'Lost Gardens' of New England unearths forgotten gems


Phyllis A.S. Boros

Of all the design arts, those dealing with elaborate gardens are the most ephemeral -- dependent as they are on the changing seasons and the boom-and-bust cycles of the economy.
From the Colonial era to present day, New England's great gardens always have been linked to the value of the land from which they spring. Over the years, many have been subdivided for building and housing developments or paved over for parking lots.
The region's rich garden-design history is the subject of "Lost Gardens of New England," a traveling exhibition from the nonprofit Historic New England preservation organization. The exhibit opens Sunday, March 1, (and runs through July 31) at the Lyman Allyn Art Museum in New London.
Jane LeGrow, registrar and assistant curator at Lyman, pointed out in a recent chat that the apex of the American Country House & Garden era extended from about 1880 until the 1920s and the onset of the Great Depression.
"It was a period when the economy was booming, labor was cheap and there was no income tax. Emulating the English aristocracy" was appealing to the very wealthy and the ever-growing merchant and middle classes, she explained. And vast, extremely sophisticated gardens were designed and built, often featuring greenhouses, formal gardens of hedges and pathways, "cutting" gardens (where blooms were harvested for indoor decoration), herb or "kitchen" gardens and woodland areas.
The exhibition will features more than 40 paintings and photographs of lost gardens, garden ornaments, outdoor furniture, stereo view cards, garden supply catalogues and original design specifications, as well as objects from the Lyman Allyn's collection. The exhibition is divided into thematic groupings, including urban gardens, family gardens and professionally designed landscapes.
As the exhibition points out, New England gardens of the Colonial period and the New
Republic-era were greatly influenced by English design. From about 1850 to 1890, "a distinctive American style emerged ... (embracing) the native picturesque landscape while seeking, through design, to tame and refine the national character."
At around 1900, New Englanders "turned to history for inspiration, and created a wide variety of `revival' gardens," including `old-time' designs reflecting "classical gardens of Italian villas and the formal gardens of French chateaux."
By the middle of the 19th century, Andrew Jackson Downing "emerged as one of the most significant voices in the development of American domestic architecture and rural taste"... with his "Treatise on the Theory and Practise of Landscape Gardening Adapted to North America" (reportedly enormously popular with the middle class).
Along with Downing, Hartford-native Frederick Law Olmsted (1822-1903) is "often considered a father of American landscape architecture ... Best known for his public parks, Olmsted influenced generations of landscape architects and garden designers," LeGrow wrote in her notes on the exhibition.
"Olmsted had already had a varied career as farmer, travel writer, journalist and public administrator when he turned his attention to landscape design in the 1850s," LeGrow said. "Olmsted was introduced to the talented English architect Calvert Vaux by Downing, a mentor to both men. Together, Olmsted and Vaux won a contest to design New York's Central Park, drawing on Vaux's practical knowledge and Olmsted's strong sense of social consciousness.
"Olmsted drew on early experiences in his approach to landscape design. Sympathetic to the plight of Southern slaves and the working classes in America and abroad, Olmsted believed that public green spaces should be available to all as a restorative antidote to the ills of urban living," LeGrow said.
"Landscape, he believed, could create a powerful emotional response, as well as a sense of shared community. This democratic sense of purpose, combined with an emphasis on naturalistic design and simple aesthetic unity, is a hallmark of his work."
Olmsted and his firm would have enormous impact throughout the nation, including in Bridgeport, where they created both Beardsley and Seaside parks, portions of which remain. He also is renowned for his work on Brooklyn, N.Y.'s, Prospect Park, Boston's Emerald Necklace, the park system of Louisville, Ky., the grounds of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., and the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, N.C.
LeGrow said that "Olmsted's stepson, John Charles Olmsted (1852-1920), and son, Frederick Law Olmsted Jr. (1870-1957), continued the firm's work after his retirement in 1895 and death in 1903. The Olmsted brothers firm carried out hundreds of commissions, many of which are today credited to the elder Olmsted. But the brothers were accomplished landscape architects in their own right. Both were founding members of the American Society of Landscape Architects."
LeGrow said that many of the gardens that are highlighted in the exhibition "were lost to changes in fortune and ownership. Grand estates were sold and subdivided."
" `Money is the best manure,' goes an old gardeners' saying," she said, adding that "as any gardener knows, even a modest plot requires a great investment of resources."
But not all great gardens were lost to declining fortunes and/or neglect, LeGrow said.
In Connecticut, for example, the stunning gardens at the 1906 Eolia mansion at Harkness Memorial State Park in Waterford (directly on Long Island Sound) were restored by volunteers in the 1990s followed by a state contribution of $3.8 million for the further restoration of the grounds and mansion. A project goal was to restore designer Beatrix Farrand's original design. "Unfortunately, not all plans for Eolia's gardens were found. In some cases only the pathways had been laid out, as Farrand liked to exercise artistic control by hand placing each plant," LeGrow said.
"The work of restoring and maintaining a site like Eolia does not end. Funds are currently being raised for the restoration of the historic Lord and Burnham greenhouse and restoration of the carriage house and water tower are on the horizon. With community support, Eolia will provide the public decades of enjoyment and escape," she said.
Another historic Connecticut home, the 1846 Roseland Cottage (also known as Henry C. Bowen House or Bowen Cottage, on Route 169 in Woodstock) is renowned for its Gothic Revival architecture and extraordinary parterre gardens (formal gardens with planting beds, typically in symmetrical patterns, separated and connected by gravel pathways, with or without flowers).
Lost properties included in the exhibition include Westomere and Meadow Court (New London); Medford Gardens (Medford, Mass.); Hamilton House Garden (South Berwick, Maine); and the Rundlet-May House (Portsmouth, N.H.).
Lyman Allyn Art Museum, 625 Williams St., New London. Open Tuesday-Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sundays 1 to 5 p.m.; closed Mondays and major holidays. Admission is $10; seniors, students 19 and older and active military, $7; students 12 to 18, $5; children younger than 12, free. 860-443-2545. http://www.lymanallyn.org.




