Every home has a story. From new construction residences and country retreats to antique landmarks in town, a home is a piece of living history that preserves remnants of its past, no matter how big or small, how old or new. These three remarkable residences throughout the Berkshires and Connecticut are all very different, yet commonly share one binding chapter in each of their stories—a clear connection to the Revolutionary War and this defining time in American history.
514 Rannapo Road—Sheffield, MA
Timeless exquisiteness encompasses this historic Berkshires home both inside and out. Originally built in 1785, the residence, known as Bull Hill Farm, includes a marvelous Anglo-Indian-style garden highlighted by other pristine antique features associated with a rural New England property such as a chicken coop, animal pasture, livestock shed and an apple orchard. This impeccable quality just continues inside the house, where an extensive history remains, built essentially within its walls. The residence was constructed for Jane Ashley, daughter of Colonel John Ashley, and her husband, John Bull. A notable commander in the first Berkshire County Militia Regiment, Colonel John Ashley was an avid supporter of the American Revolution. His own home, also located in the town of Sheffield, now serves as a museum with important historic ties to the Revolutionary War. Having since been remodeled, Bull Hill Farm now features a circa-1880 front Federal addition, as well as a Civil War-era barn that has been restored as an entertaining and guest space with an intimate sleeping loft, kitchen, and stone loggia with fireplace and patio.
2713 Bronson Road—Fairfield, CT
Also situated near a Revolutionary War site, this antique Italianate-style home is surrounded by history both inside and out. The well-preserved residence, which was built in 1879, sits directly across from one of Fairfield’s oldest cemeteries, known as Greenfield Hill Cemetery. The burial grounds serve as the final resting spot of approximately 1,000 of Fairfield’s earliest settlers, and includes the burial sites of the most Revolutionary War soldiers in the country. The graves of soldiers from the French and Indian Wars, The War of 1812 and Civil War can also be found. In addition to its landmark location in town, the architecturally significant home also provides a warm welcome into a world of everlasting charm with its fine features, details and well-kept antique appeal seamlessly blended with the luxurious amenities of today.
704 Al Harvey Road—Stonington, CT
Resting along the Connecticut shoreline town of Stonington, CT, lies an antique Colonial home with a rich background of prominent past ownership involving both a captain of militia in the Revolutionary War and a privateer in the War of 1812. Originally constructed in 1749, the refurbished residence once served as home to Nathan Crary, who is best remembered for his transportation of salt peter, which was used in gunpowder, to Windham to protect it from falling into British hands. Local historians believe that a heart-shaped cutout on an inside door of Crary’s home was a Patriot’s symbol, and derived from the first Purple Heart badge for bravery created by General George Washington. Twenty years later, his son Jesse was also heroic, gathering fellow Mystic River seamen to recapture his sloop, the Fox, by overpowering a prize crew from blockading British warships. Although lovingly restored to meet today’s modern comforts, the home has not forgotten its past, as incredible historic details still remain throughout. Upon venturing inside, one will find painted and engraved names of other past owners, and beloved antique features such as iron implements made in the former forge on the premises, displayed near some of the home’s six fireplaces.