On the Market / Fairfield house steeped in history
FAIRFIELD — At the foot of Greenfield Hill there is a special property at 140 Burr St. with an updated pre-Revolutionary War colonial farmhouse, both of which have historical significance to the town of Fairfield.
The Captain Ebenezer Hill House, which was built in 1765, was included on the Fairfield Museum and History Center’s self-guided tour of homes in October 2014 as part of Fairfield’s 375th anniversary celebration. According to information provided by the museum for that tour Hill was a captain in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War and joined then-General George Washington’s army at Valley Forge in the winter of 1777-1778.
Hill led his company against British General William Tryon’s forces in 1779 during the second British invasion in which many houses were burned to the ground. This home was not torched but “a bullet was shot through the parlor of this house,” the historical records reflect.
“Ebenezer Hill played an important role during this invasion. His military records speak to his dedication to fighting for Independence of his country,” according to Melanie Marks, a professional genealogist and historic researcher. He and his wife, Mabel, raised nine children in the house.
Additionally, a tract of land farmed by Hill was where the Rev. Aaron Burr Sr., was born 49 years before Hill’s house was built. Burr Sr. was the father of Aaron Burr, who was the third vice president of the United States during Thomas Jefferson’s first term as president, and Burr is the one who killed Alexander Hamilton in a duel. Jehu Burr, Aaron Jr’s great-great grandfather, was a charter settler of Fairfield. He arrived in town in 1641. Aaron Burr Sr. was also the second president of Princeton University.
This house is as interesting as the history of this property. It has been treasured and well-preserved by generations of the same family for 252 years. They have given it many updates throughout the years to make it amenable to living in contemporary times. They have successfully married old and new features. A newer addition, built in 1993, contains the family room and breakfast room. Both have hand-hewn beams to suit the vintage construction. The original parts of the house have wide-planked chestnut floors. Other rooms have re-milled antique hardwood floors. There are five original fireplaces, all with new flues.
Most recently the exterior of the 5,045-square-foot house was painted in August. Earlier, the family installed central air conditioning, a central vacuuming system, and an efficient heating system.
The house sits on a 2.34-acre level lot and vestiges of its agrarian roots remain. On the property there is an electric fenced horse paddock and an 800-square-foot fenced, cultivated vegetable garden. The detached two-car garage has a barn-like appearance and is topped with a cupola. Beautiful flower gardens produce a bounty of colorful blossoms each spring and summer from its bearded irises, and many other perennials, all well-tended by generations of the women of the Hill family.
A fieldstone wall borders the perimeter of the property. A long driveway separates into two circular driveways in front of the house and garage. A path of bluestone bordered by red brick leads to the casual, covered and columned entrance into the kitchen. The path to the formal front entrance contains a vintage grinding stone. The transom above its door contains four panes of bullseye glass.
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The formal dining room was the original kitchen of this house. It features a large fireplace, a built-in corner china cabinet, period replicated bee and laurel wreath wallpaper, and French doors to a long covered porch and bluestone patio in the backyard. French doors lead into the “long room,” which has a door to the covered porch, a fireplace, carved wood paneled walls, and latched pull-down linen closets reminiscent of something seen on the PBS television series Downtown Abbey. In the family room there is a wall of built-in open shelves and access to the basement, where there is an 840-bottle wine room, game room, and workshop. The access way to the basement also has French doors to the covered back porch. The kitchen has ample counter space and a large walk-in pantry.
On the second floor, there is the master suite, four more bedrooms, two of which have a fireplace, and a secret room.
ABOUT THIS HOUSE
STYLE: Updated antique colonial farmhouse
ADDRESS: 140 Burr St.
FEATURES: 2.34-acre level property, five original fireplaces, bluestone patio, covered porch, original chestnut hardwood floors, electric fence paddock, 840-bottle wine room, just minutes to the town centers of Fairfield and Westport, five-zoned natural gas heat and central air conditioning, 200-amp electrical service, invisible pet fencing, extra insulation, ridge vents, storm doors and windows, central vacuuming system, walk-up attic, attic fan, vegetable and flower gardens, cedar wood roof with self-regulating heating cable, circular driveway, laundry chute, stone wall, two-car detached garage, partially finished basement, workshop, plenty of closet space, walking distance to Springer Glen Open Space, five bedrooms and three full and one half baths
SCHOOLS: Dwight Elementary, Roger Ludlowe Middle, Fairfield Ludlowe High School
MILL RATE: 25.82 mills
The house is walking distance to the municipally owned and protected 38-acre Springer Glen Open Space, which allows hiking and fishing. It is also not far from the town and train.
For more information or to set up an appointment to see the house, contact Pam Foarde of Al Filippone Associates/William Raveis Real Estate at 203-257-9110 or firstname.lastname@example.org.