Wilton Little House – Circa 1888
Edith C. and Wilton E. Little, an employee of Hillhouse & Taylor, bought the property at 122 Windham Street from the Windham Cotton Manufacturing Company in 1892. In 1896, they sold the land and house to George P. Phenix, the 2nd Principal of Normal School, now ECSU. The property was then sold in 1904 to Henry Burr for whom ECSU’s Burr Hall is named. The house was sold once again to Albert French who sold it to Roland B. Jordan, owner of the Jordan Auto Company. His daughter, Elizabeth, sold it to David Meyers in 1980.
Between 1992 and 1994, the new owners did much restoration work. Vinyl siding was removed from the outside of the house and the beautiful woodwork was uncovered and restored. The kitchen area was enlarged by incorporating the existing mudroom into the eating area and building a new entrance way. Custom black walnut cabinets were installed. The floor of the front porch was rebuilt and a new roof was put on. The center chimney was rebuilt and the painted brick fireplace in the formal parlor was replaced by a marble and wood fireplace. The mantel was made to match the pineapple woodwork, (which signifies hospitality), in the rest of the house. The old steam radiators which have a beautiful cast design, were sanded down and repainted. The maple floors were refinished and the house was completely redecorated.
There are double pocket doors leading from the front entry to the front parlor and from there to the formal parlor. The front and back staircases lead to a landing which goes to the 2nd floor. A small balcony can be accessed off the 2nd floor hallway. The master bedroom has a working pedestal sink. Two styles of stained glass windows are featured. The transom over the front parlor window is asymmetrical art nouveau. The three at the bottom of the stairs are folk style.
The backyard is a nice sanctuary from the city because it is below street level. It has an old fountain not currently working and a huge maple tree in the center of the yard. There is a raised area of the yard with a beautiful beech tree and stairs to the garage, which faces Prospect Street on a second lot.
Jeff has enhanced the magnificent architectural features outlined above with antiques from his relatives whose ancestry dates to Capt. Ichabod Smith, one of the original settlers of West Haven. Prominently on display will be a sampler by his great-grandmother in celebration of our centennial in 1876. Smith guests will have no trouble dreaming of life in another era as they slumber in one of the four-poster beds.
Visitors will notice that the exterior of this home is in the process of a year-long renovation. The scalloped shingles in the gable ends were replaced and the house’s paint was completely removed. When completed, the striking combination of pink, teal and historic green on the varied architectural textures and features will make an already beautiful house a knock-out!