Saturday, June 15, 2024

A Glimpse of Stratford History


The Stratford Historical Society

Connecticut Open House Day
Saturday, June 12th

The Judson House will be open for tours from noon until 3pm for Connecticut Open House Day. Admission is free.

Connecticut Open House Day, now in its 17th year, is an annual event held on the second Saturday of June to inspire Connecticut residents to learn about all the experiences in their own backyard, anticipating that this will convert them into ambassadors who will recommend these experiences to other visitors.

The Captain David Judson House is a historic house at 967 Academy Hill in Stratford. It was built by David Judson about 1750. The “new house” was built on the stone foundation and incorporates the chimney of the original house built on the site in 1638 by Judson’s great grandfather William. William left the house to his son Joseph Judson in November 1660 when he moved to New Haven. Nine generations of Judson’s lived in the house until 1888, when the house was sold to John Wheeler. In 1891, it was sold to Celia and Cornelia Curtis, who willed it to the Stratford Historical Society in 1925.

The first floor, now the cellar, is above ground level and contains a massive central stone chimney which was built with lug poles. It is believed that the cellar was used as slave quarters in the early18th century. The new house is designed in the style of Georgian architecture, or colonial Georgian, found throughout the American colonies during this time.

The furnishings are entirely period pieces of Stratford origin, dating from the 18th century and includes a piano which belonged to William Samuel Johnson, framer of the United States Constitution, and also the second president of Columbia University. The piano has been on display at George Washington’s plantation Mount Vernon. The house also has various other works of historical and artistic significance, displayed for the public. The Judson House broken scroll pediment entry is one of the finest in Connecticut. An architectural drawing was used on the cover of J. Frederick Kelly’s Early Domestic Architecture of Connecticut published in 1924.

Captain David Judson House was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on March 20, 1973. It is also included in the Stratford Center Historic District, which was listed on the NRHP in 1978.

The house is open to the public and is operated as a historic house museum and research library by the Stratford Historical Society.

The wearing of masks is encouraged.


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