Trumbull – Guion Christmas Card – 1958 – GUION’S MID-WINTER FLOWER SHOW

ADG - 1958 Christmas Card - Flower Show - cover

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Timely Mesage From

The Old Gardener . . . . . . . . . . .

We are issuing our Christmas Bulletin early this year in order to get the combined force of a Thanksgiving and Christmas good-will message.

After all, Christmas and what it stands for is surely a cause for Thanksgiving; and from a practical standpoint relieving Uncle Sam’s couriers of a small part of their holiday rush (and one’s friends of a surfeit of cards arriving at the very busiest time of the year), it is itself a gesture of good-will – – or at least we hope you will so regarded, because as always, an overflowing measure of good wishes is what we have been trying to convey in this our 1958 holiday season greeting.

PS – Incidentally, the flower pictures were drawn by our young “budding” artists.

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this favorite group of popular perennials, all members of the Alfredo-Mariana ( my parents – Alfred (Lad) and Marian)family, consists of six varieties, each one different. Colorful and easily raised, they thrive best when not transplanted to frequently. Partly indigenous to California (Mom was raised there), the tall variety grows especially well in “truck” (reference to my father being a construction equipment mechanic) garden. One variety prefers warm climates (Marian grew up in California), the other thrives best in cold weather (Lad).  Twin buds (my brother and I) frequently develop into entirely different blossoms. This is one of our prize plant groups.

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This choice variety has been developed from two main groups in the Paulette-Danneo combination of popular strains. One imported favorite is an offshoot of the noted French Lily f)amily which quickly adapts itself to changing locations. (Dan met and married Paulette in France during the war. The other branch frequently associated with foundation plantings. (Dan loves to work outside in the gardens.) Both are great nursery favorites. (Reference to the fact that Dan and Paulette have five children.)

The smaller members of this attractive group are easy to grow. Despite the delicate appearance these tiny very flowers are among the world’s heartiest.. They will bloom for years with minimal care – – a constant delight for you and your friends. Be sure to see them when you visit our garden.ADG - 1958 Christmas Card - Flower Show - pg. 4

FLOWER SHOWS like this reach fullest beauty and fragrance only as they blossom in the mind of the beholder. We can invite you to our main gardens in Conn., Or to our winter quarters in Naples, Florida, but deep back of it all lies the fruit you yourself must find in this Season’s Greeting from an old well-wisher.

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This is one of the newer and promising additions to our selected line. For many years the largest growing member of this group – – the well-known bachelor button – – was found frequently growing high above the frost line, flourishing well in Alaskan climate. Ced remained a bachelor and lived in Alaska for over 6 years.) Another a variety flourishes near highways (pikes to you) (Ced married Fannie Pike) . A miniature offshoot is often designated as a night Bloomer. (They have a son who is a year old) Holds promise of increasing popularity as a home favorite.

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This hardy group blossoms the year-round and thrives with frequent transplanting. Among the five color assortments comprising this group, some prefer sunshine to shade (Biss), others flourish best near shady trout streams and woods (Zeke). They bring color and loveliness to any home. They are frequently found growing near a variety of dogwood with thin bark, sometimes identified by the code name-Spooks. (Their dog.)

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Habitat, northern New England. Found most plentifully near lakes They live 15 minutes from our Island on Lake Winnipesaukee.). Grow tall and thin on graceful stems. (Wife Jean and both daughters are tall and thin.) Largely self-supporting, especially when transplanted to southern climes. One of the prize offshoots from the famous Mortensen (Jean’s maiden name) family of beauties. Round eyed Susan  is one of the well-known varieties. Two attractive miniature flowers in this group bloom indoors in every room of the house all winter long. Every lovely flower is a true and perfect specimen, exquisitely dainty and colorful – – not to be confused with ordinary run of seedlings advertised for $.12-$.15 each.

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Here is the latest achievement in the development of grafting technique in starting an entirely new strain – – a venture we are watching with considerable interest and anticipation (Dave and Ellie have adopted a son) At present at the prospect of a high measure of success is highly encouraging, in an environment combining background of careful Dutch cultivation (Ellie’s ancestry) and large plant tendencies associated with the well-known Bullardinia and Remingtonius stock, (Dave has worked at Remington-Rand plant in Bridgeport.) this young addition to our growing family of potential prizewinners is off to an auspicious start.

