E. Frank Bugbee House – Circa 1901
Bugbee’s father, Edwin Bugbee, had developed Willimantic’s lumber and coal distributing trade in the 19th century and lived in the neighborhood. The younger Bugbee was widely known and fondly remembered by some current Willimantic residents as E. Frank Bugbee. After graduating from Yale Law School, Bugbee served as prosecuting attorney for the city, president of Willimantic Trust Company, and was instrumental in the foundation and building of the Windham Community Memorial Hospital.
The current owners have made noticeable improvements to the exterior. A new color scheme of soft tones and the new architectural roof shingles have enhanced the curb appeal of the large house and its multi-car, two-story garage. A new perennial and annual planting bed and stately maple trees add charm to the grounds. Upon opening the house’s porch door, one is immediately dazzled by the size, yet complete coziness of the porch which is separated into a glassed-in section and a screened-in section on the front and side. The slate floor, wicker and other furniture, brightly filled planters and hanging plants create a favorite reading and relaxing haven.
The next feature that is unique to a Victorian is the single glass/wood door which is almost the size of the traditional double entry doors. It is quite grand and prepares the visitor for further grandeur to come. The foyer includes an elegant staircase highlighted with paneling, twisted or rope spindles, and is crowned by the characteristic gorgeous stained glass window on the 2nd floor landing. To the left, is a spacious living room which we venture to guess may have been the two-room parlor/living room typical of that era. The multi-textured walls (borders, crown moldings), the marble fireplace, huge & numerous windows provide a perfect setting for entertaining.
The dining room features a fabulous chandelier decorated with real roses on special occasions. From there, the visitor is surprised to discover that the kitchen is actually two rooms, both pristine white with cobalt blue accents. One is the working kitchen for preparation of meals, while the other serves as the eating area and has a convenient computer work station.
The next treat in store for the visitor is the family room addition which melds harmoniously with the rest of the house. The skylight and large bank of windows on two walls contribute to the cheerful spaciousness of this room. The second floor bedrooms are decorated with an interesting, eclectic collection of antiques and have pleasant window seats under the large windows. Two handsome bathrooms with original fixture, and an interesting alcove in the front hall complete this story.
What visitors will not see in the terrific sanctuary that the couple savors on the 3rd floor. Rumored to have been the quarters of the Bugbee’s longtime chauffeur, this amazing area includes a long hardwood floor hallway, bedroom with skylights, library, and oversized bathroom/dressing room. Another perfect getaway, interrupted only be the security system’s occasional buzzing on the 3rd floor when one of the adult children enters the house.