Monday - Thursday 10:00 am to 9:00 pm
Friday and Saturday 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
The house sits on a large wooded lot set high above Main Street. It is located on the east side of the street just north of the Public Library. It shares a private drive with the Cook/Fowler
House to its south.
Originally, the main entrance was on the south side. However, later in time, another central doorway was added and a west three bay facade was erected. The south and west doorways are surmounted by a thin, flat, projecting moulding. All windows are twelve-over-twelve sash with plain frames. The asymmetrical arrangement of the north and south side first and second story windows suggests clearly that the Goddard-Wadsworth House has undergone major alterations. This house was originally a gambrel roofed 1 1/2 story colonial-period building. Later the roof was added. There are many additions to the main house: three on the northeast, one on the east and three on the southeast, all variously sheathed with wooden shingles or clapboarding.
The Goddard-Wadsworth House, built ca. 1755, is a post-and-beam, 2tstory Colonial period building. The exterior of the house is variously sheathed: the north and south side has wood shingling in the first level and clapboarding on the second, and the west end is shingled. Oriented gable-to-street, the house is topped by an asbestos-shingled roof with a tall slender central chimney, and rests on a sandstone foundation.
Between 1751 and 1752, Israel Goddard purchased a total of 2 1/4 acres of land from Nathaniel Chauncey and soon after built a 1 1/2 story gambrel-roof Colonial period building for his wife and family. Soon after the death of his wife Ann Camp he mortgaged the property to Gilbert Johounot, a loyalist merchant from Middletown, and Joshua Chandler, a New Haven innkeeper. In 1765 Johounot sold his interest in Goddard’s estate to a Boston merchant, Gilbert Deblois. As both these men later became Tories, when Revolution started in 1775, all of Israel Goddard’s property was confiscated by the State. Soon after, Goddard was deported to Nova Scotia along with 60 other Tories. General James Noyes Wadsworth bought the house and rebuilt it by adding a full second story with gable roof and an ell. This house remained in the Wadsworth family until 1834 when it was sold to William Lyman. From 1860 to 1927 the house was in the possession of W.C. Fowler, the author of Durham’s History.
The Goddard-Wadsworth house is a good example of how a house can be updated to suit the tastes and needs of its owner. In addition Goddard’s history brings to life a particular incident not unique to Durham, but common to most of the colonies as well.