68 Main Street

This house stands on Durham’s Main Street. It is situated on a hillside which slopes southward to Allyn’s Brook.

  • Record ID: 100
  • Address: 68 Main Street
  • Current Owner: Gavette, Raymond and Jeanette
  • Name of Building: The Raymond Gavette House
  • Historic Name: Raymond Gavette House
  • Download PDF of Original Record

Notable Features


Historical or Architectural Importance

This simple nineteenth-century domestic vernacular structure stands on a sandstone rubble foundation. Its gable end faces Main Street. The main block of the house consists of two stories. The main entry, situated in the west-facing facade, is syrretrically placed and is flanked by two 8x1s with shutters. The second story contains two 6x6s. In 1945, a one story shed roof addition measuring 10×26 was placed on the north side of the house. The Guernsey Harestead originally stood on this site–a house built in the mid-eighteenth century. This structure was still standing in 1874, when Beer’s Atlas designated it as the home of Mrs. Selina Evarts, the widowed daughter of Joel Blatchley who owned the adjacent mill property. In 1865, she sold the prq::erty to Eli and Reuben Hubbard, two enterprising farmer and real estate dealers who, like the Evarts and the Blatchleys, had ccme up to Durham from Madison in the mid-nineteenth century. In 1868, the Hubbards sold the house to Frederick Reinhardt, a German immigrant shoemaker. Reinhardt had come to Durham in the previous decade his first child having been born in the town in 1854. Reinhardt evidently worked for other shoe shops until his purchase of this property, when he set up his own shop. It is said to have been the last operating shoemaking shop in Durham. Reinhardt died in 1874. In 1879, on the death of his widow, the property was sold to George H. Davis. In 1884, he sold the .. “dwelling, shop and other buildings” to Abby Baldwin, who sold it the following year to Martha E. Barton. It is clear that as of 1909, when Martha Barton sold the house to Alice G. Fechter of New Haven, the old Guernsey homestead was still on the site, along with the “shop and other buildings”. By 1911, however and in all subsequent deeds all that is referred to is a half acre lot with a dwelling. It is clear that around this time the old house was removed and the present structure built. According to Durham: A Century of  Change, the older house was dismantled and moved to Darien, Connectirut. In 1911, the property, presumably with its new house, was sold to Abraham and Israel Alpert of New Haven. The property remained in the Alpert family until 1935, when it passed to Floyd Gavette; father of the present owner.
This house, like the Minute Market at 1 Main Street, is one of the last examples of nineteenth-century domestic architecture to be built in Durham. After this point, residences were built in the bungalow style of the type to be seen at the south end of Main Street.