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19. Stamford’s Oldest – The Hoyt Barnum House

The children or grandchildren of the founders of Stamford built this post and beam center chimney house post 1675 during the second American building period. The stone foundation of the Hoyt Barnum House dates back to 1699, and most of the structure standing today was built in the late 1700s making it the oldest house in Stamford and one of the oldest house museums in Connecticut. The interior is finished with plaster or wood and the chimney is made from fieldstone and mortar with clay, animal hair, and straw to bind it.

Samuel Hoyt built the house on a 5-acre farm and lived there with his wife and 14 children until 1753 when the St. John family moved in.  The Barnum family, which was related to the Hoyts through marriage, lived there between 1826 and 1942; the Stamford Historical Society acquired the house in 1943.

Today the house is open by appointment only.  It is furnished to maintain an early 18th century appearance that reflects the way it would have been lived in during that time.  A highlight throughout the house are the excellent examples of mid. 18th c. Connecticut made chairs displayed in the parlor and bedroom; the rustic keeping room with its fireplace has many special items on display and the buttery, is a treasure trove of unusual household items used in the preparation of making food.

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