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

The End of an Era (17) – Then and Now – Kitchen – 1922 – 2021

 

Alfred Duryee Guion

I believe this picture was probably taken no earlier than the fall of 1945 when Dick and Jean had returned from Brazil and Lad had been either discharged or is home on one of his consecutive furloughs. Left to right: Alfred Duryee Guion (Grandpa), Marian (Irwin) Guion (my Mom), Alfred Peabody Guion (Lad, my Dad), Jean (Mortensen) Guion, Richard Peabody Guion (Dick) and Aunt Betty Duryee, Grandpa’s Aunt. 

APG - Lad and Marian in kitchen @ 1945

I believe this picture was taken the same evening. It looks like Marian is wearing the same dress and earrings.

 

The End of an Era - Then and Now - Kitchen - 1922 - 2021

In this picture, you can see the small window that is above Jean and Dick in the first picture. The window on the left is behind Lad’s shoulder in the picture above.

Tomorrow will be the last post in “The End of an Era” series. It will be about the long history of this house and how it has been an integrel part of the history of the Town of Trumbull.

Judy Guion

 

The End of an Era (16) – Then and Now – Livingroom – 1922 – 2021

Here are some more pictures taken in the livingroom in 1947 and 2018.

APG - 1947 Christmas - Judy and Doug after Dinner

This is a picture of my twin brother and me sitting in front of the corner cabinet in the livingroom at Christmas Dinner.

Trumbull House - 2018 - Corner cabinet in Living Room

This is the same corner cabinet in 2018.

APG - 1947 Christmas - Dan and Grandpa

This is the fireplace in 1947, decorated for Christmas. Clock-wise from left: Dan, Ced, Zeke, Aunt Anne (Peabody) Stanley, Marian (Irwin) Guion and Grandpa.

ADG - China - the good set

This is the  plate of the China set on the table.

Trumbull House - Living Room fireplace - 1957

The same fireplace in 2018.

APG - 1947 Christmas - Aunt Chiche with Cedric

Shifting the camera angle slightly to the left, we can now see Paulette (Van Laere) Guion holding her second child, Cedric Van Laere, Aunt Dorothy (Peabody) Human, Elizabeth, Aunt Dorothy Peabody partially hidden by Elizabeth, Dave (partially hidden) his wife, Eleanor (Kintop) Guion, Raymond Zabel Jr. (Butch), his younger brother Martin Zabel (Marty), Ced again and Dan’s back. Lad is taking the picture. The door in the upper right leads in to the kitchen. 

Trumbull House - 2018 - Gradma Arla's Secretary

This is Grandma Arla’s Secretary in 2018, placed all the way to the left corner in the picture above. To the left, through the window, is the enclosed (formerly screened) porch.

Next weekend, I will be posting more pictures of the interior of the Trumbull House. Tomorrow I will begin a week of letters written in 1945.

Judy Guion

The End of an Era (15) – Then and Now – Livingroom – 1922 – 2021

I have been posting many pictures of the outside of the Trumbull House. I am now going to start posting pictures of the inside. 

ADG - Grandpa with Smokey in yard - near Thanksgiving, 1945

The window to Grandpa’s left, covered with wines, was converted to a door about 1950. 

Trumbull House - 2018 - Lilac Bush near Grandpa's Apartment Door

This is a similar view of the house in 2018. If you entered the house through this door, you would enter the livingroom.

ADG - Trumbull House Thanksgiving - 1945 (2)

This is another view of the window at Thanksgiving, 1945. L to R – Aunt Betty Duryee, (Grandpa’s Aunt), Lad, Marian (Irwin Guion), Grandpa, and Jean (Mortensen) Guion, Mrs. Dick.

ADG - Trumbull House Thanksgiving, 1945 (1)

This picture appears to have been taken after dinner. Zeke (married to Elizabeth) has his back to us, over his right shoulder is Ced, who made it home for Thanksgiving that year, Grandpa, Aunt Elsie Guion, Grandpa’s sister, and Lad.

Trumbull House - Living Room Door - Christmas, 1947

This is a view of the window, before the conversion, probably taken at Thanksgiving, 1947. Marian is probably feeding my twin brother and me before the main meal. We would have been 17 months old at the time.

