The Beginning (24) – Reminiscences of Alfred D Guion (1884 – 1964) – Early Years in Trumbull

The following memories are quotes from “Reminiscences of Alfred D.  Guion”, written in 1960 while he was on a four-months “around the world” freighter trip. 

At this point I will begin adding the memories of the children as they were growing up.

Lad, Ced, Biss and Dick playing at the Trumbull house in 1925.

A.D. – The Larchmont house was sold for considerably more than it cost and the Trumbull property bought for considerably less than the proceeds from the Larchmont property.  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 brook 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 but heating and water supply still furnished problems.  There were 6 fireplaces to supplement the furnace and firewood was plentiful.  With foot-valve troubles at the brook end 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 let, 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.  Perhaps some of my children might be persuaded to record some of the highlights of these days, details of which are now rather confused and hazy in retrospect.

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 Dorothy had a wild stallion named Nador.  He threw Lad and Dan.

A.D. – The children attended a little one room school heated with the potbelly stove, in traditional country style.

LAD – While we were in Larchmont, we went on vacation to Sandy Hook, Connecticut, Camp-A-While, it was called.  In fact, that’s where we were going the day the old Franklin gave out.  One of the bearings, one of the connecting Rod bearings let go and Dad found a Franklin garage in Danbury.  The owner of the garage was working on the car, fixing it, and his wife was talking to Mother.  I don’t know how it happened – Mother may have been asking her questions about the area.  Apparently, Mother liked the area of Connecticut, I don’t know.  The wife told Mother about a house they owned in Trumbull.  We went to look at it and before long, we bought the house.

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.

Tomorrow, more early memories from the children about their early years in Trumbull.

Judy Guion

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