Special Picture #338 – Trumbull House – Then and Now – Side of the Barn – 1943 – 2018


View of the side of the barn


Photo of Lad (Alfred Peabody, my father) standing on the side of the barn, probably on his furlough in September, 1943.


Tomorrow another post about one of my ancestors.

On Monday, I’ll begin posting letters written in 1943, a momentous year for Lad in California.

Judy Guion


Trumbull – Dear Ced (Page 3) – Details of Recent Events – May 12, 1946

Trumbull, Conn., May 12, 1946

Dear Ced:

Sometimes the impact of events, instead of inspiring one to eloquence to do justice to the occasion, sort of paralyzes one’s ability to get across more than the mere facts, so here’s the double news this week, baldly stated:

1 – Dan has a daughter

2 – Dave is home.

As for the details, Jean called me up at the office Friday with the news that a cable had just been telephoned to the house, as follows: Paris, May 9th, “Chiche joyfully presents your first grand daughter. Letter follows. Dan”. And that is all we actually know, except the sidelight revealed by a letter in English (the first so written) from Chiche received Saturday, which I know you will enjoy and appreciate as much as I did, and do. Here it is:

“Calais, France, April 10th, 1946. Dearest Dad: a long time ago that I have not given some news to you. At first I hope you are in good health and that all is right for you. So Dad I am trying to write to you in English because I know that it will give you much pleasure but I ask you to be very indulgent for my bad English. Perhaps would you be willing if you see me now with my dictionary near me and my forehead bent upon. I am funny. Dani is in England since two weeks and the time is very long without him. I often receive letters from him, happily. My health is very good. I am very big and I am waiting impatiently the end of this month. All is ready for the baby’s arrival and we talk only of this event. I hope Dani will be here near me during this moment. I don’t remember Dad to have said to you that if the heir is a boy his name will be Jean-Pierre, and if a girl, Danielle. These names please Dan. I will, too, thank you, dearest Dad, for all that you make for me, and also for all your goodness. All that you sent me is from very good choice. The fur coat is very nice. My dearest Dad, I think for today I have no more to say. I hope Marian is well. Does she prefer a boy or a girl? I hope, too, that this letter will be a pleasure to you Dad. Love to all the family and perhaps for Dave too, now. So long Dad, Your daughter who loves you, Chiche.”

Needless to say I am eagerly awaiting the “letter that follows”.

Now as to Dave. As I told you in last week’s letter, Dave phoned last Sunday morning and promised to phone again later. He did and reported he would be released late Monday afternoon. So, just after the noon hour I locked my office door, posted a sign that the office would be closed, stating the reason, picked up Dick and Jean at Trumbull and started off for Ayer, Mass. we arrived there at about 5, found Dave and two Bridgeport boys who were also discharged the same time he was, loaded their baggage in back, started back home, stopped enroute for supper, deposited our passengers at their respective homes and got to Trumbull about 11 P. M. Aside from being thinner, Dave is just the same. He told me he was fearful that he would find things changed all too much from the way he remembered them, and is quite delighted to find his fears were in vain. He has been spending the week trying to find civilian clothes, renewing old acquaintances, looking over the office and in general trying to get “settled” again to civilian life. We had fixed the attic room up for him (most of it being done by Jean and Dick), but he has an idea that he would like to fix up a place to sleep in the club quarters, the boy’s club fixed up in the barn, so that for the summer at least, he will not have to meander through my room and Lad’s and Marian’s, night and morning, particularly later in the year when this might be disturbing to my expected new grandchild. He gets home at the right time. Lilacs are in bloom and all is fresh and green.


Trumbull (Page 2)- Dear Dan and Ced – More Personal News – May 12, 1946


Dan, 1945

Ced, 1947

Page 2    5/12/46

Dear Dan and Ced:

Page 1 of my letter was written with carbons that I might send to various members of the family to keep them up to date. It will go to Aunt Elsie, Aunt Anne, Aunt Helen, Aunt Dorothy, Uncle Kemper, as well as to both of you. Page 2 herewith is a bit more private and personal.

Of course, Dan, I am delighted with the idea of a granddaughter. You know it is possible to frame up some very good reasons both for and against the first child being a son or a daughter. I already have two grandsons as you may have heard, so as far as I personally am concerned, little Danielle is just right. I like the name to. So, too, does everyone else here who have expressed themselves on the subject. There is only one fly in the ointment. You have guessed it. I want my son and daughter and new grandchild home, and the next big event in my life will be the day they come back to their Trumbull home. Can you give me any idea now when that date will be? In spite of numerous requests I have not even been informed how long your contract lasts, whether it was made for six months or a year, and if the former, what the status is now. You wrote me before signing up what it might be but no details of what was actually agreed upon. However, I am in no mood to be critical tonight, just a proud and happy grandfather — to full in fact, for utterance.

