Getting lost in New England is always fun because you can simply stumbleupon old farmhouses like this, which look like a setting of a movie! Located in northern Willington, CT, this farmhouse dates to the Revolutionary War! David Lillibridge (1744-1831) of Exeter, Rhode Island, served from 15 to 17 in the French and Indian War, and manned Fort Stanwix. In 1767, he was militia lieutenant, at the age of 25 converted, and entered the Baptist ministry. In 1777, he purchased a farm (unclear if there was a house on the land) from a Moses Holmes in modern day Willington and resided in this old saltbox Georgian home. The home remained in the Lillibridge family at least until the 1870s, when it was owned by Burnham Lillibridge. The house was moved from its previous location right on the street, and set back into the bucolic landscape, a fitting move!
Known locally in Canton as the “Stone House,” the Barber-Perry House was built in 1843 by two brothers, Volney and Linus Barber, seemingly for their brother, Samuel. They used local stone for the construction, that was quarried to the north of the property. The house was bought by George W. Lamphier in 1866 and by Thomas M. Perry in 1944. Perry was a physicist working on gears for naval ordinance during the war. He worked in a shop on his property and soon started the T.M. Perry Company in 1955. The property here is still a working dairy farm, known as Perrys Dairy, and is reportedly the last working dairy farm in town!
So many of the late 18th century houses in Canton Center look similar to this house, making me wonder if a builder did a sort of “copy-paste” on many family homes. This late-Georgian farmhouse was built in 1797 by Loin Humphrey, seemingly in preparation of his marriage to Rhoda Case in 1798. The home features simple massing with a symmetrical facade and central chimney. Locally, it is common to see half-height sidelights flanking the front doors, which are truly beautiful.
Alson and Sadosa Barbour (sometimes spelled Barber) grew up in North Canton, Connecticut and resided in these two homes, raising families and farming the land. The blue house was built in 1839 for Alson Barbour, who updated his earlier 1814 home which was gifted to him by his father as a wedding gift. The smaller home was outgrown by Alson, Hannah, and their 12 children (all living to adulthood) and he built this stately Greek Revival home on the quiet, meandering road. Not to be outdone by his brother, Sadosa too added onto his earlier home, also a wedding gift from his father. The 1803 house was enlarged in 1840 and given its present appearance, a modest Greek Revival home with a side-gable roof.
Which house is your favorite?
The Beebe-Phillips house in Waterford, CT, was built in the 1830s by Orrin Beebe (though some accounts say it was built for his wife Lydia after his death), and is an excellent example of a traditional full-cape house in Connecticut. The home is a vernacular example of the Federal style with no frills or expensive details. The house was originally located elsewhere in town but was moved to its current site on Jordan Green in 1974 by the Waterford Historical Society, next to the Jordan Schoolhouse.
This gorgeous stone house was built circa 1877 by Phillip M. Powers (1814-1889), who served as President of the Millstone granite quarry in Waterford, Connecticut. The home is said to have been built off an earlier 1700s home, but all was constructed in ashlar granite to showcase Mr. Powers’ quality stone. It is said that Phillip went bankrupt not long after the construction of this home. In 1930, the house was purchased by Beatrice H. Rosenthal and her husband. Ms. Rosenthal served as both a delegate and as a committeewoman of the Democratic National party, and a staunch advocate for women’s rights. She was also active in women’s educational institutions around New England. The old home and barn are now available for rentals for events or overnight stays.
Located in Brookfield, Connecticut, the John Peck House (1812) is one of many examples of Colonial farmhouses you can find in small New England towns. The home was built for John Peck (1759-1839), the son of Deacon Henry Peck, a pioneer settler of the town. The home has long held ties to the Congregational church in town, and for some years, was the parsonage of the church. The stunning barn was constructed around 1881 for the property, and is very well preserved to this day with its cross gambrel roof and hay door. The Federal style home appears to have been modernized in the early 20th century with a Colonial Revival entry porch roof and new windows on the facade.
This saltbox house was built by 1750 for David Ogden at the time of his marriage to Jane Sturges. For the next 125 years it was home for the Ogden family in the farming and coastal shipping town of Fairfield. The home was sold out of the family in 1839 to Henry W. Banks, who continued to farm on the nearly 75 acres of farmland. By the 1920s, the home was suffering from deferred maintenance and was at risk of demolition. Luckily, Annie Burr Jennings (1855-1939), a philanthropist who was born into a wealthy family, sought to give back to her town. Jennings was instrumental in establishing and supporting a number of important community institutions, including the Fairfield Historical Society (now the Fairfield Museum) and the Fairfield Public Library. In 1931, she purchased the old Ogden Farmhouse from absentee owners and helped fund its restoration. The early saltbox vernacular Georgian home today is maintained by the Fairfield Museum and the Greenfield Hill Village Improvement Society.
On the rural back roads of Suffield, CT, it is amazing how many historic farmhouses you can stumble upon. This is the Lewis-Zukowski Farmhouse, built in 1781, as one of the earliest brick homes built in this part of the state. When Hezekiah Lewis (?-1805) built his house in 1781, he was a farmer of modest prosperity. By the time of his death in 1805, he was somewhat wealthier, perhaps because of his second marriage in 1794 to widow Ruth Phelps, as his 91-acre farm. His estate indicates he was a traditional farmer of the period: he had a yoke of oxen, 2 horses, 2 cows, and 2 pigs, suggesting that he was primarily raising sustenance for his family, not products for market. Michael Zukowski arrived in Suffield in 1888 with his family as an immigrant from Poland. Zukowski worked on a farm in town for $8.00 a month plus board for local tobacco farmer Calvin Spencer. He had saved enough by 1905 to pay Hiram Knox (then the owner of the former Lewis Farm) $2,800 in cash, purchasing the property. Zukowski worked the farm until the 1920s, when his son took it over and he moved to another farm nearby. The house remained in the family one more generation until it was sold out of the family. It remains as an architecturally and culturally significant farm in Suffield.