Welcome to our news and history blog!

Welcome to our news and history blog!

Friday, October 21, 2016

SOLD: 2 Greenwich Avenue, Isaac Lewis Mead Building

Image Credit: Greenwich Free Press. 

Greenwich's local media news sources reported that a number of historic buildings at the top of Greenwich Avenue were sold. In total, the properties sold for almost $19 million. 

One of the most iconic of the properties that changed hands is pictured above, the Isaac Lewis Mead Building at 2 Greenwich Avenue. 

Go to this link to learn more about Isaac Lewis Mead. 

For Sale: "The Boulders" at 432 Field Point Road, Greenwich

Photo Credit: Halstead Property

The house known as The Boulders at 432 Field Point Road in the Belle Haven section of Greenwich is for sale. The property is listed with Halstead Property. Click this link to see the listing.

The house is a designated landmark with the Greenwich Historical Society. 

Nelson B. Mead (1860-1929) is said to be the origin owner. He was the elder son of Augustus and Elizabeth L. (Mead) Mead. Nelson married Anna R. Mead in 1881. Among his many talents and positions in town were real estate developer, comptroller of the Town of Greenwich, representative in the Connecticut State Legislature, president of the Greenwich Library Association and president of the Van Arsdale Boot & Shoe Company.

We received this from Greenwich Historical Society Archivist Christopher Shields. (Greenwich Time: Spring Edition, 2012, Page 21): 

And this:

See this link for 465 Field Point Road.

See this link for 31 Bush Avenue. And this link

Below are a sampling of photos from the Halstead Property listing. Enjoy! 

Wedding: Wright-Mead (1891)

Source: Greenwich Graphic: September 12, 1891.

The stately stone mansion of Mr. Solomon Mead on North St., was brilliantly illuminated on Tuesday evening. It was quite evident that an usual event was happening there. And electric light over the front door on the piazza made it not difficult for the large company of people who passed on to the grounds to see their way to be received and welcomed by the hosts.

A stranger passing by would have guessed that it was a wedding party, for the rustling of silk dresses and white costumes worn by the ladies who alighted from the carriages with the glimpse of flowers as seen through the front door was pretty good evidence of it. He would not have been mistaken in his conjecture. At 7 o'clock surrounded by their many friends, and standing under an archway of palms and exotics, Miss Emily J. Mead and Rev. B.M. Wright were married. The Rev. Washington Choate performed the ceremony.

The bridge was attired in a white corded silk dress, trimmed with ostrich feathers, en train, and she wore a white veil and carried a bouquet of white roses. The brides-maids were Miss Sarah Mead and Miss Addie Rundle, who were attired in white silk and carried pink roses. With them as friends of the groom were Mr. Stagg and Mr. Brown.

The house profusely decorated with flowers. After they had received the congratulations of the one hundred and sixty or more people who had witnessed the ceremony, and elaborate supper was served by Clark of New York and at 10 o'clock the bride and groom departed on a wedding trip to be gone about a month. Rev. Mr. Wright is pastor of a church in Kent, which will be their future home. They received over one hundred presents. 

Mead Parish House and Resident H. Sylvia A.H.G. Wilks

This is on display in the Second Congregational Church, Greenwich, Connecticut:

Obituary: Huldy Peck Mead (1891)

Source: Greenwich Graphic. August 22, 1891

Sunday, October 16, 2016

The Greenwich Freemasons: Cleaning Gravestones

The Association is pleased to report that the Greenwich Freemasons have decided to take on a worthy project involving the preservation of gravestones.

The Freemasons are presently going around to the town's cemeteries and burying grounds and cleaning those gravestones of members from its history.

The latest historical Freemasons gravestone scheduled for a professional cleaning is Daniel Merritt Mead's. His is located in the New Burial Grounds Association Cemetery adjacent to the Second Congregational Church in Greenwich. 

Friday, September 9, 2016

UPDATE A Gate in Union Cemetery: Elkanah Mead, 1869

We received this curious photo of a stand-alone gate in Union Cemetery, Greenwich. 

The name Elkanah Mead is a familiar one here -especially if you were a client of the Elkanah Mead Insurance Agency. 

Admittedly we are not sure if this gate marks the spot in the cemetery were Elkanah Mead is interred. There is no gravestone nearby with his name on it. 


Today we report that the iron gate was cleaned and a coat of satin paint was applied to its surface. We appreciate the cooperation of the Second Congregational Church and its Cemetery Committee.

In the not-too-distant future we will be applying a gold colored paint to the lettering and numbers on the gate. 

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Mead Triumphs Again; Another Decision in the Famous Barn-Burning Case (New York Times, 1889)

Source: The New York Times. January 6, 1889. Page 16.

Another decision was given yesterday in the celebrated barn-burning case of Alexander Mead against David S. Husted, which has occupied the courts of Connecticut for the last 10 years. The decision was in Mr. Mead's favor, and he came to New York yesterday afternoon with his ruddy face wreathed in smiles and his right arm burdened with a huge volume of the many and various court proceedings. He had had four barns burned and then he quit building them, not only because it was almost a certainty that any new structure would meet the fate of its predecessors, but because his series of misfortunates had become famous in insurance circles, and he found it impossible to obtain fire insurance on anything he possessed.