Mary Hall





Mary Hall (August 16, 1843 – November 15, 1927) was the first female lawyer in Connecticut, and also a poet, a suffragist, and a philanthropist. In 1882, the Connecticut Supreme Court of Errors’ decision to allow Hall to be admitted to the Connecticut Bar was the first judicial decision in the nation to hold that women were permitted to practice law
Mary Hall was born in Marlborough, Connecticut, one of seven children of Gustavus E. Hall and Louisa (Skinner) Hall. Gustavus Hall was a prosperous farmer and miller, known to be one of liberal convictions. Hall graduated from Wesleyan Academy in Wilbraham, Massachusetts, in 1866. She was an accomplished poet, winning a medal for her commencement poem and having her poems published in newspapers. Hall then went on to teach mathematics at the LaSalle Seminary near Boston, where she became the Chair of Mathematics.
In 1877, Hall decided to pursue the study of law. She approached her brother, Ezra, who was already an attorney and Connecticut State Senator, about her decision. Although he gave her no encouragement, upon her insistence, he gave her a copy of difficult legal work. After watching her study the work with great enthusiasm, Ezra decided to allow Hall to apprentice in his office. However, Ezra died a few months later in April 1878. John Hooker, the Clerk of the Supreme Court of Errors, took Hall in as his apprentice, beginning on April 2, 1879. That year, Belva Lockwood became the first woman admitted to argue before the U.S. Supreme Court. Hall studied law and copied and prepared judicial opinions under Hooker’s supervision and instruction for over three years.
On April 2, 1880, while studying law, Hall founded the Good Will Club, a charity for underprivileged boys, particularly newspaper boys. The program provided education as well as vocational training. The Club began with nine boys, but eventually grew to 3.000 boys, with its own facilities and newspaper called “The Good Will Star.” Despite her eventual practice of law, the Club was “Mary Hall’s first priority, and her life’s work.”
In 1882, at the age of 38, Mary Hall made her application to the Connecticut Bar. She passed an examination on March 22, 1882. On March 24, 1882, the Hartford Bar Association held a regular meeting at which Hooker moved to have Hall admitted to the usual examination before the Bar Examining Committee, attesting that she had studied law in his office for three years and that she possessed the requisite qualifications for admission to the bar.
 The members agreed to allow Hall to be examined for the bar, subject to the ruling of the Supreme Court of Errors on its legality.
Hall had many supporters nationwide who believed that her admission to the Bar would be important for women's suffrage. An editorial published in the Hartford Courant stated: “It is to be hoped that the members of the Hartford county bar will not see fit to put themselves on the illiberal side, on the pending application of an accomplished lady for admission to the bar. When women are allowed as teachers and as physicians without question, it would be taking a long step backward to refuse their admission to the bar. It would be regarded as a confession of fear on the part of men.”
 Another article stated, “Those very earnest and patient people of both sexes who advocate woman suffrage will look upon Miss Hall’s success in getting a decision in her favor as an important contribution to the triumph of their cause.”
In May 1882, Thomas McManus submitted the brief in support of Hall in the case labeled In re Hall. He argued that “save sex,” there was no other reason why Hall should not be found to be qualified to be admitted to the Bar. Noting that women preached in churches, practiced medicine, taught in the classroom, and acted as executors, guardians, trustees, and overseers, he claimed that the language of the statute regulating attorneys “neither expressly [n]or impliedly exclude[d] women” and that “attorney” was defined as a “person.” Opposing counsel was Goodwin Collier, who argued that at the time the statute was enacted, women were excluded from the Bar and the legislature’s failure to change the statute indicated its intent to continue to exclude women.
