May 2012 Archives

What's In A Name?

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 Old Town, Sound Beach, Old Greenwich


Eliz Neck.jpg

If you look at some of the older historical maps of Greenwich, you'll notice the name "Sound Beach" where Old Greenwich is located.  You might also notice the term "Horseneck" in the area bounded by the Boston Post Road to the north, Indian Harbor to the east, Chickahominy to the west and Long Island Sound to the south.  Today this is central Greenwich.

OG.jpgMost people know that Greenwich was established in 1640 when Elizabeth Feaks, Robert Feaks and Captain Daniell Patrick bought Monakewego from the local Native-Americans.  The deed included all the land between the Asamuck and Patomuck rivers, which included a large part of Old Greenwich.  As time went along, the term Monkakewego was used to describe what is now exclusively Greenwich Point. Eventually, it became known as Elizabeth's Neck,  Old Greenwich Point and finally Innes Arden after J. Kennedy Tod bought 5 acres for $1500 in 1884.  Today, it's called Tod's Point or Greenwich Point. The rest of the area was named " Greenwich Old Society" and then "Old Town".  Then in 1870, Amasa A. Marks came up with the name Sound Beach.  Many of the residents headed down to the beach to enjoy the water, so Sound Beach was a natural choice.  In 1872, Marks was unhappy with the financial leadership in central Greenwich, and proposed that Sound Beach and Riverside secede from Greenwich.  This never materialized.



Horseneck, Burrough of Greenwich

Field Point.jpg

In 1686, several residents around Field Point in central Greenwich started using the peninsula for common land to pasture horses.  It was named Field Point Horseneck Plantation by the 27 propreitors (original tract settlers in Greenwich)  and the adjacent area became known as Horseneck.  It was not considered valuable land at that time like it is today.  At this time, Greenwich was considered a "suburb" of the more prominent Sound Beach.  Yet, this area turned out to be very valuable since it provided coastline vistas and spread north to a point 1,000 ft above sea level.


In the 18th century, the Town was divided into two ecclisiastical (church) districts.  Congregational churches were very influential in town, becoming the center of the community, providing schooling, social activities, etc. East of the Mianus was considered the East Society and it was called "Old Town".  It was considered the center of Greenwich due to it's strong commerce.  Up to 1703, Town Meetings were held in Old Town.  Then members of the West Society wanted half of the meetings held in their part of town.  Eventually, this led to an emigration of people to Horseneck and a shift of commerce as it surpassed Old Town.  In 1854, the General Assembly granted a charter to make Horseneck the Burrough of Greenwich.  It's believed the name Greenwich was given to the town by Captain Patrick, who came from the namesake in England.


Cassacubque, Kosca Koba, Cos Cob, Bayport

There are many theories where the name Cos Cob came from.  Some believe it was named after a local Native-American - Chief Kosca Koba of the Petuquapaen tribe.  Others say it was named after Coe's Cob.  A Captain John Coe had a dock for his boat on the rocky bay or inlet of water known as a "cob".  Strickland Brook is thought to be that   It was believed it morphed into Cos Cob.  The Post Office and railroad tried to change the name to Bayport.  However, the residents objected and the Post Office renamed their office Cos Cob


The Villages of Greenwich

 It should be remembered that all the sections of Greenwich were small population centers (villages) at one time, and grew independent of each other.  This would include Byram, Pemberwick, Glenville, Round Hill, Stanwich, Chicahominy, Horseneck, Cos Cob, Riverside and Old Greenwich.  They joined each other to share public works.  These areas have managed to retain some of their character, and make Greenwich the interesting community it is today.


SOURCES:   Greenwich Time (Hearst newspapers)

Mead, S; Ye Historie of Ye Towne of Greenwich; 1913

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Historical Happenings

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Genealogy Program

Genealogist Toni McKeen will be at the Cos Cob Library this Saturday,  May 19th, at 10:30 am to talk about  " Finding Your Relatives in the 1940 US Census".  Volunteers are still inputting data, and only a few states can now be searched by last name.  Find out how you can best access data on your ancestors.


Art at the Bush-Holley Historic Site

Don't forget about the Greenwich Community Artist Series at the Bush-Holley Site on Strickland Road.  The exhibit celebrates the work of local contemporary artists, who work in a variety of media.  Currently the works of Elizabeth Littman, Geraldine Marcenyac, Chitra Ramcharandas and Elizabeth Vazquez  are being featured.  The exhibit will run through July 5th.

Greenwich has been the home of many important and creative business people.  One of those people was Robert Peckham Noble.

