Secular Structures

Barnum Institute of Science and History
805 Main Street  •  Bridgeport, CT  •  Fairfield County

This is the only extant building that is directly associated with the life of Phineas Taylor Barnum (1810 –1891). It contains many objects related to Barnum and life in Bridgeport. Barnum was best known as a showman, but he was also active as a social and political reformer who supported Irish home rule. In his autobiography, Barnum claims that there were no Irish people living near his home town of Bethel, Connecticut and that he did not know any of them until he moved to New York in the 1850s ... [ more ]

Greater Danbury Irish Cultural Center
6 Lake Avenue • Danbury, CT • Fairfield County

The goals of this organization are the preservation and teaching of Irish heritage and culture for enrichment and of all people who are interested in Irish heritage with a program of teaching, workshops and cultural events. Classes and workshops for Irish Language, Dance, Music, Singing, Drama, Storytelling, Genealogy, Literature, History and Gaelic Sports. Events would include Irish language days, concerts, plays, games, lectures, book clubs and seisiúin ... [ more ]

Gaelic-American Club
74 Beach Road • Fairfield, CT • Fairfield County

The Gaelic American Club, Inc. was founded in 1948 in Bridgeport, CT and was incorporated in 1950. Locations were rented in Bridgeport and Fairfield until this clubhouse was built. Feile, Inc was founded in 1989 as a 501c(3) nonprofit corporation and is the cultural branch of the club. The purpose of the club and Feile is to foster Irish culture among its membership and the community ... [ more ]

Great Captain Island Lighthouse
Great Captain Island • Greenwich, CT • Fairfield County

Daniel Patrick (sometimes spelled Partrick) was born in Ireland, but served as a British officer in the Pequot War of 1637. He next appears in 1639, when, with Robert Feaks, he purchased Greenwich from an Indian sachem, thus becoming the first settlers of that town. The founders of Greenwich were placed in the difficult position of being placed on the border between the colonial claims of both the English and Dutch governments while residing in the midst of hostile native populations ... [ more ]

The Glenville Mill
10 Glenville Street • Greenwich, CT • Fairfield County

Irish immigrants were the majority of the workforce in the mill in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The first mill at this location was Jared V. Peck's cotton mill which began operations in 1790. Peck sold the mill in 1820 and a series of owners constructed new buildings on the site as their businesses grew. The mill was purchased by Tingue, House and Company in 1875 ... [ more ]

New York Belting and Packing Company / Fabric Fire Hose Company
75 Glen Road • Newtown, CT • Fairfield County

The town experienced a big change with an influx of Irish immigrants, many of whom came through the area as railroad workers in the early 19th century and stayed to farm land abandoned by earlier farmers. Most of the early Irish residents lived in the Sandy Hook and Walnut Tree Hill neighborhoods, as well as farms along Route 25 in the Botsford section of town. "The Irish were very polarizing socially, religiously, and politically in town," said Daniel Cruson, the town historian ... [ more ]

Rock Ledge
40-42 Highland Avenue • Norwalk, CT • Fairfield County

The original owner of Rock Ledge, James Augustus Farrell (1863-1941) was born in New Haven but moved to Pittsburgh, where he worked as a laborer in a wire mill. An embodiment of the American success story, he had risen by 1911 to the presidency of the United States Steel Corporation. Farrell was a leader of Irish-American "society," one of the First Irish Families, sometimes known as FIFs One of the most interesting of social elites, this group was largely rejected by WASP society, while it in turn spurned nouveau riche Irish like Joseph Kennedy ... [ more ]

Rock Ledge Stables
33 Highland Avenue • Norwalk, CT • Fairfield County

Rock Ledge is both historically and architecturally significant. In scale and importance the estate is an early twentieth- century counterpart in South Norwalk of the Lockwood Mansion of the 1860s in Norwalk itself. The original owner of Rock Ledge, James Augustus Farrell (1863-1941) was born in New Haven but moved to Pittsburgh, where he worked as a laborer in a wire mill. An embodiment of of the American success story, he had risen in 1911 to the Presidency of the United States Steel Corporation. Farrell was a leader of Irish-American society, one of the First Irish Familes ... [ more ]

