Municipality: Hartford, VT
Location: Club House & Dewey's Mills Roads, Quechee
Site Type: House
Vt Survey No: 1408-08
UTMs: (Zone 18) Lat: 43 deg 38' 44". Long: 72 deg 24' 03"
National Register Nomination Information:
The Jedediah Strong II House is oriented to the north and to the road, with the front eaves wall of the house facing on the road.
General Structural Description:
The Jedediah Strong II House is a 2-1/2 story, brick house on load bearing construction with a full cellar, a gable roof, two symmetrically placed interior chimneys on both gable end walls, and a 1-1/2 story ell centered on the rear eaves wall. The ell has a gable roof, walls of load bearing brick and braced post-and-beam construction, and a full cellar under the brick section. The wood frame section of the ell is sided both with narrow clapboards and with shiplap. The house and ell sit on a rubblestone and cut granite block foundation. The cut granite blocks were used instead of rubblestone under the brick sections of the building where the foundation is exposed above grade. The construction of the gable roofs on both the house and the ell is rafters morticed and tenoned into a ridge pole, sheathed and covered with corrugated metal sheeting. The interior construction of the building is braced post and beam tied directly into the exterior, load bearing brick walls. A load bearing brick wall bisects the cellar between the gable end walls of the house and supported the interior frame work of the house immediately above. The brick work throughout the building is laid in common bond. The interior and exterior frame work is constructed out of reciprocally sawn, dimensioned lumber. The interior wall surfaces are covered with split lath and horsehair plaster.
The 2-1/2 story house is three bays in width and five bays in length, and measures 30 feet by 42 feet. The 1-1/2 story ell measures 20 feet in width by 40 feet in length, the brick sections measuring 28 feet in length and the wood frame section measuring 32 feet in length.
Across the front eaves wall, the first floor plan of the house has a center stair hall, 8 by 16 feet, flanked by two, large corner rooms, each 16 by 16 feet. Immediately behind the stair hall and partially projecting from the block of the house into the ell is a large center room (the kitchen) 20 by 24 feet. Immediately behind each front corner room, in the rear corners of the house and flanking the kitchen are two small rooms, each 11 by 12 feet. Behind the kitchen the ell is further divided into additional rooms and halls. An additional stair rises from the first floor to the second floor out of the kitchen. The second floor is almost identical in plan to the first floor with the exception of the stair hall which is offset to one side, thereby reducing the size of a front corner room, to accommodate the hall landing around the stair, and with the exception of the room over the kitchen which is only half of the size of the kitchen. A stair rises from this back center room to a third floor ballroom which runs the length of the house but is only half as wide as the house.
The Jedediah Strong II House is in the high Federal style. The exterior wall surface is plain with the exception of the recessed windows with three centered brick relieving arches which punctuate the gable end walls and the first floor of the front eaves wall. A Federal style front door with lead mullioned fan light and side lights is similarly recessed beneath a three centered brick relieving arch. The roof overhangs the eaves and gable end walls and is detailed with a simple cornice and cornice return.
The interior woodwork is high style and is typically limited to cornices, chair rails, door and window architraves, recessed window panels and shutters, and fireplace mantels. The most distinguishing interior architectural detail is the partially circular hung stair in the front stair hall.
Originally, there were nine operating fireplaces, one in the kitchen and one in each corner room, on the first and second floors. Three of the fireplaces in rear corner rooms have been closed up.
The house is perfectly symmetrical in almost every respect, i.e. fenestration, chimney placement, centering of the rear ell, and interior floor plan.
A 1-1/2 story wood frame shed, 16 by 29 feet, butts against the southeast corner of the ell. The shed is oriented perpendicularly to the ell. The shed has a gable roof covered with asphalt shingles and is sided with narrow clapboards.
Present Physical Condition:
The Jedediah Strong II House is in excellent structural condition. The house has, however, suffered some interior and exterior cosmetic damage due to neglect, lack of occupancy, and vandalism.
STATEMENT OF SIGNIFICANCE
The Jedediah Strong II House is an excellent example of a house in the high Federal style. Characteristic of a house erected in the Federal period, the house is restrained on the exterior, architectural qualities being limited to subtle articulation and detailing of the wall surface, proportion, scale, and rigid symmetry. In contrast to the exterior, the interior is characteristically less restrained, being highlighted by finely executed architectural details.
The house was probably erected in 1815 or shortly thereafter by Jedediah Strong II, a local entrepreneur, a wealthy farmer, and the owner from 1815 to 1825 of a saw mill and grist mill in Centerville. The house survives as a symbol of the prosperity which he enjoyed in those positions.
The house has historic associations with the Strong family. Solomon, Elijah and Benajah, Jedediah's uncles, farmers and land surveyors from Lebanon, Connecticut, were in 1764 the first permanent settlers in the Town of Hartford, and were in large part responsible for the organization and establishment of the town.
MAJOR BIBLIOGRAPHICAL REFERENCES
Aldrich, Lewis Cass and Holmes, Frank R. History of Windsor County, Vermont, D. Mason & Co., Syracuse, New York, 1891.
Beers, F. W., Atlas of Windsor County, Vermont, F. W. Beers, A. D. Ellis, & G. G. Soule; New York, New York, 1869.
Child, Hamilton, Gazetteer and Business Directory of Windsor County, Vermont, Syracuse, New York: 1884.
Tucker, William Howard, History of Hartford, Vermont, The Free Press Association; Burlington, Vermont: 1889.
FORM PREPARED BY: Courtney Fisher, Historic Sites Surveyor, Vermont Division of Historic Sites, Pavilion Building, Montpelier, VT. Tel: not given. Date: April 12, 1974.
DATE ENTERED: August 13, 1974.