LOST MANSFIELD # 20: THE STORRS HOMESTEAD.
Mansfield’s master architect-builder, Edwin Fitch, built this house for Royal Storrs in 1849. It was the boyhood home of Charles and Augustus Storrs, the later founders of the Storrs Agricultural School, now the University of Connecticut. The main house is a Federal style colonial to which Greek revival elements were added, including pedimented gables and corner pilasters. There are also porticos supported by Doric columns at both the front and side entrances. The two-story ell was probably a later addition. The house, now gone, stood near the intersection of Route 195 and Gurleyville Road. Its gable end faced onto Gurleyville Road.
In 1875, Augustus Storrs purchased the Storrs family farm from his older brother, Royal Otis Storrs. Augustus had a deep interest in agriculture and over the following years, he developed the farm as an example of husbandry at its best. In 1881, he gifted a portion of his farmlands and the former Connecticut Soldiers’ Orphans’ Home property to the State of Connecticut to establish the Storrs Agricultural School.
The house later passed to his younger daughter, Marie Antoinette, who had married Benjamin Eyre Valentine on November 6, 1872. The Valentines resided there until 1907 when the property was leased and later purchased by the college. Over the following years the Valentine house served at various times as faculty housing, a woman’s dormitory and a practice house for domestic science students. It was torn down in 1939 when the Edwina Whitney residence hall was constructed.
This series is made possible by a Capacity Building Grant from The Last Green Valley, Inc.