Mr. Mead's first barn was burned in 1875. It was a large structure, situated on his place in Greenwich, Conn., and was filled with hay and grain. While the barn was on fire a young lady of the neighborhood saw David S. Husted standing in a celler across the street from the burning building, watching the fire. That same year, but prior to the burning of Mead's barn, Husted had been arrested by the Glen Falls Insurance Company for obtaining money under false pretenses. He had built a new house, which was burned almost as soon as it was insured in the Glen Falls Company. The latter had Husted confined in the Glen Falls Jail until he paid back all the moneys received from the insurance company. When Husted was released from prison it was reported to Mead that Husted blamed Mead for the action of the insurance company and had sworn vengeance. To this Mead paid so little attention that he built another large barn in 1876 and it stored it with all kinds of crops. In March, 1877, this barn was likewise destroyed by fire. Mead had his suspicions, but he was still in need of a barn and therefore proceeded to a erect another structure on the site of the old one. In January, 1879, this barn was burned, with 27 head of cattle and a large amount of grain, farming implements, etc.

Mead then determined to do something for his own protection, and acting, under the advice of George H. Watrous of New Haven, he began a suit for $20,000 damages against Husted and attached the latter's farm for that amount. The case was brought to trial in 1880, but the evidence bearing on the burning of the barn in 1875 was ruled out under the Statute of Limitation. Mead appealed from this decision to the Supreme Court of Errors and a new trial was granted with the admission of the 1875 evidence. The second trial was held before a jury in Bridgeport in 1883, and it was testified that Husted had openly threatened to burn down Mead's barns until Mead should suffer a loss equal in amount to the sum of money that Husted had been compelled to pay back to the Glen Falls Insurance Company. The jury disagreed, but the case was brought to a fresh trial at Danbury in the Fall of the same year. On the trial Mead obtained a judgment of $5000 in costs against Husted. The latter appealed to the Supreme Court for a new trial, but the appeal was denied. Then Mead attached Husted's farm and recovered $6,000 as the total of the judgment.

In the meantime Mead had built a fourth barn, despite the fact that he could obtain no insurance on the building, and this was also burned in 1884. The town of Greenwich and became thoroughly aroused, and offered a reward of $2000 for the detection of the guilty party. Nothing came of this, although several New York detectives undertook to ferret out the criminal. Nevertheless, Mead began a civil suit against Husted for the value of this barn and again attached his farm. At this Husted asked for new trial of the first case on the ground of newly discovered evidence, which was granted last March by Judge Torrence of the Superior Court. From this decision Mead appealed to the Supreme Court and the case was tried last October on the appeal. Yesterday a decision was rendered refusing a new trial to Husted. This leaves Mead in possession of the $6000 judgment already obtained and clears the way for a trial of his suit for $7000 damage for the barn burned in 1884. He is determined to press this suit immediately.

One of the most notable bits of evidence in the great volume elicited by these barn-burning trials is the story that one Alfred Dyckman, a devout Methodist of Greenwich, prayed that the man who burned Mead's barn might be paralyzed. It was gravely told in court but the following morning after this prayer was uttered Husted had a fit.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Elynore Peterson Plans Her Wedding: Connecticut Girl's Marriage to Douglas P. Mead to Take Place on Saturday (New York Times, 1934)

Source: The New York Times: May 3, 1934. Page 16.
Special to The New York Times.

Douglas Parker Mead of Stamford, son of Mrs. Elbert M. Reynolds of Greenwich, and Miss Elynore Peterson, daughter of William Peterson and the late Mrs. Peterson of Glenbrook, Connecticut, will take place in the Swedish Evangelical Congregational Church Stamford, on Saturday afternoon, at 5 o'clock. Reverend Oscar F. Johnson, the pastor, will officiate.

Mr. Mead is with the Stamford Trust Company. His father, the late Seaman M. Mead, was a descendent of one of the oldest and most prominent families in Greenwich.

Mrs. Reynolds, mother of Douglas Mead, is the daughter of the late Nathan Parker of Port Chester, where she was born. Following the death of Mr. Mead she was married to Mr. Reynolds, formerly lived in North St., Greenwich and whose ancestors were among the pioneer residents of the town.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Oliver D. Mead, 96, Greenwich Banker: Executive of Lumber and Land Companies is Dead (New York Times, 1939)

Source: The New York Times. January 12, 1939. Page 19.

Oliver Deliverance Mead, former banker and lumber dealer, died in his home, Field Point Park, here this morning. He celebrated his ninety-sixth birthday on Dec. 29, and on Monday made his usual trip in town and his electric automobile, 1922 model, to pay his town taxes.

Mr. Mead was vice president of the Maher Brothers Corporation, a large lumber and coal firm. He was president of the New Burial Ground Association and for ten years president of the Greenwich National Bank.

