Southport Historic District

View of the Southport Harbor, Southport historic district; Source- NRIS 71000898.
Historic/Common Name:
Mill River Historic District
Town:
Fairfield »
Year of Establishment:
1966
Notes on Establishment:
The district was first established in 1966. The east boundary expansion of the district was approved on 03/03/94 and Spurce Street extention on 08/01/2007.
Historic Designation:
LHD, NRHD, SR
District Authority:
Fairfield Historic District Commission
Nature of Authority:
Regulatory
District Character:
Urban neighborhood incorporating earlier village
Eligible for Historic Home tax credits:
Yes
General description:

For many years after its founding in 1639, Fairfield was the center of political and commercial activity, and Southport (or Mill River) was simply the western end of Fairfield and had no separate identity. Settlement in the area was slow and in 1779, even 120 years later, there could not have been many houses or stores along the harbor or river. It is recorded that in July of 1779, the day after British troops had virtually destroyed Fairfield, the British landed at Mill River and burned "8 houses and outbuildings, destroying furniture and whatever they could lay their hands on". It appeared that that those who lived at Hill Hiver were primarily farmers, cultivating the land that was acquired from the town, and that the center of commercial acitivity was in Fairfield. There was a wharf in Hill River as early as 1769 and at least one "market boat" sailed from there in 1775, but it was not until after 1783 that the possibilities of the harbor were further developed. In 1831 the area between the Harbor and Mill River and Sasco Creek was officially designated as a separate Borough and was named "Southport". Until the advent of the railroad in 1848-49, the prosperity of this community was based on the harbor, and Southport became the residence of men of substantial wealth whose interests were in shipping here and elsewhere. [NR]

Significance of the district:

Architecture, Commerce, Shipping: The historic district of Southport is significant because it has been the center of trade and commerces in Fairfield. Its history is typical of the development of commercial life in many New England ports in the fifty years following the revolutionary war. The architecture of the district consists primarily of buildings constructed after 1779 when the British visrtually destroyed Fairfield. It is a valuable concentration of Greek Revival and Vitorian structures which were for the most part the homes of substatial men whose wealth came from their involvement in commere, banking and shipping. [NR]

District Boundary:

The historic district in Southport includes the area bounded generally on the north by the southerly line of the New York, New Haven & Hartford R.R. Co., on the south by Mill River and the Southport Harbor to Long Island Sound, on the west by Old South Road, and on the east by Rose Hill Road, including properties on Church Street, and both sides of Rose Hill Road, excluding the commercial and industrial property along Pequot Avenue witin said area, all of which is more fully and particularly described by Map and Tax Parcel Number as follows: 241/1-27 (inclusive), 241/34-53 (inclusive), 241/72-76 (inclusive), 241/79-87 (inclusive), 241/93 (except that portion along Pequot Avenue used for commercial purposes), 241/95-151 (inclusive), 241/156, 241/157, 241/165-168 (inclusive), 241/201A, 241/202A, 241/202-205 (inclusive), 241/210-213 (inclusive), 241/214 (that portion fronting on Pequot Avenue, to a depth of 200 feet), 231/418-427 (inclusive), 231/441 and 231/453-455 (inclusive). [2]The existing boundary of the district was further extended eastwards in 1994. [3]The district boundary was further extended in 2007 to include Spurce Street. [4]

The district includes the following addresses: Center Street- 28 thru 275 plus 400; Chester Place- 60 plus new 4 lot sub-division not yet numbered; Church Street- 1 thru 45; Harbor Road- 95 thru 1110 plus parks, parking lots, etc; Main Street- 26 thru 252; Old South Road- 24 thru 249; Pequot Avenue- 416 thru 860; Rose Hill Road- 17 thru 160; Station Street- 28 thru 65 plus 96 plus portion of Railroad Parking Lot; Spruce Street- 10 thru 101 plus 115; Westway Road- 25 thru 271 and Willow Street- 14 thru 221. [1]

Features:

Buildings, Waterfront

Use:

Residential, Commercial, Educational, Religious, Boating.

Architectural Style:

Greek Revival, Federal Style, Victorian.

Era:
18th century, 19th century.
Sources:

[1] District information retrived from the town website http://www.fairfieldct.org/.
[2] Final report of the Fairfield Historic District Commission, 1966, with respectto to the establishment of Historic districts in Greenfield Hill and Southport, SHPO Library, Hartford.
[3] Historic District Study Report, Proposal to expand the Southport Historic District, 1994, SHPO Library, Hartford.
[4] Amended final report, Proposal to expand the Southport Historic District to add the Spruce Street extension, Fairfield Historic District Study Committee, 2007, SHPO Library, Hartford.
[5] Assessors information retrieved from the website www.visionappraisal.com.
[NR] Constance Luyster, Southport Historic District, National Register Nomination Number- 71000898 NRIS, National Park Service, 1971 - http://pdfhost.focus.nps.gov/docs/NRHP/Text/71000898.pdf;http://pdfhost.focus.nps.gov/docs/NRHP/Photos/71000898.pdf.

Notes:

The combined list of the properties enlisted in the main district and its extentions has been obtained from the reports [2], [3] and [4], as indicated in the sources. The district also includes at least twenty other properties for which only the owner name and contact adddress has been provided in the reports, without the street address nor the parcel IDs.

Links:
Map:

District boundary map obtained from the town website.

View PDF
Disclaimer:

The list of the designated properties has been obtained from the historic district reports, 1966, 1994 & 2007, SHPO Library, Hartford. In case of any discrepancies and/or omissions, the user is urged to contact the Historic District Commission for verification.

Date of Compilation:
9/30/11
Compiler:
Manjusha Patnaik, CT Trust for Historic Preservation