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Fairfield in Fairfield County, Connecticut — The American Northeast (New England)
 

A House That Witnessed History

 
 
A House That Witnessed History Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Michael Herrick, August 2, 2022
1. A House That Witnessed History Marker
Inscription.  
Peter Burr, chief justice of the Superior Court of colonial Connecticut, built the Burr Homestead around 1732. He passed it on to his grandson Thaddeus Burr and his wife Eunice Dennie Burr after their marriage in 1759.

In 1775, the Homestead sheltered Dorothy Quincy, fiancée of patriot leader John Hancock, after she fled from the Battle of Lexington, where on April 19th the "shot heard 'round the world" was fired. She remained in town until Hancock, president of the Continental Congress, joined her.

On August 23, 1775 Reverend Andrew Elliot of First Congregational Church married the Boston couple at the Burr residence. Local lore tells that, before the wedding, a young Aaron Burr came to visit his second cousin Thaddeus and pay his respects to Miss Quincy.

On July 7, 1779, the American Revolution came to Fairfield. British troops led by General Tryon came ashore from ships on Long Island Sound. Many of the town's men, including Thaddeus Burr, were away fighting or working on behalf of the patriot cause when Fairfield was attacked and set ablaze.

Families fled inland, but Eunice Burr remained at home.
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General Tryon, who had visited with the Burrs, sent a guard to protect Eunice. Despite his assurances, Eunice wrote in her diary, British soldiers ransacked her house, destroyed furniture, stripped the silver buckles from her shoes, then set the Homestead ablaze.

Not to be defeated, in 1790 the Burrs hired Daniel Dimon, a Fairfield architect And carpenter, to build a new house based on plans sent to them by John Hancock of his own Boston residence. The present house was built on the original foundation. In the mid 1800s the Burr Homestead was enlarged and remodeled into a 15-room Greek Revival mansion with a stately colonnaded porch and classical details.

Today the mansion is owned by the Town of Fairfield and managed by the Fairfield Museum; it can be rented for events.

( photo captions )
—   John Hancock's distinctive signature became legendary after he signed the Declaration of Independence.     Image courtesy of the Massachusetts Historical Society
—   Thaddeus and Eunice Dennie Burr were married in 1759 in the home of John Hancock, whose Boston neighbor, John Singleton Copley, painted their portraits in 1763.     Jan Singleton Copley, Thaddeus Burr, 1758-50, and Eunice Dennie Burr, 1758-60, oil on canvas; Saint Louis Art Museum, Museum Purchase 173-174:1951
—   A few weeks after the burning Hancock
The Burr Homestead image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Michael Herrick, August 2, 2022
2. The Burr Homestead
paid Burr a visit. He urged his friend to rebuild, using his own Boston house, seen here in this mid 1800s engraving, as a model.     Image courtesy of the Boston Public Library
 
Erected by Fairfield Museum and History Center.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: ArchitectureGovernment & PoliticsWar, US Revolutionary. A significant historical date for this entry is April 19, 1732.
 
Location. 41° 8.493′ N, 73° 15.079′ W. Marker is in Fairfield, Connecticut, in Fairfield County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Old Post Road and Penfield Road, on the right when traveling north. Located at the Fairfield Museum & History Center and Government Commons. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Fairfield CT 06824, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Burr Arboretum (within shouting distance of this marker); Remarkable Trees (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); John J. Sullivan (about 300 feet away); Fairfield (about 300 feet away); Burr Homestead (about 300 feet away); Freedomfight in Hungary (about 400 feet away); Edward’s Pond (about 400 feet away); 9/11 Memorial Trees (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Fairfield.
 
Also see . . .  Fairfield Museum & History Center
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. (Submitted on August 14, 2022, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut.)
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on August 14, 2022. It was originally submitted on August 14, 2022, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut. This page has been viewed 299 times since then and 122 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on August 14, 2022, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut.

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Jul. 24, 2024