Stamford Ancient Order of Hibernians Hall
186 Greyrock Place • Stamford, CT • Fairfield County

The Ancient Order of Hibernians (AOH) in America was founded May 4th, 1836 at New York's St. James Church to protect the clergy and church property from the "Know Nothings" and their followers. The AOH Division in Stamford is the Gen. Philip Sheridan Division founded in 1894. The building houses their clubrooms including a pub and hall where various events and functions are held. The hall is also available for rentals ... [ more ]

Irish-American Home Society
132 Commerce Street • Glastonbury, CT • Hartford County

In October of 1944, several men met at a home in West Hartford to formulate a plan for an Irish-American Society. Prior to this time there had been several Irish groups in the Hartford area some of which had been dissolved due to a lack of a central meeting place. It was felt that a unified single group would best serve the needs of the Irish community. The general mission of the Irish American Home was and continues to be a society that welcomes and brings together rish and Irish American families, and practices and preserves Irish traditions, culture, music and friendship ... [ more ]

Cathedral Lyceum
227 Lawrence Street • Hartford, CT • Hartford County

In 1894, the Rev. Walter J. Shanley, rector of St. Joseph's Cathedral, organized a fraternity of Catholic young men known as the Cathedral Lyceum. The Lyceum's membership grew so rapidly that, by the following March, officials of the diocese decided the organization would need its own building. A benefactor, William F. O'Neil, donated the land. John J. Dwyer, a prominent Hartford architect, drew on ancient Greek and Roman styles to craft a building with a reading room, gymnasium, and a two-story auditorium. Ground was broken in June 1895 and ... [ more ]

Catherine M. Flanagan House
56 Willard Street • Hartford, CT • Hartford County

This was the home of Catherine M. Flanagan, a native of Hartford and a first generation Irish-American who was active in the suffragette movement during and after World War I. She and five other women were arrested on August 16, 1917 for picketing in font of the White House. They were all sentenced to thirty days in jail under deplorable conditions. Her arrest increased the passion of the struggle for women's suffrage in Connecticut and she played a leading role as an organizer in that effort ... [ more ]

Jabez Bacon House
30 Hollow Road • Woodbury, CT • Litchfield County

Matthew Lyon, who would become a controversial figure in the U.S. House of Representatives, worked on Jabez Bacon's farm upon his arrival from Ireland around 1764 at the age of 15. He came to America as a "redemptioner", agreeing to be "sold" on his arrival as an indentured servant to pay for his ship's passage. Lyon was "redeemed" by Jabez Bacon, a wealthy country store keeper in Woodbury. In about a year Bacon traded Lyon for a pair of stags  ... [ more ]

Bevin Brothers Manufacturing Company
10 Bevin Court • East Hampton, CT • Middlesex County

Bell making in East Hampton began in 1807 with the arrival of William Barton. He had a specialized knowledge of brass metallurgy and a process for making a specialized product. He is credited with inventing a one-piece, sand-mould casting process for brass bells which remained the basic method used by the industry for the rest of the century. The bell industry grew rapidly and by the Civil War it was well established. Twenty-three men were listed in the 1860 census as bell manufacturers and they owned one-third of the taxable wealth of the town ... [ more ]

Buell's Hotel
14 East High Street • East Hampton, CT • Middlesex County

Buell's hotel is significant in Connecticut Irish history because many of its female employees were Irish. By the middle of the nineteenth century East Hampton's bell-making had become such a dominant economic force that East Hampton was known as Belltown. In 1860 half of the workforce was employed in bell factories and many of them were Irish immigrants. Most of the men worked in the factories, but many of the women formed a servant class which worked  ... [ more ]

Veazey and White Bell Company
10-12 Summit Street • East Hampton, CT • Middlesex County

