Fred D. Jordan House – Circa 1890
The fine Victorian mansion represents the postbellum development of Willimantic’s hill district. Local industrialist Edwin Buck owned considerable tracts of land on the eastern side of the hill district, and sold them off for building lots in the 1880s. In 1890 he built this house as a rental property. After Buck’s death in 1905, the house was purchased by a local hardware dealer Fred D. Jordan, who was a significant figure in Willimantic history. Jordan came to Willimantic in 1886 to work as clerk in the Carpenter and Fowler Hardware Store, and went into partnership with Arthur B. Carpenter in 1889 after Amos Fowler retired. When Carpenter died, Jordan’s brother William P. Jordan left the Wilson Drug Company and formed a new partnership.
The Jordan brothers purchased the Tilden Block in 1906 and formed the Jordan Hardware Company. The block was destroyed by fire in 1916, but was rebuilt the following year. Jordan became the president of the Jordan Auto Company, the Willimantic Trust Company and the Rockville-Willimantic Light Company and the Atlantic Coast Hardware Company. Fred Jordan was also a trustee of the Connecticut State Hospital, vice president of the Windham Silk Company, a prominent Mason, a member of the Chamber of Commerce, the Odd Fellows, and a staunch Congregationalist. His widow lived in the house until her death in 1941.
This house has a fabulous foyer which charms the visitor instantly. Wow! Is the initial reaction. Along with an interestingly-detailed fireplace, it is the highlight of this property. The woodwork is spectacular with exquisite details such as spiral-turned spindles on the staircase and beading on the door casings. The owners have been told that much of the woodwork is future-grade chestnut. Fortunately for them, the wood is in original condition, no small bonus in a Victorian home. The original three-light lamp sits atop the newel post and working pocket doors separate the foyer from the living room.
The exterior is covered with a five-color paint scheme. On year three, only the rear of the house and some touch up remain to be completed. The colors are Body, Manor Stone; Trim, Mulberry; Highlights, Van Dyke Brown and Burnt Sienna; 3rd floor, blue.