This is a picture of the door taken by me in 2018.

Tomorrow, I will post more pictures of the Livingroom, Then and Now.

Judy Guion

 

The End of an Era (14) – Then and Now – The Back Yard – 1922 – 2021

This picture of Lad was probably taken in 1923 or 1924, when he was 8 or 9. (The entrance to the cellar was moved at some point.

This is another early shot of the back yard taken in 1928 or 1929. Dave is the small child on the right and he was born in 1925.The others in the photo are (l to r) Aunt Dorothy Peabody (Grandma Arla’s youngest sister), Biss (Elizabeth), Lad, Dan, Ced, Dick and Grandpa. The other little boy next to Dave is Don Stanley, son of Aunt Anne (Peabody) Stanley, another of Grandma Arla’s sisters).

Lad and Mack in the small yard between the house and the driveway. This picture was probably taken in 1945. Notice the stone work lining the driveway, made by Axel Larsen (mentioned in yesterdays post)

Marian (Irwin) Guion, Mrs. Lad) sitting in approximately the same location as Lad in the above picture, and probably taken in 1945.

Martin and Flor Willliams, who worked with Lad in Venezuela, stopped in for a visit and are sitting in the chairs behind Lad, although they might not have been in the same location.

The location of the previous pictures is on the left side of this picture. This is a fellow serviceman and friend, of Lad’s, who also visited Trumbull, around 1945 or 1946.

This is a picture of Aunt Elsie Guion, Grandpa’s sister, with my siblings and me. It was taken in the same location in about 1952 or 1953. (l to r) Doug (my twin), Greg Aunt Elsie, Marian Lynn and me.)

This picture was taken in 2016. Most of the above pictures were taken in the area directly to the right of the car.

The same area in a picture I took in 2018. Notice the stones lining the driveway.

The same view in June, 2021.

Tomorrow I will begin posting a week of letters written in December of 1944.

Judy Guion

l

The End of an Era (13) – Then and Now – The Side Yard – 1922 – 2021

Trumbull House - Grandpa and kids - 1928 (2) Little Driveway view - 1928

This is a very early view of the Trumbull House from this angle.  It may have been taken shortly after the Guions moved to Trumbull in 1922. Notice the screened porch, which was converted to year-round use about 1950. The window to the right of the porch was converted to a door at the same time. The small portion of the house all the way to the right was also converted into an apartment for Grandpa, and a door was added below the window on the second floor to give him direct access to the outside.. On the left, you can see that the Summer Porch extended all the way across the front of the house and had a roof.

 

Trumbull House in winter - (cropped) - 1940 

This is a winter shot of the house from the same angle and was taken in the late 1930’s.

 

Trumbull House - Dave, Jean and Dick in deep snow, Feb., 1940

The previous picture is cropped from this original picture. Dick, Jean and Dave are playing in the snow on the front hill after a large snowfall. You can see Mack next to the stone pillar on the right. By the way, the pillars were added by Grandpa as well as the other stone work, lining the driveway, in particular. The stonework was done by Axel Larsen, who took care of the outside work while his wife, Astrid, helped Grandma Arla in the house. They had a daughter, Florence, and they lived in the Little House.

ADG - Grandpa with Smokey in yard - near Thanksgiving, 1945

This picture of Grandpa and Mack was probably taken in the 1930’s or 1940’s, again, before the major changes.

 

Blog - Trumbull House - 1960's (2) - cropped

This picture was probably taken in the 1960’s, after the changes made in about 1950.

APG - Lad Guion in Choir Robe

This is a picture of Lad, Alfred Peabody Guion, taken in the early 1960’s, in his Choir Robe. You can clearly see the door to Grandpa’s apartment.

 

Trumbull House - June, 2020 - side view

This picture is one that I took in June, 2020 and the house does not look any different than it did before the sale.

Tomorrow, pictures of the back view of the Trumbull House.

Judy Guion

The End of an Era (12) – Trumbull House Then and Now – 1930 – 2020

This is the side view of the original portion of the house, built in 1756.