I’ll finish out the week with more of Grandpa’s Christmas cards.

Judy Guion

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My Ancestors (30a) – Rev. Elijah Guion’s Pastorates in Louisiana – 1843 – 1865

Last June I  read about a Challenge, 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks, and I was intrigued. I decided to take up the challenge. Some Ancestors may take more than one week, but I still intend to write about 52 Ancestors. I hope you enjoy reading about My Ancestors as much as I am looking forward to researching and writing about them.

(1) Elijah Guion; (2) Alfred Beck Guion; (3) Alfred Duryee Guion; (4) Alfred Peabody Guion; (5) Judith Anne Guion

Elijah Guion became a Deacon in the Episcopal Church in Louisiana by Bishop B. T. Oderdonk, April 13, 1843.

December 9, 1844 to 1848 – Trinity Church, Natchitoches

December 9, 1844 – summer, 1848, St. James Episcopal Church, Alexandria

In October, 1844, Mr. Burke resigned, and was succeeded, December 9, 1844, by the Rev. Elijah Guion. For nearly 2 years the Rector served the mission at Alexandria. In the early summer of 1848, Mr. Guion resigned.

But making the services of the Church available to all was no easy matter. In the early fall of 1846 the Rev. Elijah Guion, then serving Natchitoches and Alexandria, wrote graphically to the Domestic Committee (of the Archdiocese of Louisiana) describing what the life of a missionary was like in this report, published in the December, 1846, Spirit of Missions, he tells of his experiences:

… the distance by land, between the two extremities of my route, will be about 135 miles, and this journey I shall be expected to perform monthly, mostly on horseback, with a horse hired, often times at my own expense, this being all Missionary ground, and but few see me to think of the expense the Missionary is at.

I think, if it were possible for those at the eastward who feel interested in the success of the Church at the West, to see me on my journeyings and wanderings through the woods and swamps, now exposed to the drenching rain, and again almost fainting under the burning heat of a nearly vertical sun, that some active and efficient measures would be speedily adopted to relieve me of a portion of this burden, by sending out two or three additional Missionaries well supplied with Bibles, prayer-books, and tracts and with a support suited to the expensive nature of Missions in this part of the country.

With so little money to do with and so much to do the Domestic Committee was able to assist such missionaries as Mr. Guion only to the extent of $300 a year. The rest of his support was dependent on the generosity of those among whom he ministered.

Mr. Guion was the more discouraged at this time because he had twice been ill of “the fever”, probably malaria, with its debilitating chills; and prospects for erecting two churches had been “blasted by the destruction of the cotton crop by the caterpillar.”

Moreover, he had other ills to contend with. Said he: “With the blighting effects of Romanism on one side, the Infidelity on the other, our little barque still keeps afloat, though contending against fearful odds.”

Believing that education should be under the guidance of the Church, he was instrumental in founding the school for young women, Rapides Academy, at Cotile, in August, 1848 with the Rev. Mr. Guion in charge. This school was especially endorsed by Bishop Polk.

… In the years that Bishop Polk had been her diocesan, Guion was conducting a small school at Natchitoches; …

Schools established by clergymen in connection with their cures naturally lasted only so long as the clergyman remained in that particular parish. And schools run by clergymen as their sole source of livelihood were equally unable to survive. Mrs. Guion’s school at Natchitoches closed when her husband accepted a position elsewhere. Then when he opened an Academy for Young Ladies in 1851 at Carrollton, above New Orleans, he was forced to move it to Greenville, nearer the city, when fire destroyed the Carrollton building, and then to close it completely in 1854. However, in connection with his rectorship of St. James’, Baton Rouge, he again ran a girls school until he left for New Orleans in 1860.