In the last quarter of the nineteenth century, industrial competition was intense. With an overcrowded field, trade secrets were no longer shared with competitors, but jealously guarded (the first patents were taken out at this time); smaller undercapitalized firms went out of business. The factory built by Veazey and White on Summit Street in 1860 is the earliest brick mill remaining in the town of East Hampton. Hiram Veazey's career pattern was quite typical. The son of a farmer, he learned the bell trade in one of the early water-powered shops in the 1830s before ... [ more ]

New Haven Gaelic Football and Hurling Club / Irish-American Community Center
9 Venice Place • East Haven, CT • New Haven County

The Gaelic Football and Hurling Club (NHGFHC) started in 1949 as an informal group of recent immigrants wanting to play their traditional games of Gaelic football and hurling. The Irish-American Community Center was founded in 1982 as a non-profit organization for the promotion and preservation of Irish Culture in South Central Connecticut ... [ more ]

Ireland's Great Hunger Museum
3011 Whitney Avenue • Hamden, CT • New Haven County

The mission of Ireland's Great Hunger Museum at Quinnipiac University is to collect, preserve, exhibit and study its collection of art, artifacts and literature relating to the Irish Famine/Great Hunger that occurred from 1845–52. In doing so, it seeks to educate audiences of all ages about the underlying political, social, economic and historic causes to the Great Hunger, and the magnitude of the disaster on Ireland and its people. The museum contains the world's largest collection of Great Hunger-related art by noted contemporary Irish and Irish American artists as well as  ... [ more ]

Patrick and Annie Kelly Farmstead
890 Evergreen Avenue • Hamden, CT • New Haven County

At the time of construction of the farmhouse, c. 1875, a 19-acre property was owned by Jared Dickerman, a well-to- do farmer in Mount Carmel Village, just north along Whitney Avenue. Dickerman mortgaged the property to Patrick and Annie Kelly in 1876 and title was transferred in 1881. The Kellys farmed the site for almost 30 years, and eventually sold it to the Agricultural Experiment Station in 1910 ... [ more ]

Irish Heritage Society of Milford
133 Bridgeport Avenue • Milford, CT • New Haven County

The Irish Heritage Society of Milford had its beginning in March 2006, when Martin Hardiman and Christopher McEnerney, who had worked together on the Milford St. Patrick's Day Parade, discussed the possibility of forming an Irish Club in Milford. They placed a small article in the local newspaper announcing that a meeting would be held, inviting anyone interested, and over 80 people attended in response. The organization's purpose is to bring about the association of individuals of Irish descent or relationship, in whole or in part, for the purpose of conducting educational and benevolent activities of all kinds, including  ... [ more ]

Blessed Michael McGivney Pilgrimage Center / Knights of Columbus Museum
1 State Street • New Haven, CT • New Haven County

The Knights of Columbus Museum has been renamed the Blessed Michael McGivney Pilgrimage Center which commemorates Fr. McGivney's extraordinary life. Docent-led group tours are available at no cost but donations are accepted. The building still houses the Knights of Columbus Museum and special exhibitions are still mounted during the year. The McGivney Center was created in response to Pope Francis' approval of a decree recognizing a miracle attributed to the intercession of Father McGivney and ... [ more ]

Charles T. Coyle House
569 Whitney Avenue • New Haven, CT • New Haven County

The first generation of Coyles came to New Haven from Ireland in the 1850s. They settled in The Hill neighborhood in southwestern New Haven, which was home to many Irish families in the middle of the nineteenth century. They were a close-knit family who worked mostly in the building trades. Charles proved to be more ambitious than his relatives and he eventually became a lawyer and real estate developer. He began by buying and selling houses ... [ more ]

Charles T. Coyle Houses
530, 534, 538 Howard Avenue • New Haven, CT • New Haven County

The first generation of Coyles came to New Haven from Ireland in the 1850s. They settled in The Hill neighborhood, located in the southwestern quadrant of New Haven, which was home to many Irish families in the middle of the nineteenth century. They were a close-knit family who worked mostly in the building trades. Charles proved to be more ambitious than his relatives and he eventually became a lawyer and real estate developer. He began by buying and selling houses in The Hill and eventually started building houses, including these three homes ... [ more ]

