Welcome to our news and history blog!

Welcome to our news and history blog!

Friday, December 11, 2015

Houses With Histories: Linked With Them Tales of the Revolution (North Greenwich, 1897)

Source: Greenwich Graphic. Saturday, October 23, 1897. Page 1.

There are many old houses in Greenwich. So old are some of them that two centuries and more have gone since the moss began to grow upon their hand-cut shingles, and under the eaves, and the wind and sun touched them with the hand of time, those indisputable marks of age.

Some of these old dwellings, could they speak, would tell of scenes which took place within their doors, or on the meadows nearby, of the Revolutionary War. Would point to the marks of Washington's spurs on some door or stairway, or tell what took place within their rooms when Genera Putnam shook his fist at a Tory or danced with a Greenwich belle.

The Solomon S. Mead homestead, reportedly purchased by Dr. Fred Hyde, is located at a point in Greenwich exactly six miles from the railroad stations at Port Chester, White Plains and Greenwich. 

The dwelling occupies the site of one erected by Benjamin Mead in 1673. The old well near the back door was dug by the same ancestor, who was a direct descendant of the original John Mead.

The present dwelling, with its quaint ____, its sloping, moss grown roof, and its latticed windows was the creation of a second Benjamin Mead, and dates from 1793.

There is stands, to-day, well down to the sod, how studied and rambling, with the mammoth chimney and its colonial doors, a true type of a homestead of a century ago. 

Within are great rooms with exquisite paneling of ancient pattern, and great beams overhead and down the corners of the rooms.

The fireplaces are broad and deep, and hold heat logs five feet long, while the mantels are white with delicate panels, and a tracery of vines that give grace and beauty to their angular structure. The stairs are broad and the treads are low, with a black walnut hand rail on one side. The sleeping rooms are large and low studded with many closets, some high in the room and some down to the floor, but all with little brass knobs and great brass hinges. About these rooms are displayed pieces of antique furniture, rich and rare, that are older than the house, and are a century and a hand old and more. There are settees and spinels and warming pans. Canopied beds and covered with white lace, and the sofa, tables and elegant sideboard stand in ________ crook and end in ferocious _____.

With ______ use is just what is outward ________ indicates -a home of wealth and culture, modeled after the _____ home of a century ago.

Here were born Obadiah, Mary. The twins Anna and Phebe.

The family lived in the turbulent times of the Revolutionary war. They were ____ _____ and refinement, and _____ ____ to the American cause, stood _____ the cowboys and Tories and he ___, like methods of these encounters. 

The 130 acres about the homestead were planted with wheat and corn, and on one occasion were the subject of a British war ships in the Sound.

The children were well grown then, with the exception of little Anna and Phebe, who hid with their mother in the cellar of the old house as the redcoats marched up the road.

The father and the older girls barricaded the doors and windows, while Obadiah, the only son, solicitous for the flocks without, corralled them in the yard, then beat a hasty retreat t a neighbor's barn.

An unfriendly Tory, knowing the fact, informed the British soldiers, who surrounded the barn, threatening to set fire to it unless he came out. He, too brave to surrender, leaped from the barn and ran across the orchard towards the rocks, above "Dyspepsia Lane." But the British followed, and seeing that escape was impossible, Obadiah surrendered, only to be immediately fired at and instantly killed.

The ball passed through his left arm and entered his side. For several generations the place of his burial was a sacred spot to the members of the family, and now, though unknown, is not forgotten in memory. 

The coat he wore, showing the bullet holes and bloodstains, has been preserved all these years, and is now owned by Solomon S. Mead. After killing the only son, the red coats forced their way into the house, but unable to find the father, they departed, taking with them the horse and all the geese.

The house has for many years been famous as a place for summer boarders who passed the leisure of July and August days beneath the shade of ancient trees and waxed fat at the plentiful table of Farmer Mead. But in 1896 Mr. Mead sold the old place to his cousin, Dr. Hyde, also a lineal descendant of Benjamin Mead. While the present owner has spent a large amount of money improving the place, he has shown his wisdom and good taste in preserving the lines of the ancient house.