Born on his father's farm on Dec. 29, 1842, he attended Greenwich Academy and in 1882 moved to the Zophar Mead homestead, Field Point Park, a house built in 1792, which he inherited with 120 acres from his cousin, Oliver Mead. He organized the Field Point Land Company and served as its president for many years, dividing the farm into home sites, which now make up Belle Haven. For thirteen years he served in the Connecticut militia and was for a time Justice of the Peace.

In 1864 he cast his first vote for Abraham Lincoln and had voted in every presidential election since that time. Mr. Mead sought to enlist in the Union Army during the Civil War. "They thought I wasn't physically able," he said recently, "and now there are none of them left." He was the oldest member of the Elks and Masons here.

Surviving are three daughters, Mrs. Adam Reed Guy of Brooklyn and Mrs. Newell L. Walker and Mrs. William J. Ferris of Greenwich and a granddaughter, Mrs. Granville K. Lester.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

World War I Centennial: Mead's of Second Congregational Church, Greenwich Who Served

The above names are on a plaque in the Second Congregational Church that reads as follows: 

This tablet erected in honor of those of this church who answered the call of their country in the world war 1914-1918. 

376th Founders Day: July 18, 2016

In 1990 -also the year the Town of Greenwich celebrated its 350th founding -Mead family descendants gathered in Tomac Cemetery in Old Greenwich and dedicated this monument. 

Below are additional images of Tomac Cemetery. 

According to the late Town Historian William E. Finch, Jr., the family's original ancestors are interred in this cemetery in the back section among the plain fieldstone markers. 

We wish all near and far a Happy 376th Greenwich Founders Day. 

Friday, July 8, 2016

Obituary and Funeral: Philander Button (1878)

Source: Greenwich Observer. May 23, 1878. (Funeral: May 30)

On Tuesday morning there died at his home here, one who is probably as universally appreciated as any citizen who ever dwelt in our midst. Philander Button was born at North Haven, Connecticut, in 1812. He entered the academy at this place in 1834 to prepare for college, and graduated from Yale in the class of 1839, being the salutatorian of his class. His arduous study had so weakened his eyes that he was unable to conclude the theological course which she commenced and he returned to Greenwich and took charge of the Academy in 1840, which he retained  until 1861. He was an efficient teacher and a large number of the most prominent men of the generation now in active business life in this place, as well as many who are well and favorably known to other places, and in fact many in all corners of the globe, owe much to his careful and patient tutoring. In 1844 he married a daughter of the late Darius Mead M.D.

In 1840 he joined the Second Congregational Church and was always prominent in its counsels, being elected a deacon in the earlier years of his membership, and credibly and acceptably filling the position of superintendent of the Sabbath school for over thirty years. Much credit was due to his endeavors in the direction of the beautiful edifice in which the church worships. In 186_ he became associated with Mr. Frederick Mead in business in New York, retiring in 1863. In all public measures he was foremost, never seeking his own advancement, in fact often refusing proffered preferment. Especially was he active and deeply interested in our public schools, being for many years a school visitor. In social life he was affable, genial and hospitable. Few sadder days have darkened all circles here, than when in 186_ he was stricken down. During his active life no man in our midst had a greater influence in public and private affairs, and his influence, always for good, will be felt for years to come. Since that time, though still living in our midst he has been lost to us, and a few men, we may say no man, has been more mixed, or their loss more generally regretted.

His funeral will be attended from the Second Congregational Church to-morrow (Friday) at 3 o'clock.

Funeral of the late Philander Button was attended on Friday last from the Second Congregational church. The deacons of the church, Messrs. Chas. Mead, Elkanah Mead, Moses Christy, Dr. T. S. Pinneo and Wm A. Howe, and Mr. L. P. Hubbard, clerk of the church, were the pall bearers, and Messrs. Benj. Wright, Alex. Mead, Geo. S. Ray, Whit. A. Mead, Jos. B. Husted and Geo. H. Mills, carriers. Reverend Chas. R. Treat spoke very feelingly from the text "Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord." Rev. S.B.S. Bissell, formally of this place, who was for many years the intimate friend and associate of Mr. Button, spoke of his name "Philander" which means "the friend of men." At the grave, the Sabbath school sang "Rest for the weary," and as each member passed the grave, cast in a sprig flowers. The body was enclosed in an ebonized and velvet trimmed cloth covered casket simple, yet elegant and unique, as well became the receptacle of one whose life among us while casting a lustre on all around him, was so free from ostentation. On Sunday a Sabbath school memorial service was held, at which addresses were made by a number of the older officers and teachers and the following resolutions adopted.


Whereas-God in his all wise providence has called to his record our beloved friend and former Superintendent, Mr. Philander Button, therefore

Resolved-That we as a Sabbath school do sincerely mourn, as we realize his removal from the position of Superintendent, which he so wisely and except the filled for more than 30 years.

