Rt-4 Doors – #ThursdayDoors

Burlington Chamber of Commerce

Our ride to the Goshen Fair had us mostly hugging Rt-4 through the part of Connecticut (CT) that lies between Central CT and northwest CT. As you consider those compass designations, keep in mind that CT is the third smallest state in the US, so carving it up into sections might be cutting along a fine line.

We followed Rt-4 through the towns of Burlington, Harwinton and Torrington. Torrington is a fairly large city. Its 36,000 residents puts it in the top-twenty CT cities ranked by size. It lies along the Naugatuck River, which you might remember from an earlier visit to the bar after we were riding the Naugatuck Railroad. When I left off with the doors last week, we were had just left Torrington, heading east into Harwinton. Today’s gallery includes a few more doors from Harwinton and several doors from Burlington.

Two of the buildings in Burlington are listed on a Connecticut History page, and one is included in the National Registry of Historic Places. The Burlington Congregational Church has an interesting history that reminds us of the degree to which New England towns and governments were formed by the Congregational Church:

“In the eighteenth century, two parishes were established in what was then the West Woods section of Farmington: The New Cambridge Ecclesiastical Society in 1742 and the West Britain Ecclesiastical Society, in 1774. — Those two parishes joined in 1785 to form the new town of Bristol, but differences between the two parishes later led to the separation of West Britain as the town of Burlington in 1806.

The first meeting house had been outgrown by then. According to Epaphroditus Peck, in a 1906 Address on the history of Burlington:

‘It is said that this little meeting-house was never finished inside, and that the swallows used to make their nests in the rafters and often fly in and out during service.’

The 1809 Congregational Church of Burlington was moved, reduced somewhat in size, and rebuilt in the Greek Revival style at its current location on the Burlington Green in 1836.”

Across the green from that church is the more secular, Elton (some say Brown) Tavern. This building was built as a private residence, turned into a tavern serving people traveling on the Litchfield Stage Line along the George Washington Turnpike, and the returned to a private residence through several owners. The following is from the NRHP nomination form:

“This structure, used at one time as a tavern, is now in somewhat poor condition. Potentially restorable to prominence on the town green, it has many interesting features — It is given a blocky, square look by its centered front entry and Palladian style window above. The front entry has a fan Light in five sections and sidelights. Its triangular pediment was once supported by columns; it now stands alone . Its very small modillions give it a carefully planned and executed appearance. Adding to the detail is a design around the fan window. Flush against the facade, fluted pilasters meet at a wide frieze. The modified version of a Palladian window echoes the fluted pilasters and frieze at the capitals, flanking the center window. The window sash is twelve over twelve and has gracefully arching muntins at the top forming the rounded center. In the front gable is a delicate round wooden fanlight. On the raking and return cornices are modillions and dentils, again testimony to the degree of detail offsetting the house.”

Since nominated in 1972, things began looking up for the Elton Tavern. It was purchased by the Town of Burlington in 1974 and is now home to the Burlington Historical Society, which is restoring the building as a museum. Included in the gallery are photos from the nomination form, and a couple from last week.

It’s also interesting to see someone named “Epaphroditus” as it was Epaphroditus Frampton who first recommended centering the entrance of the tavern on the front of the building, facing the green. He was quoted as saying:

Nothing warms the heart of a weary stage traveler as much as the sight of a beautiful door.

Generations later, one of his descendants, Norm Frampton, holds true to his great, great, great…whatever’s love of doors. Each week, Norm invites the international community to come to his stage stop in Canada. So, hitch your team and point your stage to Norm’s place. Check in with the little blue frog and share and enjoy doors from around the world.


  1. The Elton Tavern looks like a lovely building in the old photo, but then they painted it that mauvey-pink!! Oh dear 😳
    On the other hand, the building across from the Chamber of Commerce in the soft buttery-yellow is stunning – especially with those double doors with its black hardware. Oh yes – that’s a good colour!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks so much for sharing these, Dan. These buildings remind me of something out of a movie or perhaps art naive. They don’t quite seem real.
    Best wishes,
    PS By the way, are the houses generally well maintained? These ones seem in A1 condiiton. Here in Australia, I’d be expecting a few signs of neglect with maintaining a timer house and the need for a new coat of paint on at least a few of them.
    Best wishes,

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Dan, reading your post & viewing the photos, I realized what I miss the most living on the west coast & CA! I love wuaint east coast, New England towns, historical buildings & old barns. A treat this morning. Thanks! 📚 Christine

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Love the barn doors on the real estate office as well as the color of the building. The Elton Tavern is quite a nice building, but the color doesn’t look right for it. Perhaps the painters way back then had a crystal ball and knew there would be an Elton John in the future and that he might visit this establishment!! Lol. The stone portal is neat.
    🔹 Ginger 🔹

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Ginger. I wish I could see the color of the tavern. I thought it was blue. The Editor just confirmed that it’s not blue. Maybe they were waiting for Elton.

      I do like the stone portal.


  5. Hi Dan – fun selection … I love the garage with the hanging basket – but then the historical buildings are a delight. Amazing where one finds doors … cheers Hilary

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Wow, where driving along the Rt-4 can lead to – Epaphroditus? That’s a strange sign for a tavern, and an even more “wrong” color for the tavern itself, lol. You may not have read the fine print of the Books (aka Bible), but Epaphroditus is listed there -somewhere around Timothy and Titus, or close to it.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thanks for the lamp, and next to an art, no less :)
    These are all charming in their own right. I love the one-room schoolhouse, what must be the world’s smallest chamber of commerce, and of course, the yellow doors with the yellow mums on the real estate office. Lurve the lello!
    Also, “Flush against the facade, fluted pilasters meet at a wide frieze” is a beautiful way to describe that. Good thing you shared it.
    Great doors!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. So much to love in this door selection. I love the yellow barn doors with the hanging flowers right above. Really gorgeous. I’m not a pink person, but the pink-painted house is so pretty too. Anyway, I will always fall for New England houses.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s funny, Judy. We parked in that building’s lot so I could photograph the little brick Chamber of Commerce. I turned around and saw how beautiful that barn door was, so I had to add it. I love the color combination.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Although, I live in Mumbai I love the charm of the small cities. They have so much character and every other lane is infused with history and tales that surprise you. Recently, I’ve been to Udaipur and I returned with so much content and stories that I’m finding it hard to segregate it and give it some form with my pictures. Great post, this one, Dan. I loved the pictures of the old buildings and the church.

    Liked by 1 person

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