Chapter VIII – The Ark and the Gingko Tree

sanbornmap_0002-thumb-250x192-66.jpgA Sanborn Fire Insurance rate Map prepared in 1930 and an aerial photograph of the Brimfield Gardens area taken in 1934 both show fourteen houses on what was then called Brimfield Road — the twelve that were built in the 1920’s: 237 and 256 in 1920; 245 in 1924; 242 in 1925; 268 in 1926; 248, 253 and 264 in 1927; 236, 263, 267, and 270 in 1928; plus 255 which the town of Wethersfield Appraisal database lists as being built in 1935, and 252 constructed in 1930.
Also shown are the two corner houses: 711 and 721 Wolcott Hill Road built in 1925 and 1926 respectively.

284BrimfieldRd-mortgageair_photo-thumb-350x453-69.jpgThe twenties were the decade that saw the
greatest percentage increase (73% or 3,170 people) ever in
Wethersfield’s overall population.
Year ____Population
Growth
1900____ 2,637
1910 ____3,148_____
511___19.3%
1920____ 4,342____1,194___37.9%
1930____
7,512____3,170___73.0%
1940____9,644____2,132___28.38%
1950___12.533____2,889___29.96%
1960___20.561____8,028___64.05%
1970___26,662____6,101___29.67%
1980___26.013____-
649___- 2.43%
1990___25,651____- 362___- 1.39%
1995___25,161____-
480___- 1.91%
1998___25,095____- 66____- .26%
(wikipedia.org/wiki/Historical_U.S._Census_Totals_for_Hartford_County,_Connecticut)

The next growth spurt in our neighborhood occurred during the second half of the 1940s and the early 1950s. 311 Brimfield ST 1944 324 Brimfield ST 1945 275 Brimfield ST 1946 284 Brimfield ST 1946 312 Brimfield ST 1946 280 Brimfield ST 1947 287 Brimfield ST 1947 283 Brimfield ST 1948 306 Brimfield ST 1948 317 Brimfield ST 1948 329 Brimfield ST 1948 302 Brimfield ST 1949 232 Brimfield ST 1950 303 Brimfield ST 1950 318 Brimfield ST 1950 323 Brimfield ST 1950 330 Brimfield ST 1951 338 Brimfield ST 1952.

Our house at 284 Brimfield Street (comprised of Brimfield Gardens Lot 51 and a portion of Lot 52) was architected by W.H. Lincoln and plans filed with the town Building Department on May 9, 1946 show a cost of $8,200 plus plumbing and electrical costs of $650 and $175 respectively. Among other specifications the house contains 2 X 6 collar beams and four Lolly columns. It was inspected and approved for occupancy on October 30, 1946 under Permit number 27 for that year. The same basic house plan was also used for the residences at 275, 280, 283, 287, and 306 Brimfield which were all built in 1946 through 1948.

The Kenyons completed what is now the current configuration of 284 Brimfield Road property on September 21, 1953 by acquiring 5 feet of the east end of Brimfield Gardens Lot 50 from James and Hetta Torrey.

The remaining houses in our section of Brimfield Road (#s 214, 241 and 249) were built in 1975 when the Brimfield Gardens Nursery, which was located at 245 Brimfield Road, relocated.

The nursery was established in 1927 and occupied lots number 38, 73, 74 and 75 of Brimfield Gardens Addition. The house at 245 Brimfield Road was built in 1924 and sold by Lucy Isaacson to Edwin Young on March 10, 1924; then from the Young Estate to William A Dobson on September 16, 1924; and to Robert Marshall Jr. on June 15, 1929. It served as home to the Marshall family including Wesley Marshall who still runs the business in its current Rocky Hill, Connecticut location. The enterprise was a mail order purveyor of exotic plants, and a residential landscaper that specialized in rare trees and Japanese Gardens.

Much of their design and planting work was in New York and Long Island, however they did leave their mark on the neighborhood in the form of three trees: a Cedar of Lebanon, said to be the lumber with which Noah’s Ark was built; and two Chinese Gingkos, traditional symbols of longevity.

Appropriate emblems for a neighborhood that helped bring Wethersfield into the twentieth century, and which continues to thrive today.  [Sadly one of the gingkos was cut down in 2013.]


284BrimfieldRd-mortgageginkgo-thumb-250x304-72.jpg
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