Welcome to our Historical Series! Throughout the series, we’ll take a look at historical homes in Connecticut, what to consider before buying a historical home, and how to restore a historical home.
There is no shortage of rich history in Connecticut – from Ridgefield’s battle site during the Revolutionary War to Mystic’s history as a leading seaport. Here are some of the most well-known districts for historic homes.
Founded in 1634, Wethersfield is the oldest and largest historic district in the state. It encompasses 1,300 acres, with more than 150 homes built before the Civil War. The following homes can be toured with the Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum:
- Joseph Webb House, a National Historic Landmark, served as George Washington’s headquarters in 1781. The joint military campaign that ended the American Revolution was planned here.
- Buttolph-Williams House, first built in 1711, became the setting for the award winning novel The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare
In Guilford, the Town Center local Historic District has 156 historic buildings, and Whitfield Street local Historic District includes 70 historic buildings.
- Henry Whitfield House is Connecticut’s oldest house and New England’s oldest stone house. The home was built in 1639 by Reverend Henry Whitfield, and served both as a family home and a fort for the community.
- Acadian House was built in 1670. In 1755 Samuel Chittenden allowed a family of refugee Acadians to live in the house, giving the house its name.
Almost 20% of buildings in the state capital are on the National, State or Local Registers of Historic Places. A complete list can be found here.
- Mark Twain House is where author Samuel Clemens lived with his wife and children from 1874 to 1891. He wrote Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, among other classics, while in this home.
- Harriet Beecher Stowe House, adjacent to the Mark Twain house, is now a National Historic Landmark and museum. This is where the author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin lived for the last 23 years of her life.
There are 17 National Register Historic Districts and three Local Historic Districts in New Haven. The Local Historic Districts contain 542 historic properties.
- Pardee-Morris House was burned by the British raid on New Haven in 1779. The Morris family then rebuilt and expanded the house, now owned by the New Haven Museum.
- Connecticut Hall, although not a home, is a historic building at Yale University. The Hall was completed in 1752 and was originally a dormitory. It now houses department offices.
Mystic lies within two towns – Groton and Stonington – and was known as a center for shipbuilding since the 1600s.
- Denison Homestead was the home of Captain George Denison, a captain in King Philip’s War. In 1717, the Denison manor home burned down, and the house that currently stands was built. Six continuous generations lived in this house.
- William Haynes House was built in the early 1850s by Haynes, a ship carpenter who worked at the George Greenman & Co. Shipyard. Mystic Seaport now uses the house for offices.
Whether you are driving through these towns or going inside the homes for a tour, the history of Connecticut will help you appreciate all this state has to offer.