Second marriage, (widower by 1722) 16 MAY 1722, Middletown, Connecticut #S16
from: Portland History & Architecture: Deacon Samuel Hall House – 478 Main Street (A75)
This 3 bay, 2 ½ story central chimney Colonial period house faces east onto Main Street slightly south of its intersection with Bartlet Street. It was built ca. 1708 with post-and-beam framing set on a cut brownstone foundation. The house displays a double hewn overhang and a steep, ridge-to-street, asphalt shingled roof. Its three to four foot long clapboards are probably original. Gable-to-street ells are attached to both the north and south sides of the building; its well maintained lawn slopes down toward the Connecticut River, located less than a mile to the west. The foundation remains of an old outbuilding can still be seen slightly south of the house. An extremely well preserved example of early architecture, this building’s interior retains most of its original paneling. The original interior ―Indian shutters‖ for the 12/12 windows are presently being stored in the attic by the owners who plan to replace them in the grooves along the top edge of the chair railings from which they came. In the attic of the north ell a brick chamber cut into the large chimney forms a smoke oven. The Floor plan of this house is very unusual (see Kelly 1863:Ch. 11); the front stairway does not run diagonally across the front of the central chimney, but runs straight back from the front doorway and up the southern face of the chimney stack, a configuration found in mirror image in only one other local house (see 119 High Street).
Samuel Hall, elected Deacon in Cromwell in 1716 and in East Middletown (now Portland) in 1721, probably acquired the land where this house stands in 1708, although a similar parcel went to him from his father Samuel’s estate in 1698. He had certainly erected this house by 1710, as he served in that year as the clerk for the meetings of the group which later formed the town’s first Congregational Church. (Often the fact that he was elected Deacon in Cromwell in 1716 is interpreted to mean that he lived in Cromwell until that time, but it must be remembered that Portland and Cromwell were both part of Middletown and Hall was not considered to be a resident of a different town.) Hall willed the property to his son Captain Samuel Hall, who in turn deeded it to his son David. David’s daughter Sarah (Hall) Churchill acquired the property, passing it to her son and her grandson. The house was then sold back to David Augustus Hall, the great-great-grandson of the house’s builder, who held the property until his death in 1923. At this time it was purchased by Sarah Hall Churchill’s granddaughter Ayala Churchill. Following her death the house was bought by her first cousin (once removed) and is therefore still in the family, being owned by Deacon Hall’s great-great-grandson’s grand nephew. Family tradition maintains that the north ell was a small vacant house near the quarries, given to an early Hall in payment for a debt. According to the same sources the structure was divided south of the stairwell in the 1880’s to form a two family house.
Originally a more agriculturally oriented area, this neighborhood retains only two other 18th century houses (see 492, 497 Main Street) and few 19th century houses. Early-to-mid 20th century styles, most with Colonial Revival style detailing or design, have filled in the area as farming activity declined in the 20th century. Carefully preserved by members of the same family for over 270 years, the Deacon Samuel Hall House is one of Portland’s most remarkable houses.
Inscription: Deacon, in his 77th year.
Note: Original burial in Old Quarry Yard Cemetery, but later removed to the Episcopal Church Yard Cemetery on Main Street. This section was first known as East Middletown, and after 1767 as Chatham.(From The Detroit Society for Genealogical Research)
Burial: Trinity Church Cemetery Portland Middlesex County Connecticut, USA
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