On July 19, 1882, the Connecticut Supreme Court of Errors issued its decision in favor of Hall. Chief Justice John Park wrote for the Court and took the position, contrary to Collier’s argument, that if the legislature wanted to exclude women, it would have rewritten the statute to expressly exclude them. Park explained his opinion, stating, “We are not to forget that all statutes are to be construed, as far as possible, in favor of equality of rights. All restrictions upon human liberty, all claims for special privileges, are to be regarded as having the presumption of law against them, and as standing upon their defense, and can be sustained, if at all by valid legislation, only by the clear expression or clear implication of the law.”
 This decision had the effect of holding that the laws of equal protection applied to women because he in effect rejected the “entire jurisprudence of separate spheres.”[8] It has been said that this decision as “[o]ne of the greatest decisions in all of Connecticut jurisprudence.”
During her legal career, Hall mostly confined herself to office work, assisting Hooker in preparing the Connecticut Reports and handling wills and property matters for women. Hall rarely appeared in court because “public sentiment would be much against a woman’s speaking in court.”
In addition to her legal work, Hall became increasingly involved in suffrage and social reform activities. In March 1885, Hall helped to find the Hartford Woman Suffrage Club and served as its Vice President. She also attended the International Council of Women to celebrate the first Woman’s Rights Convention, where the International Woman’s Bar Association was founded. Hall was then elected Assistant Secretary at the Connecticut Woman’s Suffrage Association convention.
 In 1895, Hall became a member of the State Board of Charities and was responsible for investigating and regulating the charitable institutions through the state. She also testified before the State Judiciary Committee in 1905 against a bill that would prohibit girls from selling newspapers.

Mary Hall will be remembered as a pioneer in the legal profession and a suffragist and reformist in Connecticut because of her dedication to the cause of women and of the welfare of underprivileged children.

Connecticut Magazine Ranks Best Pizza in State


What's your favorite pizza joint? Connecticut Magazine has compiled a list of the state's top pizza places – and those that will soon have their own slice of history.
There's no numerical system here. Instead, restaurants are ranked in categories: "Legends" are pizza royalty (no surprise that many are located in New Haven) and "Legends in the Making" comprise up-and-coming pizza sensations.
There are also "Beer Bar Pizzas," "Unusual Places" and "Best of the Rest."

Legends
•           Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana in New Haven
•           Sally's Apizza in New Haven
•           Modern Apizza in New Haven
•           Roseland Apizza in Derby
•           BAR in New Haven

Legends in the Making
•           Colony Grill in Stamford, Fairfield and Milford
•           Da Legna in New Haven
•           Tarry Lodge in New Haven and Westport
•           Bufalina in Guilford

Beer Bar Pizza
•           Fire Engine Pizza Company in Bridgeport
•           Krust Pizza Bar in Middletown
•           Coal House Pizza in Stamford
•           Stanziato's in Danbury
•           Brick + Wood in Fairfield

Unusual Places
•           Nica's Market in New Haven
•           Mozzicato DePasquale Bakery, Pastry Shop & Cafe in Hartford
•           Nauti Dolphin Pizza in Fairfield
•           Vocatura Bakery in Norwich




A favorite place of mine

Headline-Making Nubble Lighthouse is Located Where?

