Monday - Thursday 10:00 am to 9:00 pm
Friday and Saturday 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
Sited in a rural-residential neighborhood, the Jonathan Thayer House is surrounded by open fields that were once actively farmed.
The three-bay, side-hall plan facade features large overhanging eaves and heavy cornice returns. The gable end displays an eight-paned rectangular window topped with a projecting cornice supported by three evenly-spaced brackets. Protecting the facade doorway is a flat-roofed doorhood. A small single-story bay projects from the north elevation. The two story ell added to the south elevation features three-over-three eyebrow windows and an enclosed shed-roofed sunporch. A number of ells have been added to the rear including a single story ell and two large sheds. Outbuildings include a large, deteriorated chicken coop, a single story, hip-roofed garage, cornshed, greenhouse and barn.
The Jonathan Thayer House is a 2 1/2 story gable-to-street, Greek Revival style building that faces west onto Middlefield Road. The wood-shingled, post-and-beam framing
system is supported by a sandstone foundation.
According to Professor William C. Fowler’s History of Durham, Jonathan Thayer tore down the homestead of Joseph and Charles Parsons and built this structure about 1850. Thayer (1796-1868), a native of Middletown, was a farmer. Upon his death in 1868, the homestead was inherited by his wife, Mehetable and their two children, Lydia and Edward. Edward (1829-1900), who had migrated to Weston, Vermont, returned to Durham to farm his father’s estate. In 1856 Edward married Martha Foote (1842-1904), the
daughter of Lucius and Lois (Hubbard) Foote. In the early twentieth-century, August F. Otte operated a milk, egg and produce farm on the property.
Once an active dairy farm, the Jonathan Thayer House provides a link to Durham’s agricultural heritage.