August 7, 1848 to June, 1850 – Principal at Rapides Seminary

November, 1850 to 1853 – Carrollton Seminary

July 1, 1854 to July 18, 1860 – St. James Church, Baton Rouge

On the 29th of January, 1854, the Rev. Elijah Guion began to hold regular services. He became director July 1, 1854. A seminary for young ladies was opened, and conducted by the Rector and his wife. In 1856, the ladies of the congregation raised quite a sum of money towards the erection of a rectory, and on April 11, 1857, paid $750 for a lot of ground immediately in the rear of the church, and after doing this had $200 left towards the building. The church lot was paid for in January, 1858.

And now, one of the first committees appointed in a Louisiana Convention to deal with national matters was one appointed in 1855 by Bishop Polk to draft a reply to a circular asking whether the Church should take a position on slavery. The circular was drawn up by a commission of bishops appointed at the General Convention. To the Louisiana commission he named his assistant at Trinity, the Rev. John Fulton, the Rev. Dr. Laycock, the Rev. Elijah Guion, John Lobdell, Lucius Duncan and former Gov. Henry Johnson, now of Trinity. Though the Louisiana Journal records this action, it does not tell what reply the committee drafted. And the records of the General Convention disclosed no reference to such a commission of bishops as Bishop Polk refers to.

 

In 1859 the Rev. Elijah Guion spoke eloquently in favor of a bookstore in the diocese for the sale of suitable books for parish Sunday Schools and family libraries, Sunday School instruction books and “even works of science which can be safely recommended to the unwary but ardent lover of knowledge.” Such a bookstore should be located in New Orleans, he suggested, but he urged that every parish in the diocese open its own. The diocesan bookstore should be financed by the diocese, he thought. And the diocese should have a religious periodical for circulation in every family. This magazine would be better than those from far off which, he said, “are too generally occupied with long-winded dissertations upon subjects about which we feel but little interest and in which it may be well for us to feel less.” The diocese voted not to undertake the bookstore but urged individual members of the clergy and laity to unite in establishing one.

In 1859, the parish was reported as more prosperous than at any former period. The pews were all taken, and there were applications for more accommodation than could be furnished. The communicants numbered 74. Mr. Guion resigned July 18, 1860.

1860 to 1861 – Chaplain at Poydras Asylum

January, 1863 to September 1, 1865 – St. Paul’s Church, New Orleans

In October, 1862, the Rector (Rev. Goodrich) was interrupted in his administrations by military order and exiled. During his absence, the Rev. Elijah Guion had charge of the parish.

As general Banks prepared in the spring of 1864 to move up the Red River to cut off Confederate supplies to Northwestern Louisiana, the Union military tightened its control over the city. Now General Banks issued the same kind of order that the nefarious Butler had earlier issued; pray for the President of the United States as required by the ritual of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States or close up.

Where the vestries refused to comply, they had to give way to men named by the military authority. Mr. Guion, at St. Paul’s, wrote Pres. Lincoln urging an abatement of the order. But his letters were returned to him through military channels. Finally he too complied.

Rev. Elisha Guion announced that he would begin using the “Prayer for the President of the United States, and the “Prayer for Congress when in session” at the evening service that night, April 10, 1864. This so irritated the ladies of his church, whose sympathies were with and for the rebels, that they chose to attend some other church from that point on.

This arrangement continued from January 1, 1863 to September 1, 1865, when the Rector resumed his office.

Source – The Diocese of Louisiana: Some of It’s History, 1838 – 1888; Also some of the History of its Parishes and Missions, 1805 – 1888. Compiled by the Rev. Herman Cope Duncan, M. A., New Orleans: A. Printer, 73 Camp St. – 12291, 1888.

So Great A Good, a History of the Episcopal Church in Louisiana and of Christ Church Cathedral, 1805 – 1955, by Hodding Carter and Betty Werlein Carter, the University Press, Sewanee, Tennessee, 1953.

Next Sunday, I’ll post information about Rev. Elijah and Clara’s family in New Orleans.

Starting tomorrow, another week of unique, personalized Christmas Cards designed by Grandpa and sent to family and friends, both near and far.

Judy Guion 

Voyage to California (23) – John Jackson Lewis – January to March, 1851

(1) John Jackson Lewis, (2) Edith May (Lewis) Rider, (3) Marian Faith (Rider) Irwin, (4) Marian Dunlop (Irwin) Guion, (5) Judith Anne Guion.

