Dear Eleanore Turkington:
I drive through West Haven every day and I am wondering when the Ward-Heitman museum will reopen and share its memories with the people in this city. Many cities in Connecticut stand with pride in offering ur early American history. Why can’t West Haven Do this?
Regular Visitor to WH
Dear Regular Visitor to WH
Please be sure to pick up a copy of The West Haven Voice on your next visit to our city and read what my readers and I learned about the Ward-Heitmann House in today’s issue.
Many thanks to Catherine Bushman, President of the Ward-Heitmann House Organization. we can learn the Ward-Heitmann House is the oldest surviving building in West Haven. It may have been built in early 1684 but certainly was on the site in 1725. The house was built by Ebenezer Clark. He sold it to John Humphreville who had married Clark’s sister Rebecca. The house remained in the Clark Family until 1788 when it was bought by Sea Captain Thomas Ward. It remained in the Ward Family until George Ward sold it to Susan Perrin in 1861. She eventually sold it to Louisa Ward Heitmann, George Ward’s sister in 1858, Louisa’s daughter. Louisa’s daughter Henrietta Heitman inherited the house inn 1897.
She was engaged in several business ventures and added the north side to the house using it as a dance school. The house passed out of the Ward-Heitman Family when it was purchased by Charles Elliot Pickett in 1910. In the twentieth century the house had a number of owners and for a time, housed an antique store and later a tea rom.
The Milano Family owned the house from 1949 to the early 1990s, when it was left to the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The Trust sold it to the Ward-Heitmann House Museum Foundation in 1995 and it was restored to become a museum. In 2003. The Ward-Heitmann House was added to the National Register r of Historic Places.
Currently, its roof is in need of repair and the Ward-Heitmann Museum Board is working on raising funding for a new roof. Chief O’Brien kindly authorized the WHF Fire Department’s resources to assess the possibility of putting a trap on the roof to prevent further damage. After an assessment it was decided that it wouldn’t be safe to put a trap on the roof due its poor condition.
The WHHM is accepting donations at Verm o@wardheitmannn
Comings up in Gripe Vine Jeffrey and Donald Street complaint…Highland Avenue parking and update on speeding school buses.
You can send your gripes, comments and issues to gripevineat@[email protected] or mail them to Gipe Vine 840 Boston Post Road, West Haven, CT 06516. Please include your name, address and phone number, kept in strict confidence with me. You can also submit through our online form.