History of 11 Lake Street, Stamford
By Karen Cuccinello
Epenetus Webb “E.W.” Churchill, older brother of Dr. Stephen E. Churchill, had the house at 11 Lake Street built for his family in 1883. Before building his house he lived at his in-laws, Lyman and Eliza (Newell) Wilcox, I believe at 138 West Main Street, now gone. The house at 138 West Main was said to be built by the Newell family, probably Eliza’s father Robert, about 1880 later lived in by Charles and Jennie (Wilcox) McMurdy and next the home of Omar and Katherine (McMurdy) Edwards.
Epenetus (1833-1920) and his wife Anna (Wilcox 1839-1902) Churchill had one daughter Alice Louise (1868- 1960) who never married.
Little tid-bits on the progression of the house were in a few different newspapers.
April 1883 Kingston Freeman- Workmen are preparing the foundation for a new residence for E.W. Churchill corner of Main and Lake Streets.
May 1883 Gilboa Monitor (GM)- E. W. Churchill will erect a $7,000 residence at Stamford.
June 1883 Delaware Republican (DR)- The sound of the saw and the hammer makes plenty of music in Stamford… The foundation for E.W. Churchill’s new house is nearly ready for the frame (this was the same year that his brother Stephen was building Churchill Hall).
December 1883 (DR)- One day last week J. H. Shutt carpenter, fell from near the top of the new house of E.W. Churchill, in Stamford, and was picked up unconscious. He is in a critical condition.
June 1885 Hobart Independent (HI)- E.W. Churchill has just completed some very fine grading and turfing in front of his new house.
In the late 1890’s the house was referred to as “Kent Hearth”. I have no idea how that name connects to the Churchills. In the mid 1600’s in England there was a Kent Hearth Tax Assessment where every hearth/chimney in the house was taxed.
March 1897 Stamford Mirror- Miss Alice Churchill gave a very pleasant“dove” party to a few friends at her charming home Kent Hearth.
After Alice’s mother died in 1902, I believe Alice remained at 11 Lake, as she and her father often entertained guests, until her father died in 1920 then she moved to Syracuse, NY.
An interesting side-note: 1904 (HI)- A fine granite gateway will soon be erected at the entrance of the Stamford cemetery, the gift of E.W. Churchill. I had always figured his brother Stephen installed these but I guess not.
December 1908 Stamford Mirror Recorder- Nearly 100 guests were entertained by Miss Alice Churchill and Ebeneezer Churchill at their pleasant home Kent Hearth on West Main St. the occasion was a fireside party and was a unique affair throughout.
In 1908 and 1909 Epenetus rented his home to Dr. Arthur Root of New York for the summer. Renting out homes for the summer was a common practice and easy for Epenetus as I believe he had another home in Stamford.
1912 (GM)- E.W. Churchill has been making radical improvements about his residence “Kent Hearth” by the removal of many of the shade trees on the borders of his spacious lawns. These trees were planted many years ago and the closeness of the shade caused the thinning out of the maples that ornamented the grounds.
In 1923 Attorney Howard A. Dyckman purchased Miss Alice Churchill’s residence and property at 11 Lake. Sadly Howard died, about age 53, in 1926 leaving his wife Eleanor and six year old daughter Marion Lucile. Eleanor kept the house, married Austin Egan and lived in Stamford in the summer and Hudson, NY in the winter.
Cyrus Many bought the house from Eleanor in 1938 and then Dr. Sydney and Mrs. Margaret Solomon bought it in 1947. When Solomon bought it, it was referred to as an apartment house.
Dr. Solomon died in 1967 leaving the house to his daughter Meta and son William.
Others that lived at 11 Lake and perhaps rented an apartment were: Mrs. August (Caroline) Crane (she may have owned it) 1968, Frederick A. Incollingo 1969, John E. Dinsmore 1971, Evelyn M. Morrison 1975 and David Weber 1977.
Does anyone know who owned the house next? Let me know at email@example.com.
Photo from the Stamford Village Library history room.