Blog

A Not-Quite-Empty Mansion Just Down the Road

October 6, 2022

Ann J lived at corner of Brush Hill Road and Fairmount Avenue. What a place! “The Brown Estate.” (Who were these Browns? I never knew.) The house was not visible from the end of the gravel driveway, where the gardener’s house stood guard. So I’d go crunching down the gravel driveway past carriage house, very…

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376 Brush Hill Road – Part XIII – Getting Around

October 1, 2022

When you were a kid in the 1950s, if you had to get some place or wanted to see your friends, you walked. Mothers did not drive their children around. For one thing, there was usually only one car in a family, and often the father took that car to work. From 376, there were…

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376 Brush Hill Road – Part XII – The Loew Estate

September 30, 2022

Across the street from us, where Smith and Brush Hill Roads meet, was a fieldstone wall that stretched as far as the eye could see, in both directions; it enclosed a vast pasture studded with big, big trees. This marked the northwest corner E.M. Loew’s twenty-five acres–The Loew estate. We often saw sheep and cows…

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The Neighbors – 376 Brush Hill Road – Part XI – The Neighbors

September 28, 2022

The Bachelors Our nearest neighbors, to the north, in a modern glass-fronted ranch house, were two men known to us as “the bachelors.” I have memories of one of the bachelors working with my father, occasionally, on projects that crossed the property line. Were they trying to eradicate poison ivy…or just raking leaves? Maybe both…at different…

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376 Brush Hill Road – Part IX – The Telephone

September 20, 2022

Now, more than half a century later, it is the telephone that my grandchildren want to hear about. “Nana, tell us about the telephones when you were a girl.” This is more or less the script… The Old Black Phone When I was a girl, there was only one telephone in the house. There was no…

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376 Brush Hill Road – Part VIII – Shenanigans

September 16, 2022

A big house, a big barn, and a big yard offer many opportunities for mischief—especially for two little girls, the youngest of six, who are only sixteen months apart. Thus Kathy and Karen seem to have caused my mother more gray hairs than all the rest of us combined (and let’s be honest, she was…

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376 Brush Hill Road – Part VII – The Barn

September 13, 2022

The barn was a place we kids liked to explore. It was (technically speaking) a carriage house, but to us it was always “the barn.” We were told it was moved to the site. (From where? I don’t know.) The entrance, as expected was a giant, heavy sliding door (old cracked green paint), three or…

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376 Brush Hill Road – Part VI- Critters

September 11, 2022

Hats off to my mother when I ponder how she survived those first months in that house. For there were certain aspects of our new home she found unnerving. (Understandably so!) There were so many squirrels scampering around the yard, she said, that they made her nervous when she went out to hang laundry on…

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376 Brush Hill Road – Part V – Let There Be Light

September 10, 2022

This house was definitely designed with the goal of letting in as much natural light as possible–with more than fifty windows (all of them as large as possible for their places), a sun porch, a sleeping porch, and windows in all exterior doors (except for the one in the cellar). The double front doors were…

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376 Brush Hill Road – Part IV – The Third Floor

September 9, 2022

Servants. We children (appropriately agog) were told that the third floor was originally the domain of servants. Nobody knows how many. And that was why the bathroom at the top of the stairs was so different from the one on the second floor: claw foot tub, basic white sink, bead board wainscoting rather than ceramic…

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