Historic Sites Touring Guide

The Historic Sites of West Hartford, Connecticut

The Historic Sites of West Hartford, Connecticut
A touring guide, Town of West Hartford, 1987

A touring guide, Town of West Hartford, 1987

Prepared by the Architectural Heritage Committee and Hall High School Graphics Department.

Below is the text of the brochure, “The Historic Sites of West Hartford, Connecticut.

At first glance, West Hartford’s history consists of its 20th-century development as a beautiful suburb of Hartford. 300 years have passed, however, since its first settlement. During that long passage of time, a rich array of people, places and events have figured in the town’s life.

This brochure highlights 39 buildings and sites that are significant in the town’s past. We hope that residents and visitors alike will visit these places, many of which are marked with commemorative signs or plaques, and learn more about West Hartford’s history.

The location of each site is indicated on the map above by a numbered star, which is keyed to the list of addresses and brief descriptions that follows.

Additional information about these sites is available at the West Hartford Public Library, 20 South Main Street ( and branches on Starkel Road and New Britain Avenue),  and the Noah Webster Foundation and West Hartford Historical Society, 227 South Main Street.

West Hartford Historic Sites (by number keyed to the map):

  • Goodman Green, at Farmington Avenue and South Main Street. Given in 1747 by Timothy Goodman to the West Hartford parish of the Congregational Church. For many years it was focal point of town life.
  • Site of the First Three Meeting Houses of the First Church of Christ,
    Congregational (built c.1712, 1744 and 1834). Northwest corner of
    Farmington Avenue and North Main Street.
  • The First Noah Webster Memorial Library, 7 North Main Street. Dedicated
    in 1917, it was the first building in town to be erected solely as a
  • Old Center Cemetery, on the east side of North Main Street, north of
    Loomis Drive. Purchased by the West Hartford parish in 1716, it
    contains the graves of many eminent former residents.
  • Trout Brook Ice and Feed Company ( office and storage warehouse), north
    side of Farmington Avenue, on the west bank of Trout Brook. Cutting and
    shipping ice was an important local industry in the late 19th and early
    20th centuries.
  •  Allen Steele House, 114 North Main Street, c.1775.
  •  American School for the Deaf, 136 North Main Street. Founded 1817 and
    the oldest such school in the United States. The School moved here in
    1922 from Asylum Avenue in Hartford.
  • Old Grist Mill Site, on the west side of North Main Street, north of
    Wyndwood Road. Thomas Morgan built a “corn mill,” which was operated
    for many years in the 1700s and 1800s by the Morgan and Goodwin
  •  Whitman House, 208 North Main Street, c.1764-1807.
  •  James Butler House, 239 North Main Street, c.1800.
  •  Daniel Hosmer House, 253 North Main Street,1774.
  •  Gurdon Whiting House, 291 North Main Street, c.1780.
  •  Bishop’s Corner, at the intersection of North Main Street and Albany
    Avenue. After the establishment of Talcott Mountain Turnpike in
    1797-98, the area became a business center, with a blacksmith shop,
    other industries, and taverns, including Goodman’s, which also was the
    town’s first post office (1820). A short distance eastward was Joseph
    Bishop’s tobacco warehouse and factory.
  •  Moses Brace-Uriah Cadwell House, 11 Flagg Road, c.1766.
  • Residence at 847 North Main Street, c.1777.
  • Hartford Golf Club National Register Historic District. Encompassing
    the golf club and the surrounding residential area of Albany Avenue and
    west of Bloomfield Avenue. Site of Hartford area’s oldest private golf
    club and a neighborhood of architecturally distinguished, early
    20th-century homes.
  •  Mount Saint Joseph Academy, 235 Fern Street. Built in 1905-1908 by the
    Sisters of Mercy as a Catholic girls’ school.  It is now sensitively
    adapted for use as a conference center.
  •  West Hill, at West Hill Drive. Formerly known as Vanderbilt Hill and
    the site of a huge mansion built for the son of Commodore Cornelius
    Vanderbilt, it is now a community of architecturally distinguished,
    20th-century homes.
  •  Friends (Quaker) Meeting House and Cemetery, 144 Quaker Lane South. The
    meeting house was established about 1780 and is the only one in the
    Hartford area.
  •  Elisha Seymour, Jr. House, 410-412 Park Road, c.1770.
  • Timothy Goodman House, 567 Quaker Lane South, c.1750-1771.
  • Charter Oak Park Race Track and Fair Grounds, at the intersection of
    Oakwood and Flatbush Avenues. Opened in 1874, the park was nationally
    famous for horse racing. Nearby were Connecticut State Fair Grounds and
    the Luna Amusement Park.
  • Talcott’s Woolen Yarn Mill and Vine Hill Farm, on Quaker Lane South at
    Beachland Park, near Trout Brook. The mill complex included  a mill
    (1828), fulling shop and storage houses. This property later was a part
    of the Beach family’s noted Vine Hill Farm.
  • Burgone Elms Site, at the intersection of New Britain Avenue and Quaker
    Lane South. Elmwood residents planted elm saplings here to celebrate
    the American capture of General John Burgoyne’s British army at
    Saratoga, New York, in October, 1777.
  • Thomas O’Hara Goodwin House and Goodwin Pottery, New Britain Avenue,
    across from Westgate St. This Federal-style house was built in 1821 by
    an early leader in Elmwood’s long flourishing pottery industry. His
    pottery shop was at the intersection of New Britain Avenue and New Park
  • Sarah Whitman Hooker House, 1237 New Britain Avenue, c.1804.
  • Beardsley-Mix House, 81 Rockledge Drive, c.1774.
  • Noah Webster Birthplace, 227 South Main Street, c.1748. West Hartford’s
    most famous historic building, the childhood home of America’s first
    lexicographer is a National Historic Landmark.  
  • Asa Gillettt House, 202 South Main Street, c.1730-1760.
  • Boulevard-Raymond Road Historic District, between South Main Street and
    Trout Brook, including adjacent properties on Raymond Road. West
    Hartford’s first modern subdivision (1896) is a neighborhood of
    attractive, early 20th-century homes.
  • Benjamin Colton House, 25 Sedgwick Road, c.1770.
  • Edward W. Morley House, 27 Westland Avenue, 1906.
  • Old West School, at the corner of Mountain and Buena Vista Roads. Built
    in 1878 of brick because of Henry Barnard’s campaign for safer school
    buildings. Now owned by the West Hartford Art League Inc.
  • Buena Vista Historic District, encompassing 18th-20th-century
    residences adjacent to the old west school (#33) and the
    Stanley-Woodruff-Allen House (#35).
  • Stanley-Woodruff-Allen House, 37 Buena Vista Road, c.1750.
  • Metropolitan District Reservoir No. 1, on the north side of Farmington
    Avenue, west of Sunset Farms Road. Opened in 1867 to supply Hartford
    and West Hartford with pure water, this reservoir is the oldest
    component of the present regional water system.
  • John Wells, Jr. House, 505 Mountain Road, c.1766.
  • Samuel Farnsworth House, 537 Mountain Road, c.1790.
  • Revolutionary War Campsite, north of Albany Avenue and west of Mountain Road.