Hempsted Houses Connecticut Landmarks
- Historical Sites
The 1678 Joshua Hempsted House is one of New England's oldest and best documented dwellings. Joshua Hempsted lived here his whole life, filling many roles, including farmer, judge, gravestone carver, shipwright, and father of nine children left motherless by his wife's death in 1716.
The diary Hempsted kept for nearly fifty years prior to his own death in 1758, is full of sometimes meaty, sometimes mundane details of daily life in colonial Connecticut.
The Hempsted House survived the 1781 burning of New London by the British, commanded by traitor Benedict Arnold. Later, it may have been a safe house on the secret Underground Railroad which aided fugitive slaves seeking freedom.
Adjacent to the Joshua Hempsted House is a rare stone dwelling built in 1759 by his grandson Nathaniel. Both houses' furnishings include original Hempsted family objects.