House History

Historical Narrative
Deed research indicates that the farmhouse was constructed circa 1784 on 16 acres of land in Norwalk that was purchased by Enos Kellogg on March 29, 1784 from Mary Fitch. By the time of its construction, Enos had been married to Lydia Fitch Kellogg for ten years, and had three surviving children: Aaron, born February 10, 1775, Esther 2d, born October 30, 1779, and Hannah, born May 29, 1784. Another daughter, also named Esther, born January 12, 1778, had died in infancy. One more child, Rebeckah, was born March 16, 1787. In addition, it appears that Enos Kellogg’s orphaned nephew, Matthew Kellogg, was raised by Enos and Lydia, and lived with the family. Enos Kellogg died in May 1832, and his wife Lydia quickly followed, dying on December 14, 1832. Both are interred at the Kellogg Comstock cemetery located on the southernmost edge of the original property and now owned by the city of Norwalk. Inheriting the property, which included the “Dwelling House, Barn, Hogg House, Wood House, 1 Barn West Side of Road, 1 Carriage House West Side of Road” was Enos and Lydia’s daughter, Esther Comstock. Esther’s husband, who died in 1827, is also buried at the family cemetery.

Concurrent with her inheritance of the property, Esther purchased, for $1,000, an additional abutting 20 acres of land, with buildings, from her cousin, Matthew Kellogg, who presumably inherited that property from his uncle upon his death. The two parcels of land would remain Esther’s property until her death 34 years later. In 1864 in accordance with the provisions of Esther’s February 15, 1852 will, the property passed to Esther’s grandchildren, the five heirs of her eldest son, George E. Comstock, Sr. George E. Comstock, Sr. had also purchased an adjoining 33 acres of land in 1835, and this land passed initially to George E. Comstock’s oldest son, Walter. In 1868, Walter sold this land, along with his interest in his grandmother’s 25 acres, to his brothers George E. Comstock, Jr. (known as Edwin) and William McCuctheon Comstock.  This sale appears ot have bene motivated by Walter's move first to California, and ultimately to Kansas.  Between 1868 and 1878, George E. and William M. Comstock’s sisters, Agnes and Rebecca Comstock, also sold their interests in the inherited property to their two brothers. The 1870 census shows George E. Comstock Sr.’s widow, Mary, “keeping house” and four of her adult children, including Edwin and William, living in the home. By the 1880 census, Edwin is listed as “Head of Family”, and both he and his brother William are listed as living in the house and employed as farmers. Their older sister Rebecca also remained a resident, and is now identified as “keeping house”.

On what was ultimately 66 acres of land, George E. and William McCuctheon Comstock established Comstock Brothers Nursery. On February 11, 1886, William M. Comstock sold his half interest in the property to Edwin Comstock’s father-in-law, Harvey Lyon, and the Norwalk Directory subsequently lists the business as Comstock and Lyon, Nurserymen of Ponus Avenue and Nursery Street. The 1910 census lists George E. Comstock as a “Nurseryman”, living with his wife, Emma, their adopted daughter Nettie Comstock, his father-in-law and business partner Harvey Lyon, and several boarders.

On April 27, 1917, the Enos Kellogg House and 32 acres passed out of the hands of Enos Kellogg’s descendents, as George Lyon and Emma R. Comstock, Edwin’s widow, sold the property, and presumably the nursery business, to a group of four individuals. Subsequent owners sold off various pieces of the land for development, and in the late 1930s, construction of the Merritt Parkway resulted in the State of Connecticut’s ownership of land to the north of the original dwelling house and barn. As of 2011, 1.67 acres of land, containing the original dwelling house and barn remain intact. Two additional outbuildings from the farm, located across Ponus Avenue from the house, also remain, although they have since been converted to residences.

Ownership History

1784 - 1833          Enos and Lydia Kellogg

1833 - 1864          Esther Comstock

1864 - 1886          George E. (Edwin) and Emma R. Comstock and William M. Comstock

1886 - 1917          George E. (Edwin) and Emma R. Comstock and Harvey Lyon

1917 - 1920          John J. Cavanagh, Philip K. Knapp, Fletcher H. Montgomery and
                              Robert A. Holmes (all senior employees of the Crofut & Knapp hat

1920 - 1927          John J. and Agnes G. Cavanagh and William I. Edwards
1927 - 1937          Agnes G. Cavanagh
                             (Property listed as a "Private Estate", with Pliny Rogers as
                             Farm Superintendent for John J. Cavanagh)

1937 - 1939          John J. Cavanagh Sons, Inc.

1939 - 1947          Mildred R. Mittendorf

1947 - 1973          Robert R. and Elizabeth W. Newell

1973 - 1984          Richard C. Miles

1984 - 2001          William H. and Jane S. Ziegler

2001 - Present      John B. and Jenny V. Harrington