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   “One Family, an American Story”

The Avery Copp House

    In the year 1800 Rufus Avery built a substantial house for his two sons and their wives on the banks of the Thames River at Groton.  Later the house was sold to a cousin, Latham Avery. One of Latham’s daughters, Mary Jane Avery Ramsdell, inherited the house and Victorianized it in the 1860’s. The house was inherited in turn by her niece, Betsky Avery Copp, who came to live in the house in 1895 with her husband Belton and their children Allyn, Emily and Joe.
    Joe Copp took over responsibility for the house when his parents died in 1930. Joe kept the house unchanged, a Victorian time capsule.  Joe Copp died in 1991 at age 101. His nieces and nephews who inherited the house took steps to see that the place was preserved as-is for future generations, passing ownership to the Avery-Copp House foundation, whose stated purpose is to “engage the public in learning about the history of Groton through the study of domestic life as it was experienced in this house and the surrounding community.”


Contractor Chuck Pike with window restored by Gordon Brennan of Gambrel Acres. White paint is primer applied by Gambrel Acres.

   As it happens, one of our advertisers on has worked on the Avery-Copp House. Gambrel Acres, a leading company in restoring antique windows, owned and operated by Gordon Brennan, helped preserve a window on the second floor. Leslie Evans, Museum Director told this writer “Although this bathroom window looks insignificant when compared to some of the large and fancy windows in the house, it was very important because the deteriorating condition of the old window was leaving the museum vulnerable to extensive water damage…What we love about this window is that it does not stand out at all- it looks just like the original, but is in perfect order. We are very appreciative of the way that both Gambrel Acres and Chuck Pike [the contractor} were so respectful of the historic integrity of the museum house.”

Avery-Copp Museum
154 Thames Street
Groton, CT 06340
Open for tours May 27 – Oct. 9
Fri., Sat. and Sunday 11:00 – 3:00
Admission $5.00 for adults,
Children 12 and under free when accompanied by an adult

Olde New England Salvage
Gambrel Acres - Windows, Doors, Entrance Ways and Cabinets
Historic Housefitters Co.
Mansfield Drive-in and Marketplace
CT Old House
Early New England Homes - Country Carpenters
American Restoration Tile

Virgil Rollins Restorations

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Header photo by Skip Broom, HP Broom Housewright, Inc.