The prominent early settlers of Cornwall Hollow were the families of Benjamin Sedgwick and Jonathan Hurlburt, who bought land totaling over one thousand acres in the Hollow in the late 1740s. The Sedgwick property at one point reached “full two and a half miles eastward into the towns of Goshen and Norfolk.” Theodore Sedgwick, who grew up in the Hollow, graduated from Yale College in 1765, became a member of Congress from Massachusetts, and served as Speaker of the House. Major General John Sedgwick, one of Cornwall’s most famous local sons, played important roles in the Civil War battles of Antietam, Gettysburg, and the Wilderness; he died in 1864 at Spottsylvania. A monument in the Hollow memorializes John Sedgwick.
The house that General Sedgwick called home replaced one that burned in 1859. Sedgwick only lived here for a few months in 1862 while recovering from Civil War battle wounds.