Tour of Historic Buildings in Meriden, NH

by Jane Stephenson
A map of historic homes in Meriden, NH. Click on the map to see/print a larger version.

The map at left shows the location of each house or building. The numbered descriptions below refer to the map numbers. Click on the map image at left to see/print a larger version.

Meriden Baptist Church

1. Baptist Church: Organized in 1792, the Baptists built this brick church with its recessed entrance in 1838. The church combines Gothic and Greek Revival elements, with Italianate ornament added later to the doorway. It has a working pipe organ which was installed in 1867. The stained glass windows date from 1916.

Sargent/Penniman House - KUA

2. Sargent/Penniman KUA. This small Cape Cod house with its attached shed and barn was built c.1812, and originally had a center chimney.

Stickney, Mahoney House

3. Stickney/ Mahoney. One of the earliest houses in Meriden Village, this Cape Cod house with an asymmetrical facade was built c.1790 and retains its center chimney. The barn was probably built in the early nineteenth century.

Davis, Hall Farm - KUA

4. Davis/ Hall Farm KUA. This Greek Revival house was built in 1856. Given to KUA by the daughter of Mr. Francis Hall in 1913, it has been known as the school farm since. It is a good example of a northern New England farmstead with connected outbuildings. It supplied the KUA community with most of its food for much of the last century.

Dickerson/Frost House - KUA

5. Dickerson/Frost KUA. Built in 1808 as a center chimney house by the Rev. David Dickerson, the Congregational minister in Meriden from 1804-1819, the house was extensively “modernized” in 1870 with the addition of an Italianate portico and brackets along the roof, cornice and windows.

Nefinger/Jones House - KUA

6. Nefinger/Jones KUA. This center chimney Cape Cod house was built in 1840 into the side of the hill, which allowed construction of an above-ground cellar.

7. Wells/Swett. This house, built in 1815, was once the hat shop of Henry Wells (1798-1877) who made hats, kid gloves and slippers.

Baker, Hegel House

8. Baker/Hegel. Originally built c.1800 as a center chimney Cape Cod house, this house was extensively remodeled about 1840 in the Greek Revival style. Note the recessed porch in the pediment, the porch columns and the wide frieze.

9. Russell/ MacLeay. Built c.1827 this Federal house was the parsonage of the Congregational Church until 1934. The house was destroyed and a reproduction was built in 2008.

Bryant, Kilton House

10. Bryant/Kilton House KUA. This fine Federal brick house was built in 1825 and is notable for its brickwork, three recessed arches on the front of the building, a fanlight, granite lintels and massive granite foundation stones. The original ell was one-story, and the Douglass addition is a dorm built in 1987.

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11. Cutler/Chellis Hall KUA. Built in 1837, this has been a KUA dormitory for many years. Note the attractive use of the granite and brick, and the louvered fan in the gable. The addition was built in 1938.

12. Spalding/Welch House KUA. Joshua Spalding (1789-1866), who built this house, was a watch and clockmaker, and his shop was in the northeast room of the house. Between the two windows on the right side of the house is a large wrought iron hook that held his clockmaker’s sign.

13. Gotum/Chellis/Estey. Built c.1795, this Cape Cod house with a center chimney has a narrow front doorway and narrow windows, and retains much of its original woodwork.

Wells/Huse House - KUA

14. Wells/ Huse KUA. This 1850 Greek Revival house was the home of Dr. Ernest Huse, a much respected Meriden physician who lived here from 1909 to1940. The wrap-around porch was added in the twentieth century.

Cole/Hazelton House - KUA

15. Cole/Hazelton House KUA. This Federal brick house with a narrow gable and interior chimneys was built c.1825. It has an attractive fan and pediment.

Meriden Country Store and Post Office - KUA

16. Meriden Country Store and Post Office. Designed by Stephen Tracy, a local architect, the store was built in 1935 after a fire destroyed the earlier store.

Spaulding House

17. Spalding/KUA. This Cape Cod house, with an interesting hooded doorway, semi-elliptical fanlight and sidelights extending half way to the floor, was built c.1820. John Spalding was a cabinetmaker and machinist who also made surveyors’ compasses.

Snack Bar - KUA

18. Daniel Kimball’s sheep barn: Built in the eighteenth century by Daniel Kimball, founder of KUA, this barn is used as the KUA snack bar.

Barnes Hall - KUA

19. Barnes KUA. This handsome Classical Revival stone building with a temple front, Doric columns and arched windows, was built in 1924 as the KUA library. Since 1980 it has been the KUA admissions office.

Baxter Hall - KUA

20. Baxter KUA. Built in 1892 in the Queen Anne style and extensively remodeled in 1921, this is the fourth KUA building to stand on this site since the school was founded in 1813. The previous buildings all burned.

Bryant Hall - KUA

21. Bryant KUA. Built in 1910 in the Colonial Revival Style, this three and a half story building features a sidelight and fan at the main door, and a Palladian and lunette windows on the second and third stories.

Meriden Congregational Church

22. Meriden Congregational Church. This Romanesque Revival stone church with its prominent bell tower was built in 1898 after the previous church was destroyed by fire. The stone for the church was split from granite boulders found on Chellis Hill. The Meriden Congregational Church was organized in 1779 and is Plainfield’s oldest religious organization.

Monroe House

23. Barrows/ Monroe House KUA. Built in 1857 and the home of KUA’s headmasters since 1969, this large Greek Revival house has an impressive two-story portico with Doric columns.

