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Samuel Brown Hill House

circa 1845 ♦ 524 Boston Post Road

Built in 1845, 524 Boston Post Road is an Italianate Building. Italianate architecture became popular in New England during the 1840s and by the end of the Civil War had become more popular than the Greek Revival architecture that characterizes many house in Madison. 524 Boston Post Road’s exterior demonstrates Italianate architecture with its cubic shape and overhanging roof. The house’s interior rooms sit around the hall and stairway which act as a central circulation area and the interior finishes are simple. Additionally, the property also contains an outbuilding that is one of the few remaining timber-framed buildings in Madison.

Samuel Brown Hill acquired 524 Boston Post Road from Noah Hill in 1834 for $47. Records indicate that Samuel Hill constructed a house and barn on the property sometime between 1843 and 1848. Hill was a carpenter born in 1812. His wife Caroline E. was born in 1820 and bore his three children: Orphena R. (b. 1840), Charles S. (b. 1846), and Seldon B. (b. 1848). Hill owned 524 Boston Post Road until he sold the 10 acres of property to Samuel Fiske in 1857 for $2000.

Samuel Fiske was born in Shelburne, Massachusetts, in 1828. He attended Amherst where he studied theology. On June 3, 1857, Fiske, at the age of 29, was ordained as the 5th Pastor of the First Congregation Church of Madison where he served as pastor until 1861. During his stay in Madison, Fiske enlarged his property by purchasing an additional 12 acres from Lucy C. Elliott in exchange for $620. Fiske’s tenure as pastor of the First Congregation Church ended prematurely as the outset of the Civil War drove Fiske to enlist as a private in the 14th Connecticut Regiment of the Union Army. Despite Fiske’s low rank, his gallantry impressed his superior officers and caused him to receive three promotions and eventually achieve the rank of captain. Fiske fought for the Army of the Potomac in numerous battles including Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, and the Wilderness where he was shot in the right lung and collarbone on May 6, 1864. On May 22, 1864, Fiske died of his wounds.

After Fiske’s death, the Town of Madison auctioned off Fiske’s home. Jonathan Trumbull Lee purchased the home for $1,100 but only owned the house for three years. In 1868, William H. Demorest purchased the home before selling it to Alanson Redfield in 1869.

After Alanson Redfield purchased the Samuel Brown Hill House in 1869, the house remained in the possession of the Redfield family for the next 99 years. After Alanson Redfield died in 1930, he gave the house to his son Edwin, who was born in 1860 and worked at R.G. Dun and Co. for 40 years. After Edwin died in 1933, his son, Scranton H. Redfield gained control of the house. Scranton owned the house until he sold it in 1968 to William D. and Shirley B. Swetland.

Four years after the Swetlands purchased the home, they sold it to Leon and Marjorie Francisco who quickly sold the house to Bruce and Patricia Bates in 1973. The Bates inhabited the house for 22 years before selling it to J. Gray Somers Jr. and Constance H. Somers in 1995. The Somers sold the house in 1998 to Roland I. and Esther E. Ferrera from whom C. Gardner McFall bought the house in 2001.

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