Childhood home of Harriet Beecher Stowe for sale on eBay

  • Chandler Saint ponders the daunting task of restoring the attic study of the Beecher House in Litchfield, Conn. The Courant via AP

  • In this April 22, 1998 photo, the attic study of the home of the late Lyman Beecher is lifted off of its colonial post and beam foundation on the Foreman School campus in Litchfield, Conn. Taken apart and stored in pieces, the house where Harriet Beecher Stowe grew up is for sale on eBay, with an asking price of 400,000. Museums passed on the building, and the owner went to the online auction site after finding no takers on Craigslist. (Patrick Raycraft/The Courant via AP) Patrick Raycraft

Associated Press
Saturday, August 12, 2017

The birthplace of abolitionist writer Harriet Beecher Stowe, which was disassembled and stored in trailers 20 years ago, has been put up for sale on eBay.

The move is the latest in the unusual history of preacher Lyman Beecher’s Litchfield house, which was built in 1811, served as the childhood home for his 11 children and was later a sanitarium and then a dormitory for a private school.

It was sold by the Forman School for $1 and deconstructed in 1997 by a buyer who planned to move it and turn it into a museum about the early life of the Uncle Tom’s Cabin author. But those plans never came to fruition.

The remains of the house, which have been stored in four storage trailers in Massachusetts and Connecticut, were acquired two years ago by a Woodbury antiques dealer, Art Pappas, who is looking for someone willing to purchase and restore the building.

Pappas said he has advertised the house with organizations that specialize in the sale of historic homes and offered it to the Smithsonian and other museums, but with no luck.

“A lot of them just don’t show any interest whatsoever, which blows my mind,” he said. “It’s the birthplace of Harriet Beecher.”

Folk singer Pete Seeger also lived in the building when it was a dormitory during the 1920s.

Pappas said he’s now turned to more mainstream internet marketplaces to list the home, including Craigslist and eBay, where a $400,000 listing expires on Monday. There were no bids for the property as of Friday. Pappas says the price is negotiable.

“The thing about eBay is it doesn’t really cost anything for the advertising at this point. We’ve spent a lot on advertising, but we’ve gotten more of a response from eBay and Craigslist,” Pappas said.

The antiques dealer says he has the original plans for the home and can put any buyer in touch with experts who can help put the “thousands of pieces” back together.

The home is listed on the state’s Register of Historic Places. But Rob Michalik, a spokesman for Connecticut’s Historic Preservation Office, said they have no plans to acquire the house.