THIS OLD HOUSE

HOME AND HEARTH

There's nothing like the old family homestead to bring people together. For nearly four centuries the Parmelees have made their homes throughout North America, first living in dug-out cellar holes in Guilford, Conn., to the farmhouses, penthouses, condos and single-family homes of today.

The longest-surviving Parmelee home stands in Guilford, just a block east of the Village Green. The Hyland House, built by George Hyland in 1660 and now a museum, was home to three generations of Parmelees, beginning with Isaac (1665-1748/49), John Parmelee Sr.'s grandson who married Elizabeth Hyland, George's daughter.

Their son Ebenezer (1690-1777) and his family lived in the house and passed it on to Ebenezer Jr. (1738-1802), whose portrait hangs in an upstairs bedroom.

The house sits at 84 Boston St., once the main road from Boston to New York City. Express rider Israel Bissel galloped west past the Parmelee home about sunrise on April 21, 1775, on his way from Boston to New York, awakening the town with the news of the Battles of Lexington and Concord two days earlier. The house passed out of the family's hands in 1793.

Here is a collection of old family homes: