Oronoque Saltbox Historic Home Survey
The Oronoque saltbox had been located at 7296 Main Street, in Stratford, Connecticut. It was situated adjacent to the entrance of the Oronoque Shopping Plaza (or rather, I should say, the shopping plaza was adjacent to it — see photo E5), and across the road from United Technology’s Sikorsky Aircraft plant. Its fate was that of the classic tale of encroaching development finally swallowing up the last, remaining vestige of the cultural heritage of a community.
Surrounded by many trees, the home was hardly visible, and many local residents weren’t even aware of its existence until the jobsite had been cordoned off and most of the trees felled (see photo E6). The first thing that struck me about the home was its sheer size (E9), given its extended rear roof and two additions. The rear ell (E10) was an old summer kitchen, most likely added in the nineteenth century, while the end addition was hardly original and accommodated a first floor bath.
The other aspect about the house that struck me most was the immense neglect it’d suffered in recent years. None of it was unrepairable, but not without considerable effort. Ironically, unlike many homes of its vintage, the Oronoque salbox’s frame was quite plumb, and its joinery, for the most part, appeared very tight.