Former Governor Rowland buys a house on Waterside Lane in Clinton

CLINTON — Former Gov. John G. Rowland purchased the 1800 Federal Colonial home at 39 Waterside Lane for $800,000, according to the deed filed at City Hall Sept. 29.

Rowland, a resident of Middlebury, is the most recent owner of the street, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places along with its pre-Revolutionary War homes and homes from the late 18th and 19th centuries.

Waterbury firm Cicchetti, Tansley & McGrath LLP, which represented Rowland in the land deal, could not be reached for comment.

A controversial political figure, Rowland, a Republican, resigned in the second year of his third term as governor in 2004 and was convicted of accepting illegal gifts. More than 10 years later, he was convicted in 2015 of hiding the campaign work of election workers, according to ctnewsjunkie.com. When he was released in 2019, he went to work as a director of the nonprofit Prison Fellowship.

According to city land records, Rowland had taken out a $750,000 mortgage from Frederick W. Blasius Jr. of Waterbury. Blasius could not be reached for comment.

Local historian Peggy Adler said of the sale, “I’m thrilled our former governor loved Clinton so much that he chose to make our wonderful little historic coastal town his new home.”

Adler had featured the antique house in her book, “Images of America: Clinton” where she noted that it was built by John Wellman, whose family had built many homes there and have descendants who still live there. .

“When the last member of the Wellman family to own the house died, it was left to the Baptist Missionary Society, who had no use for it. And so they sold the house to John Bliss, the owner of a meat market in Clinton, for $1,000,” Adler writes in the book.

The house’s real estate listing by Coldwell Banker noted that the ancient house sites on “a spectacular 1.03 acre lot overlooking the Indian River”.

The nine-room home features “beautiful original floors in most rooms,” three working fireplaces, two full bathrooms, and three bedrooms, one with an adjoining room, according to the listing.

Also on the property is a “huge barn, suitable for two vehicles, comprising a large workshop with rear doors, an attic and an office with electricity”. There is also a generator that can supply the whole house with electricity in the event of a power outage, according to the announcement.

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