Monday, March 03, 2008

The Colgates of Sharon, Connecticut

rr colgate, originally uploaded by jahansell.

I went to a wonderful presentation at the Sharon Garden Club this evening. The Sharon Historical Society was given a treasure trove of photographs of the Colgate Mansion (aka Filmont), an astonishing Beaux Arts home that, along with its gardens and grounds, covered 300 acres opposite the town center. It was built in 1903 by RR Colgate (scion of the Colgate-Palmolive mogul) and his wife, Susan. Liz Gall spent the last several months cataloguing and researching the photos, and the presentation was quite lively as everyone present had information or opinions to add on everything from what kind of flowers were growing in the gardens, to what the outbuilding roof was made out of and where any given photo was taken or what it looked out onto. (It might have been nice if each person waited for everyone else to finish before sharing their own important nugget of information, I'll just say.)
I learned a lot, including some interesting information shared by the house's present owner, a well-known songwriter, who is renovating it and promises I can come take pictures there when he's done. He said that after the Colgates died, it passed through several hands (a few years after the Colgates died, the house, which cost over $3 million to build in 1904 dollars, sold for $22,000!) at one point becoming a home for shady ladies!


Blogger Deslilas said...

I'd forgotten that Colgate was a family name and not only a tooth paste brand.
Fine strory.

5:30 AM  
Blogger Jilly said...

What a fascinating story and what a gorgeous old photograph.

11:44 AM  
Blogger trapperbob said...

The current owner, a well known songwriter, would not have the initials P.L. would he?

9:55 AM  

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