August 25, 2019

10 Historical Homes In Connecticut

Connecticut is rich with history, art, and culture.  There are many places to visit that remain unseen which even native Connecicuter’s have not visited.  Here is my list of the Top Ten Historical Homes In Connecticut.

10.  Rosland Cottage, Woodstock, CT 

Roseland Cottage Jeanne Bailey

Built in 1846 in the newly fashionable Gothic Revival style, Roseland Cottage depicts the summer life of Henry and Lucy Bowen and their young family. Prominently situated across from the town common, Roseland Cottage epitomizes Gothic Revival architecture, with its steep gables, decorative barge boards, and ornamented chimney pots. The interior of Roseland Cottage is equally colorful, and features elaborate wall coverings, heavily patterned carpets, and stained glass, much of which survives unchanged from the Victorian era.

9.  Noah Webster House, West Hartford, CT

Noah Webster House Jeanne Bailey

Webster’s birthplace helps to tell the story of one man’s vision and his impact on American culture. Through the promotion of education, laws, human rights, and language, Noah Webster helped to create a national identity for a fledgling nation.; Though he accomplished much more during his life, Webster is best remembered for authoring two of America’s most influential books, the “Blue-Backed Speller” and An American Dictionary of the English Language.

8.  Lockwood-Mathews Mansion, Norwalk, CT

Lockwood Mathews Mansion Jeanne Bailey

A National Historic Landmark since 1971, the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum is regarded as one of the earliest and most significant Second Empire Style country houses in the United States. Built by renowned financier and railroad baron LeGrand Lockwood, during and shortly after the Civil War years, (1864 to 1868), the mansion, with its unparalleled Gilded Age interiors and furniture, illustrates magnificently the beauty and splendor of the Victorian Era.

7.  Harriet Beecher Stowe Center, Hartford, CT

Harriet Beecher Stowe Jeanne Bailey

A visit to the Stowe Center begins with the Harriet Beecher Stowe House, a charming Victorian Gothic Revival home (1871), and includes Victorian-style gardens, the Katharine Seymour Day House (1884), a grand mansion adjacent to the Stowe House and the Stowe Visitor Center (1873), with changing exhibitions and the museum store.

6.  Nathan Hale Homestead, Coventry, CT

Nathan Hale Homestead Jeanne Bailey

The Nathan Hale Homestead was the home of the family of State Hero, Nathan Hale. Constructed in 1776, the current house is the second dwelling built on the property. Nathan’s father, Richard Hale, was a prosperous livestock farmer and built the house for his large family. Ardent patriots, six of Richard’s eight sons served in the patriot army. One son, Capt. Nathan Hale was caught and hanged as a spy at age 21 by the British in September of 1776. He is famous for his alleged last words, “I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country”.

5.  Gillette Castle State Park, East Haddam, CT

Gillette Castle Jeanne Bailey

Atop the most southerly hill in a chain known as the Seven Sisters, William Hooker Gillette, noted actor, director, and playwright, built this one hundred and eighty-four acre estate, the Seventh Sister. The focal point of his effort was a twenty four room mansion reminiscent of a medieval castle.

4.  Thomas Lee House, East Lyme, CT

Thomas Lee House Jeanne Bailey

The Thomas Lee House, c.1660, is one of the oldest wood frame houses in Connecticut in its primitive state. The original dwelling consisted of a timber frame erected on six 2-story wall posts, with the Judgement Hall below and the Chamber above. A steeply pitched roof covered a spacious attic over the chamber. A small stone walled cellar pit under part of the hall was reached through a trap door. A massive fireplace with timber lintel spanned most of the west wall. Around 1700 the West Parlor and West Chamber were added as a free standing structure framed on its own four corner posts. About 1765 , the lean-to with the Kitchen and its adjoining rooms were added. The West Parlor was plastered, the summer beam and chimney girt were sheathed, and the paneling formerly on the plastered walls was reused in the lean-to. New paneling, with four flute pilasters was added on the fireplace wall. Today the house is maintained and furnished as it would have been in the 18th century.

3.  Pratt House Museum, Essex, CT

Pratt House Jeanne Bailey

Seven generations of the Pratt family lived here continuously from 1701 until 1915. Originally built in 1701 by John Pratt Jr., the house has been added on to and changed to meet the needs of the family, and social changes as the village moved from an agrarian society to one in which the building of sailing ships dominated. It is furnished with 18th and 19th century antiques. The 2 acre property also includes a kitchen garden and barn. It is owned and run by the Essex Historical Society.

2.  Stanley-Whitman House, Farmington, CT

Stanley Whitman House Jeanne Bailey

The Post Medieval-style house is a rare surviving example of early New England architecture, reminiscent of houses the early Colonists had known in England. A center chimney flanked by parlor and hall with two chambers above provided both living and storage space. The Colonists built houses from wood, the plentiful resource in the area, and used post and beam construction for the frame. The second floor extends beyond the first on the front facade, creating an overhang. The original purpose of the overhang is unknown, but it did provide more space in the upper chambers.

1.  Putnam Cottage, Greenwich, CT

Putnam Cottage Jeanne Bailey

This bright red house on the Boston Post Road has had a long and colorful history. It was originally built in the 17th century and has grown over the years into its current size and shape. During this time, a number of elements have both been added and removed from the structure. The result is the current building that reflects the changing attitudes of the various owners who have lived and worked there, rather than just those of the original owners and builders. It is not a static object from the 17th century, but a dynamic building that reflects the whole period of its existence.