I love staying with my mother-in-law any time of year. Her house is located on the Guilford Green and there is nothing I enjoy more than taking a walking tour of Guilford, Connecticut when we are visiting.
Guilford’s Green is one of the largest in New England. In the beginning it was even larger, sixteen acres and about one mile around. What happened? In 1670 the town was in desperate need of a blacksmith. They persuaded Nicholas Huges to come to Guilford, and since all the home lots around the Green has already been assigned, the town gave him a piece of the actual green! The Green is now down to about eight acres.
My favorite walking tour of Guilford, Connecticut is walking around the Green. The walk is a distance of about a half a mile. You follow Whitfield to Boston Street, Boston Street to Park Street. Park Street to Broad Street, ending with 88 Broad Street on your right. The Green will always be on your left.
A Walking Tour of Guilford, Connecticut
In that short half-mile walk you will numerous beautiful old buildings and homes. I will only feature a few of my favorites. If you have further interest in learning more about the beautiful homes in Guilford and taking your own walking tour of Guilford I would suggest purchasing the book Guilford: A Walking Guide.
Lydia Chittenden, 1 Whitfield Street, built in 1886.
This house was originally built after tearing down the original tavern which had been built in 1750. I will always remember this house as Elizabeth Adams house. Dr. Adams practiced medicine here for many years, it is still a private home.
William Eliot’s Store, 21 Boston Street, built around 1880.
William Eliot built his dry goods store on the site of an earlier store owned by his uncle, Andrew Eliot. Both structures had both Greek Revival and Italianate features, but the charming canopy is Queen Anne. In the 30’s this building was an automotive business where cars were sold for 52 years.
Heli Hoadley-Aaron Dutton, 37 Park Street, built in 1805.
This is my favorite house, now owned by my mother-in-law. This simple Federal house is distinguished by light touches of ornament-carved cornice, window heads and the doorway with fanlight. The great kitchen chimney has been removed but the house retains its picket fence. The house was first owned by Hoadley and his wife Ann Seward but is better known buy its next owner, the Reverend Aaron Dutton, distinguished pastor of the First Congregational Church from 1802-1842, where he was dismissed for his anti-slavery views. The church council believed slavery was a political, not a religious issue. Charles Hubbard, writer, teacher and artist also lived here, working in a third floor studio which he called Hobgoblin Hall.
First Congregational Church, 110 Broad Street, built in 1829-30.
This was the church my family attended, my husband and I were married here, and our oldest daughter was also married here. The church sits at the head of the Green and was the most splendid meeting house of its day on the shoreline. The builder was already well known for Yale’s chapel and other major buildings in New Haven. The church has had additions since it was built but the exterior, dedicated in 1830, remains the same.
These are just a few of the wonderful structures found in Guilford, Connecticut. There are five structures open to the public, which are well worth a visit. Take your own walking tour of Guilford, Connecticut and see all the beautiful homes for yourself.