Thursday Doors – Selden Brewer House

Hockanum School House
The school was built in 1870 and in service until the 1940s. After that, it served as a library branch.

There aren’t many interesting doors on my daily commute. I guess if I am going to continue with this series, I’m going to have to get out and do some exploring or start taking the long way to work. Perhaps I’ll take the long way home.

Uh oh.

There it goes.

I can’t say “take the long way home” without getting the Supertramp song stuck in my head. That phrase may not have that effect on you, but I’m willing to bet that my daughter has got that song rattling around in her head right now and is saying bad things about me. Here you go honey, here’s a link to a live version.

Anyway, today’s door is at the Selden Brewer House in East Hartford, CT, but it’s not the door to the Selden Brewer House. The door to the actual house was less interesting. The door to the actual house was also going to be hard to photograph because there are lights shining on it. Maybe a little later in the year, when the sun is higher, I’ll get a suitable picture of that door.

Today’s door is on a somewhat rundown, uninspiring building on the same property. You can rent rooms in the Selden Brewer House for events. I don’t think there are any rooms for rent in this place, but the entrance is more interesting.

I sent an email to the East Hartford Historical Society asking them for some information. Like most historical societies, EHHS is run and staffed by volunteers. Usually, you send an email to those groups and it’s like yelling into a cave. However, in a matter of only a few hours, I received a reply:

This was lastly a branch of the Raymond Library.  Previously it was the Hockanum school house.”

At first I was wondering if that meant the building had been moved. I forgot that people in Connecticut are fond of referring to neighborhoods as distinct entities. Hockanum is an area in East Hartford, CT. Not really a town, but I would expect it to have certain elements of its own identity. That’s the way we roll here in New England.

Further research reveals that the school was built in 1870 and served in that capacity until the 1940s. I like the fact that it has been preserved.

Selden Brewer House
The Selden Brewer House is on the right. The building on the left is the old Hockanum School.

This post is part of the series of Thursday Doors started by Norm Frampton.


  1. I think it’s obvious that it’s a school house. It looks remarkably like the schoolhouse attached to the church in my neighborhood. Maybe they were constructed around the same time? Gorgeous door. I love old things.
    “Take the Long Way Home” was in my head as soon as I read it. But you know what? Taking the long way home is a proven stress-fighter. Less traffic, more scenic views, lower blood pressure. You could get all that AND doors! :)
    Neighborhoods in Indianapolis are also given names. Woodruff, Lawrence, Nora, Irvington, Broad Ripple, many more — and yes, they do have personalities :)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The old schools where I grew up tended to be long and low. This looked more like a church to me.

      My editor (wife) was a little miffed that I suggested that naming neighborhoods might be a bad thing. Oddly enough, we live in one of the few towns that broke away from its original parent and incorporated on its own.

      I do enjoy taking the long way home (there it goes again) and I like doors so this should be an enjoyable series.

      Thanks for stopping by.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. We don’t have many interesting doors here, but I will seek some out now that weather is conducive to walking. The Brewer family was quite influential in my Michigan town with a large estate and many acres. In fact my parents now live in a condo on what used to be part if the Brewer estate. Now I’ll have to check out ehat they influenced (I should remember). Wonder uf there’s any connection to the Connecticut Brewers!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Now that I’ve committed to this series, I am paying more attention to the doors I pass. Sometimes, if the highway is backed up, I end up on some 2-lane roads through historic sections of local towns. Lots of interesting doors, but I’m always a little sheepish about taking a picture of the door to someone’s house and plastering it on the Internet. I guess it doesn’t matter, I mean I can see it from the street, and probably from Street View in Google Earth. I haven’t had much luck finding out what Selden Brewer did besides own a nice house. Thanks for dropping by,


      1. Yes, I’m still way too timid about taking photos out on the streets – and we’ve all been ‘messaged’ to pay attention to oddities so it makes sense someone might question what we’re doing. Such are the dangers fir intrepid bloggers 🙀

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Until (and even after) that happens (if it happens) Sharukh, you are more than welcome to join us and post your own Thursday Door. Norm has made it very easy. Click on the link to his blog and press the blue button to see how easy it is.


  3. I like the fact that there are some who are intent on saving history instead of tearing history down to replace history with modern designs. I like these challenges because it gets you to look for things you would otherwise not see. Would you have honestly seen this door if not for the challenge? Hmmmmm …. Wonderful post, Dan. I do feel sorry for your daughter ’cause I KNOW what it is like when a tune gets stuck in a head. Drives one bonkers! LOL Love, Amy

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Amy. I particularly like the doors because most of the buildings we build today have such boring nondescript glass and aluminum slabs – it pathetic. A door should say “Welcome – please come in” most doors today say “meh.”


  4. Lovely doors. And yes, that phrase immediately brings to mind the song you mentioned. Ah well, there is always some song or another playing in my head. Might as well let that one have a turn for a while. :)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I am enjoying your A-to-Z effort Evelyne but I don’t think I could come up with something everyday. The doors are fun, but I am going to have to get out a little further off my normal path. Sorry about getting that song stuck, sometimes it helps to pass it along to others :)

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Ha! Now we ALL have that song stuck in our head! Funny how one line can do that. I love the door–transom window, too! And overhead, a pediment, is it called? Nice job on the door, Dan.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Elaine. I was surprised by the quick response. The funny thing is that I’ve been driving by that building for 10 years and I only thought to find out more about it because of this photo series.


    1. My daughter had the opportunity to visit Italy while she was in art school to paint and photograph various areas. It seems like such a fabulous place to take interesting photos. Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment.


    1. Thank you. Quite a difference from buildings like this to today’s school I suppose. I started school in an old school, but it had been built as a school, with grades K-6, administrative offices and two large multi-purpose rooms. Maybe it was ahead of its time in the 1920s, I never gave it much thought.


    1. I don’t know of anyone who went to school there. I might have to do some digging but there might be a few still around. I think it was an elementary school. So, if it closed in the ’40s, they would be in their 80s or so. Maybe…

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Once I saw the image of the whole building I thought, “Oh yes. That’s a classic old one room school house!” I hope there’s funds to restore it. That old Portico is nice.

    I’m going to have to scroll up and click the link to the song or I’ll be replaying that one line in my head all. day. long! :)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sorry about the song. It’s finally out of my head, but if I read this post again, it will be right back. They seem to be keeping the school in god shape, but I don’t know if there are any plans for restoring it. Thanks for the comment.


  7. This is a really fun idea for a series. I’m going to have to start looking out for doors now – although in Hong Kong we don’t have much in the way of interesting doors. Sadly.
    It must make walking around fun if you’re always on the lookout for interesting doors.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Norm has been doing this for a long time. I always liked his posts so I’m glad he made it easy to join in the fun. I do find myself on the lookout for doors. I have to go into Hartford next Friday, and I am already planning to go in early so I can walk around a certain part of town.


  8. The thing is, Dan, once you get Supertramp in your head, that’s it. “Goodbye, doorway, it’s been nice, hope your knockers don’t get iced. Tried to break in, pick the lock. Got arrested, what a shock.”

    Liked by 1 person

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