Buttolph-Williams House, Wethersfield, Connecticut (3)

The east side of the Buttolph-Williams House in Wethersfield, in August 1938. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress, Historic American Buildings Survey Collection.

The house in 2024:

These two photos show the east side of the Buttolph-Williams House. Built around 1711, the house is one of the oldest in Wethersfield, and it is one of the many historic homes that line the streets of the town center. The top photo was taken as part of the Historic American Buildings Survey in 1938, and by this point the house had undergone many alterations from its original appearance, including newer windows and clapboards, and an ell on the back of the house.

At the time that the top phot was taken, the house was the home of siblings Kate and Frank Vibert. They had grown up in the house in the late 19th century, and they lived here until their deaths in the 1940s. The house was then acquired by the Connecticut Antiquarian and Landmarks Society—now known as Connecticut Landmarks—and it was restored to its original appearance in the late 1940s. This included re-installing diamond-paned casement windows, removing the rear ell, and removing the newer clapboards that had covered the original second-story overhang.

The house was once believed to have been built in the 1690s, but subsequent research has shown that it was actually built around 1711. Either way, though, it has many of the post-medieval architectural elements that were common on 17th century New England homes, and it survives as an excellent example of a First Period House. It is still owned by Connecticut Landmarks, and it is operated as a museum by the nearby Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum.

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