131 Main Street (a.k.a. 133 Main Street)

This house stands on the west side of Main Street, close to the road. A two-story, gable-roofed garage is located southwest of the house. This structure has vertical flush boarding and arched windows in the gable ends.This property is located within Durham’s local historic district.

  • Record ID: 56
  • Address: 131 Main Street (a.k.a. 133 Main Street)
  • Current Owner: McLaughlin, James W. and Ona H.
  • Name of Building:
  • Historic Name: Daniel Merwin House
  • Download PDF of Original Record

Notable Features

From 1969 to 1979 the Daniel Merwin House underwent renovation. Although some of the clapboards are original, both the wood-shingling and the irregularly-coursed sandstone central chimney are replacements. The eight-over-twelve sash and the beaded trim boards are also restorations. The plainly trimmed doorway is surmounted by a shed-roofed doorhood. The double-leaf door itself has a latch handle and beaded flush panels. A full length shed-roofed addition has been made to the rear. It has six-over-six sash and a sandstone block foundation.

Historical or Architectural Importance

In 1721, Daniel Merwin, Sr. of Milford purchased a six acre lot, dwelling house and barn “in the Maple Grove” from Nathan Camp, also of Milford. This lot was bounded on the east., north, and west by highways. The dwelling house faced Back Lane, now Maple Avenue directly across from the home of Hezekiah Talcott. Sometime around 1740, Merwin, Sr. built a new house on four acres of the lot facing Main Street and gave the original house to his eldest son, Daniel Merwin, Jr. Durham land records note that in 1744, young Daniel received from his father the older house which faced west onto Back Lane(Maple Avenue). This house was sold by the heirs of Merwin,Jr. in 1773 to Giles Rose. It subsequently passed to Giles’ son Samuel, then to his heirs and evetually was torn down or burned. Daniel Merwin, Sr. was 50 years old when he built this house on Main Street around 1740. Two slaves, Cuff and Kate lived with the Merwin family. Cuff and Kate had a daughter, Thankful, who was born December 24, 1749. Daniel,Sr, and his wife Sarah lived in the c~ 1740 house until her death in 1764 and his death in 1766. The property was then willed to his two grandsons, Elnathan and Israel, the sons of Daniel Merwin, Jr. In 1773 Elnathan Merwin, then living in Haddam, sold to his brother his portion of their grandfather’s estate, which included a dwelling house, barn and stone cider mill. By 1776, Israel Merwin, now living in Arlington, New York, sold the entire property to Jesse Atwell. . It included five and three-quarters acres of land, house., barn and the stone cider mill. When Jesse Atwell died in 1781, the property passed on to his heirs and then to Phineas Squire in 1796. Squire built a new house on the northeast corner of the property and sold the c.P40 house to Josiah Jewett in 1804. By 1817, Phineas Parmelee, a.prominent shoe manufactuer, acquired the property. The house remained in the Parmelee family until the last quarter of the nineteenth century. A well-preserved example of an early Colonial, period dwelling in Durham, the Daniel Merwin House is historically significant for it s long association with the Merwin family.