Your Old House
:: Find Out About Your Old House in Sharon, Connecticut
This guide is designed to help you find out more about
the history of your old house in Sharon, Connecticut.
You can find who owned your house; locate it on town
maps, see old pictures and learn more about its style.
Your House's Prior Owners
Start finding out about prior owners using the title
search completed when you bought title insurance.
This should give you the first list of names associated
with your house, perhaps going back 50 years. Next,
visit the Sharon land records, located in the Town Clerk's
office in Town Hall. There you can do a detailed title
search yourself, or hire someone to do it for you.
If your house is in the Historic District, you may
find that a title search has already been done and is
on file at the Historical Society. The SHS has title
searches for properties outside the District as well.
The Historical Society has maps on which you may be
able to locate your house. Map resources include:
The People Who Lived in Your House
Through its genealogical resources, the Historical
Society may be able to provide information on the earlier
owners of your home. We also have information on Sharon's
past businesses and farms. We may even have a picture
of some of your house's prior inhabitants!
Photos of Your House or a Similar One
The Sharon Historical Society has a rich collection
of pictures of Sharon taken over the years. Local photographer
George Marckres captured the town from 1882 to 1937
and Sharon native Fran Kelsey took town photos from
1939 to 1999.
If you live in the village of Sharon, particularly
the Historic District, the SHS may just have a picture
of your house. If not, there are often pictures of houses
similar to the style of your house on file. Our collection
of street scenes and vistas can give a historical view
of the area in which you live. Prints of many of these
images may be purchased at SHS. View hundreds of photos
online via our Flickr
Help Us with the House Photo Collection
Help us improve our photo collection by donating photographs
of old Sharon. The SHS can make copies for you to donate
or provide archival protection for your donated originals
The Historical Society also appreciates pictures of
your house as it looks right now.
Remember, people in the future- 50 years from now-
will want to know what your house looked like at the
turn of the 21st century. We are especially interested
in having copies of pictures taken before and after
any construction projects or architectural changes you
Explore the Historic Homes & Districts
of Sharon, Connecticut
The Sharon Town Green
We've updated our house histories, added virtual
walking tours and scanned our photo archives to give you a
new and improved look at our town green. We hope you enjoy
View our maps, videos and up-to-date documentation
on the Historic
Sharon Town Green.
The Original Home Lots
The sale of the rights to the land in Sharon was completed
in January 1739 at New Haven. Soon after, the Proprietors
met in Sharon and organized in accordance with the Acts of
the Colonial Assembly. Committees were appointed, the main
town street laid out from Amenia Union to the Salisbury line
and the home lots surveyed and numbered.
View the History
and Original Proprietors of the Town of Sharon. *This
includes original home lots.
Historic Districts of Sharon ::
Calkinstown Road runs in an easterly direction from Gay Street
(Route 41) to the junction of White Hollow Road (the Lime
Rock Road). The earliest reference to the road appears in
the town record of land transfers in 1780 when Stephen Calkin,
Sr., the original owner of home lot #31 (and #35), granted
“40 acres including the house and barn where I now live” to
Amos Clakin. In the description he refers to a “boundry line
running west by the highway that goes by my house.” The term
Calkinstown describes the area of about a mile along that
highway where Lt. Stephen Calkin’s home was built and James
Calkin built and about 1/5th of a mile around the bend of
the road toward West Cornwall where Amos Calkin built what
seems to be the last of the Calkins’ houses in 1808.
View the older homes in the Calkinstown
Historic Districts of Sharon ::
West Woods Road #2
The two West Woods Roads are essentially still the same,
we believe, as they must have been 150 and 200 years ago,
except for a short portion near Ellsworth which was widened
a few years ago, but not macadamized. The road winds through
the woods with stone walls on both sides much of the way.
During the spring, the woods are pink with thousands of Mountain
Laurels, the state flower of Connecticut. In the summer the
trees on both sides form a cathedral-like vault. It is a monument
to the people who opened up this country and laid the firm
basis on which it still rests. We hope these roads will continue
in its present form for a long while.
