Standing in front of the cemetery, looking toward the center of Seymour, you will notice that the road, South Main Street, splits to the left and right. You will also notice that there are 3 historic structures from the 1700's that form a triangle, one to the left, one straight ahead and one to the right. On your left is what was once known as the Whittemore Tavern. Sitting high on the river's east bluff, E. Turel Whittemore built this home as a low one story structure in 1778. In 1867 Mr. Castle, of the Castle Rock legend, made it into a two story home and took the stone from the old chimney and made the terraced wall in front. However, it was Whittemore's residence, when the building was the primary tavern in the area that the historic story begins.
Captain Dayton moved his family from Bethany to the large framed house across the street from the Whittemore Tavern where our story began. Captain Dayton's new home, across from the Whittemore Tavern, was built before the Revolutionary War, and years later became known as the Dayton Tavern and later the home of William Hull. In 1806 General David Humphreys had rooms here during the time in which he was building his woolen mill at the falls.
Now turning our attention straight ahead to the home that lies at the fork in the road. This large home was known as the Stiles-Stoddard house. It was built in 1795 by Nathan Stiles who later married Phebe Dayton. Years later, Dr. Thomas Stoddard received the homestead as a gift from his father
In 1898, the home belonged to C.H. Lounsbury who made it a 2 family home. However, what is important to this piece of property is the Indian connection. Soon after the white settlers began moving into this area, Indian Chief Joseph "Chuse" Mauwehu moved his family from the reservation in the Falls area to this piece of property. Here he built a log home and tried to lived in peace and harmony with his white neighbors. The area at that time was known as "Indian Hill". This entire area and the land to the east and northeast (Maple and Pearl Streets and Washington Avenue) became known as the "Promised Land".
The story has been passed down through the years that Phebe Dayton Stiles, after the death of her husband, was approached by numerous people who desired to buy her vast holding of land. To each and every buyer she gave a promise that when she was ready to sell she would sell the land to only them. These promises to sell the land were so many times repeated, without ever selling, that the name, "Promised Land" was given to the area.
Continue on Rt. 115 and go under the train trestle and take a left on Broad Street and the General David Humphreys Bridge.
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