Fairfield Famous: Thaddeus and Eunice Burr
The long, proud history of the Burr name, and the couple considered the town’s first family
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Although it hasn’t been a private home for more than fifty years, the Burr Homestead is, arguably, Fairfield’s most historic landmark. The Georgian-style mansion that stands at 739 Old Post Road was the second Fairfield home of Colonial luminaries Thaddeus and Eunice Burr. It was designed by renowned carpenter Daniel Dimon and built in 1790. It replaced the couple’s prior, and perhaps more modest, residence, which was one of 190 Fairfield buildings—including schools, churches and private homes—burned by British troops in July 1779.
Local lore has long held the building was modeled after John Hancock’s Boston mansion. Aside from Hancock being a close family friend, there’s no actual evidence that the Burr Homestead is a deliberate or an exact replica. “We don’t actually have a drawing of Hancock’s home,” says Walter Matis of the Fairfield Museum and History Center. Still, he adds, “it wouldn’t be a surprise to learn that—just as we often do today—one friend took ideas for his home from that of a friend he admired.”
After their deaths (Thaddeus in 1801 and Eunice in 1805), the home was inherited by a nephew and later sold to flour mogul Obadiah Johns. It eventually became the residence of DeVer Warner, owner of Bridgeport’s famed corset factory. Over the years, the home underwent several renovations. The homestead became town property in 1962 and is now managed by the Fairfield Museum and History Center, which continues to lease it for special events, continuing the social traditions it had when the Burrs called it home.