Augustus M. Dowd House
circa 1850 ♦ 318 Boston Post Road
The Augustus M. Dowd House was constructed in 1850 for Augustus Dowd and his family. Despite the house's Greek Revival style, it has an atypical and unique design due to stylistic alterations added after the house's construction. Greek Revival Style was popular in Madison from 1825 to 1860 and employs architectural techniques from Ancient Greece, which Americans of the time viewed as the birthplace of democracy. The house's gable window, timber frame, and main block remain as the last markers of the house's Greek Revival style. Later additions to the house have included an oriel window, bay window, porte-cochere, and balcony that have given the house an irregular construction plan significantly different from Augustus Dowd's original plan.
Augustus M. Dowd was born on September 18, 1823, to Manfred and Lucy (Kelsey) Dowd in Madison, Connecticut. Augustus became a farmer and married Rebecca Bradley Field. Rebecca Bradley Field was born on June 20, 1825, to Jedidiah Field, a farmer, and Rebecca Bradley. Augustus and Rebecca had one daughter, Ellen Dowd. Ellen was born on October 21, 1847 and died unmarried on April 19, 1882 at the age of 34. In 1850, Augustus constructed the Augustus M. Dowd House on his father-in-law's land for his family. The next year, Augustus purchased the house and 8 acres from his father-in-law for $600. Augustus lived in the house until he died in 1894 at the age of 71. In his will, Augustus stipulated that the house would remain in Rebecca's possession until her death and afterward become the property of the Town of Madison. Once the house became the property of the Town of Madison, the town would sell the house and use the proceeds to support the construction of a new high school. Upon Rebecca's death in 1904 at the age of 79, the Town of Madison gained ownership of the house.
In 1907, the Town of Madison sold the house to Frederick B. Goddard of New York City. Frederick was a stockbroker born in 1835. He and his wife, Lydia, who was born in 1837, had a son, Ralph. Ralph was born in 1862 and was the President of the Meadow Brook Farm Company. Ralph received the house from his father in 1916 and sold the house to Sylvia Nash of Jackson Heights, New York, in 1929. Nash's ownership of the house was short-lived as she sold the house to sisters Caryl and Frances Keating in 1933.
Caryl and Frances Keating were born in 1899 and 1901 respectively to Grace B. Keating in Erie, New York. The Keatings moved to Manhattan at some point and shared the Augustus M. Dowd House with their Older Sister, Alice K. Cheney, who was born in 1894. Alice married Horace Bushnell Cheney Jr. and was a founder of the Jitney Players, a traveling theatre troupe. In 1980, Frances's estate sold the house to Armand and Jeanne Parisee and Roberta and Patricia Mauro for $185,000. In 1993, Douglas and Pamela McAvay of Killingworth, Connecticut, purchased the house for $585,000. Four years later, Madison Bed and Breakfast purchased the house for $557,000 before selling the home to its current owners in 2006.