Autobiography of Alfred Duryee Guion – Early Memories of Trumbull – (1) – (23)

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

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 six 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 lent, 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 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 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 a 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 that 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 not been occupied 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.

????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????BISS – I probably enjoyed the move from Larchmont because this was a nice house, with a lot of yard, lawn and stuff, lots of corners to hide in. I slept in the study for a while, upstairs, in other words, the bedroom in the apartment. The doorway went through and I think that was the original room I slept in, but I’m not sure. I know Dick and I slept in the big room that the little room came into. It was probably the first place I stayed. It had twin beds.

Trumbull House - Grandpa and kids - 1928 (2) Steps and Landings, steps and landings - @1928

Front – Don Stanley, Dave, Biss, Gwen Stanley

Middle – Dick, Ced, Aunt Dorothy

Back – Grandpa, Lad

I think the first memory I have of the Trumbull house is being sent to the store at the corner and when I came out of the store, I didn’t know how to get back home. There was a street that went straight which wasn’t the right street. I started down there but I knew that was wrong so I turned around and came back. I could be wrong but my impression was that Daniels Farm Road was a dirt road, but I’m not sure. I know that there were no streetlights or anything. Anyway, I found my way home and I remember this steep hill I had to climb all the time. That was true until I got quite older. That steep hill was the driveway… Or you could use the front steps which had steps and landings, steps and landings, steps and landings. The front door was used quite a bit. The salesman would come to that door. So any time anyone was selling anything, they came up the front stairs.

We were all close in age. Between Lad and Dick, there was one half years between each one of us. Then there were five years between Dick and Dave. Lad was in April, Dan was in October,Ced was in June, I was in January, and Dick was in August. So there was just about a year and a half between us.

I’ll continue with more early childhood memories next Saturday.

Tomorrow, we’ll discover Ced’s plans after Chicago and begin to meet some of Arla’s family.

Next week, we’ll be reading letters written in anticipation of Lad’s return to the United States after being in Venezuela for to and a half years.

Judy Guion