Historic Buildings of Bristol: A.L. Sessions House

Historic Buildings of Connecticut

Photo (c) Historic Buildings of Connecticut

Counting down to the New Year makes one think of clocks and Bristol was the center of Connecticut Clock-making. One of the Bristol firms was the E.N. Welch Company, which by the later nineteenth century was in financial difficulty.

In 1902, William E. Sessions, whosefather owned a foundry business that had produced cases for E.N. Welch, was elected president of the company and his nephew, Albert L. Sessions, became its treasurer. By the following year, they had acquired enough stock to take over the company, renaming it the Sessions Clock Company. During this same period, A.L. Sessions, had become a partner with his father, John Henry Sessions, in the family’s trunk hardware-making business, J.H. Sessions & Son.

After his father’s death in 1902, the business was then incorporated in 1905 under a special charter by the state of Connecticut, the sole owners being A.L. Sessions, his mother and his wife. William E. Sessions built the mansion, called Beleden, on Bellevue Avenue in Bristol and his nephew, A.L. Sessions, built his own mansion in 1903 on the same street.

The Georgian Revival home, constructed of brick and red sandstone, is said to have been designed by a Waterbury architect who had been sent by Sessions to England to study Georgian architecture before beginning to plan the house. Known in Bristol as the “Wedding Cake” House, it later became the Town Club and is now the DuPont Funeral Home.

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