You will be interested to know that Pete Linsley and Barbara (Plumb) are engaged. If they can obtain building materials they expect to build their own home on the Plumb property toward the road from the tennis court. The date has tentatively been set for the wedding Aug. 31st.

A bit of sad news. Norman Shadick, seamen first-class, 18, died May 2nd at a  Kansas hospital as a result of internal injuries when he fell from a fire engine while on his way to a fire at the Naval Air Station where he was stationed. The funeral was held Tuesday at Trumbull Church.

Lad has completed his first week with Borck and Stevens, where he is temporarily employed as a mechanic keeping their trucks in running order. This is preliminary to a bigger job there after a period of probation and until he decides what school or college, if any, he will attend in the fall. Meantime he, like Dan, is looking forward to being a proud father. Very wisely they, neither of them, have set their minds definitely on hoping for a boy or a girl, but will be satisfied with whatever transpires. Even twins would not disturb their equilibrium. (Little did he know !)

Butch and Marty 

          Elizabeth and Zeke have just finished repainting and redecorating their house inside. Butch and Marty grow apace. Dick is still trying to find a school that gives the sort of course he is interested in taking and that is not too crowded to take on any more vets. Up to present writing, a Rhode Island school seems to be the best possibility. Aunt Betty keeps remarkably well, and in spite of the growing mouths to feed, she still keeps up her end manfully.

Ced sort of gets crowded out of the news with all these other events stepping on each other’s heels, but we love him just the same, even though (as far as I know) he is not presenting me with any grandchildren. Maybe he’ll whelp a plane, who knows?

Thus passes another important event in the annals of the Guion family. Today is Mother’s Day, and I cannot but think how, if she were here now, she would be thrilled at the thought of a granddaughter as well as having all her sons safe and sound after four years of war.


Tomorrow, a letter addressed to Ced alone, which fills in some information regarding a cable from Paris announcing the birth of Grandpa’s first granddaughter, Chiche’s first letter to Grandpa, , in English, and Dave’s homecoming.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Chiche (Page 1) – Two Momentous Reports – May 12, 1946

For some reason, I am missing two letters, one from April 28th and one from May 5th, so Dave’s arrival home hasn’t been covered in these posts. I do not know about his exact travels, but I do know that he was discharged on May 6th, the exact day that Danielle was born in Calais, France. Over the years, they have joked that they were both “released” on the same day.  

Trumbull, Conn., May 12, 1946

Dear Chiche,

How proud a grandfather I am today! I received Dan’s cable from Paris saying that my first granddaughter had arrived. I am glad it was a girl. I know you would have preferred the oldest to be a boy but I can think, as you can, of many good reasons why it is an advantage for the first to be a girl.

We Americans have some queer customs. One is to have various “Days” for various occasions. Today is “Mother’s Day”. And  how appropriate it is in view of the news that has been received from France.

I hope everything went nicely for you, and that you had a comparatively easy time, if the word easy can ever be applied to such an event. Of course I am waiting eagerly to hear the details from Dan’s letter which he promised to write after sending his cable.

To make everything more enjoyable, on top of the news of baby’s arrival, and Dave’s return from Manila, I received your very welcome English letter. If you wanted to please me immensely, you have certainly succeeded, and I want to complement you on the letter. You need never be ashamed or hesitant about writing in English. Your meaning is perfectly clear and even if some of the sentences are more of French construction than English, it is far better than I could have done if I had tried to write you in French. I have an idea, however, you hesitated about sending it for quite a while after you had written it. You need not have done so, and now that the ice has been broken and the result is so good, you won’t need to hesitate a second time. It won’t be many months now, I hope, before you will not need to write because you will be right home here in your American home where we are all waiting for you to proudly show us the new Guion heir.

Everyone here likes the name you have chosen. I am so anxious to see and hold in my arms my little Danielle and it will be a proud day for all of us when you all arrive in Trumbull.

Marian and Lad will be well contented no matter which arrives — boy or girl will be equally welcome. She also is approaching that uncomfortable stage but her health remains good. She is dieting so as to keep her weight down to the proper level. Both she and Lad have fixed up their room very attractively in blue and Marian is busy preparing for the big event. Her folks in California held a “shower” for her a while ago and sent her some attractive baby things. Maybe they have “showers” in France, too. If not, ask Dan what they are when you see him. I do hope he was able to be on hand, and the fact he sent the cable from Paris makes me believe he might have been back from England in time for the arrival of his first child, as well as be on hand to share Mother’s joy over the firstborn.

