The front façade of the Buttolph-Williams House in Wethersfield, around 1927. Image from Old Houses of New England (1927).
The house in 2024:
As explained in the previous post, the Buttolph-Williams House is one of the oldest homes in Wethersfield, and one of the best-preserved First Period homes in the Connecticut River Valley. It was built around 1711, but it has many architectural elements that were typical of 17th century New England homes, including the steep roof, the casement windows, and the overhanging second floor. Some of these features were later altered as the houses was modernized, and by the time the top photo was taken in the 1920s it had seen some significant exterior changes, including newer sash windows and a layer of clapboards that hid the overhang.
For many years the house was owned by the Williams family, starting in 1721 when Daniel Williams purchased the property. By the late 19th century it was owned by James Vibert, whose children Kate and Frank lived here until their deaths in the 1940s. The house was then acquired by Connecticut Antiquarian and Landmarks Society, and in the late 1940s it was restored to its original appearance.
The house has been open to the public as a museum ever since. It is one of many historic homes that are owned by Connecticut Landmarks, as the organization is now called, and it is operated by the nearby Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum, which owns three historic homes on Main Street. Because of its significance as a rare surviving First Period house, it was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1968.