The following are transcriptions of John Jackson Lewis’s diary and journal of his voyage to California in 1851. He was travelling  from New York to visit his older brother William in San Jose.

Diary

The steamer left Acapulco shortly after 12 o’clock last night, and this morning we were again upon the ocean. The noise of weighing anchors and stowing away the chain cable in the immediate vicinity of my eirth awakened me occasionally but did not seriously impede my slumbers. I am becoming accustomed to sleep amid noises. This morning I heard, with surprise, that there was a death in the steerage last night about 10 or 11 o’clock. The man was a foreigner, unknown to nearly everyone on board. At 8 o’clock the preparations for a funeral were completed, the boat was stopped, the funeral service read by the captain, and the body, sewed up in canvas, slid into the deep. Though this is the Sabbath the butchering and other occupations proceed as usual. Distance 95 miles.

Journal

Left Acapulco between 12 and 1 o’clock last night, and between the discharges of cannon, (one an hour before starting to notify passengers on shore, another at the time of starting), the letting down of the chain-cable into the hold, close past my berth, and other disturbances, we passed a tolerably noisy night. I learned this morning that one of the steerage passengers died during the night. It appears that he had been unwell for some days, and had been taking considerable quantities of camphor. The day before yesterday he took two pills of blue mass, yesterday some vegetable pills. On the night he was taken with fainting fits, the doctor was called, and gave him a pill of some kind, shortly after which he was seized with convulsions, and died in a few minutes. He was a German, with no relatives on board, and no particular friends or acquaintances that I know of. By the time I got on deck, he was sewed up in canvas and laid out on the upper deck, ready for burial, with the Union Jack spread over him. At 8 o’clock all hands were summoned aft to bury the dead. The corpse was placed on a board, on the guard or structure that encloses the wheel, in a position convenient for sliding into the ocean, and the engine was stopped. Quite a lengthy funeral service was read by the captain, and at the point where the passage, “we commit the body to deep” occurs, the end of the board was raised and the body slid into. The waves closed over him, the reading was soon finished, and in a few minutes we were moving on again. The unfortunate individual was an elderly man, of a very quiet turn, holding very little communication with anyone, and his death appeared to cast no deeper gloom upon our little community here than a similar event on shore would have done. In consequence of taking coal on board yesterday, dirt is unusually abundant, and with this inconvenience, and the washing of decks continued through a considerable portion of the day, things generally were rather an uncomfortable aspect. Butchering continues as usual this evening, and the Sabbath, as heretofore, almost entirely unnoticed. Distance from Acapulco at noon, 95 miles.

Tomorrow, I’ll continue the story of the Rev. Elijah Guion and Clara Maria de los Dolores Marina de Beck Guion.

Next week, I’ll continue with unique Christmas Cards designed by Grandpa over the years.

Judy Guion

 

Trumbull – Guion Christmas Card – 1957 – LIFE… ANNUAL REVIEW

 

This particular Christmas Card describes the lives and important events occurring during this remarkable year. It ends with a special holiday greeting from the EDITOR (Grandpa).

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WHY DRAG IN THE FAMILY

When one reaches, as Washington Irving phrases it, “that happy age when one can be idle with impunity”, he sometimes falls into a philosophical mood and admits that the individual he has now become is the combined result of certain outstanding past experiences, plus the personal impact of sundry friends – – (and you are one of these or you wouldn’t be getting this card). Perhaps the strongest continuing influence has been that of his own immediate family; so that in large measure this annual reaffirmation of goodwill toward those for whom one feels a special tie of affection, becomes in effect a FAMILY greeting. That is why, in the following pages, we include some at the jurors “in outer space” of other members of the family.

 

 

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January

“A Notable Wedding”

NEW YEAR’S DAY 1957  MAKES FAMILY HISTORY

Gradually, over the years, I have had the satisfactory experience of seeing one after the other of my children happily married – – had that is, in the case of, all, except Ced. But why that one exception? Kind, generous, self-sacrificing Ced, liked by everyone and possessing all the ingredients making for a good husband and father in a happy home! Well, it’s an exception no more! At last his ideal dream-girl came along to complete the family marriage record and at the same time make his admiring father quite content with his new daughter, and just recently with his 15th grandchild. So this message to starts on its way significantly inspired by the counterpart of another December birth proclaimed by angels so many years ago.

