Higganum Road & Madison Road (East)

This handsome Colonial-period house is situated on top of a small hill on the corner of Madison and Higganum Roads. It is hedged in on the north side by a strip of cornfield and by a sloping, open land to the East.




  • Record ID: 31
  • Address: Higganum Road & Madison Road (East)
  • Current Owner: Blakeslee, Wilma
  • Name of Building: Col. James Wadsworth
  • Historic Name: Col. James Wadsworth House
  • Download PDF of Original Record

Notable Features

The 5 bay facade is punctuated by a central Greek Revival doorway flanked by two plain pilasters having moulded capitals but no bases, and two three vertical pane sidelights. Topping the entry is a plain, thin architrave with a horizontal band of dentil moulding directly below the projecting crown-moulded cornice. Two six over six windows with a  thin, projecting cornice are found on either slde of the door, and five windows with plain frames are located immediately below the eave. Identical dentil moulding, found on the doorway, is repeated under the facade eave. The three additions include a single-story shed-roofed northeast corner addition, a 2 story gable-roofed balloon-framed south addition, and attached to this south addition is an east porch.


Historical or Architectural Importance

The Col. James Wadsworth House, built in 1708, is a clapboarded, 2t story, Colonial-period building which rests on a sandstone foundation. The post-and-beam frame is covered by a wood-shingled gable roof, ridge-to-Madison Road, and a small off-center east side chimney. In 1707 Col. James Wadsworth purchased thirteen acres of land from Eunice and Joseph Talcott to build his home. It was completed the following year and is believed to originally have been a single-story center-chimney house. Between 1720 and 1750 the house was probably expanded to its present configuration: a 2 story center-chimney Colonialperiod building. James Wadsworth’s (1675-1756) father and grandfather came over from Northumberland area of England in about 1632, lived in Massachusetts, and finally settled in Farmington. James was born, raised, and educated as a lawyer in Farmington. In 1707 he and his wife, Ruth Noyes, moved to Durham. During his llfe in Durham, Wadsworth organized many political and judicial responsibilities; he was the Town Clerk (1707/8-1756) was the first Justice of the Peace &1710-1750), was elected as a representative to the Second Assembly (1710 and 1712-18), was Speaker of the House in the Colonial Legislature and in 1724-1752 became a judge of the Superior Court. In addition, Wadsworth became an important military figure. When the militia was organized in 1735, James was given the rank of Colonel and headed the Tenth Regiment. Four years later he was placed in charge of the first military unit. James Wadsworth and his wife had only one son, James.