Joshua Hempstead House (1678/1728) and Nathaniel Hempstead House (1758).
The Joshua Hempstead House shown above is the oldest house in New London and one of the few
remaining 17th century houses in the state.
Hempsteads lived in the house until 1937. It is now owned and operated by
the Antiquarian and Landmarks society of Connecticut.
The Antiquarian and Landmarks Society
255 Main Street, 4th floor
Hartford, CT 06106
Phone: 860-247-8996 ~ Fax: 860-249-4907
These are two important survivals of colonial New England. The Johsua
Hempstead House is one of the oldest documented frame buildings in North America.
The property was once on the shore of Bream Cove, which has been filled
in. Careful restoration and original furnishings allow you to step back in time to when New London
was a leading seaport.
Documentation suggests that the houses played a role in freeing slaves
and they are listed on the sites of Connecticut's Underground Railroad that are open to the public.
Joshua Hempstead 2nd was born in the Joshua Hempstead house the year it
was built by his father in 1678 and lived there until he died eighty years later in 1758. During that time,
he raised nine children of his own and two grandsons after their father, Joshua's oldest son, died.
For most of that time, he was a single parent. His beloved wife died in 1716, after the birth of their ninth
child. It was the same year their oldest son died.
For 48 years, from 1711 to 1758, Joshua 2nd kept a diary. It provides a
fascinating account of daily life in Colonial America. Because he kept track of marriages, births,
and deaths, it is an excellent source of genealogical data.
Joshua was an active man: a judge, a farmer, a surveyor, a shipwright,
a carpenter, a town official, a stonecutter.
In 1901, the New London County Historical Society published the diary
and in 1999 published a new edition of it. A CD-Rom version of the diary with complete search with wild card
features is now available from The Oldham Publishing Service. [Cost
to purchase is $75.00 plus $5.00 Shipping for a total of $80.00.]
For information on The Diary of Joshua Hempstead contact: