Griswold Home Care buys historic downtown house

Update: A new owner has saved the Sanford-Bristol house on North Street from demolition. The people involved held a press conference Friday afternoon to explain the details.

In October, the Milford Trust for Historic Preservation, joined by the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation as co-plaintiff, sued under the Connecticut Environmental Protect Act (CEPA) to prevent the demolition of the 1790 house.

The CEPA act allows citizens to challenge unreasonable destruction of historic buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

In November, the two trusts reached a settlement with property owners William P. Farrell Sr. and Gwendolyn Farrell, allowing the property to be sold to another party.

Connecticut based Griswold Home Care has purchased the Sanford-Bristol House. The new owner, Lesley Mills, said the house will be restored and will be a private residence.

She compared the mission to restore the house to her mission as a business owner. Her business provides care for elderly people. And she said caring for old homes is similar.

“For both, the cost to society is qualitative and quantitative,” Mills said. “In the case of older people, we risk losing their personal perspectives on history and the lessons they teach.

“We also pay a price by marginalizing old homes in search of McMansions and a maintenance free life-style.”

She paid $200,000 for the house, and expects to put at least $200,000 into restoring it. Then she will rent it out as a private home.

(Read more in the next issue of the Milford Mirror)