View personalize history of West
Woods Road & Skiff Mountain.
Historic Districts of Sharon ::
There is a small and little know hamlet, a gem of rural beauty
that is shared by the towns of Sharon, Connecticut and Amenia,
New York. It may be little appreciated by those who hurriedly
and perhaps warily pass through its miniature traffic circle
where the road from Leedsville joins the Sharon-Wassaic road.
The travelers should pause and look about them to enjoy the
tranquility of the scene. We now know this village as Amenia
Union. Long before the days of traffic circles there was a
real corner where the roads met, and throughout most of its
past, when the locality hummed with the sounds of various
industries, it was called Hitchcock's Corner. In this history
it seems appropriate to honor that name.
View a brief but detailed history of Amenia
Historic Districts of Sharon ::
Sharon Valley is a small group of modest buildings, most
from the mid-19th century, centered on the intersection of
Sharon Station, Sharon Valley, and King Hill Roads. Two small
streams, the Webatuck and Indian Lake Creeks, run nearly parallel
through the valley, and most of the settlement lies between
the two. The land there is flat, but rises sharply as one
travels west on Sharon Station Road toward the New York border.
In the nineteenth century, Sharon Valley was the site of several
industrial enterprises, and remains of two of these, a limekiln
and the ruins of an iron furnace, are included in the district.
Most of the houses in Sharon Valley are quite plain, with
only a hint of a stylistic reference, but there are also three
finely detailed houses from the Federal period. Other buildings
in the district include five workers' houses built by the
iron companies, a former store and company office at the major
intersection, the former town poor farm, and several old barns.
View Nomination for the Sharon
Valley Historic District.
Sharon's Earliest Homes & Farms
The town of Sharon was incorporated in 1739, and home lots
were soon laid out and sold. Log cabins were built in the
earliest years, soon to be replaced by many of the elegant
homes that still line Sharon's famous Green.
99 Main Street, possibly the oldest house in Sharon,
stands on the west side of the Green on part of the Original
Home Lot #26. Land records reveal that a Town Meeting was
held here on December 11, 1739. On July 6, 1742, owners Nathaniel
Skinner and his son Thomas sold their houses and 90 acres
to Joshua Gibbs for very little money. By 1748 Zebulon Badcock
bought the same parcel for almost three times the sum, suggesting
that an early log structure had been torn down and replaced
with the fine house that still graces the town green. The
stone foundation may be original to the first structure. It
then passed into the Patchin family for 122 years, during
which it saw life as a Publik House. For much of the 20th
century, the house was the home of Dr. Jerome Chafee, founder
of Sharon Hospital.
12 North Main Street is on the National Register of
Historic Places. It is a fine brick mansion that is a commanding
presence at the north end of the Green. John Pennoyer purchased
the lot in 1769 and built what is now used as the kitchen
wing. He lived in the house until 1775, and in 1779 sold it
to Samuel Elmer, who added a small shop in the southeast corner.
The Sharon Land Records, Volume 8, page 139, record that George
King bought the house and a barn on 11.75 acres in 1783. At
the time of his death in 1831, the property was listed as
"2 acres with brick house, store, small house and outbuildings,
½ acre with small red house and new barn, and ¼ acre with
small red house." The King Homestead was distributed to his
heirs and stayed in the family until 1906. Architectural details
are available from the CT Society of Colonial Dames.
South Main Street in Sharon is known for its grand mansions,
many of them built in The Guilded Age of the late 19th century.
But scattered among those more recent gems are a few of Sharon's
earlier homes. One fine example is The Pennoyer House at 44
South Main Street. Original Home Lot #22 was drawn by
Samuel Calkin. It was bought from Stephen Calkin in 1743 by
John Pennoyer of Stamford. Pennoyer first built a small stone
dwelling, which now is the rear "ell". By 1757 he had completed
the handsome brick building now standing, and inscribed his
name and the date over the front door. The house has had quite
a "colorful" history, ranging from sheltering Hudson River
refugees during the Revolutionary War to standing guard over
a mulberry orchard for a fledgling silk industry. General
Augustine Taylor, Commander of the troops for the defense
of New London, owned the house from 1784 to 1816. Taylor served
for many years as Justice of the Peace for Sharon, and his
signature appears as such on many early Sharon land deeds.
