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Facing west onto the New Haven Turnpike, the William A. Hart House is sited in the south-western portion of town near the North Branford townline. The surrounding rural neighborhood consists of primarily twentieth-century dwellings.
In the mid-twentieth century, when the house was remodeled as a restaurant, a five-bay, shed-roofed, brick-faced addition was added to the facade. It was probably at the same time that the rear shed-roofed ell was added giving the structure a saltbox appearance. A large concrete block wing extends from the eastern elevation and the interior of the house has been completely reconstructed for commercial purposes. All the original fenestration has been replaced by large plate glass windows.
This 1 1/2 story house has been dramatically altered since its construction in 1828. The core of the present structure is a simple early nineteenth-century, ridge-to-street,
cape-style dwelling. The original block utilizes a post-and-beam framing system over a mortared-rubble foundation. The entire building is sided in wood shingles and the
roof is asphalt-shingled.
In 1827 a year before his marriage to Sally Maria Jones, William A. Hart (1806-1879) received a lot of land from his father on which he was to build a new home. The house
was started within a year and William and his bride moved in after its completion in 1832. The son of Samuel and Patience (Hubbard) Hart, William Augustus,was educated
in the Durham School System, attending the South and Southwest District Schools. Upon graduation William desired to become a teacher and took his first position in 1826
at the Candlewood Hill District in Higganum. In the winter of 1827 he taught in North Madison where he met his future bride, Sally Jones. After their marriage they returned to Durham and lived on the Hart family homestead where William, as the eldest son, had the responsibility of “marketing the farm products and purchasing the family supplies.” Although farming had become William’s primary occupation, he still taught during winters in Branford, North Haven,and Durham. A long-time member of the Church of Christ, Hart’s political affliations were first with the Whig Party. Later he switched to the Know-Nothing Party and finally joined the Republican Party. In 1829 he joined the State Militia as a private in the Eighth Company of the Sixth Regiment-Second Division.