All of us here send our love and congratulations and as I said before, we can hardly wait now for the time when you all will be with us in person. I suppose it will be about four months before Baby will be old enough to travel, but I am hoping that by September 11th, which is my birthday, I can have a real celebration. Now, little Mother, give little Danielle a loving Grandfather’s kiss and hurry home soon to

Your loving


Tomorrow and Wednesday, two more letters from Grandpa, also written on May 12th, and Thursday and Friday will be devoted to a long letter and enclosures from Ced, dated May 17th.

Judy Guion

Special Picture # 337 – Trumbull House – Then and Now – Screened Porch and Dining Room Door – 1940 – 2018

Recently I spent a night in the Trumbull House visiting with Paulette – Aunt Chiche to family and friends – and took quite a few pictures. For the next few Saturdays I will be posting pictures taken during this stay as well as older pictures of similar places taken over the years, when I have them. I hope you enjoy.



Trumbull House – Screened Porch and Dining Room Door – date unknown

Trumbull House with Screened Porch and Dining Room door – 1940

The following is a childhood memory recorded by me with my Uncle Dave.

I don’t know how to explain it because the house, the Big House, has changed so much with renovations but  there used to be a screen porch on the southeast corner of the house and there was a window there that looked from the stairs out onto the porch. Don and Gwen (Stanley) were there and Dick and I were talking, talking, talking, talking, talking. We had been warned on two or three occasions to quiet down and go to sleep. If Dick has told this story it will be a different version than mine because what happened was the last one to speak when the last warning came, was me. So, I was sent upstairs away from the rest of them and as I went up the stairs, I kicked at the window to warn them that I was going to cause trouble for them. Anybody else and everybody else will tell you that I kicked in the window on purpose, but at any rate, I never bought that story. It was a warning. I kicked it into warn them but I broke it. The next thing I knew, my father came charging up the stairs gave me a good spanking and sent me to bed. When I got into bed, I began to feel something sticky down around my right foot. I was already crying and upset, and when I checked it, I’d cut my foot on the glass, which made me feel still more hurt and angry, and suffering such a terrible injustice. I was probably nine or 10 when that happened, maybe eight, well it had to be after my mother had died and I was seven she died.

Tomorrow I’ll begin posting letters written in 1946. The most notable event will be the birth of Grandpa’s first granddaughter in France.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Hello Again – Sprucing Up The Place – April 2, 1944

The Old Homestead

                    The Old Homestead

Trumbull, Conn.   April 2, 1944

Hello again:

Another week has rolled around and finds me again seated at my faithful typewriter, withal a little lame in the back after having wrestled with numerous baskets of incinerator refuse which Ced laboriously filled and would have emptied himself undoubtedly if he had not been summoned so summarily back to the wilds of Anchorage. I wanted to get the yard cleaned up a bit so as to look somewhat presentable for Easter. Jean, too, has been busy indoors, bless her heart. The kitchen floor looks as clean and nice as any time since the new linoleum was first laid, and she has washed the curtains which the kitchen oil stove managed to make quite drab.

Yesterday, I spent some time out front cutting down Maple shoots which had started up in between the arborvitae hedge which is so ragged any way that I think it would look better taken down altogether. What do you think? Then there is the cellar and the barn and the storm windows to be taken down and the screens to be put up. Two or three of you “father’s helpers” better quit the army and come home and give me a hand. Oh, yes, I also spent part of yesterday afternoon applying another coat of tar on the canvas roof over the laundry. In getting the can of tar out of the cellar I had left the cellar door open which was an invitation to Skipper and Susan to explore the cellar. Seeing their father’s oil barrel handy, they promptly took great delight in letting all the kerosene in said oil barrel run out of the cellar floor, much to their mother’s delight and my glee.

Dave is deserving of my appreciation, and he gets it. He has not let a week go by, no matter how busy or tired he is, without writing. In the letter received this week he mentions the possibility of his being transferred to another camp soon and hopes it might be to Fort Monmouth, New Jersey, where the chances of his being able to come home occasionally would be brighter than at present.

Daughter Marian writes to say that Lad is being kept pretty busy. They are still house hunting but are finding it difficult to find a suitable place accessible to the Camp.

A letter from Dorothy (Peabody) reports Anne (Peabody) Stanley) has recently returned from a visit to Vermont, Gweneth (Stanley, Anne’s daughter)  having been ill with a cold. Burton (Peabody, Grandma Arla’s brother) is still in Washington. Helen (Peabody) Human)and Ted  (Human) are still in New York. Ted is doing a series of engineering articles for MacGraw Hill, Helen meantime taking over the complete management of the apartment leaving Dorothy ample opportunity to take it easy in recovering from her operation.

