Our shop is located in the historic 1735 Gideon Welles house. Gideon Welles is a very important figure in Glastonbury history and in Civil War history in general. Welles' family was among some of the earliest to immigrate, coming to the colonies in 1635, and the family immediately established itself as a force in politics. Gideon Welles would continue this tradition, going directly from graduating college to starting a political newspaper to serving on the Connecticut State Legislature from 1827 to 1835. Welles was known for his staunch anti-slavery views and enthusiastic support of Abraham Lincoln. His support would be recognized when, after being elected president, Lincoln named Gideon Welles Secretary of the Navy. Welles inherited a navy in total organizational disarray from his predecessor, who was also one of his biggest political rivals. Welles would go on to organize the Union Navy around principles and methods that are still used today.
The Welles family was quite close to the Lincoln family, and after the presidents death, Welles was heartbroken. Returning to Glastonbury, he turned his efforts back to journalism and to fostering his local community. For many years his house, which sits across from the Welles Chapman Tavern, was the center of town.