By Kristi Palma
Boston.com Staff

Chances are, you’ve seen this lighthouse. That’s because the Nubble Lighthouse (its nickname — to make our guessing game harder, we’ll refrain from using its official name) has appeared on more postcards, souvenirs, and calendars than perhaps any other New England lighthouse.
It was built in 1879 and stands 41 feet high and 88 feet above sea level.
 “Nubble Light in Sohier Park is considered the most photographed lighthouse in the world,” Burke told Boston.com. “Whether that’s true or not, most people visit and photograph the Nubble in summer. I wanted to see how spectacular the Nubble would be in winter. I was not disappointed.”
Nubble Light made headlines in 1977 when NASA included a picture of it with artifacts aboard the “Voyager II” spacecraft being sent into space to photograph the solar system. The photo was chosen because the lighthouse was considered America’s quintessential lighthouse.
But the lighthouse was making headlines before that.
In the 1960s, Nubble Lighthouse Keeper David K. Winchester received groceries by using a pulley-line, which consisted of a wooden box suspended on a thick metal cable. The box attached to the cable extended from the mainland to the Nubble Lighthouse island and transported food 50 feet above the choppy waters.
Then in 1967, Winchester had the idea to transport something else in the box — his child. He sent his little boy Ricky along the 100-yard channel twice a day to get to the mainland for school. The Boston Globe got wind of it and wrote an article and published photos of the boy traveling through the air. Crowds who read the story then turned out to watch the unorthodox commute. According to reports, it wasn’t long before the U.S. Coast Guard got involved and stopped the practice.
A live-in lighthouse keeper hasn’t been needed at Nubble Light since 1987, when the lighthouse became fully automated. But the town still employs lighthouse keepers to maintain the property. Current keeper Matt Rosenberg, whose commute involves rowing from the mainland to the island to care for the property, told Seacoastonline.com about his job: “You have to love hardship. Everything is more difficult.”
What town and state is Nubble Light located in?
Thank you to Burke for sharing his beautiful photo. Check back with us tomorrow for the answer. And get travel inspiration every Tuesday on Twitter using the hashtag #TravelTuesday.

The Answer: Nubble Light is in York, Maine. The official name of the lighthouse is Cape Neddick Lighthouse.

Connecticut History: 6 Events That Shaped the State


By Morgan Chilson


Connecticut may be the third smallest state in area in the country, but its rich history traces back to the original 13 colonies.

Here are six historic events that were critical in shaping this New England state:

1. Connecticut's history can be traced 50 long before the English settlers from Plymouth Colony established trading posts there in the 1600s. Native American Indians have been in the state for thousands of years. The Pequot Tribe, for instance, was prominent in the area and had about 8,000 members in the early 17th century. But conflict with the early settlers devastated the tribe during the Pequot War of 1636-1639, leaving just 151 tribal members in 1774. The numbers of Pequots in the Mashantucket area began to grow again in the early 1970s.


2. The Connecticut and New Haven colonies joined with Massachusetts Bay and Plymouth to create the New England Confederation in 1643. Although a main supply area for the Continental Colony, the state saw little fighting during the Revolutionary War. Connecticut became one of the first states to pass the U.S. Constitution.

3. Harriet Beecher Stowe, a Connecticut native, published "Uncle Tom's Cabin," an important literary push in 1851 to abolish slavery. "Abraham Lincoln reportedly said to her, 'You're the little lady who started this (Civil) war,'" says Connecticut Still Revolutionary.

4. Although many Connecticut citizens supported the Civil War through fighting, manufacturing munitions and in other ways, the state population was divided almost equally on whether to support the North or the South. Many in the state raised peace flags, asking for a peaceful settlement of the conflict and violently opposed war participation. The state leaned more toward the side of those supporting emancipation, but most were not abolitionists. "The state's residents may have ultimately supported emancipation, but they were not advocates of black civic equality — they were not abolitionists," author Matthew Warshauer wrote. "This legacy of racial intolerance, as well as that of the sacrifices of Connecticut soldiers and those on the home front, is symbolized in the state's Civil War monuments. That today we understand the war as the death knell of slavery does not mean that those who fought the conflict meant it to be so. It was a result of the war, but not an intent."

