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Stamford's Hoyt-Barnum House Begins Slow Move To New Home

A happy Stamford Mayor David Martin just minutes after the move started for the Hoyt-Barnum House. Photo Credit: Frank MacEachern
The roof of Stamford's Hoyt-Barnum House as it begins to move along Bedford Street on Sunday morning. Photo Credit: Frank MacEachern
The roof of the Hoyt-Barnum House as it travels along High Ridge Road in Stamford to its new home at the Stamford Historical Society. Photo Credit: Frank MacEachern

STAMFORD, Conn. -- Later than anticipated and with an unexpected change in plans, Stamford's historic Hoyt-Barnum House began its move from where it has sat since 1699 to what will be its new home.

The Hoyt-Barnum House, which has been located at 713 Bedford St., was being moved Sunday morning to its new home at the Stamford Historical Society’s headquarters at 1508 High Ridge Road. It has been cut in half for the move.

The move is occurring as the city goes forward with plans to build a new police station that would include the lot at 713 Bedford St.

The move had been scheduled to begin at 5 a.m. Sunday with both sections being pulled in tandem. But it didn't start rolling until 6:15 a.m., and with only the upper part being hauled due to concerns raised by State Police about proper permitting, Mayor David Martin said.

Martin, who was walking along with the upper part as it was being moved, wouldn't go into the details about what the issue was.

"There were some arguments over permit technicalities that basically slowed down the start. It just means the whole process is going to take longer," Martin said Sunday morning. "The State Police were looking at some details they wanted to get straightened out."

The plan was to take both sections to Bull's Head and then haul them in tandem on High Ridge Road. But the change in plans meant they were going to be hauled one at a time, he said.

"I'm going to be happy when they're there," Martin said. "We are smiling now because we are rolling again, but the real thing let's get it done first and then we can be happy."

After the historical society realized Stamford's plans for the new police station, they cut a deal with the city last year to move the historic home. The work to get the house ready for the move began weeks ago and included cutting the roof off to allow it go underneath the Merritt Parkway to arrive at the Historical Society.

Stones weighing as much as a half-ton from the foundation for the chimney, which weighs an estimated 30 tons, were also moved from the site.

According to the historical society, the house is representative of the Second American Building Period, post 1675. The people who built the house were the children or grandchildren of Stamford’s founders. It is believed to have been built in 1699.

While the early homes were modeled on those that were in England, where the Colonists overwhelming either came from or where their families had emigrated from, the style of homes were gradually adjusted to an American style to accommodate the different climate and materials.

Most of the houses in New England, including Stamford, were built of wood because it was difficult to make mortar to hold stone together without lime, and lime was in short supply in Stamford, according to the society.

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