Resolved-That he being dead, yet speaketh to us, by the memory of his bright example of faith and good works, and we hope to be influenced to follow him as he followed Christ.

Resolved-That we have sympathized with him, and his family in the long and trying period between his removal from active work, and his final call to be with his Lord.

Resolved-That in his removal to his heavenly home, we have lost a leader and friend to whose watchful love and inspiring words we owe more than we can express.

Resolved-That in his untiring zeal for the Master and earnest, unselfish labors for his fellow men he has shown us how closely it is possible for us to obey the command to love God and our neighbor.

Resolved-That we tender to his bereaved wife and family our warmest sympathy in their great affliction, praying for them that the God of all comfort will sustain and bless them as he has promised and is able to do.

Resolved-That as a token of our feelings under this afflictive providence this school room be appropriately draped for thirty days.

Resolved-That a copy of these resolutions be presented to the family of the deceased.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

The Sage of New Lebanon: A Man of Public Spirit is Milo Mead (1899)

Source: Greenwich Graphic. July 1, 1899.

His Old House Stands a Reminder of the Past Amid Modern and Elegant Residences- Where Once was a Farm is Now a Village

Up on a hill overlooking its more pretentious neighbors stands the home of Milo Mead, known as the sage of New Lebanon. The immediate locality is known as Byram and Byram Shore. Just over the river is Port Chester in New York State. This section of the town goes by a number of names, some of it is called East Port Chester, by new residents Hawthorne, and Mr. Mead has given it the name New Lebanon. To the stranger all these names are puzzling and we doubt if there is a spot of the same size in the State of Connecticut that is burdened with so many appellations.

The Post Office is called Hawthorne but most people when they write to residents of this quarter of the town address their letters East Port Chester. Perhaps no other person has done so much for this locality as Milo Mead. Years ago in _____ of his house there were but vacant fields and woods which belonged to farms. He could stand, when he was a boy, on the piazza of his house and his view was unobstructed by dwellings; his house was far away from any other. To-day he can look from the porch and an entirely different scene presents itself; houses have built all around him except to the westward. Beautiful and costly residences have been erected and there is a large growth in population and the summer homes of many wealthy men are located within a stone's throw of his house. And this group is of a substantial nature representing all classes, as well as men of wealth, intelligence and prominent in the world of business.

Mr. Mead is a man of public spirit and has been deeply interested in this growth. Instead of turning the cold shoulder to new comers and giving them the impression that he preferred to so, far as he could, keep things in a primitive state, he has extended the hand of welcome to all who desire to buy property in that section and locale there. He has helped many men in times when help was needed in business ways. His advice has been sought for repeatedly and he has hand in his pocket in many cases where he was asked for aid, perhaps too much so for his own financial good. He called the place New Lebanon because he thought that East Port Chester was too much associated with Port Chester which is in New York State and the name New Lebanon that was suggestive to him of a beautiful spot.

There is a New Lebanon Opera House, New Lebanon Drug Store, New Lebanon Market, New Lebanon Carpet Beating Factory, and other business enterprises are named from the place. The improvements about the locality seem to be his hobby and he takes great pride and interest of the people of the place. He has erected several shops and offered their use at ridiculously small sums in order to bring trade to New Lebanon. He said to the GRAPHIC the other day, "I don't want the people to go to Port Chester and trade. The money should stay here if we can keep it here. This is Connecticut and not New York State, and we ought to patronize our own people." He is not a narrow man, but broad in his views, but he will not allow liquor to be sold in any of his buildings.

The Byram road leading to the shore was recently widened fifty feet at his expense,  and other thoroughfares have also been improved and straightened by him, and in some cases he has cut the street through land at considerable cost to himself. The people of New Lebanon and that locality all speak of him very highly. He lives in the old homestead where he was born and which commands a most beautiful view of the Sound, up and down.

The improvements he has made about New Lebanon cannot fully be enumerated and the value of what he has done for the town in that locality is inestimable. He has seen the elegant residences which are in front of his house along with the shore erected. They are owned by Mr. C.R. Mallory, Mrs. H. Mallory, Mr. Robert Mallory, Mr. W. J. Tingue, Mr. Jon McClave, Mr. James H. Hunt, Mr. Peter F. Meyer and others. Mr. Joseph Milbank is now building opposite Mr. Mead a very elegant mansion, which, it is said, will be one of the handsomest along the Sound. It is on the property once owned by Mr. Starbuck.

The old house presents a quaint and picturesque appearance way up on the hill and suggests the past. It is so high that the view from it can never be obstructed to any great extent. There were three of these charming locations in Greenwich which were selected and built upon by the Mead's.  One is what is known as Charles Mead's Point, the second, Field Point, where lived Oliver Mead; the third is the home of Milo Mead. They afforded not only beautiful sites for homes, but were near the Sound, which gave them benefits to be derived from the nearness to the salt water. Then they had many acres of fertile fields for farms.

