Mr. Veeder’s Neighborhood

As if secret panels and an in-home car wash weren’t enough to delight visitors on our monthly Secrets of the Veeder House Tours, we’ve now added new information on the rapidly developing West End neighborhood that Mr. Veeder chose as the site of his home.  Before he began building the stone colonial revival home for an estimated cost of $143,000 in 1925, the land belonged to the Goodwin family farm. The Hartford Courant waxed sentimental about the rapid development in the area in same year that Veeder’s construction began:

“It was not many years ago when out Asylum Avenue, west of Woodland Street, the rolling fields of the Goodwin estate drew much comment. To the north and south fields stretched out, lending the aspect of the country right within the city.”

Farmington_Avenue_2

In 1889, Farmington Avenue had yet to experience the boom in development that would come in the 1910s and 1920s.

A 1889 photo of Farmington Avenue shows the bucolic setting to which the paper referred, complete with pasture, fences, and scattered houses. By the time the 1920 Street Atlas was published, the West End neighborhood had been significantly developed.

1920_Atlas_West_End_NBeacon_Oxford_Tremont

The 1920 Street Atlas shows the development of the West End with wooden frame houses, a school, and a park.

The construction of the CHS’s current home began just a few years after the sale of a 44-acre parcel that would be subdivided into the homes on Woodside Circle, which would have all the modern conveniences, including expensive garages, the cost of which outstripped homes in some areas. Veeder’s home would outshine even those, and the Hartford Courant anticipated that it would be “one of the most attractive of the locality.”

To see more images of the West End and the Veeder House in the early Twentieth Century, please join us for the Secrets of the Veeder House Tours at 11:00 am and 1:00 pm on the fourth Saturday of every month. Tours are free for CHS members and $4-8 for non-members. For tickets to the June 22 tour, click here. For tickets to the July 27 tour, click here. Tour size is limited, so please register in advance.

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