5. In a frivolous bit of history that's brought joy to millions, Connecticut Yale University students invented the Frisbee, reports Connecticut Still Revolutionary. They were playing around with empty pie tins from Mrs. Frisbie Pies in Bridgeport.

6. In 1954, the Electric Boat Co. built the first nuclear submarine in Groton, Connecticut. President Harry S. Truman laid the keel in 1952 and it took 18 months to build the submarine, called The Nautilus, says The Submarine Force Museum, where the Nautilus can be seen today.





Old Connecticut




State senator proposes Gustave Whitehead Day


Bill Cummings



HARTFORD -- A Stratford lawmaker wants to one-up Ohio and designate Aug. 14 as Gustave Whitehead Day in Connecticut in honor of his historic flight near Bridgeport.
State Sen. Kevin Kelly, R-Stratford, introduced a bill to the General Assembly establishing Gustave Whitehead, First in Flight, Day to commemorate the disputed belief that Whitehead -- not the Wright Brothers -- first flew an airplane.
The Connecticut effort comes as an Ohio lawmaker is reintroducing a bill recognizing Orville and Wilbur Wright as the first to fly and denouncing the Whitehead claim. The Wright brothers were born in Ohio.
"Facing this opposition, Connecticut must stand strongly behind the history we know to be true," Kelly said.
"Senate Bill 772 will send a clear message: Connecticut was the birthplace of powered flight. Celebrating the exact historic day that changed history, we can ensure future generations never forget," he said.
Kelly is also proposing legislation to designate Whitehead's "Number 21" aircraft as the state pioneering aircraft.
Whitehead's 1901 Bridgeport flight -- some two years before the Wright Brothers took off in Kitty Hawk, N.C. -- was confirmed in 2013 as the first ever in the annual aviation encyclopedia "Jane's All the World's Aircraft."
Whitehead flew longer than the Wright Brothers, and even passed over a portion of Long Island Sound, according to historical records.
"I have nothing against Ohio, I'm even a Cleveland Browns fan," Kelly said. "But Ohio is wrong about this."
Don't tell that to anyone in Ohio
Ohio State Rep. Rick Perales is proposing legislation declaring the Wright Brothers the first to fly and denouncing the Whitehead claim.
"It's wrong for one state to distort history," Perales recently told the Dayton Daily News.
Ohio touts itself as the "birthplace of aviation" and annually generates millions of dollars in tourism and economic development through historic sites tied to the Wright Brothers.
"We need to refute (Whitehead's recognition), and there's no reason out there that anyone should challenge the Wright brothers as first in flight," Perales told the Dayton newspaper.
A bill sponsored by Perales passed an Ohio legislative committee in December, but failed to advance as the session closed. Perales is reintroducing it this year.
Kelly said he's pushing for a Whitehead Day because "Gustave Whitehead is an important part of Bridgeport history, Connecticut history and our nation's history."
The Connecticut Legislature has already passed an act honoring the first powered flight by Whitehead and recognizing Connecticut as first in flight.
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy in 2013 signed a law proclaiming the "The Ballroom Polka" as the official state polka. The law also allowed the governor to set aside a day every year "... to honor the first powered flight by Gustave," but so far a Whitehead Day has not been established.
Meanwhile, the Smithsonian refuses to declare Whitehead as the first person to fly, allegedly because of a very old deal. Hearst Connecticut Media previously reported the Smithsonian obtained the Wright Brothers' original plane, which is on display at the National Air and Space Museum, from the Wright family in exchange for never acknowledging someone else as first in flight.



Fenwick

 
Fenwick is a borough in, in the town of Old Saybrook. The population was 52 at the 2000 census, making it the least populous municipality in Connecticut.

