Friday Flashback #29

As Bedford Square nears completion, it’s shaping up as a handsome addition to downtown. David Waldman has taken the original lines of the Bedford Building — the Tudor YMCA, built in 1923 — and extended them along Church Lane, then up across Elm Street.

But Bedford Square has nothing on the grandeur of its namesake’s estate.

E.T. Bedford —  director of Standard Oil, and philanthropist of (among others) Bedford Junior High and Bedford Elementary School — lived on Beachside Avenue, next to Burying Hill Beach.

Here’s what his house looked like in 1920:

e-t-bedford-estate-beachside-avenue-1920

He wasn’t the only wealthy Beachside resident. This is a view of “Nirvana” — E.B. Sturges’ home (and personal dock) — in 1909:

nirvana-e-b-sturges-residence-beachside-avenue-1909

Yet the Bedford influence was hard to avoid. That’s his windmill in the distance, toward the right side of the photo.

(Hat tip: Ken Bernhard)

9 responses to “Friday Flashback #29

  1. Love these old photos!

  2. Mary (Cookman) Schmerker Staples 1958

    I love the old photos also. I weirder if anyone has a photo of Lucy Bedford Cunningham Warren’s Estate on Beachside Avenue?

    • Mary (Cookman) Schmerker Staples 1958

      OOPS! Should have looked at my typing before hitting Post! It should have been…I wonder if anyone has ……..

  3. How many people lived in that house?

  4. The Pequot Library provides more detailed information about “Nirvana,” which was a summer home for E.B. Sturges:

    http://pequotlibrary.cdmhost.com/cdm/singleitem/collection/p1038coll5/id/634

  5. Seth Schachter

    Thanks Dan! (And Ken Bernhard) Neat image of — E.B. Sturges’ home.

  6. Not next to Burying hill. The Bedford House was at 76 Beachside

  7. Sharon Paulsen

    When I saw the 1909 date for the photo, it put into perspective a book I recently read, “Close to Shore”, about the shark attacks accounts occurring on the eastern seaboard … around 1916.

    It was interesting in that beachfront elitist-ism was still a relatively “new” idea back then … mostly from the standpoint of people swimming in the oceans.

    It wasn’t a thing that the upper crust “did”. Of course, living on the coast was another thing … summering at the shore … for the wealthy few … was a thing.

    Love these grand old homes … wish I had one of those, LOL!

  8. Michael Don Sullivan

    Oh, boy! I do miss Ken Bernard! I remember clearly,the first time that I met him! Met him at Oscar’s,he had been out door to door, introducing himself as the candidate for State Rep.! How long ago was that?