 

 

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DAVE REVIVES A LOST HOPE

One of life’s deepest regrets was my financial inability, following the dire events of 1929 and the subsequent death of my wife, to provide college educations for my children. I had had to obtain my own the hard way over a three-year period through days and nights of alternate work and study. Circumstances deprived my children of even that opportunity except for short specialized courses undertaken by Lad and Dan. Aided by the moral encouragement and willing sacrifice of his help-mate, Dave’s University of Bridgeport diploma means almost as much to his father as it does to Dave and Ellie.

 

 

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NORTHERN NEW ENGLAND CALLS

Dick, along with all my other children, had always enjoyed the family’s annual summer trip to our little island camp on Lake Winnipesaukee; so after choosing his pretty Stratford bride (his father, as Justice of the Peace, tying the knot), and doing his stint for Uncle Sam in Brazil, they mutually decided to make New Hampshire their home. There, in an attractive old New England homestead which they bought and modernized, surrounded by generous acres of land, they are bringing up two of my wonderful little granddaughters. How hospitable they invariably are when, throughout the summer, other members of the family take advantage of their proximity to our island!

 

 

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 S O S FROM WINTER QUARTERS

Like the clown who said he enjoyed banging his head against a brick wall because it felt so good when he stopped, I enjoyed my winters stay in Florida, partly because it’s always so enjoyable to get back home in Trumbull with the family and especially the grandchildren. Naples, on Florida’s West Coast, is indeed a lovely place in which to spend the winter and I could be completely happy in this Golf coast Haven if I could transport all the Guion’s there too. As a matter of fact, I’d settle for even one of my six branches to share the Florida sunshine with me.

TRUMBULL SUMMER THEATRE NOTE

Due to popular demand, “Life with Father” has been booked for another full year’s run – (God Willing).

 

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DEEPENING FAMILY ROOTS IN CONNECTICUT

Lad and Marian have solidly identified themselves with Trumbull life – – Lad with his service station here for a number of years, and Marian as a member of the Trumbull Board of Education and originator and dynamo of Trumbull’s only kindergarten school under Church auspices. Participation in church and community responsibilities, with concurrent devotion to the upbringing of four promising youngsters, goes hand-in-hand with the serene and happy home life – – a heritage which the youngsters will appreciate in the years to come even more than they do today. None of the family groups enjoy more the annual vacation visit to our Island, nor have any contributed more to its improvement.

 

 

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BLOOD TRANSFUSION FROM OVERSEAS

On both my mother’s and father’s side, family roots were deeply embedded in the soil of France before the Huguenots were driven from their native land. It took my second oldest son, Dan, following his Army service in Europe, to restore ancient land ties with the old world by choosing for himself a charming French bride and in measurably enriching the family’s future with five attractive and well behaved hostages to the Guion fortune. Keeping pace with food requirements for a family of seven, paired with their mother’s ability to keep the children neatly and tastefully dressed, leaves Dan with little leisure time. His earning ability fortunately meets the test as well as being able to supply their home with what Mark Twain terms “all the modern inconveniences”.

 

 

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MY PIONEER DAUGHTER

The first of my children to embark on the sea of matrimony was my only daughter, Elizabeth. (Biss to the family.) She and Raymond Zabel (Zeke to us), one of Trumbull’s native sons, have not only established their own comfortable home in nearby Huntington, but also Pioneer in making possible the first college boy in the families current generation. As a freshman at the University of Pennsylvania, Raymond, Junior., merits the admiration of his younger brother, Martin, and little sister Arla. Their mother, I am proud to say, embodies many of the endearing traits of her lovely mother, whom she grows to resemble more and more as the years go by.

 

 

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NOVEMBER

SPECIAL TO “LIFE”

News From Outer Space

Stratford inhabitants were startled upon glancing over the front page items in the November 23 addition of their local paper to find news of Sputnik relegated to the inside pages and replaced by headlines announcing the arrival (a bit ahead of schedule) of ARTHUR CEDRIC GUION, weight 7 pounds and three and half ounces.

