34 Main Street (east side)

This house is located in the center of town on the east side of Main Street south of the green. The lot is overgrown on the street side. However, there are open fields to the rear of the house.

  • Record ID: 113
  • Address: 34 Main Street (east side)
  • Current Owner: Rachbauer, Martha O.
  • Name of Building:
  • Historic Name: Henry Williams House
  • Download PDF of Original Record

Notable Features

Running along the west facade is a full length hip-roofed porch that is supported by four turned posts with sawn brackets. In addition, the porch has simple stick spandrels and a decorative stickwork balustrade.

Historical or Architectural Importance

The Henry Williams House, built ca. 1852, is an asbestos-shingled, 2 story, side-hall-plan domestic building. Its post-and-beam frame features a cross gable, 2 story addition extending
north from the 3 bay gable-to-street facade, giving the house an “L” shape. It rests on a mortared fieldstone and rubble foundation and is capped by an asphalt-shingled gable roof with center chimney.

Henry Williams purchased 1 1/2 acres of land from Pitman Himberly in 1850 and built his house the following year. In 1853 in the land records, there is a mortgage release which states:
“one certain tract of land with a new building thereon,” (DLR 22: 402). Henry and his wife Eliza P. did not own the house for long; in 1854 they sold it to Alanson P. Brainard of Haddam. Brainard was one of Durham’s late nineteenth century general storekeepers. Over thirty volumes of his ledgers and financial records detailing his decades of supplying the needs of Durham’s residents are preserved in the Yale University Library. This modest house is another example of the relatively plain domestic architecture found throughout Durham in the last half of the nineteenth century.