Old Wethersfield Historic District

View of Wethersfield Cove, Old Wethersfield historic district; Source- NRIS 70000719
Historic/Common Name:
None
Town:
Wethersfield »
Year of Establishment:
1962
Historic Designation:
LHD, NRHD, SR
District Authority:
Historic District Commission
Nature of Authority:
Regulatory
District Character:
Town Center
Eligible for Historic Home tax credits:
Yes
General description:

The Old Wethersfield Historic District was established as a local historic district in 1962 and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1970. The result of this early step toward preserving the town's historic resources is that there are over 150 remaining structures built before 1850 within the district's boundaries. As one of the oldest recognized towns in Connecticut, Wethersfield has done much to retain the historic character of a suburban community vulnerable to the effects of urban sprawl. Despite the level of growth it has experienced in the last century, Wethersfield's history has remained a central focus of the town. Early historic preservation efforts have helped this town to preserve a large swath of its past in the form of the Old Wethersfield Historic District. [1]

Significance of the district:

Aboriginal (Historic), Agriculture, Architecture, Commerce, Education, Military, Political: Wethersfield is one of the oldest areas of settlement in Connecticut. The first white men to acquire land there were a group of adventurers led by John Oldham from the Massachusetts Bay Colony. A number of people from Wethersfield have contributed to state and national history. These include Silas Deane who arranged for supplies for the Revolutionary Army in France and served in the Congress of the United States, Colonel John Chester whose carefully drilled regiment saved the Battle of Bunker Hill, and the botanist Charles Wright, who was distinguished for his work in the southwest.

Wethersfield is noted for its military contributions to the colonies, and to the United States. During the Revolution a total of more than 550 men took up arms for at least part of the war. This was a remarkably large enlistment for a town of Wethersfield's population.

Wethersfield was one of the Connecticut towns joined together (Hartford and Windsor were the others) with the adoption of the "Fundamental Orders" in 1639. Some historians see this document as an important landmark in the evolution of democratic government – the first written constitution, the basis of the Constitution of Connecticut, and a model for the United States Constitution. Other important events in the town in the pre-revolutionary period were a voluntary tax collection to help Bostonians embargo English merchandise, the participation of the Company of Colonel John Chester in the "Lexington Alarm," and the confrontation and forced resignation of the Royal Stamp Master, Jared Ingersoll.

Joseph Webb's home in Wethersfield, now a National Historic Landmark was the scene of the Yorktown Conference," a dramatic event coordinating the Continental Army, the French Troops, and the French Fleet, in a campaign culminating in the victory at Yorktown, the final battle of the Revolutionary War. [NR]

District Boundary:

The district include approximate 1037 historic properties along the following major streets- Adams Lane (9, 10, 14, 15), Allison Lane, Avalon Place, Belmont Street, Broad Street, Casey Lane (9, 10, 14, 15), Center Street, Chesterfield Road, Church Street (16-212), Deerfield Road, Dorchester Road, Elm Street (18-250), Fernwood Street, Footepath Lane, Francis Street, Garden Street, Garden Center, Harmond Center, Harmond Place, Hart Street, Hartford Avenue, Howard Avenue, Hubbard Place, Jordan Lane (21-30), Kelley Avenue, Kenwood Road, Lembo Drive, Lincoln Road, Main Street, Maple Street, Marsh Street, Mayfield Road (11, 12, 19, 20), Meggat Park, Middletown Avenue, Mill Street (12-21), Northbrick Lane, Nott Street (27-88), Oldham Road, Old Pepperidge Lane, Old Pewter Lane, Old Smith Lane, Rail Road Place, Raynor Lane, River Road, Robinswood Drive, Rosedale Street, Sharon Lane, Spring Street, State Street, Summerfield Drive, Town House Lane, Warner Place, Wells Road (1-12), Wilcox Street, Willard Street, Woodland Street. [HDC]

Features:

Building, Open spaces, Water body, Other

Use:

Agriculture, Commercial, Educational, Government, Museum, Park, Residential, Religious, Transportation, Other (Boating)

Architectural Style:

Colonial, Cape, Georgian, Federal, Greek Revival, Italianate, French Second Empire, Gothic Revival, Queen Anne, Colonial Revival, Craftsman/Bungalow, Foursquare, Tudor Revival

Era:
17th Century, 18th Century, 19th Century, 20th Century (1634 to present)
Sources:

[1] District information retrieved from the town website http://wethersfieldct.com/.
[2] District information retrieved from the online Wethersfield Historic Properties Database, http://hpi.wethersfieldct.com/.
[NR] Luyster Constance, Old Wethersfield Historic District, National Register Nomination Number- 70000719 NRIS, National Park Service, 1979 - http://pdfhost.focus.nps.gov/docs/NRHP/Text/70000719.pdf; http://pdfhost.focus.nps.gov/docs/NRHP/Photos/70000719.pdf.

Notes:

The local historic district is contained within the much larger National Register historic district, including addition properties towards the southeast.

Links:
Map:

Map of the historic district retrieved from the town website.

View photo
Disclaimer:

For the complete list of the designated properties and further information on the district, the user is urged to contact the Historic District Commission.

Date of Compilation:
12/31/11
Compiler:
Manjusha Patnaik, CT Trust for Historic Preservation