Friday, October 9, 2009

East Hampton's Oldest Home

I’m often asked what the oldest house in East Hampton is. For purposes of answering this question, I am assuming it relates to the settlement of the Three Mile Division which encompasses the East Hampton section of the original Township of Chatham. Not wishing to offend my friends in Middle Haddam, which was settled first at Knowles Landing in the late 1600s, I will discuss those early homes and its settlement at another time.


The last tract east of the Connecticut River was purchased in 1674-75 from the Mattabeseck Indians by agents for the General Assembly of the colony of Connecticut and granted in 1683 to the township of Middletown which extended East Middletown (subsequently named Chatham) by the area called the Three Mile Division, taking the territory to the present day town line with Marlborough, Colchester and East Haddam. The name Three Mile Division referred to the even width of three miles and a length of nine miles laying between Glastonbury and East Haddam and Colchester to the east.


The initial land owner in East Hampton was James Wright. Wright purchased 640 acres from Terramuggus, an Indian of Wethersfield, which included present day Spellman’s Point of 40 acres on the east side of the pond called “Poocatoobock”, two little islands in said pond and 600 acres on the west side running from present day Sears Park to Pocotopaug Brook running to the foot of Miller Hill where our Town's Library and Senior Center is located.


The original Wright homestead was located “butting on Pocaktabogg Pond on the other side surround by common.” The likely position of this first house is where the tennis courts are located next to Sears Park and probably included a small living structure and a barn. The second Wright house, a more permanent structure, built circa. 1726 stands at 34 North Main Street and is owned by Mrs. Dorothy Lawson., this being the oldest in the community.






Home of Mrs. Dorothy Lawson - view from North Main St at gable of original Cape Cod James Wright house





The original Cape Cod style structure has had other additions throughout the years, but its unique position facing south rather than west toward North Main Street was constructed so that it faced the highway (Rt. 66) which ran from east to west when the home was built. It was obviously open fields then.





Southern exposure of original James Wright house.


The second oldest house in East Hampton is the John Clark house at the crest of Clark's Hill, currently owned by Ms Carla Cataldi. A photograph of this 1737 house taken circa. 1900 appears below.




John Clark House



There are approximately 35 homes standing constructed prior to 1799 here in East Hampton.
Although many of these properties were know as the home of another prominent citizen of the community such as 31 South Main as the Bailey, Skinner, Purple House, I have attempted to reflect the original builder as best I could determine.

Circa. .... Address ...............Builder ..............Current Owner

1726 ..... 34 North Main St ... ......James Wright ....... Dorothy Lawson
1737 ..... 87 Clark Hill Road ....... John Clark .......... Carla M. Cataldi
1740 ..... 140 Chestnut Hill ........ Henry Snow ...... Martha R. Weigel
1745 ...... 146 Main St. ............ Benjamin Stillman ... Patricia J. Powers
1747 ...... 31 South Main St. ..... Ezekiel Spicer ..... Don & Phylis Martin


1750 .....95 Young Street......Clement Bates.....Barbara Doherty

1750 ..... 127 Waterhole Road ..... Nicholas Ackley ... John & Anna Dill
1754 ...66 Old Marlborough Road .. John Markham .. Steven Kissinger
1755 ..... 17 Summit Street ........ Bryan Parmalee ........... White Estate
1756 ...... 7 Barton Hill .... James Johnson ... Guy & Christine Gustafson
1757 ...... 53 Barton Hill ....... William Bevin .......... Mary Hall


1758 ..... 164 Young Street ....... John Giddings ...... Layne O. McClennan
1759 .... 54 Smith Street ...... Isaac Smith, Jr. .. Richard & Holli Adelkopf
1760 ... 55 South Main St. .... Benjamin Goff ..... William & Jacki Reardon
1765 ..... 25 Barton Hill ......... James Johnson ....... Kimberly Widman
1765 ..... 49 Waterhole Road ...... Samuel Brainard ...... Roger Lawson


1770 ...... 52 Main Street ....... Unknown ......... 52 Main St. LLC
1770 ... 82 Young Street .. Nathaniel Freedman .. Rbt. & Allison Walck
1772 ..... 295 Young Street ..... Lemuel Daniels .... Robert J. Zajack, Jr.
1772 ... 52 Smith Street ... Isaac/Sparrow Smith .. Chris & Kathleen Koziel
1775 ...... 35 East High St. ....... Abijah Hall ........ Edward Jackowitz


1779 ..... 28 Old Chestnut Hill .. Daniel Hubbard ..... Richard R. Dickerson
1780 ... 64 South Main St. ... Elisha Cornwell .... Bruce & Barbara Shepard
1780 ..... 27 Edgerton St. ......... Amos Clark ....... James & Jill Swindel
1780 ..... 51 Cone Road .......... Nathaniel Cone ....... Scott & Nancy Foley
1785 ..... 59 White Birch Road ... John Welch ... Scott & Lynn MacDonald


1786 ... 245 Old West High St. .. Jesse Swadle .. Thom. & Michelle Keegan
1790 .... 1 Middletown Avenue ....... Andrew Carrier ....... Messier Estate
1790 .... 131 Lake Drive ........... James Bill ...... Benjamin & Donna Hall
1792 .... 103 Mott Hill Road ........ Othniel Brainard ...... Jeffrey Schleidt
1794 ..... 83 Mott Hill Road ......... Moses Cone ........ Ralph Strong


1795 ..... 2 Bevin Boulevard ........ Apollas Arnold ...... Helen DiPace
1795 ..... 115 Tartia Road ..... Martin Kellogg .... Frederick T. Fitch, Jr.
1797 ...... 81 White Birch Road ...... Samuel Arnold ...... Daniel Loos
1798 ..... 14 Main Street ............ Seth Alvord ........ Troy Kaufman


This information is substantially complete. There remain several properties that I am researching to determine their date of construction and provenance, which I hope to add to this list soon.

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