The History of the House
The Ward-Heitmann House is the oldest surviving building in West Haven It may have been built as early as 1684, but was certainly on the site in 1725. The house was built by Ebenezer Clark. He sold it to John Humphreville, who had married Clark's sister, Rebecca. The house remained in the Clark family until 1788, when it was bought by sea captain Thomas Ward. It remained in the Ward family until George Ward sold it to Susan Perrin in 1861. She eventually sold it to Louisa Ward Heitmann, George Ward's sister, in 1868. Louisa's daughter, Henrietta Heitmann, inherited the house in 1897. She was engaged in several business ventures and added the north wing to the house, using it as a dame school. The house passed out of the Ward family when it was purchased by Charles Elliott Pickett in 1910. In the twentieth century the house had a number of owners and for a time housed an antique store and later a tearoom. The Milano family owned the house from 1949 to the early 1990s, when it was left to the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The Trust sold it to the Ward-Heitmann House Museum Foundation in 1995 and it was restored to become a museum. In 2003, the Ward-Heitmann House was added to The National Register of Historic Places.