HARWINTON—Everyone loves a good ghost story, and the so-called Harwinton House, which is currently being dismantled and prepared for the move back to Harwinton from its current location in New Canaan, may well have one.
“I think that is a great story myself. If that doesn’t spark interest in the house, what else would,” said Harwinton’s town historian, Roger Plaskett, in a phone interview Tuesday.
Mr. Plaskett relayed that Louis Paradise, one of the workers in New Canaan, reported seeing an apparition while working on the dismantling of the house last week.
“He spoke about a ghost that had appeared twice on the same day,” said Mr. Plaskett, who visited the home April 7.
The 1795 structure resided in Harwinton until 1931, when the Bristol Water Company bought the property, and more than 100 others, for reservoir and drinking water projects.
The 1795 center chimney Colonial was dismantled and moved to New Canaan. In early January, Mr. Plaskett received a call from the Preservation Alliance in New Canaan, asking if Harwinton officials would help seek the postponement of the issuance of a demolition permit, and support an extension of 90 days to see if there was some way of saving the house.
Harwinton First Selectman Frank Chiaramonte liked the idea of rescuing the house, and suggested using $150,000 in grant funds that had been awarded for the renovation of a town-owned house on the Wilcox Farm in Harwinton. The town had sought $425,000 for that project and could not proceed with the reduced amount in state funds.
The state approved the change of use for the grant funds in mid-January, and voters approved the project. However, resident Wesley Seixas has filed a Freedom of Information (FOI) complaint with the state seeking to void the March 15 town meeting approval based on a technicality.
The town still needs about $350,000 in grants and contributions from to create a foundation for the Harwinton House and get it in shape to be used as a museum.
Mr. Plaskett said that Mr. Paradise recalled that the apparition was wearing some sort of heavy blue flannel, but that in a blink of an eye it had disappeared. The apparition had appeared in two different areas of the attic, said Mr. Plaskett. Continued...