Art Mantle has been awarded the Purple Heart Medal for wounds received in the battle of the Salvo Islands. Dan’s letter about the Red Cross has recently been published in the Bridgeport Post and did it’s part in helping to put the drive over the top. Although Trumbull’s quota was double what it was last year, we even topped that by $1000. And that seems to be all – – a rather uninteresting letter, I’ll admit, but at least it’s something. Can you-all say as much? Happy Easter greetings to all of you. Remember the jellybean hunts you used to have as kids? No jellybeans on the market now. There’s a war on. Have you heard?

The same Dad

Tomorrow, another Special Picture of the Trumbull House, Ten and Now. On Sunday, another Ancestor, Louis Guion, my original French Ancestor who arrived in this country in December of 1686. His story may take a few weeks.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Letters to Each Son (2) – Dear Dave and Dan – March 26, 1944

Dear Dave:

It was good to get your letter and know you are holding up the Guion tradition in good style. Sorry you did not do so well in the shooting but there are other things of more importance. Paul is all pepped up over the fact that he went through his mental test with flying colors. 150 is the average; 180 is tops, which no one has obtained yet. He got 174 and thinks it will mean a rating. I saw Mr. Mehigan in Herb’s (Haye’s Grocery Store) the other day and he told me to tell you “Sonny” was being shipped out to Little Rock where he will have something to do with the Ferrying Command. Ed Dolan says Mrs. Boyce was in the other day and asked all about you boys, particularly Ced, but you are her pet. It’s certainly odd how all the women fall for you. They must like ‘em fresh. George is having considerable trouble with the folding machine. He can’t seem to remember how to make even a simple fold now so lately we have to fold everything by hand. Postage rates have gone up – – no more 2 cent local rates. Everything is three cents now and airmail eight cents instead of six. Taxes on toilet articles now is 20% and taxes on movies have also been doubled. Dan writes he is enjoying himself, despite war and the Army. When he wrote on March 12th he didn’t seem to have been bothered by the bombing of London we read about but says his plans to go to Cambridge so far have not materialized.

Dear Dan: (last but not least)

Daniel (Dan) Beck Guion

I almost fell through the floor into Kurtz’s cellar when I found for V-Mail letters from you at one fell swoop in the mailbox. The flooring is pretty sturdy however so you can try again without fear of the consequences. Ced reports he is staying at the house of one of the Woodley Airways pilots, one McDonald by name, a new house. He has a fair sized room and garage for his car. A few days before he got back, Rusty had departed for the far North for about a year.

He said when he wrote that the snow was 20 inches deep and still snowing. Skiing was good. On the way back fairly long stops at Ketchikan, Wrangell and Petersburg enabled him to take short tramps into the interior with his camera. They arrived at Juneau at 8:45 of a Sunday morning. As Art runs to Juneau on Tuesdays and Fridays, Ced was all set to fool around until Tuesday but figured he should promptly book his reservation anyway. I quote: “I went right over to the Juneau agent and asked if the Tuesday trip was loaded. The fellow said he thought it was but asked if I would like to go today. I asked who was going and he said Art Woodley was in town. Was I glad to hear that. Well, he was soon located at the Baranof Hotel. His wife and father-in-law were also present. It seems that they had some business to attend to and stayed over from the Friday trip on that account. They greeted be very pleasantly and at 11 o’clock we arrived at the airport for the return trip to Anchorage.

The following notice appeared in the Bridgeport paper Thursday: Funeral services for Walter H Rubsamen, 46, of White Plains Rd., Trumbull, who died of a heart attack yesterday, will take place, Friday at 2 PM. Mr. Rubsamen, who had been suffering from a heart ailment for several years, collapsed at Main and Bank streets at 1:50 PM yesterday and was dead before medical assistance arrived. Mr. Rubsamen is survived by his wife, a daughter, Barbara-Lee, and a son,, Walter Sanford, a student at Choate school, Wallingford, where he will be graduated in June. He has been accepted for Navy duty on graduation.”

To each and all of you, severally and individually, one and indivisible:

Will you please detach the bottom part of his paper and with your next letter home, mark the various items, after having thoughtfully gone over them, and indicate which, if any, you would like to have me send you from time to time. Thanks.


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Pads     Ink     Eraser     Paste     Clips     Ruler     Pencils     Calendar     Candy     Chewing Gum     Tobacco     Magazines     Bridgeport newspaper     Camera     Film     Coat hangers     Shoe polish     Kleenex     Shampoo or Tonic     Soap     Tooth powder     Camphor Ice     Deodorant     Shaving Materials     Shirts     Sox     Handkerchiefs     neckties     pajamas     slippers

State sizes, colors, brands, etc. preferred

Other Items Listed Here *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

Tomorrow a newspaper article about the American Red Cross club in London, quoting Dan.  On Thursday, a letter from Jean (Mrs. Richard) to Ced in Alaska, and on Friday, a letter from Elizabeth (Biss) to Ced, one of her older brothers.

Judy Guion