Alfred Duryee Guion – The Beginning (21) – Early Larchmont Gardens Memories

In last week’s post, Grandpa and Arla had purchased a lot in Larchmont in a new development called Larchmont Gardens and built one of the first “redi-cut” houses on the market, with the help of Arla’s father, Kemper Peabody, a construction foreman for the New York Central Railroad. In this post, I’ve included some early memories of the older children.

ADG - holding Dan, Arla Peabody Guion with Lad in her lap - 1917


A.D. – We had chosen our lot in Larchmont primarily to be “out in the country”, but the place was growing rapidly and became a thickly settled community. It was getting difficult to find sleeping accommodations for frequent guests, five children and their parents. Then, too, the boys were active little tykes, and like children the world over, frequently got into trouble, like rooting up vegetables in neighbor’s garden, running around his house carrying a raw carrot leaving a yellow streak on his new paint. If my neighbor had boiled over and said some harsh things I would have felt better, but he took it too good-naturedly so that I felt doubly worse. We had, from time to time, offers from those interested in buying the house for considerably more than it had cost us, and all these were contributory causes for looking for a larger place further out in the country.

?????????????????LAD – I think our neighbor had a garden in the backyard with green beans growing. Dan and I each took two or three green beans and walked around and around his house, the beans rubbing on the house, wearing them down until they were short. Then we threw them away and got some more beans. So Roger (Batchelder) was kind of upset about that.

When we moved in, there were two houses on Lansdowne Drive, ours and another one at the top of the hill. When we left in 1922, they were probably eight or ten houses.

I don’t know why but my father started calling me Lad and gradually it got to be my nickname.

APG - Lad and Dan - Larchmont, NY - June, 1918

When I started school in Larchmont, either kindergarten or first grade, I went to school in a horse-drawn sleigh in the winter. I just remember it being awfully cold. In the warmer months, Mother drove me to school. Dan may have started school there, he was only a year and a half behind me.

Once in a while, we had to walk home from school. I went across the street from the school where there was a fire hydrant on the corner. Just for the fun of it, I jumped over the hydrant. Well, for some reason or other, there was a short in the power somewhere and I got an awful shock. I’ve never forgotten it so I’m always cautious when I come to a hydrant.

Cedric Duryee GuionCED – I don’t remember much about the Larchmont house on Lansdowne Drive. I do remember the milk was delivered by a milkman with a horse and buggy. Lansdowne drive was on the heel and at the bottom was a Creek. One day the horse and wagon went down the hill faster than usual – they went bouncing down the Hill. I don’t remember if the horse went in the broke or not. I was pretty young at the time, about four maybe.

????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????BISS – The only memory I have of Larchmont is a big picture of the living. It had a fireplace and it seems to me a piano or something, but I’m not sure. My impression is of hardwood floors but I can’t remember what the furniture looked like. I was four when we left there.


A.D. – Before anything definite materialized along these lines, however, and epidemic of chickenpox turned the Guion ménage into an amateur hospital, and to make it even harder for Head Nurse Arla, Dad also got the bug, while it seems a laughing matter to relate, don’t let anyone tell you it’s any fun for an adult to have chickenpox.

Tomorrow I’ll continue Grandpa’s story with the events leading up to the move to Trumbull.

On Monday, I’ll begin posting letters written in 1941. Lad is coming home after two and a half tears in Venezuela and Dick is delivering himself and a car to his brothers in Alaska.

Judu Guion


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