Haddam Historical Society
Thankful Arnold House Museum
May 8, 2020
Cataloging This Week
While cataloging this week I came across a letter written to Samuel Arnold II in 1849 regarding the price of real estate along Wall Street in New York City. The letter was signed by W. M. Tweed. Could it be the infamous "Boss Tweed" ???

It is possible!

Boss Tweed was William Magear Tweed and his was just starting his career in NYC in the late 1840s. He was best known as the leader of Tammany Hall the political machine of 19th century New York and was the 3rd largest landowner in New York City. He was brought down by stealing and corruption and died in Jail.


History Tidbits
Photos of the Justina Shaler House at 934 Saybrook Road, Haddam.This stunning Colonial Revival style house was built around 1910 by Charles T. Wills for his sister-in-law, Justina Shaler (Shailer) and her family. Charles T. Wills was a well-known and wealthy builder from Greenwich, CT and New York City who was responsible for constructing such notable landmarks as the New York Stock Exchange, Morgan Memorial and Library and 500 Fifth Avenue. Wills married Carrie Russell of Haddam Neck in 1879.

Her sister, Justina married Andy R. Shaler of Haddam in 1881 and they had one daughter, Carrie S. Shaler. Andy R. Shaler (Shailer), was raised by his grandparents, Matilda and Richard Hubbard after his mother died in childbirth at the age of 20. Shaler was the Haddam postmaster for many years and ran a grocery store.

When Charles Wills died in 1913 it was noted in a newspaper article that “a few years back he built a beautiful residence on Main Street in Haddam, just south of Brainerd Memorial Library, and this and its surrounding grounds form one of the show places of the town. Postmaster Shailer and family occupy it in part the year round”. Wills left a considerable amount of money to his niece Carrie Shaler and she continued to live here until her death in 1961.
Then and Now
Photos of the Thomas Church House at 11 Russell Road in Haddam. Built circa 1790, Mr. Church served in both the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812. The house remained in the extended Church Family until 1861. The Kelsey Family owned it between 1883-1971.
Then and Now

Two photos of the entrance to Field Park in Haddam taken approximately 100 years apart. The historic photo is from the Charles Church Collection which dates from 1910s to 1920s. A shout out to Jack Calhoun and John Parmelee for restoring the 'decorative' cut stone boulder in front of the pillars. They show in the circa 1920 photo but for safety reasons have been moved back from the road edge. We have not been able to determine who originally installed them or the significance behind them.
Then and Now
911 Saybrook Road, Haddam. This building was constructed by the Kelsey Family in the mid-19th century south of the First Congregational Church of Haddam (current owners). The simple 2-story structure once featured a lovely Greek-Revival style door surround. According to historic maps this was the location of George Kelsey's shoe shop and later his son's Samuel's store and post office.
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