The Waddingham Mansion:
Exactly Where was It?
City resident Steve Hildrich has not been able to locate any maps or diagrams of the Mansion House’s exact location on what he estimates was at least a 10 acre property.
Unfortunately, even the several photos of the Mansion that Harriet North mentions in her 1991 article as having been brought to the West Haven Public Library by Ora Mason many years before were unable to be located by Library staff in a recent request.
Dino Ciaburri and others have some photos. The Historical Society was able to locate only one in a recent request. Inquiries of the City Clerk and Tax Assessor offices for property descriptions have been unsuccessful thus far. If anyone has photos of the Mansion taken from Elm Street or maps of its exact location on the property, inform the Voice, Dan Shine, or Steve Hildrich to help resolve this mystery.
The histories of West Haven do not even agree upon the streets that bounded the Mansion, let alone its actual location. All do agree it was bound on the south by Elm St. and on the north by Wood St. On the east and west boundaries, they disagree. The WPA (Works Progress Administration also did the mural of West Haven in the Post Office) History of West Haven, 1940, p. 57, states that it was bound by Second Av. on the east and Fourth Av. on the west. This is an excellent history, but cannot be correct on this point.
The West Haven Historical Society’s Images of America series: West Haven, 2005, p. 47, states that the Mansion was bound on the east by First Av. and on the west by Third Av. West Haven Revisited, 2010, p. 64, also states that it was bound by First Av. on the east and Third Av. on the west.
Unfortunately, the Connecticut State Atlas of 1893, West Haven Borough, New Haven Bay page shows that neither Second Avenue nor Third Avenue went north of Elm Street at that time, so that the above boundaries cannot be correct.
Even in a 1911 New Haven Water Company map, Second Ave. is shown as incomplete without a water main, and Third Avenue was incomplete north of the “brick row.” This also proves that Second Avenue. north of Elm Street did not exist at the time of the fire – either in 1902 or 1903!
To Be Continued-