The Uncle Sam statue that had once looked down upon attendees to the Great Danbury State Fair is now back in Danbury after a few decades in upstate New York. The statue was dedicated on July 25, 2019, at its new home watching the intersection of White and Liberty Street from the parking lot of the Danbury Railway Museum. Attendees for the ceremony were offered free train rides and treated to speeches from Mayor Boughton and Jack Stetson, among others.
The city of Danbury’s quest to preserve a singular architectural landmark of the city’s mid-19th century history will be celebrated when Western Connecticut State University presents a special exhibit highlighting the 160-year-old Octagon House and Orson Squire Fowler,whose 1848 book inspired its construction.
Items on display in the lobby of the Haas Library and in an online exhibit.
Danbury’s octagon house, built in 1853, is a result of a fad started by Orson S. Fowler. It is one of the few octagon houses (there are 13 said to be remaining in Connecticut) that follows Fowler’s exact instructions for construction in his 1848 book, “The Octagon House: A Home for All.”
The neighborhood that formed around the area where the house was built was home to many of the immigrant hatters. Two of those hatters, the Attick brothers, purchased the octagon house from the Earle family in 1918. The house remained in the Attick family until 1980 when a cousin, Ann Abraham, purchased the house at a bank foreclosure auction.
Though on the National Register of Historic Places, by the summer of 2013 the octagon house was again in foreclosure and the property was becoming increasingly derelict. An article in the News-Times announces that the city of Danbury plans on purchasing the landmark in an attempt to save the octagon house from ruin and improve the surrounding neighborhood.
The City of Danbury has torn down a home built in 1837.
According to Danbury historian, William Devlin, “It was built by or for Phineas Crosby, a stagecoach operator who was the earliest developer of the current downtown…it was one of the last single-family homes up in that area of Main Street.”
Crosby’s grave site from Findagrave.com
Page from the application for the home to be on the Register of Historic Places
If you have a point of view regarding demolition of Danbury’s historic homes, let City officials hear your opinion.
Link to the Mayor’s Office
The Mayor’s letter regarding the property to the City Council.