TABLE OF CONTENTS


Overview of the Collection

Historical Note

Scope and Content

Arrangement

Restrictions

Index Terms

Administrative Information

Bibliography

Container List

Series 1. Trustees 1899-1957

Series 2. Correspondence 1901-1938

Series 3. Financial Records 1901-1940

Series 4. Restoration 1933-1939

Series 5. Historical Papers 1768-1873

Series 6. Photographs circa 1900-1940

Series 7. Blueprints 1935


RG 024:001, Henry Whitfield House

Inventory of Records

Finding aid prepared by Allen Ramsey.

Copyright © 2010 by the Connecticut State Library


Overview of the Collection

Repository: Connecticut State Library
Creator: Trustees of The Henry Whitfield House
Title: Henry Whitfield House records
Dates: 1768-1957
Quantity: 2 cubic feet
Abstract: The Henry Whitfield House was built in 1639-1640 in Guilford, Connecticut. The house was purchased by the state of Connecticut and restored in 1901 as a state historical museum. The Henry Whitfield House was restored from 1930-1937 to the original 1639-1640 house.
Identification: RG024_001
Accession: 1958-002
Language: The records are in English.

Historical Note

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. Whitfield arrived in 1639 with his wife Dorothy Sheaffe, nine children, twenty five men, and an unknown number of women and children. He would remain in the new settlement of Guilford until about 1650-1651 when he returned to England leaving his wife Dorothy and some children behind. Henry Whitfield died in Winchester, England in 1657 where he served as minister of the Diocese of Winchester and is buried in Winchester Cathedral.

The Henry Whitfield 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 house was occupied by numerous owners from 1640 until 1865 when the last person to occupy the home died. The house slowly deteriorated from 1865 until 1897 when the Connecticut Society of Colonial Dames led a campaign to transfer the home from private to public ownership. The Connecticut Legislature on June 22, 1899 passed an appropriations bill approving the purchase of the house and necessary land to turn it into a state historical museum. The town of Guilford was also required by the appropriations bill to appropriate money in exchange for a voting trustee member. The remaining money was raised by the Connecticut Society of Colonial Dames in order to purchase the house and eight acres in 1900. The appropriations act also authorized the Governor of Connecticut to appoint eight trustees to oversee the Henry Whitfield House Historical Museum.

The first restoration to the Henry Whitfield House occurred in 1901 under the direction of architect Norman Isham. Under the guidance of Isham 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 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.

Return to the Table of Contents


Scope and Content

The records document the history and restoration of the Henry Whitfield House located in Guilford, Connecticut. The records consist of blueprints, correspondence, committee reports, deeds, family papers, insurance records, financial statements, trustee meeting minutes, photographs, and miscellaneous records from Guilford. The family papers contain correspondence of the following families: Chittenden, Griffing, Griswold, Leete, and Winters.

Return to the Table of Contents


Arrangement

Series 1 Trustees, 1899-1957

Series 2 Correspondence, 1901-1938

Series 3 Financial Records, 1901-1940

Series 4 Restoration, 1933-1939

Series 5 Historical Papers, 1768-1873

Series 6 Photographs, circa 1900-1940

Series 7 Blueprints, 1935

Return to the Table of Contents


Restrictions

Restrictions on Access

These records are stored at an off-site facility and therefore may not be available on a same-day basis.

See the Rules and Procedures for Researchers Using Archival Records and Secured Collections policy.

Restrictions on Use

See the Reproduction and Publications of State Library Collections policy.

Return to the Table of Contents


Index Terms

This record series is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.

Organizations:

Connecticut Historical Commission
Trustees of the Henry Whitfield House

Subjects:

Dwellings -- Connecticut -- Guilford
Henry Whitfield House (Guilford, Conn.)
Henry Whitfield State Museum (Conn.)
Historic buildings -- Connecticut
Historic preservation -- Connecticut
Historic sites -- Connecticut
National Society of the Colonial Dames of America in the State of Connecticut
Stone houses -- Connecticut -- Guilford

Places:

Guilford (Conn.) -- History
Guilford (Conn.: Town) -- History

Document Types:

Blueprints
Clippings
Correspondence
Deeds
Lists
Photographs
Reports

Return to the Table of Contents


Administrative Information

Provenance

The papers from the Henry Whitfield House in Guilford, came to the State Library in 1958.

