Connecticut Trust For Historic Preservation

Wyllys Russell House and Barn, Branford

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Built in 1820, this two-story house retains a high degree of authenticity. It is located in an area known since colonial times as Canoe Brook. Today the neighborhood is listed in the National Register of Historic Places as the Canoe Brook Historic District. The owners of the Russell House are offering the building free of charge to anyone who will use a properly licensed contractor to remove the building from the property for restoration elsewhere. Seventeen condominium units are proposed for the site. The house is of post and beam construction and wood shingles sheath the exterior. A one-story portico forms the focal point of the symmetrical facade, which has two windows on either side of the entry on the first floor and five windows across the second story. Two columns support a shallow hipped roof over the front door. The door is paneled with a four-light transom above. It is flanked by pilasters. The windows were converted to two-over-two sash later in the nineteenth century. The brick center chimney serves three fireplaces. The interior remains largely intact, primarily due to the fact that only two families have occupied the house since its construction. Wyllys and Laura Russell built the house on land that had been conveyed to them by Laura’s mother in 1816. Wyllys Russell lived there for at least fifty years. Frederick S. Jordon bought the house in 1875, and his daughter, Caroline, occupied it until her death in 1989. At present, the building is owned by Caroline Jordon’s heirs. In addition to the house, the property contains a nineteenth-century barn that needs to be relocated. The barn has a hayloft. The barn’s dimensions are approximately 29 feet by 25 feet. The house contains approximately 2,100 square feet of floor space. Contact: Joe FitzGerald, RE/MAX Alliance, 203-781-8858.