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Welcome to our news and history blog!

Friday, November 20, 2015

That Box 100 Years Old At Edward Mead Homestead (1909)

Source: Greenwich Graphic. Saturday, July 17, 1909. Page 1.

The White Front Door and the Big Brass Knocker Pictured as "A New England Doorstep."

Travelers over the Post Road in trolley auto, vehicle, on foot or otherwise have observed an enormous specimen of that handsome hedge known as box. It stands so high and is so perfect in proportions that it attracts general attention and considerable curiosity is evinced as to the age and length of time it has been growing in the old fashioned garden as the west side of the handsome and hospitable looking old farm house of the late Edward Mead.

It was once one hundred years old on June 22nd, and the date of its planting is fixed from the fact that its deceased owner was born on that date and the two circumstances were chronicled in the family history.

Miss Amelia Mead, who lives in the old homestead with her sister Catherine and brother Augustus, had planned for a family gathering on the date of the centenary of the birth of her father and the planting of the box.

But instead of a happy gathering of the descendants of Mr. Mead on that date, the sad duty of attendance at the funeral ceremony of one of the daughters, Mrs. Seaman Mead, probated what might otherwise have been a joyous occasion. It is notable that Mrs. Mead's death was the first among the five daughters of the family all of whom had lived to be over 60 years of age.

The commodious white house, whose symmetrical lines have suggested more than passing comment of admiration, was built by Mr. Mead in 1832, upon the ancestral farmlands, which had been in the family for upwards of 200 years. And a feature of the house which has become notable through its beauty of carving and antique design, with its big brass knocker of Revolutionary days, is the white front door.

This door is not only famous hereabouts, but its fame has spread all over the country, so much so that Wallace Nutting has incorporated it in one of his beautifully colored pictures under the title of "A Visit to the Parson." The scene includes two young ladies in colonial costume, who are the daughters of Vice President Rudle of the Greenwich Trust Company. This picture is for sale in art shops all over the country. 

Of the centennial of the birth of Mr. Mead and planting of the box Miss Amelia Mead has written a history, and it was the intent to have it read at the family gathering. 

It includes much data that has come to her in direct conversation, has never been in print and is of added interest. Miss Mead means to issue it in a book form for exclusive family distribution.