Processing Information

Allen Ramsey processed the records in March, 2010

Return to the Table of Contents


Bibliography

Andrews, Evangeline Walker. The Henry Whitfield House: 1639. The Commemorative Exercises held at Guilford, Connecticut October 20, 1937 Upon the Restoration of "The Old Stone House." Hartford, CT: The Prospect Press, 1937. [CSL call number Conn Doc H64 hwce]

Connecticut Historical Commission. The Henry Whitfield House. Southborough, MA: Yankee Colour Corporation, 1979. [CSL call number Conn Doc H64 he 1979 c.2]

Kelly, J. Frederick. The Henry Whitfield House 1639: The Journal of the Restoration of The Old Stone House, Guilford. Hartford, CT: The Prospect Press, 1939. [CSL call number Conn Doc H64 hwjr c.2]

Rossi, Deborah G. "To Build a Historic House: J. Frederick Kelly and the Henry Whitfield House, 1916-1937." Connecticut History 41, no. 1 (Spring 2002): 1-14.[CSL call number F91.C668]

The Henry Whitfield House. Guilford, CT: Shore Line Times Press, 1902. [CSL call number Conn Doc H64 he 1902 c.2]

The Henry Whitfield House In Guilford, Connecticut with Plans for its Restoration. Guilford, CT: The Trustees, 1935. [CSL call number Conn Doc H64 he 1935 c.2]

The Henry Whitfield House a State Historical Museum, Guilford, Connecticut. Guilford, CT: Trustees of the Henry Whitfield Museum, 1970. [CSL call number Conn Doc H64 he 1970 c.2]

Return to the Table of Contents


Container List

Series 1. Trustees, 1899-1957
Box Folder
Committee to Legislature Appropriations Committee Report, 1906 1 1
List of trustees, 1900-1957 2
Meeting minutes, 1899-1939, 1 volume
Publications, 1935-1939 3
Series 2. Correspondence, 1901-1938
Correspondence, 1901 1 4
Correspondence, 1921-1943 5-7
Correspondence, undated 8
Correspondence - Dedication Booklet, 1933-1938 9
Correspondence - Landscaping, 1932-1937 10
Series 3. Financial Records, 1901-1940
Account book, 1901-1939, 1 volume 2
Donors, 1935, undated 1
Receipts, 1935-1940 2
Statements, 1935-1940 3-4
Series 4. Restoration, 1933-1939
Furnishings after restoration, 1933-1939 2 5
Kelly, J. Frederick "Restoration of the Henry Whitfield House", 1939 6
Photographs list, circa 1900-1940 7
For black and white photographs listed see Series 6. Photographs.
Series 5. Historical Papers, 1768-1873
Deeds and insurance, 1768-1825 2 8-9
Deeds and insurance, 1826-1880 3 1-3
Deeds and insurance, undated 4
Family papers, 1776-1865 5
Miscellaneous, circa 1800-1834 6
Series 6. Photographs, circa 1900-1940
Box Envelope
Correspondence - Landscaping, circa 1930-1940 4 1-13
The black and white photographs were removed from Box 1 Folder 10 and numbered according to the original order in the envelope.
Miscellaneous, circa 1900-1940 132-141
The black and white photographs include exterior shots, interior shots, and publication plates.
Restoration, circa 1930-1940 1-131
See Series 4. Restoration, Box 2 Folder 7 for list of black and white photographs.
Series 7. Blueprints, 1935
Plot plan, Henry Whitfield House State Historical Museum, 1935
Blueprint was removed from Series 2. Correspondence - Landscaping, Box 1 Folder 10 to the oversized map case.