The Sterling family was one of Stratford’s oldest and wealthiest families.

John Sterling built the family homestead, a grand Romanesque mansion on Main Street, in 1886, on the land owned by his father, Capt. John Sterling, according to sterlinghousecc.org.

The house, registered in the National Registry of Historic Homes, was designed by architect Bruce Price of New York, who also designed Osborne Hall and Welch Hall at Yale University. The lawns and gardens were originally planned by Frederick Law Olmsted, who was landscape architect of New York’s Central Park.

John Sterling’s sister, Cordelia, resided there until her death in 1931. According to her wishes, Sterling House was donated to the Town of Stratford in a trust in memory of her father, to be used as a community center.