The old house was built by a Mr. Close some time before the Revolutionary war, and is at least one hundred and fifty years old. Mr. Mead's father bought it of Mr. Close, and Mr. Milo Mead has always lived there. About seventy-five or eighty years ago an addition was made to it. It is better preserved that many of the old houses about Greenwich, for Mr. Mead keeps it in good repair.

To compare it with the modern house across the way would be like placing the old lumbering stage coach alongside the Saratoga flyer. But yet with it quaintness and age there is a feeling of quietness and rest which comes over one when passing in its doorway that is refreshing after one has been through the modern and elegant dwellings which are its neighbors. It's the difference between the electric light and the tallow candle.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Near the Busy Center: The Old House on Lafayette Place (1899)

Source: Greenwich Graphic. Saturday, May 13, 1899. Page 1.

Was Built When the Street it is Now on Was a Cow-Path
The Inside of it is Antique. Indeed. 

Everybody about the village was recognize this picture. It's an old house on Lafayette Place and it sits perched up on a bank as though it was not "part or parcel" of the houses surrounding it, and neither is it.

It has so much in contract with its neighbors, that it is the most conspicuous building on this short street.

"When was it built?" That is hard to say. Some who pretend to know will tell you that it was put up in 1650. Its appearance indicates that it is at least two hundred years old. Look at the old shingles, the hand-wrought nails sticking out here and there, and the big stone chimney, and the general dilapidated appearance of it-although that is not always a sign of age, but in this case it is easy to see that it is very old.

Lafayette Place was but a cow-path when its timbers were first put there, and there was no other building between it, and the Sound, and the view in those days from its doorstep must have been fine, indeed. 

This property was owned way back in 1725 by John Hobby, who sold it to Nathaniel Mead.

It was known as one time as the Dunton Homestead, where lived Royal Dunton and his family.

Its size and shape is different from the houses that were built during the Revolutionary War. It's a very old settler and was famous years ago.

Mrs. Mary Thompson, whose maiden name was Banks, with whom we talked about the old house, said that her grandmother and her mother and she were all born there, and the house was very old in those days. She thinks it is about 250 years old. But it can't be quite as ancient as that, for Greenwich was settled in 1645, but this was probably one of the first houses erected.

Mr. Joseph E. Russell considers it one of the oldest houses in town. When he was a boy it looked as aged as it does now.

When Nathaniel Mead occupied it, which was during the Revolutionary War, Cowboys and the British made raids upon his herd of cattle, and he always kept his musket handy night and day. In the field and by his bedside it was his constant companion. We can well imagine what a beautiful farm it must have been in those days, the lay of the land must have been ideal.

They tell funny stories of one Thomas Mead, who was known as the fat fiddler, who lived there. He weighed, it is said, 400 pounds. He disliked to walk any distance, and when they wanted him to play, they would back a cart with oxen up to the door and he would get in and off they would go, carrying him to the place where his fiddle and bow were wanted.

He was exceedingly popular with the young people, and his presence was always necessary for a merry evening. It is said, too, that notwithstanding his great weight, and disinclination to walk, he was a graceful dancer and was light on his feet when whirling a Colonial girl over the floor. Mr. Mead lived in this house for many years and when he died the door sash had to be removed to allow the coffin to pass out.

Some years ago the house was purchased by Augustus Lyon. At one time Azra Banks resided there and worked in a little shop near the house as shoe maker but this small building disappeared.

It is said that an English officer who had been wounded was taken to the house and died in the South room.

But if you want to judge the house and its age, go inside and see that long, wide room on the first floor, which is almost the same as when around the big fireplace the family and neighbors gathered 150 or more years ago. The ceiling is so low that a man of six feet must stoop to walk about. The quaint doors hang on the same hinges, and the little iron latches appear to have been made at a time the house was erected. There is, perhaps, no house in Greenwich that would more impress you with its age, than this one, after you had taken a look at the inside of it.

It is going to pieces rapidly, and can't last but a few years more as it now stands. It is owned by Mrs. Francis Warburton. 

Richard Mead, "A Patriot of the Revolution"

This Makes Third Time: Lightning Strikes Seaman Mead's Barn (1899)

Source: Greenwich Graphic. Saturday, May 13, 1899. Page 1.

Entirely Destroyed in Sunday Night Storm-Loss About $4,000-Insured $3,000

There is an old saw that lightning rarely strikes twice in the same place. But this isn't true in Greenwich.

Down in the valley at the rear of Mr. Seamen Mead's residence  there is something that attracts lightning. In fact that locality seems to have, more or less, a something that draws electricity in a thunderstorm. Mr. John Dayton's, Town Clerk Mead's, Mr. Chas. Cameron's and Mr. George Rowland's residences on the Field Point Road and near by have all felt the bolt. Now they are all protected by lightning rods, and thunder storms pass them by without harm.

Three barnes has been struck by lightning near where the one which was destroyed in Sunday night's storm was located.

In 1876, in 1896 and in 1899. The one burned in 1876 belonged to Col. Thomas A. Mead, and the other two to Seaman Mead.

