West Hartford History: Whose Home Was This?

Test your knowledge of West Hartford history with this photo from the archives of the Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society.

If you think you know the answer or have a special memory related to the photo, respond in the "Leave a comment" box below this article. We'll run the answer next Monday, along with a new historical photo. The image has been provided by the Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society. For more information on the museum's collection and programs, visit www.noahwebsterhouse.org.

Last week's question was "Who Was This Man?" and the image was probably one of many that the Noah Webster House has of this particular person since it's an image of Noah Webster.

Allison Jones was the first to comment, getting the correct answer and providing some interesting details. "I'm gonna say that's Noah Webster himself. My mom was a volunteer at the Noah Webster House for years and was friends with the woman whose private residence it was. She ended up putting it back in the hands of the town, but I was inside it as a child before it was restored, when it was her private residence," Allison wrote.

Tracey Wilson also answered correctly: "I agree that this is one of the many likenesses we have of Noah Webster. My parents also knew the Hamiltons who owned the Noah Webster House before it became a historical site in the early 1960s."

The official answer provided by the Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society is: "Noah Webster, Jr. was born in West Hartford, Connecticut, on the 16th of October 1758. He was an American lexicographer, journalist, textbook author, and spelling reformer. He published the first truly American dictionary."

Rick Liftig October 15, 2012 at 10:20 AM
This is the house of Sarah Whitman and Thomas Hart Hooker who lived there during the latter part of the 18th century. Construction of the house commenced between 1715 and 1720 by Ensign Timothy Seymour. In its early years, the house served also as a tavern, which supplemented the farm income.This house still stands at the top of New Britain Avenue's "four mile hill" in the Elmwood area. It is the oldest house in West Hartford. There is plenty more information and you can schedule a tour at www.sarahwhitmanhooker.com.
Cherie Orenstein October 15, 2012 at 01:10 PM
My guess is this is the Hatheway homestead, still standing at the corner Ayslum Avenue and North Main Street
Glenn Shafer October 15, 2012 at 06:47 PM
My guess would also be the farm house on the corner of Asylum and North Main Street. I wish this great town of ours had more open space. Wouldn't be incredible if the farm on the corner of Asylum and North Main Street was still preserved with horses grazing. I grew up on Fulton Place and walked or road my bike to Bugbee Elementary School every day and after school, often passed this farm. North Main Street did not have the volume of cars it has now. Glenn Shafer
Jeff Murray October 15, 2012 at 08:06 PM
Just to add to Rick's comment, the massive ancient elm tree planted in the front yard, seen in the photograph, was removed in late December 1953 because it was rotting away from the effects of Dutch elm disease, which had been plaguing the memorable elm trees along New Britain Avenue in the 1940s.
Rick Liftig October 16, 2012 at 01:42 AM
Glen - I think we now have an ordinance banning farm animals. I know that it bans chicken coops, so I'll bet horses are forbidden!


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