In the Fall of 2014 the Guilford Preservation Alliance began supplying historical plaques for businesses around the Green, each one giving a short history of the building. The plaques will also have a QR code to enable anyone with a smart phone or device to navigate directly to a page with more information about the structure. As we add more plaques we will provide links (below) to those pages.
85 Whitfield St
Built as the Halleck Hotel, named for Guilford’s own Fitz-Greene Halleck, a famous 19th-century poet known as “The American Byron” (the posthumous unveiling of whose statue in New York’s Central Park was attended by President Hayes and 30,000 admirers). Monroe’s and Douden’s Pharmacies, the post office, and Markham Jewelers were more recent tenants.
81 Whitfield St
Sarah and Robert Shelley House
The oldest building on the Green, originally a family home to the Shelleys. Note the roofline of the original Colonial dwelling. Joseph Griffing, the first government keeper of Faulkner’s Island Lighthouse, lived here 1812-1839. Renovated by master-builder William Weld in 1867. The Cianciolo family operated a fruit/vegetable store for 46 years and still owns it.
77 Whitfield St
First National Store
On this site stood the house (c. 1806) of Nathaniel and Mary Griswold Landon. In 1931, it was demolished to make way for the First National Store, Economy Division. Formerly housed in a small building nearby, the new grocery was “a model . . . one of the finest in the system [with] every device for lighting, refrigeration and ventilation.”
21 Whitfield St
Dan Collins House
Purchased by Amos Seward in 1814. A later addition on the north side housed a post office kept by Seward, the town’s fourth postmaster. When a major fire destroyed buildings to the south in 1872, firemen were able to save this house. Greek Revival doorway, a common update to Colonial buildings. Home to the Greene Gallery for 50 years.
55 Park St
Major Jedediah Lathrop House
Built in Federal style, four chimneys, carved windowheads, central hall. Wealthy harness-maker Lathrop proudly showed his house to French General Lafayette in 1824. Judge Ralph D. Smith and grandson Bernard C. Steiner, later owners, both wrote early histories of Guilford. Dr. George Beebe had apothecary shop in south wing; later popular Dr. Dewitt Smith lived here. Town-owned today.
1 Park St
Dr. Jared Redfield House
In the previous house on this site, owned by David and Ruth Naughty, lived the slaves Montrose and Phillis and their enslaved children, Pompey, Moses, Aaron, and Candace. Dr. Redfield built this federal-style “mansion house.” Bought by Judge George Landon, 1818; three generations of his family lived here for over 100 years. Acquired by Guilford Savings Bank, 1945.
9 Boston St
James Monroe Store
Arched windows show a touch of Italianate influence in this Greek Revival building. A store from the beginning, selling everything from codfish oil and molasses to dry goods, clothing, and groceries. Succeeding his brother James, Beverly Monroe was also first treasurer of Guilford Savings Bank; he used a safe in the back of the store for bank deposits.