A terrific thunder storm passed over Greenwich Sunday night, the air had been heavy all day, and the conditions were just right for a severe electrical storm. It was one of the most severe storms of the summer.

There was a continuous play of lightning for some two hours before the rain came, and then the dark clouds poured their contents to the earth, the wind blew and the lightning and thunder was something awful, it being incessant.

About nine o'clock it became known that Seaman Mead's barn had been struck by lightning and was in flames.

The fire alarm had made known that there was trouble, but didn't tell where, for it struck one, but the glare in the west told where the fire was.

In the pouring rain, with the lightning flashes coming in frightful succession and brilliancy, with the thunder roaring incessantly, the firemen responded to the call. 

So on the Volunteers and Amogerones were on the spot and had two or three streams of water playing on the fire.

It was seen that the barn could not be saved, ___ the fire was well underway before the firemen arrived. And so efforts ____ade to save the barns and houses near by ___anger, which were successful, for the flames were kept confined to the barn which was struck.

In charge of the firemen was Chief Engineer Russell, with Foreman Mead, Assistant Foreman Peck of the Amogerones, and Assistant Forman Emery and Mahoney of the Volunteers.

Grave of Seaman Mead in New Burial Grounds Association Cemetery
next to the Second Congregational Church, Greenwich. 

Mr. Mead and his family were sitting on the piazza of their house when the lightning struck the barn. An alarm was rung in from the box near the old toll gate, but it was thought that the storm had affected the wires in some way, and the system failed to work.

When they heard the crash they surmised that the barn had been struck, and on going to look in that direction they saw that it was on fire.

The family rushed to save the horses, there being three in the barn, and succeeded in getting them out of the barn, and also in saving, with the help of neighbors, the carriages, harness, and other things in the barn.

Miss Louise Mead, who had pluckily gone into the barn, and had succeeded in finding one of the horses, was injured by being thrown to the floor by the fright of the horse. She had grasped him by the mane, and was leading him out, when he became frightened and, throwing his head, freed himself from her grasp, and with such force as to cause her to lose her balance and she fell heavily to the floor, badly bruising her shoulder.

At two o'clock the firemen went home, all danger being over.

The barn was insured for $3,000 by Mr. Cameron, the insurance agent. The claim was promptly adjusted and the companies are ready to pay Mr. Mead. It will cost about $4,000 to replace the barn for the building was a large one. 

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Visitation Etiquette: Some Things You Need to Know

We are occasionally asked about visiting the three cemeteries under the care of the Association. Here are some items you need to know.

-We ask that you contact the Association by email at meadburyinggrounds@gmail.com. Please provide us with your full name, phone and/or email address and which site you wish to visit. 

-If you are looking for historical information send your inquiry to us in advance since it helps expedite the process. We encourage you to use the Search box on this blog site. You may find what you are looking for here. 

-If you are visiting from out-of-town or from out-of-state let us know when you wish to visit -the sooner the better.

-Be respectful. Yes, this makes common sense, we hope. 

-Do not leave any trash whatsoever.

-Stone-rubbing is not permitted. Photography is permitted.

-We ask that you not leave memorials such as coins, flowers, photos and so on. 

-We remind all that the three isolated family plots under our direct care and stewardship are not public cemeteries. Family descendants are certainly permitted to visit the graves of their ancestors.

-There are designated rights-of-ways that connect the cemeteries to the roads and streets for purposes on ingress and egress. Please do not stray on to the properties of our neighbors. 

-There are many Mead ancestors interred in other cemeteries and burying grounds around Greenwich. Rules vary with each. 

If you have any further questions kindly contact the Association by email at meadburyinggrounds@gmail.com. Thank you. 

Fourth of July: Grave Sites of Soldiers of the American Revolution, Greenwich, Connecticut

"Dearfields," at 8 Grove Lane. 

Resting eternally in Greenwich, Connecticut's cemeteries and burying grounds are those who fought and served in the American Revolution. 

Below is a compiled listing of their names. 

You'll notice that some names are not Mead descendants, at least by surname. We remind our readers that as our ancestors were prolific we surmise that many of those listed here are related to the Mead's of Greenwich through descent, marriage and so forth. 

*We expect this list to be updated.

Happy July 4, American Independence Day. 

Adams Family Cemetery, Old Greenwich
John Adams 1746-1834

Cherry Hill Cemetery, Stanwich
Ezekiel Reynolds 1747-1833

Christ Church Greenwich
Ebenezer Mead 1748-1818
Abraham Close 1762- March 9, 1841
Joseph Close 1758- August 23, 1840 aged 80 years & 2 months
Drake Seymour (?)

Close Family Cemetery, Clapboard Ridge
Capt. Odle Close 1738-1812

First Congregational Church, Old Greenwich
Drake Lockwood 1763-1801
Enos Lockwood 1763-1818
Messenger Lockwood 1764-1849

Green-Willson Family Cemetery, Glenville
Capt. James Green 1716-1838 (?)
Reuben Coe d. March 21, 1822
Jonathan Coe d. Nov. 28, 1809

Hitchcock Family Cemetery, Cos Cob
Thomas Hitchcock  d. December 29, 1813 aged 56 years & 4 months.

