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Henry Whitfield House Restoration and Landscaping Projects, 1900-1940
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RG 024:001, Henry Whitfield House, 1768-1957 finding aid

RG 024, Connecticut Historical Commission, 1768-1987 finding aid

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Henry Whitfield House restoration 121.

The Henry Whitfield House, also known as the "Old Stone" house, was constructed in late 1639 and throughout 1640 in Guilford, Connecticut. The house was built by Henry Whitfield, a Puritan minister from Ockley, Surrey, England. It is the oldest house still standing in Connecticut. The house is a two story home that has a great hall, hall chamber, and three chambers on the second floor. The roof sits at a sixty degree angle easily allowing for thatch or thin stone roofing. The house according to the records was designed to serve not only as living quarters for the Whitfield's but also as a fortress and a temporary meeting house while the rest of the settlement was being constructed. The Whitfield House was occupied by numerous owners from 1640 until 1865.

The Connecticut Society of Colonial Dames from 1865 to 1897 campaigned for the State of Connecticut to purchase the Henry Whitfield House. The state legislature, town of Guilford, and the Connecticut Society of Colonial Dames raised the necessary money to purchase the house and eight acres in 1899-1900. The legislature also authorized the Governor of Connecticut to appoint eight members to be trustees of the Henry Whitfield Historical Museum.

The first restoration to the Henry Whitfield House occurred in 1901 under the direction of architect Norman Isham. Under Isham's guidance the second floor over the great hall was removed to create a larger exhibit hall for the museum and the partition on the first floor was removed creating one large hall. The Henry Whitfield House Board of Trustees in 1930-1931 and 1935-1937 contracted J. Frederick Kelly, an architect specializing in old New England houses, to restore the house to near original condition. The Henry Whitfield House restoration project also received federal Work Progress Administration funding in 1935 which assisted in completing the change back to the original house structure of 1639-1640.

This digital collection presents 274 scanned digital objects of selected primary source images and documents from the Henry Whitfield House records (RG024:001). The restoration and landscaping images, correspondence, architect's journal, and other materials document the restoration of the Henry Whitfield House in Guilford, Connecticut from 1900 to 1940.

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