18th century home on North Main Street in Southington restored by brothers

18th century home on North Main Street in Southington restored by brothers

Record-Journal


SOUTHINGTON — Nearly 300-year-old rough hewn beams support the Jonathan Root house on North Main Street, although a recent renovation has shored up portions of the structure that were showing their age.

Brothers Chris and Nicholas Robertson bought the house in March and have done extensive renovations inside and out. The house was built in 1720, according to town records. They have a letter of intent for a company’s offices to move in on Sept. 1.

Structural and safety work needed to take place in the basement, according to Chris Robertson. In one place, rope was wrapped around a cracked beam. “You’re talking about some real safety issues,” he said.

New supports have been added and a basement floor poured.The exterior clapboard was removed and new clapboards installed. Soon the house will be returned to its original red color, which Chris Robertson said is iconic for many residents.

“We definitely want to keep it that color,” he said.

The house was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1989. According to the report written at the time, the Root family intermarried with the Woodruff family, among the first to settle in Southington. The family’s patriarch, Jonathan Root, was an advocate of colonial independence and also took part in local politics. Philip Wooding, a historian for the Southington Historical Society, said he’s an important figure for the town and was among the town’s first five selectmen when it became a separate entity in 1779. He also operated a tavern from the building where, according to some anecdotes, George Washington visited.

Wooding said he hopes as much historic character is preserved as possible.

“From the historic standpoint, we can only hope that the new owners take the position of being the new custodians of a very historic house,” he said. “It’s the earliest existing house in the heart of what we call the 18th Century Southington center.”

Before the Robertsons bought the house for $265,000, it was home to the Meccariello & Bornstein law offices and a residence before that.

Chris Robertson was impressed with the original construction and how huge beams were put in place by hand. Subsequent renovations are less impressive and certain features were removed, such as much of an upstairs bathroom installed by a more recent inhabitant.

At least one interior door is original along with a corner hutch and the fireplace. Chris Robertson said he wanted to maintain as many historic elements as possible.

“We wanted to keep as much of the original,” he said.

jbuchanan@recordjournal.com 203-317-2230 Twitter: @JBuchananRJ


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