Howe Family Cemetery, Peckland
Capt. Isaac Howe died 1711-1779
Ensign Isaac Howe 1749-1823

Knapp Family Cemetery, Round Hill
Joshua Knapp 1761-1823

Lewis Family Cemetery, Greenwich
Rev. Isaac Lewis

Mead Family Cemetery, Stanwich
Capt. Caleb Mead 1716-1798

Mead Family Burying Ground, North Greenwich
Obadiah Mead
Benjamin Mead III

Mead Family Burying Ground, Lot & Drake's Corner Stanwich
Caleb Mead

Mills Family Cemetery, Clapboard Ridge
Samuel Mills d. January 22, 1841 aged 89 years.

New Burial Ground Association Cemetery 
(next to Second Congregational Church)
Dr. Elisha Belcher d. Dec. 23, 1823
Dr. Amos Mead d. Feb. 24, 1807
Andrew Mead d. April 21, 1821
Jared Mead d. May 8, 1832
Joshua Mead d. May 30, 1812
Richard Mead d. April 21, 1826
Justus Sackett d. Jan. 15, 1827
Deacon Abraham Mead  d. Nov. 24, 1827
Zaccheus Mead d. October 27, 1846
Benjamin Brush d. March 8, 1847
Peter Mead, Jr. 1755-1832
John Addington  d. Dec. 14, 1830 aged 87 years, 3 months, 6 days.

Old Burying Ground at Byram
Daniel Lyon d. Aug. 29, 1817
Daniel Sherwood d. June 1, 1826

Old Burying Ground at Cos Cob
Capt. Sylvanus Mead

Old Burying Ground at North Greenwich 
Jehiel Mead d. July 16, 1826 aged 84 years
Silas Mead, Jr. d. June 8, 1813
Levi Mead
Calvin Mead

Peck Family Cemetery, Pecksland
Theophilus Peck, d. June 8, 1812,
aged 83 years, 2 months and 24 days.

Round Hill Cemetery
Nathaniel Husted d. January 20, 1826
Nehemiah Brown, Jr., d. August 8, 1840 aged 85 years.

Stanwich Congregational Church Cemetery
James Ferris (1740-1780)

Tomac Cemetery, Old Greenwich
James Ferris (1729-1812
Jeduthan Ferris (1737-1807)
Nathaniel Ferris 1733-1823
Samuel Ferris 1733-1798
Stephen Ferris 1742-1824
Jonathan Jessup 1731-1804
Enos Knapp 1757-1825
Titus Knapp 1748-1838
Philip Lockwood 1740-1831
Capt. Samuel Lockwood 1738-1807
Jeremiah Palmer 1751- 1825
Sgt. John Wood Palmer 1753-1795
Moses Peck 1750-1828
Ensign Robert Peck 1739-1827
Deacon Samuel Peck 1720-1793
Capt. Henry Waring 1744-1830
Alexander "Sandy" Hendrie 1749-1832
Edward Lockwood (?)

Thursday, June 23, 2016

The Judge's Corner: The S. Merwin Mead Homestead, Now Owned by Dr. William Burke (Excerpted, 1931)

Source: The Greenwich Press. July 16, 1931

Our attention has been called to a misshapen old pine tree that rears its head on the avenue west of the Greenwich Trust Company's land [240 Greenwich Avenue]. Without form or beauty, its limbs blackened by age, it has the appearance of a wraith from a primeval forest. While it has its own story it cannot be classed among native trees. Our forests never produced white pine trees and this is one of that variety.

Going back more than 60 years, the spot occupied by the old tree was on the farm of S. Merwin Mead. All the territory from Greenwich Avenue west to the high school lot and beyond and south to the railroad was given over to cultivation of grain and hay. It was the nesting place of the merry bob-o-link in the month of June and in winter down the slope and across what is now the athletic field was a safe and popular coasting place when snow was abundant and lasting.

Joseph E. Russell lived on Grigg Street in a house of his own design and it is still standing, although recently it has been absorbed by an apartment house with a brick front. Its peculiar roof construction was a sure identification. In the spring of 1868 Mr. Russell had an ambition to move up town. With that end in view he bought for $1,000 an acre of that portion of the Mead farm fronting on the west side of the avenue. And by way of a house he stated that as his own architect he would build a house unlike any other in town. And he quite well succeeded. The house still stands on its original foundation, but a row of commercial buildings in what was his front yard conceals somewhat the architecture of the old house.

There was no attempt at jigsaw embellishment so common in those days but it was likened to a flour mill or a factory community house. However, it suited its owner and made a comfortable family home for many years. In Mr. Russell's endeavor to beautify the grounds he set out two Norway spruce trees in front of the house and a couple of white pines in the rear. The survivor is one of the pair and it exemplifies the futility of planting foreign trees in Greenwich soil. In a few years those trees had a somewhat disconsolate look as their needles shrank and their limbs took on an unhealthy tinge so different from the appearance of white pine in Maine or New Hampshire. Had a single elm tree been planted there in ground that is never dry, for many years back in the future it would have been a joy to those who appreciate such great trees as the one that stands in front of the town hall.

