Saturday, February 21, 2015
COLONIAL HOUSE IS BEING DISMANTLED
One of the oldest of Colonial houses in this county is situated two miles north of Smithville Flats on the road to McDonough, and which has been sold by the Harrison sisters to Prince and Princes Del Drago to incorporate into their new farmhouse which they are building on their Chenango county estate, known as Canasawacta Farm at Plymouth, about six miles from Norwich.
This old colonial house, which was being used as a hen house and has been sold to Prince and Princes Del Drago by the Harrison sisters, was built as early as 1809 by Col. Silas Read, son of Captain William Read, of Revolutionary fame.
Silas Read was a shipping merchant on the Massachusetts coast, who, with his wife, Lucy Lund, daughter of John Lund, of Dunstable, Mass., and two children came to Smithville and purchased 1,000 acres of land, then a wilderness, from the original land company. He brought with him a colored slave and came in the first covered carriage ever seen in the county. He also owned the first piano. The cause of his coming was the absconding of his partner in the shipping business with the larger part of his fortune, and, gathering together the remnants, which was about $40,000, he sought to retrieve his loss by emigrating to the then far west.
Shortly after his arrival he built this colonial house, fashioned after New England architecture, containing a central hall with quaint banisters, wainscoted living rooms with built-in cupboards on each side, and brick fireplaces with stone hearths, and a large kitchen with an old Dutch oven. There were two large wings to the main house which has fallen into decay. He had eight children to each of which he gave a farm, when they arrived at maturity, with the necessary buildings all on, ready for occupation. One by one they died or moved away and these farms have fallen into other hands. The names of these children were Silas, Jim, Hiram, Clifton, Merrick, Polly, Sophia and Harriet. To bring it down to the present generation Hiram was the father of B. B. Read (deceased) of Greene, who married Mary Jane Hill.