Jud Aley is a longtime Westporter. He graduated from Staples High in the 1970s, and has a thriving career as a building contractor.
The other day a plumber he works with sent Jud a photo, from a house on Evergreen Avenue.
The men who proudly signed their names over a century ago were well known in town.
In the early 1900s, William L. Lehn’s family operated a popular Main Street bakery. The name lives on here today — in Lehn Farm Road off Roseville, and Kathy and Peggy Lehn, an American Airlines pilot.
Keene Brothers built a number of houses. They may be related to the developers of Keene Road off North Morningside, which when built in the 1950s was called Keene Estates.
You never know what you’ll find in a basement. The story of Westport can be plastered — quite literally — all over town.
I can identify with this. I have a piece of wood from my grandparents’ house on 41 Old Road that says “The Quinlan Builders, Westport, John J Quinlan, June 30, 1910.
Cool, January 4th 1916 was a tuesday.
Suggestion: If it’s in an area where it can be exposed you could put a piece of clear Lexan plastic over it and sheetrock around it. What a conversation piece!
Kudos to the plumber who saw significance in this discovery and mentioned it to the right person. These are the gems that are lost to history when Westport’s vintage houses are crushed into dumpsters. Hopefully, the owners of this house are planning a sensitive, historically appropriate renovation.
That house on Evergreen (I think I know which one it is) was once legendary in the neighborhood for its unbelievable gardens – and herd of domesticated deer. How exactly the first wasn’t destroyed by the second is unclear. At any rate, the signed plaster fragments are extremely cool. A few years ago, while making some structural adjustments to my 1928 house on Violet Lane, I was startled by the discovery of a plank of sheathing – at eye level – that had veen signed by the original builder; Alfred G. Violet. Suffice it to say, that plank was carefully removed and put on display. Fun fact: in the early 90’s some vintage sashes from the now demolished barn that once went with the Evergreen house ended up in two houses on Violet Lane, mine being one. They’re all still in place and looking good!
And to think I always thought that the street was named for the flower!
Well, in any event, Evergreen Ave is better than its previous name: Cemetery Street.. Yeesh. How’d you like having THAT on your stationary?
Better than living on Poverty Hollow Road in Newtown.
Fair enough. As an aside, all those pimped out trophy equestrian estates on Poverty Hollow Road kinda undercut the inference that residents there are eating dog food and burning the furniture to stay warm.