Coyle Block
Block bounded by Whitney Avenue, Cold Spring Street, Livingston Street and Canner Street • New Haven, CT • New Haven County

Charles T. Coyle, an Irish-American lawyer and real estate entrepreneur, entered into one of the biggest real estate ventures in New Haven in 1907 when he purchased the entire square from Cold Spring Street to Canner Street between Whitney Avenue and Livingston Street from the Henry Whitney estate. This area was built out and fully occupied within four years. The block includes Coyle's own home at 569 Whitney Avenue, and ... [ more ]

Knights of St. Patrick
1533 State Street • New Haven, CT • New Haven County

Established on March 17, 1878, the Knights of St. Patrick (KOSP) has a long and distinguished history in the New Haven area. The organization's goal is to honor Irish heritage and to continue to promote it within the community. The KOSP, as the founders established, continues to celebrate St. Patrick's Day with an Annual Banquet held on March 17. The KOSP is one of four New Haven area Irish organizations that organizes and promotes New Haven's Annual St. Patrick's Day Parade ... [ more ]

Winchester Repeating Arms Company Factory
275 Winchester Avenue • New Haven, CT • New Haven County

Winchester Repeating Arms was one of the largest and most important American firearm manufacturers of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. It originated in New Haven, moved briefly to Bridgeport and returned to New Haven to establish itself in this location in 1870. The company grew rapidly and it employed over 600 workers in 1887 and about 1,000 workers by 1900. Many of them were Irish and they lived nearby in the residential neighborhoods that sprang up around the plant ... [ more ]

Jones Family Farm
606 Walnut Tree Hill • Shelton, CT • New Haven County

The Jones farm began in 1848. Philip James Jones, a Welsh-Irish immigrant, purchased the land from the Jeremiah Shelton family and engaged in general farming. He sold beef, lamb, eggs, and apples from his horse-drawn cart to the city folks of Derby.  His son, William Henderson Jones, joined him in farming and he eventually established a dairy farm. Philip James and William built the oldest extant farm buildings in what is now the Christmas yard area ... [ more ]

Monsignor Slocum Division #1, Ancient Order of Hibernians
91 Golden Hill Street • Waterbury, CT • New Haven County

Waterbury has drawn a steady stream of Irish immigration from its earliest history as a city. By the turn of the twentieth century six Ancient Order of Hibernians divisions met in Waterbury and the 1896 City Directory also listed two Ladies' Auxiliary Divisions.  When Monsignor William Slocum, Rector of the Immaculate Conception Church and benefactor for all Waterbury Catholic institutions died unexpectedly in 1907, the 2nd, 3rd and 5th divisions met and consolidated into the ... [ more ]

John McCurdy House
1 Lyme Street • Old Lyme, CT • New London County

John McCurdy (1724-1785) was born in County Antrim in Ireland, the son of a Scottish Presbyterian clergyman. He was the third generation descended from one of five brothers who fled English persecution in Scotland to settle in northern Ireland in 1666. He probably learned his business skills in Belfast, before emigrating to New York in 1745, where he was known as a merchant by 1747. He purchased this house from Amos Tinker in 1753 when he moved to Lyme. McCurdy was active in many forms of maritime trade, including ... [ more ]

Captain Edmund Fanning Birthplace
44 Main Street • Stonington, CT • New London County

The house is the birthplace of Captain Edmund Fanning, an explorer and sea captain known as the 'Pathfinder of the Pacific.' Fanning become the first American captain to circumnavigate the globe, in 1797-1798, aboard the Betsey, with a crew from Stonington. He made a fortune trading seal skins for goods in China--silk, spices and tea--which he then sold in New York City. He discovered three Pacific Islands, known collectively as the Fanning Islands, Fanning, Washington, and Palmyra ... [ more ]

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