Saturday, May 27, 2017

English Style Stone Wall (Madison CT)

The General's Residence
    I had always intended to stop by a house down on the CT shoreline, just to grab a photo of an actual example of a stone wall using an English style of stone stacking that may go back to the early 1700’s. I still haven’t done that but looking at some on-line images, I found that the place has a name and a story I'd been unaware of...
Gen. William W. Harts House (1729)
May 20th, 2017 Posted in Colonial, Houses, Madison
    "The house at 908 Boston Post Road in Madison, currently in a dilapidated condition, was recently subject to a foreclosure. The first person to build on the property was Ensign Nathaniel Dudley, c. 1729-1730, and the building was then expanded over time with several additions. Capt. Edward Griffin (1762-1802), who sailed schooners between between Boston and Haiti, acquired the house in 1799 from Lyman Munger. On one voyage, Capt. Griffin once threw his son Harry overboard after a quarrel. The cook threw over a chicken coop to keep Harry afloat and the young man was later rescued by a passing ship. Capt. Griffin was a slave owner who committed a heinous act. Hearing that revenue officers were coming to his house to assess his property, he entombed two of his slaves by walling them in the basement and leaving them to die.

   The house had a number of owners after Capt. Griffin. Unoccupied from 1895 until 1909, it then became the summer home of Martha Hale and her husband, William Wright Harts (1866-1961). An 1889 graduate of West Point, Harts served in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, eventually rising to the rank of Brigadier General. He oversaw a number of large construction projects, involving fortifications and river and harbor engineering. In 1901, he was sent to the Philippines, where he built roads and designed and constructed Fort McKinley (now Fort Bonifacio).

    During World War I, Harts served in France and was appointed military governor of the Paris District and then Chief of Staff of the Army of Occupation in Germany. He was also a military aide to President Woodrow Wilson. Back in the United States, he supervised construction of the Lincoln Memorial and the Arlington Memorial Amphitheater. He lived in Madison full time after 1930. The general’s uniform is now in the collection of the Madison Historical Society. In the years since his death in 1961, the house, which came to be called the “General’s Residence,” has been a wedding dress shop, a restaurant, and a bakery."

"The General's Residence on 2/25/2017, the scheduled day of the Foreclosure Auction. It was suddenly delayed until early May. See
For more images of this home see
(Photo credit - Bob Gundersen"

Headed North in Street View, some interesting curves:
So, there you go, a Post Contact Stone Wall.
Compare to the possible Indigenous constructions,
Ceremonial Stone Landscape Features, of past posts from Madison.
One great example of a "species specific" effigy can be found not too much farther north along that Old Indian Shoreline Path, a Diamondback Terrapin, a small spot to burn tobacco below it before making use of the salt marsh resource zone where these turtles can sometimes still be found:

And then there's Hammonasset
(Stone Fish Weir)
(Split and Filled Boulder)

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