The End of an Era (18) – The Trumbull House – Final Words – 1756 – 2021


A piece of the history of Trumbull, Connecticut, is being destroyed.  This piece of history is a house built in 1756.

Trumbull House - June, 2020, front view

Quoting from a Christmas card sent by my grandfather in 1956, titled “Two Hundred Christmases in Trumbull”:

“This house was built during the French and Indian War.  It 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. 

Trumbull House - June, 2020 - side view

It was 32 when Washington was inaugurated, and 41 when Trumbull held its first town meeting.  The national capital was burned and rated during the 58th year of existence and 109 winters had passed at the time of Abraham Lincoln’s assassination. 

Trumbull House - June 2020 - Back view

When the first ship passed through the Panama Canal, this house 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.”

 It was built by the Hawley family, prominent businessmen who played a major role in establishing Trumbull.  They owned a gristmill, a cider mill, a sawmill, a clay pit and a store.  All of these were necessary to create a town and provide the services that were needed by others in the area to survive.

The house was given to Daniel Hawley on his marriage to Phoebe Mallett, who came from another prominent early settler.  Phoebe was given a slave, Nero, as a wedding present.

Trumbull House - 1756 kitchen fireplace(3)

Kitchen fireplace with Warming Oven to the right.

Trumbull House - 1756 dining room fireplace

Dining Room fireplace

Trumbull House - 1756 living room fireplace

Living Room fireplace. This was the Music Room in the 1930’s and 1940’s.

Trumbull House - 1756 master bedroom fireplace

Master Bedroom fireplace

Trumbull House - 1756 children's room fireplace

The Bedroom fireplace, Biss and Dick’s room as young children.


Trumbull House - 2018 - Beams in 1756 portion of house - kitchen

The beams in the original Dining Room

At the clay pit  Nero Hawley developed skills in brick making and at the Saw Mill he learned how to handle lumber, two very important skills needed to build a town.  He served during the Revolutionary war and earned his freedom and was given the clay pit where he had made bricks. I believe he played a part in building the original house and constructing it’s massive chimney, which served 5 fireplaces.  He went on to build his own house and run a business as a brick maker.


SOL - Alfred Duryee Guion at time of wedding

                                         Alfred Duryee Guion


SOL-Arla Mary Peabody - wedding picture

                                            Arla Mary Peabody

In 1922 my grandfather, Alfred Duryee Guion, and his wife, Arla Mary (Peabody) Guion, purchased the house. 

Cedric Duryee Guion @ 1922

                     Arla (Peabody) Guion and the five children that moved to Trumbull in 1922. Left to right: Daniel Beck Guion, Alfred Peabody Guion, Cedric Duryee Guion, Richard Peabody Guion, Arla Mary (Peabody) Guion and Elizabeth Westlin Guion.

They moved from Mount Vernon, New York, with their five young children, including Lad, my father, who was eight and the oldest, with his younger siblings.

During the 99 years that our family lived there, 5 generations have been sheltered by those sturdy walls.  My grandfather served as First Selectman and during his tenure, a Volunteer Fire Department was established in Trumbull Center (he was a Charter Member) and an old mine was converted to a swimming area and park.  He also served as Justice of the Peace for many, many years, marrying countless couples throughout the area.

Guion Family @ 1938 (2)

                  Back – Cedric, Grandpa, Dan, Biss, Lad.   Front – Don Stanley, Dave, Gwen Stanley

  He sent 5 sons with special skills to help Uncle Sam during World War II. 

1964 Guion Family Reunion - Grandpa with his grandchildren

All 6 of the children married and those families also contributed to the well-being of Trumbull.  My mother, Marian Irwin Guion, established a kindergarten at our church, which grew to include 8 teachers and about 80 students, before Trumbull offered public kindergartens in their schools 10 years later.

This house, so much a part of the history of Trumbull, has been purchased and is being converted into nine studio or one bedroom units. The artist rendering of the proposed building shows no chimneys which tells me that the massive chimney and 5 fireplaces from the original house will be demolished. It will no longer be recognizable as a home built in 1756 and will absolutely destroy this integral part of the history of the Town of Trumbull. 

Trumbull House - June 2020 - Back view

I will always think of the Trumbull House as it looks in this picture.

Tomorrow, I will begin posting Christmas greetings from the Trumbull House written  at the end of 1944.

Judy Guion


11 thoughts on “The End of an Era (18) – The Trumbull House – Final Words – 1756 – 2021

  1. icefogger says:

    What an absolute shame.

  2. I think change often brings a loss of heritage for some, a promise of profit for others.

    • Judy Guion says:

      T. W. – Ain’t that the truth. It seems there are quite a few people who don’t know or don’t care about their heritage. Their focus is on numero uno. I know I can’t change things but I do not have to like it. This house sheltered my family for 99 years. My hope is to inspire people to cherish their history through my Blog. Thank you for your comment.

  3. Janet McKee says:

    Reblogged this on Janet's Thread 2 and commented:
    Judy – what a wonderful account of the history of your family and the Trumbull house. There are a number of similarities to the old house and farm owned by my sister and her husband in Milforrd New Hampshire.

    • Judy Guion says:

      Janet – Thank you for you thoughtful words. I regret that there is so little regard or respect for our history, our old buildings, monuments and the stories behind them. History will forever repeat itself if we do not learn from the past.

  4. GP says:

    I can not believe they want to destroy such a beautiful home.

    • Judy Guion says:

      GP – I do not know what they are going to do and have not seen any drawings or plans, but I tend to fear the worst. He might keep most of the inside intact, but I find it difficult to imagine how 9 units can be created. The back yard will be a huge parking lot – just figure spaces for 18 or 20 cars. One side of the driveway enters the road on a dangerous curve. I would probably prefer that driveway eliminated just for the safety of all involved. Trumbull is certainly not the small town I grew up in. It is a suburb of Bridgeport with a population of about 36,000. It continues to grow. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to vest. I need that sometimes. Take care of yourself.

  5. Pure Glory says:

    Sorry the integrity of this historical home is being destroyed. It is too bad a historical designation so that alterations had to be approved.

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