Mr. Noble was born in 1881 and lived in Gouverneur NY.  He graduated from Purdue University with a degree in mechanical engineering in 1903.  Robert moved to Greenwich in 1920, and lived in Belle Haven.  He eventually built an estate - Three Oaks - on Round Hill Road.  In 1923, he and his brother, Edward, bought the formula for Lifesavers candy from a candymaker - Clarence Crane of Ohio.  Crane had invented the hard, circular candy as a summer treat in 1912.  He wanted something that wouldn't melt like chocolate in warm temperatures.  His packaging, however, left something to be desired; he packaged them in cardboard tubes, which caused the candy to stick.  He also lacked the resources to mass produce the product.

Crane sold the candy formula to Robert and Edward Noble in 1913 for $2,900.  This was the birth of the Life Savers Candy Company.  Their available capital totaled $900.  While Robert was an engineering genius, Edward was a marketing whiz.  Robert designed an aluminum foil and wax paper wrapper, which kept the candy from sticking. In the beginning, the white, opaque mints had no center hole.  They started in a 1-room Manhattan loft with 6 girls, and ended up building a multi-story factory in Port Chester. Robert had been an engineer for a while at Westinghouse.  He designed and helped direct the building of the factory.   Many people remember the building, which had large facsimiles of different kinds of rolls to advertise the product.  


Lifesavers.jpgThere have been many flavors of Life Savers over the years.  The original products were WintOgreen, CinnOmon, PepOmint, ClOve, LicOriche, ChocOlate.  Then, in 1921, MaltOmilk was added, along with some solid fruit drops (Orange, Lemon, Lime).  By 1925, there was technology to insert a hole in the center.  CrystOmint, Anise, Butter Rum, Cola, and Root Beer were added.  A menthol "Cough Drop" was introduced in 1931, but wasn't very popular.  However, a new Pineapple and Cherry were very successful.  Then in 1935, a five-flavor roll was introduced.  Each roll contained Pineapple, Lime, Orange, Cherry and Lemon candy.   During World War II, other candy companies doanted their sugar to the Life Savers Corpooration so that the company could send candy to the soldiers overseas.  It was something they could easily carry.

Noble was vice president and secretary from 1916 to 1949, president from 1949 to 1955, and chairman of the board until 1956.  When the Life Saver Corporation merged with the Beech Nut Corporation in 1956, he became vice chairman of the board.  He retired in 1964.

Robert Noble was very civic-minded.  He was Director of the Greenwich Chamber of Commerce, member of the Greenwich Academy board, director of the Greenwich Boys Club, and trustee of Greenwich Hospital.  In the 1930s, he served as Commodore of the Indian Harbor Yacht Club.  He stayed active in business as a director of the Putnam Trust Company, and president and director of the Allied Industries Inc.  Mr. Noble passed away in 1973.

As a child, I remember receiving a "Life Saver Sweet Story" book every Christmas.  It conatined ten rolls in a cardboard box designed like a book.  I looked forward to it every year.  I guess I owe a debt of thanks to Robert Noble and his brother, Edward, for their vision and ingenuity.  As my grandparents used to say, even during the Depression, families found money to buy candy for the kids. I can envision soldiers during the War popping a life saver into their mouths.   It was a small treat to make people forget about hard times.    Life savers are indeed a part of American history. 


 SOURCE:  The Greenwich Time (Hearst Corporation)




Historical Happenings

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Renowned Author:  David McCullough

As part of the AuthorsLive Program at Greenwich Library, historian David McCullough will speak in the Cole Auditorium on Tuesday, May 15, at 7 pm, to talk about his new book "The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris".  He talks about people in all facets of endeavor who went to Paris, and became leaders in their specific fields.


Bush-Holley House

Tour this historical landmark of Greenwich history.  There were two important periods in the history of this complex:  the Colonial period from 1790 to 1825 and the Art Colony period from 1890 to 1920.  It was recently named as part of the Connecticut Art Trail along with 15 other world-class museums.  The Museum is open Wednesday through Sunday from 10 am to 4 pm.  Docent tours are scheduled for 1, 2 and 3 pm. 


Bruce Museum

Stop by to see the exhibit on "Marking a Century:  Recent and Promised Gifts" until July 8th.  The exhibit includes 100 art and sculpture items donated by the public to the Bruce Museum.  The Museum is open from 10 to 5 on Tuesday through Saturday, and 1 to 5 on Sundays.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from May 2012 listed from newest to oldest.

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