Corner of Haddam Quarter Road and Oak Terrace

This house stands on a four-acre corner lot at the intersection of Haddam Quarter Road and Oak Terrace.

  • Record ID: 30
  • Address: Corner of Haddam Quarter Road and Oak Terrace
  • Current Owner: Neumann, George C. & Diana M.
  • Name of Building:
  • Historic Name: The Merwin-Southmayd House
  • Download PDF of Original Record

Notable Features

This is an exceptionally handsome and well-preserved center chimney Colonial farmhouse. Its 5 bay facade contains flush-set twelve-over-eight windows and a 5 panel double leaf door with a multi-paned transom. Like most 18th century farhouses, this structure has been added to over the years. These additions include an ell-shaped, shed-roof addition to the rear and a gable-roofed shed to the northeast corner. Both stand, like the house itself, on sandstone rubble foundations, suggesting that they date from the nineteenth century. The attached garage, which stands to the rear of this corner addition, was added in 1966. A.dry-laid sandstone rubble-retaining wall stands to the front of the house, which .is set into a rise in the land. A barn, framed of post-and-beam elements and sheathed with vertical flushboards--which appears to be contemporary with the corner addition--stands to the rear of the house.

Historical or Architectural Importance

This house is first mentioned in the land records in 1737 when Abel and Joseph Beach sold it to Edmund Fairchild. He sold it in 1738 to Daniel Merwin, founder of the Merwin family in Durham. In 1743 he gave it to his son Miles (1719-1786) at the time of his marriage. Miles' youngest son, David Merwin (1763- ), received it by inheritance in 1786 but sold it--at the time of his emigration to Durham, New York--to Elizabeth Austin (wife of Jesse Austin) and her son Elisha. In 1795 the Austin children gave their parents a life time lease on the house. In 1830 the house was sold to Daniel Southmayd (1768-1838), who in turn sold it in 1837 to his son, Daniel Southmayd, Jr. (17 -1884). Daniel married Tamson Hickox the following year. It thus became one of the four houses in the Haddam Quarter to be associated  with the Southmayd family, a clan that had spread from Middletown into Durham and Haddam.  In 1884 the Southmayd Estate conveyed the property to Smith Crowell, a Durham innkeeper and farmer, who sold it in 1893 to Nehemiah Burr. After farming the land for three decades Burr sold the farm to Thomas Kampman of Bloomfield, Connecticut. After passing through several owners it became the property of its present occupants in 1975. Although not distinctive as a structure, this house is notable architecturally for its great age, handsome setting, and fine state of preservation. Its historical significance derives from its association with Durham's founding families, the Beaches, Fairchilds, and Merwins, as well as with the town's nineteenth-century agricultural leaders, the Southmayds and Nehemiah Burr.