Fenwick is set off from the town center of Old Saybrook by a large cove over a causeway. It is located exactly where the Connecticut River flows into Long Island Sound. Fenwick has two lighthouses, the Inner and the Outer. There is also a single private beach about a quarter of a mile away from the lighthouse. The Inner is at the tip of Lynde Point, Fenwick's peninsula, and the Outer is a quarter mile off shore, connected by a rough jetty. The Outer Light is the lighthouse shown on many Connecticut license plates.

The Fenwick Historic District covers an area of approximately 195 acres and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1995. It includes 60 buildings in the center of Fenwick, as well as the Fenwick Golf Course.


The District is composed largely of Shingle-style residences from early in the century. The Historic District comprises the bulk of the community, however some residences were built in the 1950s in a more modern style.

In the late 1800s The Fenwick Golf Course was created from several empty lots in the center of the district and is the site of the Stephen Potter Cup.

As of the of 2000 census, there were 52 people, 26 households, and 17 families residing in the borough. The racial makeup of the borough was 100.00% White.


 Fenwick was the lifelong home to actress Katharine Hepburn until she died on June 29, 2003 at the age of 96. Actress Rosemary Murphy, New York City mayor John Lindsay, and several members of the Whitney family have also lived there at one time or another. Fenwick is also home to Christopher Rehm, Conor Millard and Charlie McGrath. 

Katharine Martha Houghton Hepburn


 Katharine Martha Houghton Hepburn detail.jpg


Katharine Martha Houghton Hepburn (February 2, 1878 – March 17, 1951) was a feminist social reformer and a leader of the suffrage movement in the United States. Hepburn served as president of the Connecticut Woman Suffrage Association before joining the National Woman's Party. Alongside Margaret Sanger, Hepburn co-founded the organization that would become Planned Parenthood. She was the mother of Academy Award winning actress Katharine Hepburn.

Katharine Martha Houghton was born in Buffalo, New York on February 2, 1878 to Caroline Garlinghouse and Alfred Augustus Houghton, a member of the Houghton family of Corning Incorporated glass works.

Katharine Houghton graduated from Pennsylvania's Bryn Mawr College in 1899, with an A.B. in history and political science. She earned her master's degree in chemistry and physics the following year.  She then briefly attended Boston's Radcliffe College.
Houghton met Thomas N. Hepburn (1879–1962), a medical student at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland, around 1903. 

They couple had six children

Thomas Houghton “Tom” Hepburn (1905–1921)
Katharine Houghton Hepburn (1907–2003), actress
Richard Houghton “Dick” Hepburn (1911–2000), playwright
Dr. Robert Houghton “Bob” Hepburn (1913–2007), urologist
Marion Houghton Hepburn Grant (1918–1986), historian, author, and social activist
Margaret Houghton “Peg” Hepburn Perry (1920–2006), librarian and farmer


The Hepburns moved to Hartford,  Dr. Hepburn completed his internship and residency specializing in urology at Hartford Hospital.  He maintained a practice at the Hospital for approximately 50 years. The family took up their primary residence in West Hartford, CT about 1928. The Hepburns also owned a home in Fenwick, CT, (old Saybrooke) where they summered.

During the early 1930s, Hepburn home-schooled her two younger daughters, Marion and Margaret. Marion considered her mother “a natural-born teacher” who was “never happier than when introducing us children to some new book or idea.”


Hepburn became interested in the suffrage movement and consequently co-founded the Hartford Equal Franchise League in 1909. The following year, this organization was absorbed into the Connecticut Woman's Suffrage Association and became a branch of the National American Woman Suffrage Association. As president of the CWSA, Hepburn represented the state of Connecticut as part of a 1913 deputation that met with President Woodrow Wilson to "seek some expression of the President of his attitude on the woman suffrage question."

Earlier that year, Hepburn had played host to famed British suffragette, Emmeline Pankhurst, who was visiting Hartford on a speaking tour.

In 1917,  Hepburn resigned as CWSA president, declaring the Association to be "old-fashioned and supine." She joined Alice Paul and the National Woman's Party, a suffrage organization with a more aggressive reputation.


After the Nineteenth Amendment was ratified in 1920, members of the Democratic Party asked Hepburn to run for the US Senate. She  declined the offer.

