Martin Park Doors – #ThursdayDoors

First Joseph Clark House

Welcome back to Thursday Doors! After a three-week hiatus, Norm Frampton has opened the door to his wonderful blog for links to our posts. This is how we share our photos of doors that we have discovered. Who are we? We are bloggers and door aficionados from all over the world.

As you might expect, I spent our three-week break gathering doors. I snapped doors while running several errands and I went on one legitimate doorcursion. Still, yesterday morning, I had a surprise encounter with some interesting doors. I was early for a routine car maintenance appointment, so I took the long way to the dealer. I stumbled upon Martin Park in East Hartford and, I noticed three historic buildings. I think surprises should be shared, so I’m going to feature these doors today.

The Huguenot House is an interesting home. It is currently owned by the East Hartford Historical Society and has been moved into Martin Park. It is said to be haunted by Benny and the Blue Lady. The Blue Lady is thought to be the wife of the Makens Bemont, the son of the Edmund Bemont, who built the house in 1761. Benny is thought to be the son of Makers Bemont. Investigators have tried, unsuccessfully, to detect the spirits, but several people have said they have seen the spirits. The history around why this house is called the Huguenot House is less clear. The house was added to the National Registry of Historic Buildings in 1982. According to the nomination form:

The Makens Bemont House, or Huguenot House, is a small 1-story gambrel roofed house dating £rom 1761. It sits far back from the road and, with a war memorial and an 1821 schoolhouse brought to the site, marks the entrance to Martin Park. The house was moved to the site in 1971 from its original location on the opposite side of Burnside Avenue, some 2,500’ to the west. A new underpinning was poured, but the original brownstone-block foundation and steps were repositioned on top of it. The house has a narrow brick walkway in front and a few closely trimmed shrubs along its foundation. Though still undergoing restoration, the house serves as a  museum for the East Hartford Historical; Society.

Behind the Huguenot House is the Goodwin one room schoolhouse. In this case, I am including an excerpt from historicbuidingsct.com

The Goodwin Schoolhouse in East Hartford was built in 1821 by George Goodwin, Jr., a paper manufacturer. He built the school on his own property on Burnside Avenue and hired a teacher to teach his own children and those of his neighbors. A one room schoolhouse, the building was used as a school until 1855, when the students started attending town schools. The former school was moved to Martin Park in 1975 as a gift to the town from George Goodwin, grandson of the original builder.

Behind the Huguenot House on the other side is the Burnham Blacksmith Shop, built c. 1850. The building contains a collection of nineteenth and early twentieth century tools and equipment used in the East Hartford area.

Unfortunately, due to – everybody sing along – the coronavirus, none of the buildings are open.

Heading from the park to the dealer, I passed two similar houses on adjacent lots. It turns out, they are linked – build by the same person. I found some information about these houses on a Connecticut historic site. Below are two excerpts:

First Joseph Clark House (1872)

At 66 Burnside Avenue in East Hartford is a beautifully preserved Italianate house. The exterior has recently been repainted. It was built in 1872 by Joseph Clark, a builder who constructed a number of houses in East Hartford.

Second Joseph Clark House (1877)

Joseph Clark, a carpenter who built many houses in East Hartford, erected the house at 74 Burnside Avenue circa 1877, a few years later than another Italianate house he built at 66 Burnside Avenue. Unlike its neighbor, the house at no. 74 lacks a cupola, but has an Eastlake-style front porch. It is adjacent to Clark Street, which was named for Joseph Clark.

All in all, I think being early for my appointment was a stroke of good fortune. There are a few more images in the gallery today because I’ve included several from the NRHB Nomination Form.

58 comments

  1. “Narrow staircase”. Ya think?!! My great aunt and uncle lived in a very similar home in Valhalla, NY. I could never get over the narrow staircases. Plus they were very straight up and down. Wasn’t so bad going up, but I hated coming down!

    All these doors and buildings are remarkable. Glad they’re getting a second chance and are being renovated. Some things should absolutely be preserved. (That would exclude Trump!😂)
    Ginger

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I wouldn’t want to try and move furniture up that staircase. And you’re right, coming down is worse. These do look steep.

      I was very happy to find these in this park. I was also happy to read that they are being restored. That’s a good cause.

      Take care, Ginger.