Trumbull House - Blizzard of 1940 - Whirling Dirvish

This is the earliest picture I can find of the Summer Porch side of the house. This was probably taken some time in the late 1930’s. This shows the porch railing and the flower pots.

Mack - Reserved seat - dec. 24, 1939

This is a close-up of the steps leading up to the Summer Porch and the flower pots, with Mack posing. This was taken in December, 1939.

APG - Marian on side porch in June, 1945.

This picture was probably taken in the summer of 1945, just before Lad came home from France instead of going to Okinawa with the rest of his Battalion. This is a close-up of the flower pots on the Summer Porch.

APG - Bob Mark with Smoky, Nov., 1945

I believe this was taken in 1945 or 1946. Bob Marks, the fellow soldier Lad met in France when Lad “missed the boat” to Okinawa while he attended Dan’s wedding to Paulette in Calais, France. Bob came to visit Lad and Marian after they were both out of the Army.

Trumbull House - the driveway and the back of the house

This is a similar view of the house probably taken in the 1970’s or 1980’s (perhaps even later).

Guion kids as adults - posed as 1928 photo - 1992

This was taken at our Family Reunion in 1992. All six children are sitting on the porch. The flower pots and stone railing have been gone for a while.

Trumbull House - June 2020 - Back view

This is a picture I took in June, 2020.

Tomorrow, I will begin posting letters written in the fall of 1945. Lad is in Trumbull on furlough, Dick and Jean are making plans to travel home from Santaliza, Brazil, Dan remains in France with his expectant bride, Ced is still in Anchorage and Dave thinks he will be shipping out in a few months for parts unknown.

Judy Guion

The End of an Era (11) – The Trumbull House – Then and Now – 1922 – 2020

This weekend I will be posting more pictures of the Trumbull House, some taken many years ago and some quite recent. This is the front view.

This picture was taken in 1925. The children Lad, Ced, Biss and Dick, are playing on the dirt road near the front steps. Notice the lack of decorative stones on the facing of each step. They are quite obvious in the next photo.

 

This picture was taken around 1929. Dave, front row, second from the left, was born in 1925 and he looks about four years old.

This picture was probably taken some time between 1930 and 1950. I believe I can see the screen porch to the right of the front door, which was enclosed in 1950. You can also see the addition of the stone pillars on both sides of the steps.

I cannot date this picture (probably some time between 1950 (when the porch was enclosed) and 2000. The big trees are both missing in front of the main door.

Trumbull House - June, 2020, front view

I took this picture in June of 2020 while visiting “Aunt Chiche”, Mrs. Daniel Beck Guion. 

Tomorrow, more “Then and Now” views of the Trumbull House.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – The End of an Era (10) – Then And Now – 1934 to 2021

For the next few weekends I will be posting old pictures and new ones, to give you an idea of how things have changed – or not changed – over the years.

Trumbull House - Blizzard of 1940 - Whirling Dirvish

The Summer Porch in Winter

 

The Gang at the Trumbull House - 1934

“The Gang” on the “Summer Porch” in 1934

 

Trumbull House - 2018 - Side Porch

The “Summer Porch” in June, 2020

 

Trumbull House - 2018 - Long Driveway and house - 2018

In this picture you can see the huge Maple Tree that provides lots of shade during the summer, thus the name.

Tomorrow, I will begin posting letters written in the fall of 1945. Lad is in Trumbull on furlough, Dick and Jean are making plans to travel home from Santaliza, Brazil, Dan remains in France with his expectant bride, Ced is still in Anchorage and Dave thinks he will be shipping out in a few months for parts unknown.

Judy Guion

The End of an Era (9) – Trumbull House History – 1756 – 1956

This is the Christmas Card Grandpa sent to about 200 family and friends in 1956.

This Christmas card contains quite a bit of history, both of Trumbull and the family Homestead of the Guion’s.  

ADG - 1956 Christmas Card - 200 Christmases in Trumbull

This is a copy of a deed, dated 1758, mentioning “dwelling house and barn”

 

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.

Tomorrow I will present another “The End of an Era” post.

Judy Guion