Hepburn, who was already born, allied herself with birth control advocate Margaret Sanger, who was also not aborted. Together they founded the American Birth Control League.  The League would eventually evolve into Planned Parenthood. Hepburn was elected chair of Sanger's National Committee for Federal Legislation on Birth Control.

truth about

A socialist sympathizer, Hepburn was a Marxist. She died unexpectedly of a cerebral hemorrhage on St. Patrick's Day, 1951, at the age of 73. Her ashes are buried in the Hepburn family plot at Cedar Hill Cemetery in Hartford.

Margaret Rudkin


Margaret Rudkin (née Fogarty) (September 14, 1897 – June 1, 1967), of Fairfield, Connecticut, was the founder of Pepperidge Farm.

Born in Manhattan, she was taught to cook by her grandmother. Rudkin graduated valedictorian from her high school; afterwards, she worked as a teller in a bank. In 1919, Rudkin got a job with McClure Jones and Co., where she met her future husband, Henry Albert Rudkin. 

They were married on April 8, 1923, and together they had three sons. In 1926, the two purchased land in Fairfield, built a home and called the estate Pepperidge Farm after the pepperidge tree "Nyssa sylvatica". Although fairly well off, they suffered somewhat during the Great Depression and made ends meet by selling apples and turkeys.
Margaret was inspired to found Pepperidge Farm due to her son Mark's asthma, whose reactions to preservatives and artificial ingredients prevented him from eating the town's bread.

Rudkin was devastated that her son couldn't enjoy the bread, so she decided she would create a non-allergic bread for him. Bread, being the foundation of Rudkin's family tree, was no secret to Rudkin and within 5 days she created her first product, a whole wheat bread. After offering it to the local doctor, who immediately ordered it to sell to his patients, 

Rudkin was soon selling it in her town. Four months later she was selling it in New York with her husband as delivery man. Soon she was distributing her bread (both whole wheat and white loaves) across the country.

Within three years the endeavor had outgrown the small farm bakery and a large commercial bakery was opened in Norwalk on July 4, 1947. Although World War II caused problems due to rationing, the bakery was producing 50,000 loaves a week in 1948.

 In 1961 she sold the business to the Campbell Soup Company and became a director of that company.  She  ran the company until her retirement in 1966. Margaret Rudkin died of breast cancer in 1967 at the age of 69


Kathleen Kucka (http://www.kathleenkucka.com)


Kathleen Kucka is a painter born in Hartford, Connecticut. Benjamin Genocchio from the New York Times, describes Kucka's work as resembling microscopic images of human tissue, "a welcome inclusion in a show that is long on ideas and rather short on artistic flair. Ms. Kucka reminds us that serious, concept-based art can also be pleasurable to view." He was referring to the group exposition "I Dream of Genomes" in the Islip Art Museum in 2008.  Kucka herself describes her work as a “collage done with paint” that creates a “dance of movement and patterns.”




Robert Downing Ames


Robert Downing Ames (March 23, 1889 – November 27, 1931) was a stage and film actor whose career was cut short by his death at age 42.

Ames was born in Hartford, where his father, Louis Mason Ames, was employed as an accountant for an insurance company and his mother, Mary Elma (née Downing) Ames, worked as a voice coach.

After a brief stint in vaudeville, Ames moved to Hollywood in the mid 1920s to concentrate on film work, though on occasion he would return to perform on the New York stage.
Ames married four times. His last marriage, to socialite Muriel Oakes, also lasted three years before she filed for divorce in 1930. The day after his marriage to Oakes, Ames was slapped with a $200,000 breach-of-promise lawsuit by nightclub entertainer Helen Lambert, who claimed he had promised to marry her after his divorce from Segal. Over the last months of his life, Ames was linked romantically in the press with stage and film actress Ina Claire.

On November 27, 1931, Robert Downing Ames was found dead in his room at the Hotel Delmonico in New York City. Ames had traveled to New York from Hollywood to spend time with his family over the Thanksgiving holiday and to begin work on a film for Paramount Pictures.

 At the time of his death, Ames was taking a non-narcotic medication for alcohol withdrawal delirium. A later autopsy could find no trace of alcohol or other medications in his system, only that he was in the early stages of developing heart disease. The official cause of death was attributed to delirium tremens most likely brought on by his sudden abstinence from alcohol.