New Canaan Now & Then: Emma J. Bradley Burt Brown Kull

“New Canaan Now & Then” is presented in partnership with the New Canaan Museum & Historical Society. In honor of Women’s History Month, this week’s article focuses on Emma J. Bradley Burt Brown Kull, a local businesswoman who lived at 110 Forest Street. 

Ms. Emma Josphine Hubbard was born in Walcott, Connecticut. Miss. Kull, or as she was known at the time, Mrs. Emma J. Bradley, opened the Daylight Bakery in the Oddfellows building (86-90 Main Street) in April of 1911. The bakery also served as a quasi-general store where she kept her wallpaper books for her customers’ use.  Her son, Charles Bradley drove the delivery wagon for the bakery. 

The business was applauded for its cozy cheerful atmosphere.

New Canaan Now & Then: The Comstock-Bensen House

“New Canaan Now & Then” is presented in partnership with the New Canaan Museum & Historical Society. The Comstock-Bensen House has had surprisingly few owners in its long history, having been built in 1841 (Historical Buildings of CT lists the date as 1842 and the New Canaan Property Records list it as 1850). 

The Greek Revival home on the corner of Main Street and Heritage Hill Road was built by Edson Bradley on land he purchased from Seymour Comstock. Bradley, whose original purchase was only for one half acre, supplemented his property over the thirteen years he owned it by buying small adjoining parcels from Comstock, Samuel Silliman and Samuel Stevens. Edson Bradley was a partner in the shoe making business of Bradley and Benedict. His partner was Caleb S. Benedict.

New Canaan Now & Then: Broad Brook Farm

“New Canaan Now & Then” is presented in partnership with the New Canaan Museum & Historical Society. Broad Brook Farm, or 82 Ponus Ridge, as it was named by Edward Plaut in the 1930s, is now a group of houses that make up Broad Brook Drive (which runs directly through the former estate) and surrounding streets. 

Plaut, the Vice President of Lehn & Fink Drug Company in Bloomfield, New Jersey, purchased the property from Gayer Dominick. Mr. Dominick relocated to Silvermine. Broad Brook Farm was immediately a sensation in town, boasting “the largest landscape gardening job in Connecticut” according to the August 17, 1944 article in the Advertiser. Mr. Plaut, who married in 1933, had a very public divorce where his first wife sued him for $350,000 citing  “intolerable cruelty since January 1, 1935.” (April 29, 1937 Advertiser article).

New Canaan Now & Then: Stepping Stones

The property located at 705 Weed Street, Stepping Stones, has an interesting past and represents one of the last remaining “grand mansions” in town. 

The property was originally owned by Watts Comstock, who sold the property to produce tycoon Abraham Hatfield. The original house on the property was destroyed by fire, which prompted Mr. Hatfield to request a design that was essentially fireproof. The slate roof and the “falsely timbered beams” are composed of stone carved to resemble wood as well as the mostly stone interior. His architect, Alfred Mausolff, used rough cut stone from nearby Vista, New York both inside and outside. The English Gothic manor house was also outfitted with limestone trim and possesses a sharply peaked roof.

New Canaan Now & Then: Lt. David St. John Home

The earliest real estate transactions regarding the parcel of land known as 46 Park Street date back to 1741. 

Land Records report that “proprietors of Norwalk” sold two acres at the upper end of White Oak Shade Ridge (as it was then called) to John Betts in 1741. Betts in turn sold the property to his son in law, Henry Inman of Bedford, New York for £28. There is no mention of any dwelling in these early accounts, but when Inman sold the property to Jonathan Husted on November 8, 1742 the deed reflects a home and a shop on the property. The home originally had the entrance on the north side of the building, unlike its modern configuration of the front door facing Park Street. The four rooms on the ground floor level were built around a central chimney with three fireplaces. 

In 1764 Lieutenant David St.