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National Historic Landmark STANLEY-WHITMAN HOUSE

Location: Hartford County, 37 High Street, Farmington.

Ownership and Administration. Farmington Village Green and Library Association.

Significance. Built around 1660, apparently by John Stanley, this house is considered to be an almost perfect example of the "added lean-to house" and the New England architectural style. The open setting, tall trees, and picturesque stone wall add greatly to its charm and character. The house is one of the earliest and best preserved of the framed-overhang types, and its ornamental drops are among the finest in the country. The framed front overhang projects 1-1/2 feet beyond the first floor, and the gabled overhang at each end measures 6 inches. The second floor has no overhang. The ornamental drops are carved from the ends of the four second-story posts that project through the overhang.

The interior is characteristic of the early central chimney plan, the parlor and hall being located on the sides of the great central chimney. The chimney below the roof is of well-selected, mostly flat fieldstone, laid in clay mixed with straw in the old English fashion. Above the roof the chimney is of red sandstone, sometimes called "brownstone," laid in small blocks, the wide joints being filled with lime mortar. The large stone fireplace in the hall is original, and is 7 feet wide and more than 3 feet high. The lean-to at the rear of the house is an 18th-century addition, possibly about 1760. It includes the central kitchen portion, a "buttery" room at one end and the traditional "birth and death" room at the other. The fireplace in the lean-to is backed against the original central chimney, although it has a separate flue.

In 1735 the Reverend Samuel Whitman, minister in Farmington from 1706 to 1751, purchased the house from Stanley. In 1935, its owner had the house expertly restored by the late J. Frederick Kelly, an authority on early domestic architecture in Connecticut, and then deeded it to the nonprofit association that now administers it.

Stanley-Whitman House
Stanley-Whitman House, Connecticut, built about 1660, illustrates the New England style of architecture.

Present Appearance. Preservation and maintenance of the house are of the highest order. The house is furnished in the style of the period, and in a manner characteristic of the region. Many of the furnishings came from the Farmington area, in which many other 17th- and 18th-century houses are located. A fireproof museum wing, added to the rear of the house, contains especially fine specimens of maps, manuscripts, articles of costume, musical instruments, china, and other items relating to Farmington history. A wagon shed on the grounds houses early farm implements, and the garden in the backyard contains more than 24 varieties of herbs and scented geraniums typical of colonial kitchen gardens. The house is open to visitors throughout the year. [12]

NHL Designation: 10/09/60

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Last Updated: 22-Mar-2005