Rev. Sampson Spaulding House // 1737

Sampson Spaulding (1711-1796) studied at Harvard University to become a minister. At the age of just 23, he was called to be the first minister at the new First Congregational Church in 1736. To entice the young minister to the rural new town of Tewksbury, this Georgian mansion was constructed, probably with help from his new congregation. He married Mehetable Hunt, a local woman, and they had six children. Rev. Spaulding was
stricken with paralysis in 1791 in the middle of a church service, and he died five years later. He became one of the first burials in the new cemetery in town, now known as the Tewksbury Cemetery. The gambrel-roofed Georgian mansion stands today as one of the oldest homes in Tewksbury.

Martin Kellogg House // c.1762

In 1762, Martin Kellogg, 22, whose his great-grandfather was one of the first settlers of Norwalk, bought a 110-acre apple farm for himself and his wife, Mercy Benedict of Danbury. It is likely he built his home at that time. By 1812, Kellogg owned 500 acres in New Fairfield, land that would be annexed into Brookfield in the 1960s. The couple had five children in the home – Ira, Hanford, Polly, Rachel, Abigail and Mercy Maria. Five generations of Kelloggs would eventually live in their colonial house. When Martin died in 1824, the home was willed to his eldest surviving son, Ira. It is probable that when Ira inherited the home, he modernized it with the federal fanlight above the front door. The present owner purchased the home in 1970 and has preserved the home in all of its Colonial glory!

Luther-Babbitt House // 1809

In 1809, Giles Luther built this two-story, 5-bay, hip-roof Federal house, which has been substantially enlarged and altered over the years in succeeding styles. Original detailing on the facade includes the Palladian window, modillion cornice, quoins, and wide-beaded window casings with splayed lintels. Giles Luther (1775-1841), a shipmaster, merchant, and farmer, was more importantly the first Grand Marshall of the Bristol Fourth ofJuly Parade, which is believed to be part of the oldest Fourth of July celebration in the country. In 1825 Luther’s business failed; the Commercial Bank took this house and sold it in 1828 to Jacob Babbitt. Babbitt owned part of a wharf in town and in his will of 1849, he left the “use and improvement” of this house to
his son Jacob, Jr. (1809-1862). The younger Babbitt was wealthy and likely made the mid-19th century modifications to the home, including the Italianate triple-arched door and full-width porch with delicate cut-out posts and railings. The home was occupied for much of the 20th century by the Bristol Nursing Association, and sold in the 1970s to a private owner. The home was for a period ran as a bed & breakfast but appears to be back to a private residence today.

312 Ocean House Road // c.1870

This charming home in Cape Elizabeth, Maine looks to have been built after the American Civil War, as an interesting Italianate cottage. The home is clad with scalloped shingle siding which works well with the paired round headed windows facing the street. The deep overhanging eaves are supported by brackets. Running under the eaves on the sides are octagonal windows, a very unique detail. The home is located at the center of town, away from the summer cottages which sprouted up along the rocky coastline in town starting around this time. It was converted into condominium units sometime in the late 20th century.

Chaffee House // 1931

Herbert Almon Chaffee and Irma Chaffee had this Tudor home built by 1931 for their family in Fairfield, Connecticut. Mr. Chaffee was the Vice President and Assistant Treasurer of the City Savings Bank of nearby Bridgeport. Chaffee also at that time worked as Vice President of the A.W. Burritt Company, a lumber mill that produced building supplies and also operated as a real estate company that bought land and constructed on it. The home he had built clearly showcased the company’s work and features hallmarks of the English Tudor Revival style, with half-timbering, slate roof, and jettying (upper floor slightly overhanging the first).

Burr Mansion // 1794

Originally built in 1775, the first iteration of the Burr Homestead, home of Thaddeus and Eunice Burr, which actually saw the marriage of John Hancock, President of the Continental Congress, to Dorothy Quincy. Thaddeus was the cousin of the famous Aaron Burr, Jr., who was the 3rd vice-president of the United States alongside Thomas Jefferson as President. Aaron Burr Jr. is best-known today through his portrayal in the popular play “Hamilton,” where he shoots Alexander Hamilton in a duel. The house was rebuilt in 1794 in its former location in Fairfield, Connecticut after a fire by the British in Fairfield destroyed the first. The home was willed to Thaddeus’ son General Gershom Burr, who eventually sold the mansion to Obadiah Jones. Mr. Jones updated the home by, ““taking out the dormer windows and lifting the roof, taking away the porch and building the broad veranda with its lofty massive fluted columns”. The home was eventually gifted to the Town of Fairfield and is presently maintained by the Fairfield Museum and History Center.

Israel L. Spencer House // c.1855

The Spencer family emigrated from Braintree, England to America in 1638, with Thomas Spencer settling in Hartford, Connecticut in 1640. Thomas Spencer Jr., the second generation in Connecticut moved to modern-day Suffield in the 1670s. Generations later, Israel L. Spencer (1833-1887) became a businessman and politician, later being employed at the First National Bank in Suffield, continuing the family’s legacy in town. Mr. Spencer had this Italianate house on South Main Street built for him and his family. Israel’s son Charles L. Spencer grew up in the home, later following in his father’s footsteps becoming the president of the local bank. Sadly, the home has seen better days, hopefully it can be restored and maintained in the future!

Capt. Charles Leonard House // 1805

This stunning home on Main Street in Agawam, MA, was built in 1805 as a high-style Federal home. The property was developed for Captain Charles Leonard (1764-1814) who purchased twenty-five acres of land on the eastern side of Main Street at the center of town. Leonard was a graduate of Harvard University who later turned to farming. He attained the rank of Captain while serving in the local militia, and was known by that title thereafter. It was in 1805 that Leonard constructed Agawam’s fourth tavern on the western end of his property to serve travelers as the first stop on the Hartford to Boston stage run. He likely hired a local builder who took inspiration from Asher Benjamin’s early plan books. The home was later converted to apartment units until it was purchased and restored by Minerva Davis, a wealthy citizen from town, who then created a board of trustees to operate the building as Agawam’s Community House.

Wilkinson House // c.1895

At the end of the 19th century, many homes built were a hybrid of architectural styles. The Wilkinson House on Church Street in North Adams, MA is one of these examples. The term Eclectic can often be used to describe the phenomena when many architects of the 19th and early 20th centuries designed buildings in a variety of styles according to the wishes of their clients, or their own, blending features and styles which in the past may have been reserved for a single style. This home exhibits features of the Queen Anne and Colonial Revival styles.

Inglesea Cottage // 1889

One of the larger Shingle style homes in Kennebunkport, Inglesea Cottage, was designed in 1889, possibly by Henry Paston Clark, who designed or worked on many homes and buildings in the summer colony. The original owner, Dr. George Frederick Brooks, a doctor based out of New York, who spent his childhood on the coast of Maine, and decided to spend his elderly summers there. By 1903, the home was purchased by Ms. Lucy Fay (1864-1937) of Fitchburg, MA, who hired Henry P. Clark, to add the cross gambrel addition to enlarge the home. Lucy Fay was the daughter of the the wealthy industrialist George Flagg Fay and his wife, Emily Upton, and upon their deaths, inherited their fortune (her sister died at just seven years old, making her an only child). The home remains in impeccable shape and is a head-turner everytime I drive down the coast.