South Windsor, CT, is steeped in history. It has no less two historic districts listed on the National Register of Historic Places — the Windsor Farms Historic District and the East Windsor Hill Historic District.
There are many historic buildings that lie along both sides of Main Street, most of which predate 1857. In fact, eighty-eight percent of the buildings and sites date from around 1700 to 1910. It was during this time that skilled carpenters and builders produced a distinct regional architecture deeply rooted in the agrarian rhythms and bustling trade of the Connecticut River valley.
The houses that have been well-preserved from this period include distinguished brick and wood-framed Federals, Georgian/Colonials, many variations on the Greek Revival style, and numerous gambrel-roofed cottages. Read on to get a look at some of these storied sites.
Eli Haskell House (1812)
Stroll down old Main Street in East Windsor Hill and at the end you’ll be greeted by two very fine and very well-preserved brick Federal style houses whose facades are virtually indistinguishable from each other.
The house on 1909 Main Street was built by Aaron Bissell for his daughter Sophia and her new husband Eli Haskell in 1812. He had the second house on 1891 Main Street built for himself a year later. Eli’s son, Frederick Haskell (1810-1890), co-founded the Haskell and Barker Car Company, a railroad car manufacturing firm.
John P. Jones House (1882)
The stately teal Stick Style/Queen Anne Style house at 1063 Main Street is called after the man it was built for in 1882. John Pantry Jones was a scion of early Hartford settlers and a wealthy tobacco grower and farmer. He also held a number of town posts including Selectman, assessor, agent of the Town Deposit and School Society Funds. His family relocated to their South Windsor farm in 1847, when he was fifteen. John P. Jones was elected to the Connecticut General Assembly the same year that his house was built.
Asahel Olcott House (1782)
A few blocks away from the John P. Jones House, you’ll find the Asahel Olcott House at 1091 Main Street. It’s slated for demolition, but preservation-minded folk have banded together to try to delay this event. The Asahel Olcott House’s present owners say that the building has deteriorated because it’s been neglected for 80 years, thus, it’s not possible to renovate it. The Asahel Olcott House was built in 1782 by either Asahel Olcott or his father, Benoni. It’s one of the few historical Connecticut houses that have a Beverly jog, a type of addition that is more commonly found in houses located in the North Shore of Massachusetts.
Pleasant Valley Schoolhouse (1862)
Away from Main Street, you can find the charming white Pleasant Valley District #5 Schoolhouse at 771 Elington Road. Formerly a one-room schoolhouse, it was constructed in 1862 to replace a previous school that was built on the north part of Elington Road in 1837. The Pleasant Valley District #5 Schoolhouse remained a school until 1952. Later, it was renovated and expanded into the South Windsor Historical Society’s museum of town history.
Harvey Elmore House (1843)
To spot the Greek Revival Harvey Elmore house, walk along Long Hill Road until you come to number 87. This house was built by Harvey Elmore, whose family constructed numerous houses along Long Hill Road.
Elmore was a farmer as well as a member of Connecticut’s general assembly in 1842 and 1844. Before that, he served as the captain of an independent rifle company that was attached to the Twenty-fifth Connecticut Militia. Harvey’s son, Samuel Edward Elmore, would become president of the Connecticut River Banking Company. His daughter, Mary Janette Elmore, would be the last member of the family to live in the house.
Elmore-Burnham House (1816)
You’ll find another Elmore family house just across the street at number 78. Originally a one-story gambrel-roofed house, the Elmore-Burnham House was constructed by a member of the Elmore family before 1816. This is when Sarah Elmore Burnham started living in this house. In the 1840s, Sarah son’s Timothy renovated the house following the Greek Revival style. The Elmore-Burnham family owned the house until 1973.
History buffs will have a ball wandering around South Windsor. For more insights on things to do in South Windsor, CT as well as other local real estate advice, get in touch with us, Kathy Danais at 860.214.1295 and kathydanais(at)gmail(dotted)com and Lisa Gordon at 860.805.7722 and lgordonrealtor(at)gmail(dotted)com. We’ve been helping buyers and sellers in Hartford County for over 15 years and we’d love to help you. Give us a call today.