What is the history of Millstone Cottage?
Photo by Megan Smith-Harris
Millstone Cottage, located in North Wilton at the corner of Millstone Road and Route 33, is a piece of Wilton history. This unassuming wood-shingled Cape vernacular structure—which means it has a pitched roof and locally sourced building materials—has seen a lot of changes after 200 years of use.
Stephen Beers, a Revolutionary War veteran, originally built the home for his wife in 1790. They resided there until his death in 1801, when the property was purchased by Isaac Keeler. Keeler lived there until 1820, when he passed the house on to his newly married son Chauncey. Chauncey Keeler and his wife Harriet Morgan ran a small general store at the corner for ten years. They sold the property to John Keeler of New York (no relation) in 1834, who quickly turned it over to James St. John II.
St. John converted the structure into a post office in 1837 (despite what the plaque above claims.) Dubbed the Bald Hill Post office, it served North Wilton and received mail every Thursday, with St. John serving as postmaster. South Wilton had another post office, overseen by Samuel F. Lambert. Upon the death of his wife, St. John sold the post office to Lewis Olmstead. From there the property changed hands frequently; first to Benjamin Wheeler, a Ridgefield shoemaker; then to the Hoyt and Ruscoe families for brief periods, followed by blacksmith Ezra Scott, and others. Today, homeowners Susan and Patrick Horgan have maintained much of its original character and charm, from the original beehive oven to the historical plaque on its facade.