Woodbury Historic District 2
The Woodbury Historic District No. 2 was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1972. Portions of the text below were adapted from a copy of the original nomination document. [†] Adaptation copyright © 2010, The Gombach Group.
The Woodbury Historic District No. 2 is a residential area, bounded by open fields and woods. Its southern boundary line is the town line of Woodbury and Southbury, where the Southbury Historic District begins, creating an unbroken stretch of three miles along U.S. Route 6 where houses built before 1828 predominate. Some of Woodbury's finest old homes lie in the one-mile district between the town line and the commercial area, the district's northern boundary.
Some of the more distinguished houses in the Woodbury Historic District No. 2 are:
"Happy Meadows," owned by the Moeckels, on the west side of Route 6, facing east — The main portion of this house is square and has interesting asymmetry. Its off-center front entry is sheltered by a small portico standing on Roman Doric columns. The door is 8-paneled and has large sidelights with muntins, creating smaller panes. An overhang runs around the entire main portion at the top of the first floor and is also at the top of the second floor at the gable ends. Beneath the eaves is a row of triglyphs and metopes in the cornice. The windows are proper twelve-over-twelve sash at the first and second floors and twelve-over-eight in the attic. There are several wings to the rear and a long, one and a half-story wing to the south side, becoming one-story at the farther end, indicating accretions over the years. Near the main part of the house, the wing's roof shingles appear to be of same age as those of the house proper, while at the farther end they are only slightly weathered and obviously of more recent date. The grounds of the property are attractive, bordered by a white picket fence and many trees.
Curtiss House, owned by the Upsons, on east side of Main Street — This early Colonial house stands on a knoll well above the road and is protected by a thick border of bushes and trees. It is a dark grey-green color and has little ornamentation other than the entrance porch which is more in a Federal mode with ribbed work on its soffit. There is an overhang at the first floor in front and rear and at both levels on the gable ends. The roof line is properly flush with the outside walls at gable ends. The present owners stated that the previous owners had made additions which were inconsistent with the early date of the house; they have tried to remove such "improvements" and restore the character of the property as an important early house in Woodbury. Much of the interior work appears to be intact; the wide floorboards and paneling can be seen in the parlor. There are wings to the north rear; the main one has twelve over twelve sash and may have considerable age, also indicted by a sagging reef line. The date of 1754 on the sign on the front of the house may not be correct. It represents the earliest available record of the house, and the Upsons suspect that an earlier date would be more accurate. The property comprises eighty-five acres, much of it brush and woods.
Greek Revival House, owners, Burnet, on east side of Main Street, Route 6, facing west — This house is an excellent example of a Greek Revival residence. Its flush-boarded pediment contains a multi-paned light with louvered shutters. Its wide frieze is very plain, without decoration at all. The corner pilasters are also plain and are topped with a moulding where they meet the frieze. The entryway has plain pilasters supporting a wide, plain frieze and a flat pediment. The paneled front door is flanked with 3-pane sidelights and one panel beneath, and topped with a 4-pane overdoor light of narrow height. Window sash is appropriately six over six throughout. The property sits on a large, well-manicured lawn slightly above the road which passes in front.
The Woodbury Historic District No. 2 is a continuation of Southbury's Historic District and extends north to the commercial area, beyond which lies Woodbury Historic District No. 1. The second Historic District is important because its architecture and historic sites embody the history of the area since the seventeenth century.
In 1672 the General Court granted to a few men of Stratford the "liberty to erect a plantation at Pomperaug," so named for the chief of the Potatuck Indians. The first settlement was begun by fifteen families who came in the following year from Stratford and purchased the land in the plantation from the Indians. In 1674 the Court gave the name "Woodbury" to the plantation; in 1779 part of Woodbury was set off to Washington; in 1787 another part to Southbury; in 1797, another to Roxbury, and in 1807, a fourth part to Middlebury. The remaining town was seven miles long, north to south, and 6 miles wide. The main street followed the old Indian trail, which, according to Indian tradition, passed the grave of Chief Pomperaug.
Woodbury was an active participant in the Revolutionary War. Miss Crofut states that at least half of Ethan Allen's men at Fort Ticonderoga were natives or residents of the town. It is said that the town contributed nearly 1,500 men and half a million dollars' worth of supplies. Since Woodbury was on an inland, protected route, French troops marched through, from Boston to Yorktown in June, 1781, and again in October, 1782, on their return to Boston. In 1778 General Washington sent his troops to build a bridge across the Housatonic River, between Newtown and Woodbury; this area is now part of Southbury. In all probability Washington passed through Woodbury on his fourth journey through Connecticut in September, 1780. (Crofut, p.456).
Woodbury Historic District No. 2 is important to the Town of Woodbury to preserve the heritage and beauty of the area.
† Susan Babbitt, Connecticut Historical Commission, Woodbury Historic District Number 2, Litchfield, CT, nomination document, 1971, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.
Crofut, F.S.M. Guide to the History and the Historic Sites of Connecticut. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1937.
Report of the Historic District Study Committee. Woodbury, Connecticut. February, 1969.