Manuscripts and Archives Division's
and are identified as
"J. Walter Bassett Papers."
These hundreds of documents were
rescued (by me)
1975 or 1976
from an attic
on Ives Street in Mt. Carmel,
They were about to be thrown out upon
sale of the
which may have belonged to
Blandina Bassett who died in 1974
at the age of 94.
They are the courtship
young manhood letters
of her brother,
J. Walter Bassett 1878-1968,
and perhaps a
(also a kind of embalmer)
Much thanks to fellow researcher Ron Richo, who, from Boston by
email, has assisted
me in Vermont in every detail of this project. His energy, enthusiasm,
and insightful conjectures have been invaluable .
|The Sleeping Giant, Mount Carmel, Connecticut. |
J. Walter Bassett spearheaded fundraising to purchase the mountain
and donate it as a state park.
|The tower atop Sleeping Giant has a vista of hundreds of miles.|
|Quinnipiac University now sits at the base of The Sleeping Giant.|
|( Best guess : JWB, top row, extreme right )|
Hopkins Grammar School Class of 1896
(courtesy of Thom Peters, Archivist,
The Hopkins School)
1811 Joseph Baker Cunningham born.
|19th Century Wilbraham, Massachusetts|
|Mount Carmel Congregational Church at the turn of the century.|
|Connecticut Hall, oldest building on Yale campus (1752).|
|801 K St., N.W. Carnegie Library (1899)|
|Evangeline sends J. Walter these sketches drawn by one of the children in the class she teaches, "the effort of the Jones boy" as she describes it, which she "found " in her desk drawer, perhaps a child's wedding or farewell gift?|
|$ 50.00 was pretty expensive when rent was $12.00 a month.|
|The new house "your mother" thought wouldn't get built in 1902, was built in 1905.|
|Edgerton, an architectural Sleeping Giant, was visible to all from East Rock.|
Edgerton's gatehouse and ten-foot wall clearly visible from Whitney Avenue to daily traffic, even today.
|East Rock as viewed from Edgerton. |
Thornton Wilder (1897-1975), also a one-time Mt. Carmelite,
would call the Rock "our Dolomite" after its pink hue,
visible from his Hamden home (1930-75) near Edgerton.
|A Bermuda Lines ship, 1913|
|Masonic Lodge, Hamden, Connecticut|
"This work is not yet completed. The back of the sofa should have been covered with Tapestry same as the front which was the agreement.I will pay the bill when the work is completed or a portion of the account before if you desire. J. Walter Bassett"
Subject: The Cat
The cat is a very interesting animal. He is a small fur dog that meows and has whiskers and several other things. He has four paws --to [sic] fore paws and two behind ones and a tail.
He has been known for many years -- two of him having been said to be on the ark where he must have been tied up or what would become of the rats?
Cats don't be cats until they are a year old when they stop being kittens which they were born as.
It takes a kitten several weeks to get its eyes open if it doesn't get drownded before that time and he scratches when he is mad.
My father says camels used to be cats but got their backs up one day and couldn't get them down again and so became camels.
I never heard a camel meow but I suppose they can do most anything, have seven stomachs and going many days without water.
Conundrums" [written perpendicular to the text]
|January 3, "Eliz. went back to college."|
|Connecticut College for Women, Founded 1911|
|February 2, "Grandma C . died 4:40 P.M."|
|April 26:, "Dr. Smith 11th call Opened 2nd Carbuncle"|
|May 7, "Dr. Smith 20th call"|
|October 4, "Ma Birthday Party at night"|
February 20, "18 degrees 9 A.M.. House 47 degrees."
|June 18, "25th Wedding Anniversary. Reception 8 P.M."|
|Friday, July 23 "Dad died about 5 A.M." ( Note change in usually meticulous handwriting. )|
|January 2 "E. Sick. Heart Attack."|
|February 17, "E. Sick to hospital about 11 A.M." ( Note change in usually meticulous handwriting. )|
|March 3, "E. Operation 8:30 A.M."|
|March 21, "E. sat up 1st time."|
|March 27, "E. home from hospital 8 P.M."|
|April 26, "E. heart attack, 11 A.M."|
|By September 23, "E" is well enough to attend "Centerville Church" .|
|October 4 "Miss Laura Dickerman killed 7:50 P.M."|
New Haven Register, October 6, 1928
(Courtesy of Larry Dowler)
|October 9 "Coroner's Office" [Perhaps JWB is still in the undertaking profession. His diaries note many funerals. He also performs duties as "auditor". He sometimes works in"office" and other times in "shop." His schedule seems amazingly full and amazingly flexible.|
|December 14 "Two front teeth out."|
|December 22: "E". birthday"|
|September 26." E. [ well enough to go ] to Civic Club at night."|
|April 24, "E. Heart attack in P.M."|
|March 2, "E. Heart Attack"|
|May 12, "Walked to Hampden, Mass. A.M. House at 5 P.M. 64 miles"|
|The Graduate Club|
|President Lyndon B. Johnson hands a pen to Rev. Martin Luther King,, Jr. after signing the 1964 Civil Rights Act.|