Silas Webster Robbins House, Wethersfield, Connecticut:
The Silas W. Robbins House on Broad Street is a cornerstone of Wethersfield’s Historic District. This French Second Empire style mansion was constructed in 1873 by Silas W. Robbins, a cattle breeder, seed merchant and proprietor of Johnson, Robbins & Company. Robbins was also a State Senator in Connecticut’s General Assembly and a director of Phoenix Mutual Life Insurance Company. Robbins was wealthy but his wife, Sophia Jane Johnson, was even wealthier. She was the daughter of Captain Elisha Johnson, the first manufacturer of linen thread in the United States and an incorporator of the Willimantic Linen Company.
When the Robbins family lived at the house, the north side of the property had greenhouses and the south side had a pheasant run. The exterior is comprised of many unique ornamentations such as stained-glass windows. A distinctive mansard roof is shingled with hexagonal slates and crowned by elaborate cast ironwork. Within 7,600 square feet are 20 rooms including a ballroom on the third floor. The home was damaged by fire in 1996 but was purchased in 2001 and restored to its former glory. The property, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, has been operated a five guest room bed and breakfast since 2007.
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