Aside from its effect upon population as a census figure, or from the financial aspect of an income tax exemption, the addition of this youngest member of staff marks him as the 15th of the younger generation of grandchildren. With such parents, a brilliant future is predicted for this young man.

CHRISTMAS MESSAGE FROM EDITOR IN CHIEF

If you have read between the lines in the foregoing pages you may perhaps have discerned an identifying the thread running throughout. “Behold”, say the psalmist, “how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity.” Many times even in smaller families the years bring differences of opinion among its members. Those coming into the family circle through marriage sometimes are incompatible with other units, geographical distances weaken home ties, differing views over inheritances cause squabbles, until sometimes one’s neighbors or friends seem closer than blood relations. How fortunate I am in the unity and good fellowship that pervade among sons and daughters, spreading its peaceful warmth over their Dad’s Indian summer. May this same spirit of peace and goodwill shine through this Christmas greeting to you from all of us Guion’s, and particularly the

. . . .EDITOR. . . .

Tomorrow, a Christmas card based on a Special Showing of GUION’S MID-WINTER FLOWER SHOW, with each family represented by various flowers, the number of flowers depicted equal the members of the family. 

Tomorrow, another excerpt from the Diary and Journal of his Voyage to California by John Jackson Lewis.

On Sunday, more on the lives of the Rev. Elijah Guion and his wife, Clara Maria de los Dolores Marina de Beck Guion.

Judy Guion

 

 

Trumbull – Guion Christmas Card – 200 Years in Trumbull

This Christmas card contains quite a bit of history, both of Trumbull and the family Homestead of the Guion’s.  This house remains in the family to this day. 

ADG - 1956 Christmas Card - 200 Christmases in Trumbull

 

ADG - 1956 Christmas Card - inside

The present home of the Guion’s in Trumbull commemorates its 200th anniversary in this year of 1956.

The ancient deed, dated 1758, mentioning “dwelling house and barn” and reproduced on the front of this card, was obtained from old town records with the patient help of Stratford’s eminent local historian, Mr. William H Wilcoxson.

Further evidence of the age of our old home is supplied by the discovery of a hand-hewn chestnut log in the main fireplace which bears the inscription of initials and the date, “1776”.

This house, then, appears to have been built 20 years before the revolution. What momentous changes this comfortable old house has witnessed with its 200 passing Christmases. What is now Trumbull, in 1756, was North Stratford. The French and Indian War was giving grave concern. George Washington was a young man of 24. The house was 17 years old at the time of the Boston Tea Party, and 21 Christmases had passed when the American army found itself encamped at Valley Forge. It was 32 when Washington was inaugurated, and 41 when Trumbull held its first town meeting. The national capitol was burned and raided during the 58th year of existance of what is now the Guion home. 109 winters had passed at the time of Abe Lincoln’s assassination. When the first ship passed through the Panama Canal, this place had been giving shelter for 158 years.

In 1922, when these walls had been standing for 166 years, the Guion clan gathered around the hearthstone for their first Christmas in Trumbull. Roads were unpaved. There was no city water or electricity. The children walked each day to a 3-room rural school, each room heated by a wood-burning stove.

By neighborhood standards, the house had quite modern conveniences. In addition to a de-luxe two-seater “Chic Sale” in the back yard, there was a complete bathroom upstairs and a watercloset downstairs. The house was unique in that it had electrical wiring powered by a generator and a series of batteries in the barn. They were, however, inoperative so that lighting was furnished by the usual candles and kerosene lamps. Drinking water was supplied by two shallow wells, and domestic water from the Pequonnock River, and pumped to a large tank in the cellar.

And so, looking back through the nostalgic vista of 34 Christmas seasons in Trumbull, we renew our traditional greeting to you, of peace, friendship and goodwill.

ADG - 1956 Christmas Card - Back - 30 yr. old card

This 30-year-old Christmas card is based on the legend of the flight to Trumbull on horseback in 1779 of Mrs. Mary Silliman, who “from a home on Daniels Farm Road near the present center of Trumbull” watched the burning of Fairfield by the British. The “home” later was identified as the Elikiam Beach homestead adjoining the present Guion home.

