Log Cabin Cottage

Known Name(s)

Log Cabin Cottage (Primary)
Mrs. Johnson (Secondary)


2016 Main St. Hartford, CT (1938, 1939, 1940, 1941)
2016 Main St. Hartford, CT (1939, 1940, 1941, 1946, 1947, 1948, 1949, 1950, 1951, 1952, 1953, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1966)

Establishment Type(s)

Tourist Home

Physical Status


Detailed History

Mary A. and Sidney M. Johnson lived and operated Sidney Johnson's undertaker business at 2016 Main Street, next to the Windsor Avenue Congregational Church and Allyn Memorial mortuary chapel. Like many of their generation, the Johnsons had moved from southern states (Virginia and Louisiana) in 1916 as part of the Great Migration and established the first Black-owned undertaker business in Hartford.

Mary Johnson (1881-1959) became politically and civically active immediately upon her arrival in Hartford. She registered to vote in 1920, the first year that women could participate in state and national elections. She advocated for better lives for African Americans and participated in organizations such as the Colored Republican Women of Connecticut (1917, co-founder), the Mayor's Committee on Unemployment (1929), and the City Juvenile Commission (1941, becoming the first African American Woman appointed to a standing commission in Hartford according to the Hartford Courant). She also ran, but lost, for State House Representative in 1948. And, she founded Community House, a place where newly arrived young women could acquire skills for employment and which for nearly thirty years hosted Black travelers.

This entry was created to acknowledge Mrs. Johnson's contributions to the betterment of her community, even though the building has long since been razed and the property is a vacant lot owned by the adjacent church (as of 2023). A marker has been erected in Mrs. Johnson's honor in front of the Women's League building at 1695 Main Street as part of Hartford's Black Heroes Trail.

Sources: "Uncovering African American Women's Fight for Suffrage," Connecticut Explored online, Summer 2020.

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