Connecticut Trust For Historic Preservation

Rollwood Carriage House, Guilford

back to listings

This 26 by 50 foot outbuilding was constructed about 1920 as part of a picturesque gentleman’s farm called Rollwood. The name of the farm was a descriptive contraction of the name of the owner, Rollin Woodruff, a former governor of Connecticut. The main house, which was built in the style of an Adirondack hunting lodge, burned down a few years ago. The property is now owned by the Town of Guilford. The town is offering the building for $1.00 if removed from the site and reconstructed elsewhere. Terms of the sale would include leaving the site clean and obtaining an insurance certificate. Although unusual for the period, the carriage house is of post and beam construction. Shingles clad the exterior. According to an oral history account, it housed the former governor’s car at some point, which would indicate a typical evolution from carriage house to garage. The ground floor is divided into two sections, and one side was probably used as a horse stable for a period of time. Parts of the interior contain bead-board walls and ceilings. Built into a slope, the carriage house has a fieldstone foundation on the side facing the street. Cement was used elsewhere. An attached one-story shed no longer stands, but its outline and roofline can be seen on the east wall where vertical boards appear instead of shingles.If restored to its original appearance, the carriage house would be a handsome asset, but it needs extensive work. A hole in the south side is estimated at fifteen-feet across. The ridge beam is broken and would need to be replaced during reconstruction of the building. Most of the windows are damaged. Some parts of the building are overgrown with vines. If a buyer is not found by November 15, 2003, the town’s public works department will take down the building. Contact: Jim Portley, Town Engineer, 203-453-8037. Further historical information may be obtained from the Henry Whitfield State Museum, 203-453-2467.