For the rest of the week I’ll be posting more of Grandpa’s personal and unique Christmas cards.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Guion Christmas Card – 1954 – PASSPORT

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IT BEGINS LONG AGO

Emerging from Europe’s Dark Ages, Charlemagne’s death marked the emergence of the French and German nations. Here, at first, petty principalities for self-defense against marauding Norsemen, Huns, Tartars and other barbarous hordes, were headed by Duke, count, Bishop or Baron.

One such was an ancestor, Jean Guyon, created Baron in 1289, who from his big stone castle erected on top of Roche-Guyon, still overlooks the surrounding country through which the stately Seine winds its way northwest of Paris to the sea.

From this vantage point these early overlords kept a watchful eye over their subjects, protecting them from armed robber bands and acting as chief of police, judge, patron of church and monastery, and generally maintaining peace and order throughout their small domain.

THE HUGUENOT

As the centuries rolled by there gradually developed in Western Europe and ever growing battle between Church and State with the “common people” in between, exploited by both.

In France, a bitter feud  between the Catholic and Protestant (Huguenot) made matters worse. There were endless massacres, torturing’s and burnings at the stake. The Huguenots were a powerful minority and had their share of rich nobles. One, Henry of Navarre, King of France, strove for peace but in the late 1600’s things became so unbearable that groups of Huguenots from time to time were forced to seek refuge in other countries.

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LA ROCHELLE

Long a thorn in the side of the Church of Rome, this city had for some years been the home of the Guion family. Lewis, our ancestor, had been born and brought up there. He was evidently a man of some means; his title, Ecuyer, (Squire) denotes land ownership.

Acting on a tip that government agents were after him, he and his family hastily sailed from La Rochelle to seek refuge first in England and later in the New World.

It was a near thing. As old Lewis told it, “they left the fire burning on the stove and the pot boiling on the fire.”

THE GUION PLACE

Huguenot Street, New Rochelle

It was around New Years Day, 1687, that a shipload of Huguenots reached New York. In the spring of that year, they bought land from the Dutch and founded “New Rochelle”. The son, Lewis Guion, built the family house there in 1696 – – a “one and a half storey cottage with dormer windows, made of hand-axed oak beams and stone-filled walls”, still standing, I am told.

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GUION’S TAVERN

famous old hostelry once standing in Eastchester, N. Y.

Charles Guion operated the in during the Revolutionary period. The famous election of 1733, known in history as “The Great Election”, marks a highlight in the life of Guion’s Tavern, for the debates and discussions held there did much to solidify the spirit of the people to resist all forms of tyranny and oppression.

Tradition has it that George Washington spent three days at the Inn when he was ill, and upon leaving, he rewarded the wife of the proprietor with a kiss for the excellent care she had given him. And legend further says that the wife of the proprietor never after washed the spot which his lips had touched.

SINCE REVOLUTIONARY DAYS

In 1776, John (fourth of the American Guions) now 52 years old, was living quietly on his Westchester County farm with his wife and 11 children. His 10th son, Elijah, my great grandfather, was aged five.

The homestead lay between the British and colonial lines. One day the redcoats raided. They caught the elderly man in his farmhouse, beat him severely while wife and children stood helplessly by, stripped the farm and left him for dead. He never fully recovered. In 1798, at the age of 28, Elijah married 19-year-old Elizabeth Marshall and in 1802 the family moved to New York City. Here in 1809 my grandfather was born. He studied for the ministry, and visiting New Orleans, fell in love and married the talented Cuban-born Clara Maria de los Dolores de Beck. His original pastorate was at Glenville, Conn., and during the Civil War at New Orleans.

Here in 1853 my father was born. Coming north in his youth he married and settled in Mount Vernon where I was brought up, only a short distance from the spot the first Guion had chosen for his home 200 years before.

ADG - 1954 Christmas Card - Passport - Back cover

For the rest of the week, I’l be posting more of Grandpa’s unique Christmas Cards, sent to family and friends, near and far.

Judy Guion