South Brooksvale Historic District

Aerial view of the district showing the open pastures and farm land; Source- Bing.
Historic/Common Name:
None
Town:
Cheshire »
Year of Establishment:
2004
Historic Designation:
LHD, SR
District Authority:
Cheshire Historic District Commission
Nature of Authority:
Regulatory
District Character:
Rural neighborhood
Eligible for Historic Home tax credits:
Yes
General description:

Spacious Grounds and open pastures define the character of the South Brooksvale Historic District with beautiful homes from the 18th, 19th and the early 20th centuries. Mountain Brook rushes along beside South Brooksvale Road and passes under the stone bridge at the fork with Mount Sanford Road. Ancient maple trees branch across the old road edged with walls of native brownstone built by early farmers, the Brooks and Bradleys, who settled on these farming estates in the 1700s. [2]

Significance of the district:

Architecture and Community:The area of 'Brooks Vale' takes it name from the Brooks family. Henry Brooks, who migrated to New Haven in 1670 from Chester, England, was one of the first settlers who relocated from Wallingford. His son, Thomas Brooks promoted the name of New Cheshire for his new home. After his death, in 1733, his son Enos built a saltbox house on the present site of 532 South Brooksvale Road, which has been remodeled over the years to accommodate a large family. The house is believed to be the oldest house in the state continuously inhabited by one family, that has lived in Cheshire for eight generations. For the first several generations the family fortune was derived in large measure from the old homestead, their abundant farms and their ability to ship goods via Farmington Canal and railroad to markets in New Haven. Brooksvale had its own train stop and post office. Another early industry was the making of oysters kegs, which were also shipped to New Haven. [2]

District Boundary:

The district includes properties along South Brooksvale Road, bounded by Willow Brook, former Farmington Canal, towards the east, as described in the district ordinance.

Features:

Buildings, Farmland, Open spaces

Use:

Residential, Agricultural

Architectural Style:

Colonial Revival, Greek Revival, Bungalow or Cottage Style

Era:
18th Century, 19th Century, 20th Century
Sources:

[1] District information retrieved from the town website http://www.cheshirect.org/.
[2] Final Report of the Historic District Study Committee, Cornwall Avenue Town Center and South Brooksvale Historic Districts, 2004, SHPO Library, Hartford.
[3] Assessors information and Parcel IDs retrieved from [2] and GIS website http://www.cogcnvgis.com/cheshire/ags_map/.

Notes:

In 1991, descendants of the Enos Brooks, granted a conservation restriction to the Cheshire Land Trust that will ensure permanent protection for much of the pristine farmland. The land and the homestead are theirs, but its rural and historic character is forever preserved by their actions. The land will be farmed for as long as it is economically feasible; the scenic vistas will be preserved and the potential for any large-scale development has been eliminated. [2]

Links:
Map:

The local historic district map retrieved from the Historic District Study Committee Report, 2004.

View photo
Disclaimer:

The list of the designated properties has been obtained from the Final Report of the Historic District Study Committee, Cornwall Avenue Town Center and South Brooksvale Historic Districts, 2004, SHPO Library, Hartford. For further information on the district, the user is urged to contact the respective district authority.

Date of Compilation:
10/31/11
Compiler:
Manjusha Patnaik, CT Trust for Historic Preservation