      Like

  2. I love a red door, Dan. We had red doors on our first house in Florida. I loved them. I also love a one room school – maybe because my mom taught in one for a while. Great post of some nice historic finds.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Nifty doors and houses Dan. The Makens Bemont house has a hefty chimney. The blacksmith shop seems to have a bashful chimney. Or is the chimney to be restored later ? Nosey enquiring minds are being nosey and enquiring. And don’t worry they most likely won’t come unhinged if the information is unavailable.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I had the same thought about the blacksmith shop, John, but of all the buildings, I found the least amount of information available about that one. It looks like they are just using it to display tools (not that I mind). I don’t think they are going to restore the interior as a blacksmith would have it.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. It’s the entrance to the First Clark House that got my attention, Norm. You know how it goes, you see a door then start looking for a place to park or turn around. I went from being too early for my appointment to hoping I got a few lights green on the way there.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Anytime anyone tosses out the word “Huguenot”, I’m all over it as my ancestors were Huguenots! I’m giving out a hundred gold stars for posting a house with Christmas lights on the outside.

    I took one look at that staircase and could imagine ten different ways I’d trip down — or up — it! :P

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed this, Wendy. Proud to know a Huguenot. When I first started researching that house, I searched on “Huguenot House” – Oh my, there were hundreds. That is the first house with Christmas lights I’ve seen. They may have been up since last year, but it’s OK, we’ve turned the corner.

      And I am with you on the staircase. They said it was narrow, but, that’s beyond what I would consider narrow, and it looks pretty steep.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh, that had to be a fun surprise, Dan. We certainly benefitted from it as readers. I love the entry on the featured photo. I’m glad you included the ghost story– how fun! Those stairs? I get the feeling I might have to turn sideways to use them. Narrow? Someone had a gift for understatement. :) Hugs on the wing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Narrow and they appear to be steep, Teagan. I look at those stairs and think accident waiting to happen. I was very happy to find this park. The two Joseph Clark houses look like they should be neighbors. The second one is for sale, but without the cupola, I’m not sure I’d be interested. I’d have cupola envy living next to the other one ;-)

      I hope you have a nice slide into the weekend.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I loved the door on the First Joseph Clark house–and then you post a photo of the entire house! What a beauty!! Those narrow stairs remind me of stairs in a lighthouse. ‘Course I had to climb them, but there were people on their hands and knees trying to make it up! Ya know–I thought leaving up Christmas lights was a Southern thing, so I love that For Sale by Owner threw those in as a little bonus…. Great doors, Dan.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. What a wealth of doors, Dan. My favorite is the last black and white, because of the roof! Thanks for putting the like in, it helps me to remind me who my friends were. Have been so long without wifi (it’s a good thing, because hubs was building a deck in the forest, so we raked up some $$ to offset the moving costs).. It looks different, did you change your blog look – as I recall you didn’t have the right side bar (or maybe you used it sparingly before?)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So you’ve moved for good? I haven’t been paying attention lately. I did choose a new theme, to go with the new editor. I always had a sidebar but it was smaller in the old theme. I also like the Italinade roofs.

      Like

    1. The schoolhouse is my favorite, too. I can almost imagine being in that classroom. It’s fascinating to consider life in those times. What I read of the ghosts is that they are “Casper-ish” in nature. That’s kind of a fun thought.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I was very happy to be early. I drove through this area for years, but I never knew this park was here, or the Joseph Clark houses. I like the one room school house the best. For the Clark houses, I think i’d like the one with the porch, but I’d add the portico.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Glad you’re back with more a-DOOR-able work, Dan. Lots of attractive pics here. I particularly like the blacksmith shop (great color combo), but they’re all good. And hey, I think I prefer Benny and the Blue Ghost to Benny and the Jets …

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Hi Dan – what a delightful post …
    Makens Bemont … if you look up both names under the auspices of the websites ‘House of Names.com’ (both short and sweet!) … interesting origins – so I’m sure the family ‘escaped’ from Europe/Britain for whatever reason.
    I’m so pleased that they kept the house and reinstalled it for the historical society – wonderful place. Fascinating information you’ve given us – no wonder you were enticed to stop and look.
    George Goodwin seems a good soul – helping his neighbours out with schoolhouse – great he was a paper manufacturer … another interesting historical building.
    Those other buildings also – what a delightful historical park … wonderful buildings (labelling: makers or makens?!) Fantastic photos – loved read this and now await you being able to visit …
    A stroke of good fortune as you say – take care … enjoy the weekend – Hilary

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed it Hilary. It’s not well understood where the house got the name Huguenot House. I looked for connections on Goodwin. Nearby in this town is Goodwin College, and there’s a rather large Goodwin Park across the river in Hartford. Perhaps it was just a popular name, but the school was a nice gesture.

      Like

  11. What a super doors post, Dan! I love the Huguenot House. The narrow stairs brings back memories of my childhood back staircase to the kitchen. And, the school is wonderful, especially the sign.

    Like

  12. What a happy little accident! I like those narrow stairs, too, Jennie. Narrow, enclosed stairs always look snug and secret-passagey. Wouldn’t want to try to get a couch up them, though. Just sayin’.

    Like

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