Haddam Quarter Road, south side, (0.3 m West of Carriage Drive)

This handsome late-nineteenth-century farmhouse stands on the south side of Haddam Quarter Road on land which slopes upward from the public way. To the east and rear of the house are the many barns and outbuildings of a working farm.




  • Record ID: 26
  • Address: Haddam Quarter Road, south side, (0.3 m West of Carriage Drive)
  • Current Owner: Berten, Roger & Henry
  • Name of Building: Singing Hen Farm
  • Historic Name: John Southmayd House
  • Download PDF of Original Record

Notable Features

This 2 story cross-gabled farmhouse is striking in its verticality. The south section of its main block, which faces Haddam Quarter Road, is only 15 feet wide, although the cross gable is set bacl 13 feet on the East side, adds 9 more feet to the width of the structure. The presence of full-length, two-over-two windows on the first story of the south side suggests that the house once possessed a porch. The gable peak on the south side contains a round fixed-pane window. The main entry to the house is on the east side. It contains the original front door, an oak 2 panel unit with an eliptical arch and a frosted and etched glass panel in its top section. A 1 story shed-roofed 9′ x 24′ addition has been added to the south side of the house. The fenestration has been extensively altered on the west side of the main block. The original clapboarding has been replaced by asbestos shingles.

Historical or Architectural Importance

This house is one of four in the Haddam Quarter associated with the Southmayd family,which came to Durham from Middletown in the late eighteenth century. It stands on the site of an eighteenth century farmstead built by 01 iver Coe (1751-1827) and inherited by his sons, Oliver B. Coe (1799-1883) and William Coe (1801-1870). The younger Coes were very poor and were constantly in dept. The farm was seized by their creditors in 1883. It was assigned to Gilbert Tibbals, to whom Oliver B. Coe owed an unsatisfied mortgage. He sold it in 1884 to John Southmayd, son of Huntington B. Southmayd, who lived up the road. The old house, which had been neglected during the Coe’s occupancy, was razed and replaced by the present bui·lding at the time of John Southmayd’s marriage to Caroline B. Nettleton. In 1902, following the death of his wife, Southmayd sold his farm to Ereck and Caroline Ereckson of Middletown, who sold it in 1913 to William Hall of Brooklyn, New York. Hall sold it two years later to Adolf and Elise Berten of Brooklyn, ancestors of its present owners. Although extensively altered, this house retains the setting and the atmosphere of a late nineteenth century farmstead. As such, it is one of the better historic rural properties in Durham. Its historical significance is derived from its association with the Southmayd family, one of the most prominent families in the Haddam Quarter during the nineteenth century, and from its connection with the movement of European immigrant farmers into Durham during the early twentieth century.