But such a mistake is being made every day. Foreign evergreens in the brilliance of their youth as decorations near and around a house look well but should be renewed every four or five years. As a hand-down to future generations and as a delight within 20 years, the elm or the sugar maple should have been chosen.

This rather unexpected reference to the Mead farm recalls its owner and his homestead, still standing but so well concealed by what may be termed dooryard stores that few know of its existence. Standing on the sidewalk in front of the Mead Stationery Store or the Electric Light Company's office the peak of the roof is seen. Br. William Burke now owns the house as well as the abutting stores. The house was built 122 years ago and excepting dormer windows looking south is in its original form. It was built to last for generations and for the period was quite a mansion.

When it was erected the avenue was only a country road 18 feet wide terminating in what later became Steamboat Road. From its front porch it had a grand view of the Soung extending well to the east while the view down the road to Piping Point, unobstructed by the present railroad embankment, was a nearer view of the harbor and Capt. Daniel Merritt's landing. After the railroad was built (1845 to 1848) and several years later those who had settled in that part of town abolished the old name of the road and gave it the present name of Arch Street. To the young reader that name may seem inapplicable, but the original railroad embankment was pierced by an arched tunnel of stone which gave way to the present iron bridge when the four tracks were laid in 1892.

The Merwin Mead Farm, consisting of about 150 acres, extended east to Davis Avenue. Most of Locust Street and a portion of Milbank Avenue were opened on that farm. It also was bounded by Greenwich Avenue, and Mr. Mead opened the road on the farm connecting Greenwich Avenue with First Avenue, now called Milbank Avenue. He was one of the most public spirited men of his generation. The roads that were laid out through the farm represented his contribution to the public improvement and he never asked asked for land damages. The road just mentioned he called Elm Street, a name that no one has attempted to change. Mr. Mead also set out the elms along the easterly side of the avenue from the town hall to Em Street. But those trees have disappeared with the change of grade 30 years ago. 

The Judge's Corner: Mary Gertrude Mead and Her Gift to Vassar (Excerpt, 1931)

Source: The Greenwich Press. Thursday, January 29, 1931.

Sixty years ago a beautiful young lady lived in the Frederick Mead homestead, then standing on the corner of Putnam Avenue and Milbank Avenue. The streets then had other names. They were Main Street and the "road to Davis Landing," sometimes called "Love Lane." The house built in 1856 has been moved farther down Milbank Avenue and is unchanged except that by the change of location it has surrendered its former Sound view.

Merry Gertrude Mead was the only daughter of Frederick Mead, a wholesale tea merchant and of the son of Dr. Darius Mead of Putnam Hill, who so long and so faithfully served the people of Greenwich as their much beloved family physician. Fred Mead, Jr., whom so many other readers remember, was her eldest brother graduated from Yale in 1869. His sister's graduation at Vassar took place the following year. She was much devoted to astronomy as taught by Maria Mitchell of Vassar. And she installed an expensive telescope in the upper story of the homestead.

After her graduation we saw less of her. She wrote a story published by Charles Scribner in which were depicted many of the local rural scenes of the period. She traveled abroad and made lengthy stops in London, England, which, by the way, happened to be her native country. And finally she married the famous artist, Edward A. Abbey, who created with his brush in the Boston public library, the much admired "Search for the Holy Grail."

Now she comes into notice again as the giver of a memorial fund to Vassar College. The interest on this fund which is not new has been devoted to the botany department of the college and has made possible the establishment of the Dutchess County Botanical Laboratory, in which plants are arranged according to societies rather than families and where more than 600 plants and trees, out of a possible 2,000 varieties in this country, have already been procured. These facts appeared at a dinner last month at the Alumnae House, which was the scene of a gay assembly.

Thus it is that the money and the generosity of the original Greenwich stock have their share in the establishment and maintenance of many worthy public objects.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Some of the "Inferior Decorations" (1931)

Source: The Greenwich Press. Thursday, February 12, 1931, Page 1.

In the center of the above group of exhibits, part of the "inferior decoration" collection shown by the Second Congregational Church Guild at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Augustus I. Mead, Field Point Road, on Tuesday, is the baby carriage for twins that took the prize for being the most unique exhibit. In it Mr. Mead and his twin brother rode in their infancy. To the right is an ancient wooden mortar and pestle. To the left is an old wooden trunk with lace-making outfit. Hanging to the draperies are an old riding habit and lady's wrap. 

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Stone Wall Repaired: Mead Burying Ground at Cos Cob

We can announce that the section of the south-facing stone wall of the family plot off Relay Place in Cos Cob has been repaired. Descendants and visitors are asked and warn not to step on or near this section of the upper tier of the cemetery. More work needs to be completed -but it is nice to report progress on this important matter.