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But Where In Stepney?

But where in Stepney? (c.1905)

I truly enjoy sharing my knowledge of Monroe history with you all. My inspirations for doing so are simple really. I strive to make our history as accurate, rich, interesting, and accessible as possible. Facebook has proven to be an amazing tool for getting the word out. I’ve been told that I make it look easy. Actually, it’s not. It takes a great deal of research and effort to learn, compile and present our history each week, and sometimes I just don’t have the answer. Such is the case this week.

Our volunteer Suz Dyer recently scanned the image you see here today from a photo slide in our collection. The supporting paperwork found with the slides identifies it as possibly the Lugris home at 23 Old Newtown Road, just north of Purdy Hill Road. We live in an amazing time today, a time when the Internet provides us with the tools necessary to verify the details of properties in real time. These valuable tools have unfortunately proven that this photo is not of that home.

So then, where exactly was the photo of this quaint saltbox house taken in Stepney? The simple truth is, I currently have no idea. I’ve pored over all the early aerial photographic surveys and residential maps and cannot find a match. Could it have once been part of the greater neighborhood over on Judd Road, west of Main Street? Many a home was leveled there in the 1920s and 1930’s by the Bridgeport Hydraulic Company to create the watershed lands for the Easton Reservoir. It’s possible of course, but I’m merely speculating. I’ll never stop looking though. Sometimes it can take years to identify, and sometimes the answer is simply lost to history.

So, what do we do now? Well, that’s easy. We appreciate this amazing early Fred Sherman photo postcard. What an eye for composition he had. Look how he balanced the house against the trees and open space in the distance. And note how perfectly he uses the dirt road and drive up to the home to create visual depth. Such talent. Also worthy of appreciation is the simplicity and symmetry of the architecture and how it plays visually against the dilapidated fence. Everyone will see something different of course, and that’s what truly makes it special. What about you? Might you have an idea of where this home once was, or perhaps still is? If so, let us know in the comments.

I hope you enjoyed this week’s spotlight on yet another Fred Sherman photo postcard. It’s truly a special image from a simpler time in our past. Please be sure to share this image with your family and friends to keep them up to date on Monroe’s rich history as we wind down our Bicentennial year. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and this one surely is. Thank you for your supportive and encouraging comments to last week’s post. I sincerely appreciate them and thank you for your continued interest in Monroe history.


Kevin Daly
Historian, Monroe Historical Society
Our Past is Always Present

Stepney Saltbox.jpeg
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