street, the diner was built by the Mountain View Diner Company (it was manufactured in 1946 and has the serial no. 223). In 1930 “Pete the Greek” Asvestras moved his lunch wagon here and by the 1940s James Dunn was running Dunn’s Diner on the spot. John O’Rourke purchased Dunn’s Diner in 1941 and soon acquired the Mountain View dining car as his business expanded. The diner, which did not have fire insurance, suffered severe fire damage in 2006 after a hamburger steamer was left on overnight. A fundraising campaign with support from the local community and around the world led to successful renovations and the diner reopened in 2008.
At 104 East Avenue in Norwalk is a brick house built c. 1834 by Henry Selleck. By 1847 it was the residence of Storrs Hall A.M., who ran the English & Classical School in the house. He is described in Norwalk (1896), by Rev. Charles M. Selleck:
Dr. Hall graduated at Middlebury College, Vermont, and afterwards engaged in academic work in Connecticut. He was the brother of the learned Edwin Hall, D. D., the pastor for twenty-three years of the First Congregational Church in Norwalk, in which town Dr. Storrs Hall established a private of school of high grade, and remained for a number of years its able and successful head. He subsequently studied medicine at Yale University, New Haven, and leaving the east established himself as a physician in Rosendale, Wis. In 1860 he was elected a Trustee of Ripon College, Wisconsin, and four years later chosen Secretary of the Board of Trustees of the same institution. His life has been spent along scholastic lines, and he is now, at the age of four and eighty, industriously engaged in professional work.
Three Hierarchs Greek Orthodox Chapel opened in 1995 at 28 Dog Lane in Storrs. Erected in an authentic Byzantine style, the Chapel’s interior has icons and frescoes painted by artists from Greece. The Chapel is part of the Center for Hellenic Studies Paideia at the University of Connecticut. The Center also includes the adjacent Makedonia building, built in 1997, where courses are offered on Greek and Byzantine language, history and culture. These are the first and only Greek Orthodox Church and Center for Hellenic Studies in an American State University.
The house at 502-504 Silver Lane in East Hartford was built in 1740 by Russell Smith. It was later converted into a two-family house and, among many other changes, the current two chimneys probably replaced an original large center chimney.