Kimball/Parish House - KUA

24. Kimball/Parish House. Built in 1777 by Daniel Kimball, the founder of Kimball Union Academy, this house was extensively remodeled in 1860 by John Bryant. The additions were added in the 1880s and 1890s. The gable end facing the green is the earlier section of the house, and it was in the kitchen of this house that people gathered to organize the Meriden Congregational Church. The sunken garden north of the parish house was the cellar of the Kimball-Bryant store.

Emerson/Rowe House - KUA

25. Emerson/Rowe House KUA. This Federal house, built in 1825, has a clapboard front and brick gable ends. It was the KUA headmaster’s house from 1867 to 1969.

Duncan/Holdaway House

26. Duncan/Holdaway/KUA. This house was built c.1835 by Samuel Bell Duncan. His grandaughter, Annie Duncan (1870-1961), made it her home for many years. Miss Duncan was very active in the Meriden Congregational Church, and a charter member of the Meriden Bird Club. She was a generous benefactor of the church and KUA, and donated the land which became the Duncan State Forest. The wraparound porch is a later addition. The house is now owned by her great niece, and is the only home in Meriden believed to be still owned by the original family.

Helen Woodruff Smith Bird Sanctuary

27. Helen Woodruff Smith Bird Sanctuary. The Meriden Bird Club was founded by naturalist Ernest Harold Baynes in 1910. Baynes persuaded townspeople and KUA students to attract and protect birds through the building of bird houses and baths. Soon Meriden became known as “The Bird Village.” In 1911 the Club purchased this thirty-two acre property, creating the first bird sanctuary in the country. The stone pillars and original sign were designed by Maxfield Parrish. The property was extensively landscaped, and over the years bird baths, some designed by Cornish colony artists, were installed. Visitors are encouraged to walk through the property.

28. Chapman/ Demarest. This Federal house, built c.1810-1820, has an attractive doorway and hipped roof. It was one-room deep and has chimneys on the rear walls. Owned by the Bird Club from 1924 until 1977 it was used to display their collection of bird eggs, varieties of bird feeders, nesting boxes, stuffed birds, and a library devoted to birds and conservation.

Meriden Town Hall

29. Meriden Town Hall. Built in 1896, the town hall was used throughout the twentieth century for town meetings and various community events, including community dances, movies, theatrical production and roller skating. The building was restored in 1996, and the town offices and police department are now located here. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

30. Phill/Lenz. This Federal house with gable end chimneys and fan was built c.1820 as an addition to its ell which was built c. 1790.

Whitney, Elkouh House

31. Whitney/Pearson. The Cape Cod house built c.1810 was remodeled in the Greek Revival style in the 1840s when the unusual recessed porch with double entrances was added. The house originally had its kitchen in the cellar.

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32. Strong/Best. This house was built c.1810 as a story and a half Cape Cod house, and was remodeled in the Greek Revival style around 1840.

33. Blanchard/Greenough. The house is made of two seperate buildings. The portion of the house having the gable end towards the road was built as a mill and later became Duty Stickney’s woodworking shop. It was moved from its original site on Newton Brook on Camp Road. A section of this house dates to 1831.

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34. Baker/Adams. This small Cape Cod house was built c.1840 by John Baker for his son who had been injured in a railroad accident.

35. Baker/Laflam. This Cape Cod house was built c.1840. The attached building may be earlier than the house.

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36. French/Miller. This early Cape Cod house was built after 1808, with the Gothic dormer a later addition.

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37. Patrick/Forman. This Cape Cod house with attached ell and large barn built c. 1810, features half-height sidelights and a transom. The mill pond created by the dam on Blood’s Brook extended behind this house.

Meriden Covered Bridge and Mill

38. Meriden Covered Bridge. Built in 1880 by James Tasker of Cornish, who also built the Cornish-Windsor Covered Bridge, this bridge was restored in 1963 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Early grist mills and saw mills were erected below the bridge and the remnants of their foundations are still visible. The last of the mill buildings collapsed in the heavy snows of 1935-1936. A steep path on the far side of the bridge leads to a popular swimming hole that has been enjoyed by generations of Meriden residents and KUA students.

Baker, Ambrosi House

39. Baker/Ambrosi. This classic Cape Cod style house overlooking the covered bridge is an exact reproduction built c.1955 of the house built there by Benjamin Kimball before 1808.

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40. Small/Lapan. This Cape Cod house with additions was built c.1840, and had the original kitchen in the cellar.

Manchester/Creeger House

41. Manchester/Creeger. This early Cape Cod house was built after 1808. The roof was later raised about four feet and the ell and current barn were added in 1894.

Moore/Zea House

42. Moore/Zea. This Cape Cod house was built in 1872 by William Moore who owned and operated the mills below the house with his brother George.

43. French/Surgenor. This story and a half house was built on the foundation of an earlier house c.1820-1830.

44. Mill Cemetery. This early cemetery is the largest in Meriden. The earliest grave dates to 1783.

45. Kimball/Bonney. This center chimney Georgian house was built in 1794 by Joseph Kimball (1732-1822), a prominent early settler. Later owned by the Colby family, this house retains an impressive doorway and some original interior woodwork. A unique feature is the three attic windows in each gable end.

46. Adams/Gibson. Built in 1798, this center chimney house originally had a hipped roof. The ell of the house may have been built earlier.