LOST MANSFIELD # 13: THE EXPERIENCE PORTER HOUSE, SPRING HILL
This house was built c. 1730 by Experience Porter and was later owned by the Howe, Shumway and Seagraves families. One of the focal points of the Spring Hill area, it was a fine example of a classic central-chimneyed 18th century home. The corniced central entrance and 12 over 12 windows exemplify this period.
The house was demolished sometime between 1892 and 1894 when the Bradley Sears family resided there. According to local lore, Clara (Coombs) Sears decided to surprise her husband while he was absent serving as superintendent of the Town Farm in Rockville. She had the old homestead torn down and a new Victorian farmhouse built in its place. As amusing as this tale may be, it seems unlikely that her husband would not have known and approved of the project.
The Sears property was later acquired by the Connecticut Agricultural College and for many years served as its sheep farm. Today the University of Connecticut still utilizes the barns and the house serves as a UConn rental property.
This series is made possible by a Capacity Building Grant from The Last Green Valley, Inc.