This five-bay, center-chimney Colonial-period cottage on the east side of Camp Bethel Road near its junction with Bridge Road is the Jeremiah Shailer House, built about 1800. Named “Heritage Hill” by its present owners, it is a 2 story house topped by a wood-shingled gambrel roof, with clapboards covering the post-and-beam frame. The gambrel ends exhibit the typical “Cape Cod” fenestration pattern: three small, fixed windows surrounding the central window, for more light in the second story. This house was pictured in Wallace Nutting’s book Connecticut Beautiful, where it was shown with an added entry porch. Then the porch was recently removed, the original Federal-style door surround was also removed, but a six-panel overlight above the door was retained.
Jeremiah Shailer (1770-1845) built this house about the time of his marriage to Jerusha Shailer (1766-1843), just prior to 1800. She was the daughter of Ezra and Jerusha Brainerd Shailer. Behind this house to the east, the land slopes down to the Connecticut River. Shailer, like many of his kinsman, probably made his living as a mariner. His daughter, Maria married Smith Clark. Their son, Jared S. Clark (1822-1888) was the next occupant of the house, and was living here by 1859 (Walling Map). He was a teacher, possibly teaching at the school that formerly stood on the continuation of Bridge Road on the west side of Saybrook Road. The house was sold out of the Shailer family in the early twentieth century.
The architectural significance of this well-maintained gambrel cottage is further enhanced by its setting above the river. It is also valuable for its association with two generations of Shailers.
--Janice P. Cunningham and Elizabeth A. Warner, “The Increase Brainerd House”. Portrait of a River Town. Canton : Greater Middletown Preservation Trust, Inc., 250.
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