New Canaan Historical Society: A Connecticut Museum
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handford_silliman

The Hanford-Silliman House. 1764.

The Hanford-Silliman House. 1764. This house, located prominently next to the Town House, was built by Stephen Hanford, a weaver and New Canaan's first licensed tavern keeper, at a time when Connecticut law required each community to have an "ordinary" tavern and inn for travelers. Hanford bought the land in 1761 and moved into the house three years later, with his wife, Jemima. Widowed in 1784, Jemima sold the property to Elisha Leeds, who gave it to his newly married daughter, Martha, and her husband, Joseph Silliman. Generations of the Silliman family occupied the house until the 1920s. The Historical Society acquired it in 1957. It now features a beautiful, well-kept collection of period furnishings and household items, and gives visitors a true sense of both the life of an inn and the life of a New Canaan family throughout the decades.