Connecticut Old House, old homes, period design, antiques and folk art. Home of the most complete directory of suppliers and services for owners of old homes in Connecticut.

HomeCTOldHouse.com Supplier DirectoryStructural Products &  Services, Stairlifts

Furniture, Clocks, 
Accessories

Woodwork, Blinds, 
Finishing

Lighting

Kitchen

Floors & Rugs

Fabrics

Paint & Wallpaper

Pottery & Tile

Period Hardware

Antiques, Folk Art, 
Fine Art, Auction Houses

Windows

Interior Design & Architecture

Silver, Cookware, Pewter

Garden

Historic Hotels

1800 Federal1800 Federal1800 Federal

1800 Federal
1800 Federal from
Millvill, Mass

1756 Gambrel1756 Gambrel1756 Gambrel
1756 Gambrel
1756 Gambrel
from Salem, CT


 THE MAN WHO RESCUES HOUSES

1780 Federal
                                       1780 Federal from West Chester, CT

   Thirty-eight years ago Harry Parkhouse “Skip” Broom started his company, H.P. Broom Housewright, a construction and restoration firm based in Hadlyme. By calling himself a housewright, Skip pays tribute to the first building contractors in colonial New England, men who were expert in every aspect of putting up a house, including choosing the lumber, supervising major construction, carpentry work and  plastering.

   As his business grew, Skip acquired 35 acres in Lyme. During the past two decades he has rescued nine old houses from the bulldozers. He will buy an 18th or 19th century house that is scheduled for demolition, disassemble it, then store it and wait until he finds a buyer. Then the house, fitted with modern conveniences, is resurrected on Stone Post Road, which runs through Skip's Lyme property, in the process creating a magical neighborhood.

   There are six occupied old houses presently on Stone Post Road. Skip has three more in storage:  a 1750 Cape, a 1760 gambrel-roof, and a 1780 Federal center hall with four chimneys. A 2002 New York Times article by Jane Gordon about Skip, ”Saving This Old House and That One, Too,” quotes him as saying “It has always been one of my dream things, to try to save old houses. You drive around and see these beautiful old houses destroyed. They were built on main roads, and now they’re surrounded by McDonald’s and Kmart and nobody wants to live there. We’re losing our history.”

   Another interesting thing about Skip is his relatively recent passion for outdoor photography, a hobby he picked up a few years ago in his late sixties. In fact, I first heard of Skip because of his photography, when  he was recommended to me as one of the best photographers in Connecticut. This past June the two of us spent a morning together, me tagging along as Skip took the photos for this website’s feature “Hiking the Lower Connecticut River.” Skip explained to me how his photography habit has added a new dimension to his career as a building contractor. "Photography has helped me connect the dots," he explains. "Before you shoot a photo you look many times, trying to pick up what isn't obvious that might prove to be the key to the picture. Thanks to my photography hobby, I've become detail oriented and open at the same time."

   After our morning on the river, Skip drove me out to Stone Post Road and gave me a tour. I never imagined such a place could exist, but Skip Broom, inspired by a passion for old houses, had imagined this subdivision of old houses long ago, and then, in classic Connecticut Yankee fashion, he had gone out and made it happen.

1750 Blacksmith
                       Circa 1750 Blacksmith Shop - from New Hampshire


Mansfield Drive-in and Marketplace

RG Bettcher Period Architecture Components


Home       Email: CTOldHouse@gmail.com    Tel: 916-622-9875      © 2013 CTOldHouse.com     Site Design by Ken Jackson
Header photo by Skip Broom, HP Broom Housewright, Inc.