The Dr. Ashbel Woodward House is located at 387 Route 32 in Franklin. It is a Greek Revival house, built in 1835 (or, by some accounts, 1824). It was once the home of Dr. Ashbel Woodward. Born in Willington in 1804 and educated at Bowdoin College, Dr. Woodward served the medical needs of Franklin residents from 1829 until his death in 1885. He also served as a surgeon with the 26th Connecticut Regiment in the Civil War. Dr. Woodward kept a farm and the property has a number of agricultural outbuildings. A local historian and genealogist, Dr. Woodward wrote a number of historical and biographical papers and delivered an address on the history of Franklin on October 14, 1868. His descendants gave the house and land to the state in 1947 and it was later used by the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection as part of a wildlife study site. The state sold the house to the town of Franklin in 2000 and in 2004 it opened as a historical museum displaying artifacts from the town’s history.
At 3 Devotion Road, at the intersection of routes 14 and 97 across from Scotland Green in Scotland, stands the Tracey-Watson House. Once used as a tavern, it was built for Lemuel Pettengill circa 1760. The house is currently home to the editorial offices of Tea A Magazine. There is also an historic barn on the property.
The home of Manchester’s Masonic Lodge No. 73 AF & AM is at 25 East Center Street. Lodge #73 was chartered in 1826 and met in various places over the years before the Masonic Temple was built. These included the the upper floor of a two room school-house at Manchester Green (until 1855, except for a period of anti-Masonic sentiment, when the Lodge met at the home of John Mather, the first elected Worshipful Master of Manchester, from 1827 to 1844), the Center Academy building (1855-1875 and 1886-1913), the Spencer Block (1875-1885), Cheney Hall (1886) and lastly the Odd Fellows Building. The corner stone of the current temple was laid on October 2, 1926 at a ceremony which was combined with the observance of the 100th Anniversary of the establishment of the lodge. The Temple was dedicated on October 8, 1927. The Temple is also the home of Friendship Tuscan Lodge No. 145 A.F. & A.M.
In today’s Hartford Courant there’s an article entitled “Revisiting Downtown Hartford’s Lost Architectural Treasures.” It features an interview with me and some of the historic pictures that can be found in my book, Vanished Downtown Hartford! You can also read the article online and check out additional content, such as an interactive view of Main Street in the 1860s compared to today and many other Before and After pictures of Hartford! Also you can read about how the pictures were taken at the Courant Photography Blog! There’s even a video of me! And on top of all of that, I’m also quoted in the latest Hartford Magazine as part of a series of articles on Hartford’s past, present and future!
You can purchased Vanished Downtown Hartford locally at the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center shop in Hartford, the Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum shop in Wethersfield and local Barnes & Noble stores. Also online at Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble! And don’t forget to pick up my last book, A Guide to Historic Hartford, Connecticut too!
St. Mary, Our Lady of the Rosary parish was established in Jewett City 1872. In 1866, when the parish was still a mission, Father James Quinn purchased a small fieldstone church, which had earlier been owned by Episcopalians and then Congregationalists. The seating capacity of this church was increased in 1875 and its stone walls were covered with white-painted siding. In 1891 the Enoch Hawkins estate, located behind the small church, was purchased and it was on this land that construction of the current St. Mary’s Church began in 1906. The cornerstone was laid on Sunday, August 19, 1906 and the church, at 34 North Main Street, was dedicated on on Trinity Sunday, May 26, 1907. Its exterior was built of red brick, Indiana limestone and Portland brownstone with terra cotta trimming. The church’s bell is the same one installed by the Congregationalists in the small fieldstone church in 1838. The church originally had a tall steeple, but it was so weakened by the hurricane of 1938 (it was displaced almost a foot off its base) that it had to be removed.
Although the Andrew Clark House, at 45 Ross Hill Road in Lisbon, is a central-chimney house built in 1740, its facade displays the elegant detailing of the architecture of the Federal Period (1780s-1820s). These alterations were probably made in 1798, as that date appears in a panel set in the chimney. The National Register of Historic Places nomination for the house gives its date as 1798. When Andrew Clark, who served in the state legislature in 1824, purchased the land in 1792, records did not indicate any buildings standing on the property. Clark died in 1831 and when his widow, Elizabeth Partridge, died in 1858 she left the house to her sister, Dolly Partridge Herskell (aka Haskell) and her husband, George B. Herskell. The house then became known as the Haskell House. It underwent extensive restoration in 1967. Its current owners are dealers in antiques and a modern addition to the property contains an antiques showroom.
Yesterday I featured the Carriage House at Johnsonville, a now abandoned Victorian-themed village attraction in East Haddam originally created by Raymond Schmitt, founder of of AGC Corporation. One of the buildings that Schmitt brought to Johnsonville is the Hyde Schoolhouse. It was originally built in Canterbury between 1853 and 1863 and was said to have been discovered by Schmitt’s wife Carole in an abandoned state, surrounded by overgrowth.