The Lost Farms of Sharon Connecticut
Sarah Coon recently gave us a list of old Sharon farms compiled
around 2000 by her father, Morris Paley, and Jimmy Morehouse.
There are 89 farms on this impressive list, sorted by the
road on which they were located. Not being from Sharon, I
always enjoy documents like this because they help me to become
more familiar with the town's history and also with the background
of some of the objects in our collection. As I skimmed the
list, a few of the names stood out because they were dairy
farms and we have milk bottles with those names on them.
Lewis Devaux ran a farm up on Jackson Hill Road, from which
he sold milk in clear glass bottles that said, in raised letters,
"Lewis Devaux, Pure Milk, Sharon, Conn". The Highfield Farm
on Mudge Pond Road printed a green drawing of a cow on its
bottles, along with the words "Highfield Farm, Sharon, Conn,
Guernsey Milk". Stamped into the bottle near the bottom, in
raised letters, is "Sealed mTr SS" and several other numbers
and letters which might excite a rabid milk bottle collector
but are pure Greek to me! The Webotuck Farm, on Low Road,
also had a cryptic code "Sealed BB48 Duraglass" on its gracefully
shaped quart bottles.
But the oldest (and easily my favorite) milk bottle in our
collection came from a farm not mentioned on Mr. Paley's list
- the Per Lee dairy farm. The glass bottle is small, about
7" high, with an unusual metal cap held closed by a wire clamp
and is said to date to 1890. Stamped on the bottle in raised
letters on the front is "E.J. Per Lee Sharon Dairy, Sharon,
Conn", and on the back side "This bottle to be washed and
returned. Not to be bought or sold". No nonsense directions,
if you ask me. And no cryptic codes.
Where was the Per Lee dairy? I felt like I had seen the name
here recently, but where? I finally found it in a letter from
Everett B. Per Lee squirreled away in our genealogy boxes.
Writing in 1963 at the age of 83, Mr. Per Lee gives a delightful
rambling description of his family's life in Sharon.
"My family moved from Ellsworth to Sharon in the spring
of 1881 or 1882. There he [my father] operated on a farm
owned by Gilbert L. Smith, a little over a half mile from
Sharon's main street on the road to Amenia, N.Y. Soon after
that they joined the Congregational Church. A few years
afterwards he began supplying milk to the Sharon Inn, also
the Bartram House. Later that route was extended to the
whole village and still later to Sharon Valley, which at
that time was a thriving community… (Here he digresses into
a discussion of the Hotchkiss family)…
To get back to the dairy, my father moved to the place
on the Lakeville road in 1894. The farm contained only thirty
acres so my father rented another from two men, Dunham and
Levin, and continued to supply the village with milk until
1908. At that time he suffered a stroke and passed away
on November 12th, 1910… (more wonderful rambling) …
I have four grand children and three great- great grandchildren.
My ???? great grandmother came over in the Mayflower. She
did not practice birth control, had eighteen (18) children.
Are you still reading my ravings? I'll be 83, Aug 23,
Sincerely, Everett B. Per Lee."
This letter gives me even more reason to treasure the little
milk bottle in our collection! Thank you, Mr. Per Lee. If
you know anything about the Per Lee farm, or any others in
town for that matter, please let me know. The items in our
collection mean so much more when they have some real life
added to them.
More Information on
Sharon's Historic Homes and Places Coming Soon
More People will be listed here in the near
future, please check back for updates. You can also view the
Historical Society Blog for history articles, event announcements
and society news. And our Sharon
Genealogy pages for information and downloadable PDFs
with headstone inscriptions.