For several weekends – perhaps more – I will be posting pictures and memories of the Trumbull House and what it has meant to my Family.
Quotes from The Reminiscences of Alfred Duryee Guion,: “…. written in the spring of 1960 while on a four months “around the world freighter trip.”
“We moved in one late December day. There was a furnace of sorts heating a potentially good hot water heating system. Water was pumped from a nearby broke to a large storage tank in the cellar. No lights, as a storage battery system in the barn had frozen, so we celebrated our first Christmas with candlelight under rather primitive conditions. Early the following year the local power company installed electric lights that heating and water supply still furnished problems. There were six fireplaces to supplement the furnace and firewood was plentiful. With foot valve troubles at the broke and of the water supply, water pipes freezing, frequent pump failures, it became necessary at times to draw water from the three Wells on the property until some years later, when city water mains furnished adequate supplies.
At one edge of the property a small cottage once served as an office for a long vanished paper mill. This cottage was lent, rent-free, to various couples in return for the man’s help in his spare time in taking care of the grounds and the woman’s aid in helping Arla with the housework. Over the years we had many and sundry types of individuals in the cottage, all of which would make an interesting story in itself.
Lad, Ced, Biss and Dick on the dirt road in front of the house, taken in 1924, probably. Biss, born January 6, 1919, was 5 years old when she broke her arm climbing on a fence to pick grapes.
We inherited some scraggly chickens with the place but these were soon abandoned. A small pony cart and harness and an early vintage Waverley Electric auto were also found in the barn, which later led to the acquisition of a pony for the children, a gentle little goat named Geneva, and Airedale dog, Patsy, and later, when my sister came to live with us, she brought a high-spirited Bridle horse, Nador,, who one day broke loose, ran down the railroad tracks, broke her leg and had to be shot.
DICK – Aunt Elsie had a wild stallion named Nador. He threw Lad and Dan.
LAD – When we first arrived in Trumbull, the house had been unoccupied for a while; there was an awful lot of cleaning and fixing up to do. We had cows, chickens, pigs, but we didn’t have any horses at that time. We got the horses later. In the cottage, there was a fellow named Parks, who was living there with his wife. They helped Dad and Mom with the Big House. His wife did the cleaning and he did the outside work.
A.D.G. – Meanwhile, I was having serious commuting troubles. Each winter the trains were frequently late, which, together with the antagonistic attitude of my immediate boss at the office, made my frequent late arrivals it worked increasingly disagreeable incidents. Also, the 7 mile auto ride to and from Trumbull in all kinds of weather, the 2 1/2 to 3 hour train ride to Grand Central followed by a crowded subway ride to the battery, and this twice a day, not only was physically exhausting but also necessitated my leaving home early and arriving home late. There seemed only one sensible alternative – to seek employment in Bridgeport. A letter campaign from New York to Bridgeport manufacturers proving unfruitful after months of vain effort, in desperation I resolved on desperate measures. With five little ones to feed and clothe I simply had to get a job, so burning all bridges behind me, I quit my New York job cold to wage an all-out on-the-job search to find something in Bridgeport. To make this step was one of the most difficult decisions of my life, but within two weeks I became Assistant Advertising Manager of the Bridgeport Brass Company, and a few months later, Advertising Manager, which job I held until I left to start an advertising agency of my own.
Tomorrow, we will revisit 1945. Lad has arrived home from France, Dan remains in France with his new wife, Paulette, Ced continues to work at the Woodley Airfield in Anchorage, Alaska, Dick and his wife Jean are in Santaliza, Brazil and Dave is in Manila, the Philippines.