"Here amid these picturesque hills our forefathers and foremothers toiled for the sake of goodly heritage. We should do no less."

Willington Common Historic District

The historic district was established in 1981 and includes eight houses and their associated out buildings, two churches, a town meeting house, a store and a former tavern. The district is listed on the State and National Register of Historic Places as are four additional properties that closely abut the district. The Willington town common with its rich variety of institutional and residential buildings establishes the district’s distinct character as a rural crossroads village. The commons shape and sloping lawn are typical of New England’s early town centers and has remained essentially unchanged since about 1800. Several distinguished examples of Colonial period architecture are located around the common. Both the Old Manse and the Rice-Merrick House are superior examples of the Cape style. The Minor Grant Store is a rare survival of an eighteen-century commercial building which has retained its essential form and orientation. The Hiram-Rider House and the Deacon Turner House are excellent well-preserved rural interpretations of domestic Federal and Greek Revival architecture. Both display an exceptional degree of architectural detail for rural farmhouses.

The Old Congregational Church

(R) Built in a simple Gothic Revival style with a small bell tower. Built by the Congregational Ecclesiastical Society of Willington. The builder was L.J. Westcott of Willington. Fifty men “raised the church” on June 22, 1876. During World War II the bell was removed from the tower so that airplane spotters could use the tower. The bell was never replaced and was mounted on a stone foundation near the corner of the building.

The Old Town Hall

(L) Built by the Town of Willington in 1876 . The construction of this building simultaneously with the Congregational Church was intended to clarify the responsibilities of town and society for the use and maintenance of their respective meeting places. The builder was Lorenzo Ide. The gable-roofed building resembles a typical earlier one-room New England schoolhouse, with its gable end facing the street and doorways at either side.

Old Town Hall and the Congrgational Church

The Old Baptist Parsonage

Built in 1830 by Albert Sharp, as the parsonage for the Baptist Ecclesiastical Society. The two story structure is a Federal period house built in the transitional Federal/Greek Revival style.

The Old Baptist Parsonage

The Old Manse

Built before 1739, is a five bay, one and one half story Cape with an unusual combination of roof form. The rear slope has only one pitch, while the front slope has the double pitch of the gambrel type with three shed roof dormers.

The Old Manse

The Deacon Turner House

Built in 1849 in the Greek Revival style. It has a fully pedimented flashboarded gable supported by pilasters, frieze and entablature. The entrance portico features fluted columns capped by Iconic capitals and frames a doorway with a transom and sidelights.

Deacon Turner House

The Rice-Merrick House

Another more traditional Cape Cod house built before 1771 by John Rice. The windows of its five bay façade are placed well below the eaves and flank a simple door surround with a five pane transom. The property came into the possession of Gideon Merrick in 1811 and served as the home of the Merrick family for several years while they operated the store next door.

Rice-Merrick House

The Miner Grant House

On February 3, 1797, the town of Willington voted to accept the report of a committee “prefixing a spot to erect Capt. Grant’s store on the common near the south meeting house”. The building was originally a one and a half story cape. It is typical of eighteen century commercial building with a broad gable end with larger windows facing the street. The store entrance was located where the chimney now stands. It continued in operation until the Civil War era.

Miner Grant House

The Hiram Rider House

Built in 1820 by Captain Hiram Rider, in the Federal style with a ridge to street orientation. The five bay façade displays flared lintels above the first floor windows and an Italianate door hood. The cornices of the main block and the end pediments are decorated with dentils and separated by unusual molding with repeating pattern of small holes decorating the soffit.

Hiram Rider House

The Baptist Meeting House

Completed October 31, 1829, by the Baptist Ecclesiastical Society of Willington. It was built in a transitional Federal/Greek Revival style. The builder was a local carpenter, Albert Sharp, who also built the parsonage. A belfry surmounted by a drum and a small dome and topped by a weather vane provides an impression of a steeple. A conference room and Sunday school room were added in 1842.

Old Baptist Church

The Silas Glazier House

Built by Hiram Rider during the summer of 1816. Sold to Daniel Glazier the following year and inhabited by Daniel’s father, Silas Glazier and his wife. Remnants of the center chimney and stone base are scattered in the basement.

Silas Glazier House

The Daniel Glazier House

This cedar shingled, Cape Code style house may have been built before 1808. The small gable windows near the eaves resemble an earlier construction style of the 18th Century. The central chimney and stone base are removed. A central windowless room now occupies the double fireplace space. The barn historically associated with this house, which stands on the opposite side of Rt. 74, appears to have been built in the mid-nineteenth century.

Daniel Glazier House

The Jonathan Weston House

Built before 1835, probably by Jonathan Weston. Originally built as a story and a half, three quarters Cape Code attached to a to a single story pre-existing building. Between 1897 and 1955 the shed dormers were added to convert it to a two story. The large maple trees in the front lawn were planted by W.W. Curtiss in 1877.

Jonathan Weston House

The Daniel Glazier Tavern

The two story, hip roofed structure was built before 1816 for Daniel Glazier. Daniel’s son Isaac was the first Tavern keeper of record. The large central chimney services fireplaces in five rooms. The second floor ballroom was used for town meetings for about thirty years, till 1840, during cold winter months. There are claims that the space under the hip roof was used as a station on the underground railroad for slaves escaping to Canada before the Civil War. The building is now owned by the Willington Historical Society.

Daniel Glazier Tavern