Oronoque Saltbox

Historic Home Survey

Image of Oronoque saltbox

Period of Construction: 1772
Location: 7296 Main St, Stratford, CT
Status: No longer extant
Original owner: Rev. Nathan Birdseye
Recent owner(s): Thomas G. Malick
Field Survey Date: 16-22 October 2012
Survey Report Published: 10 June 2013
Other Surveys/Inventories: None
National Register/Landmark: No
Lat/Long: 41.25397/-73.100401

The “Oronoque saltbox”, built by Rev. Nathan Birdseye, was a c. 1772 Georgian saltbox home, located at 7296 Main Street, in the Oronoque community of Stratford, Connecticut, on a property once known as Prayer Spring Farm. It was slated for demolition in the fall of 2012, and I was provided a brief opportunity to survey it, just prior to its tear down on October 26-31, 2012. The resulting survey elements are all posted below.

Survey Report

Close-up of tying joint.

My Survey Report is posted here. Key findings include the Oronoque saltbox’s unique combination of cantilevered and elevated framing members defining its Georgian saltbox architecture, including a substantial main cornice. Also discovered was a tying joint previously found in several other 18th century homes of the nearby lower Naugatuck Valley.

Photo Gallery

Exposed joists on ceiling.The entire collection of photos from my field work at the Oronoque saltbox are available for viewing here, in a collection of eleven narrated galleries. These photos emphasize the home’s exposed framing more than anything else, but also record various aspects of the state of the home as I’d found it, as well as its final days and demolition.

 

SketchUp Model

Three dimensional model of tying joint from the Oronoque saltbox.My three dimensional SketchUp model of the Oronoque saltbox’s timber frame is available for download here. You’ll also find additional information on freely downloading and installing Trimble SketchUp or the Trimble SketchUp Viewer, which will enable you to view and explore the timber frame model.

Field Notes

Opened notebook on top of gear bag.

Finally, a scanned copy of my actual notes from my field work at the Oronoque saltbox are posted here. Please keep in mind that they’re quite rough, and in some cases, record incorrect impressions or conclusions, which I’ve subsequently sorted out and re-surfaced elsewhere (e.g., in the Survey Report).

One Response to Oronoque Saltbox

  1. Doreen Breen says:

    A friend of mine forwarded the info on this salt box home in Stratford. What a shame that it has been destroyed. I am currently on the board of directors at the Ward-Heitmann House Museum on Elm Street in West Haven, CT. It’s uncanny how similar this Stratford house resembles. The Ward-Heitmann House was built in about 1725 and is the oldest house still remaining that was part of the original New Haven Colony. This house has been continually lived in or occupied since being built. We currently run school tours as well as open to the public on various weekends trying to teach people about how families lived in this town hundreds of years ago. Thanks for sharing this information and attempting to at least document the history of the Stratford house before it was demolished.

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