Property Overview Inventory List District Map

Nehemiah Royce House

LHD boundaries as described are approximate and subject to change. Consult the LHD Study Report on file with the relevant local district commission or municipal authority to verify district boundaries and whether a specific property, particularly one in proximity of a boundary line, is within the district. Also note that LHD boundaries may differ from those of State or National Register Districts.

Year of Establishment:
Property Authority:
Historic Properties Commission, Wallingford
Link to Commission or Municipal Website:
Building, Open space
Architectural Style:
Colonial/ Postmedieval English
17th Century

The Nehemiah Royce House is a 30' x 30' two-story frame Colonial saltbox originally built in 1672 (Wallingford Town Records, February 12, 1671) but with most of its now visible historic fabric dating from the early 18th-century and later. The house faces south at 538 North Main Street, moved there in 1925 by Lucy and Helen Royce from its original location across the street to the east at 499 North Main Street. In the 1940s it was rehabilitated under the direction of William Sumner Appleton (1874-1947) of the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities and J. Frederick Kelly (1888-1947), Connecticut's leading historical architect of the time. Grade rises gradually from west to east on the site, giving the house a slightly elevated setting. Distinguishing features of the Royce House are five bays of 12-over-12 and 8-over-12 windows (originally casements) in 2-1-2 rhythm, central double-door entrance, overhanging gable ends, and central stone chimney. In the front elevation the four first-floor 12-over-12 windows are under flat window caps. Window frames are plain, probably replacements because they are nearly flat with the clapboards whereas 18th-century window frames generally projected. Most clapboards are not original, although some are fastened with hand-wrought nails, and some in the gable ends are riven; all other clapboards are regular in size and finish, probably dating from the 1930s. The exposure to weather of approximately 4" is wider than usually associated with 18thcentury siding. The clapboards are nailed directly to the frame without sheathing. [NR]

Architecture: The Nehemiah Royce House, an early Colonial saltbox, is significant architecturally because its framework and the finishes of one bedroom date from the 17th century, and whose latest rehabilitation received the attention of prominent figures in the historic preservation movement during the Colonial Revival period. The original framing of the house and many of the changes in details and finishes made over the centuries are well-defined. The 20th-century work is an unusual example of a documented program, intended as a restoration, carried out by early 20th-century professionals. [NR]

[1] Historic property information retrieved from the town website
[2] Joseph Blakeslee House, Historic Properties Study Report, Wallingford, 1998, SHPO library, Hartford.
[NR] Ransom David F., Reviewed by Herzan John F., Nehemiah Royce House, Wallingford, National Register Nomination Number- 98000966 NRIS, National Park Service, 1998.;

Date of Compilation:
Manjusha Patnaik, CT Trust for Historic Preservation