Greenwich Landmarks Series
The Quintard Homestead
The Quintard homestead in Old Greenwich was once the centerpiece of a 100-acre pre-Revolutionary farm, purchased from the Keofferam Indians in the early 18th century. Later known for the quality of its strawberries and onions, its acreage was sold off in bits and pieces over the centuries.
At the turn of the 20th century, summer visitors, primarily from New York, were coming to Greenwich in ever-increasing numbers, staying at such inns as Kennyson Villa, Kathmere and the Shorehame Club. Many soon began to buy, or build, their own summertime homes.
By 1905 the farm’s remaining 16 acres were sold to a syndicate who planned the development of “The Greenwich Cove Park.” The syndicate included Orville Oddie, Sr. and Jr., J. Woolsey Shepard and Charles E. Smith, a New York merchant.
The developers billed Greenwich Cove Park as a “villa” resort , planted hundreds of trees along horseshoe-shaped drives, improved the private Cove Park beach and then offered building lots, some of them running along the shoreline. Early on, one New York family was said to be planning a $25,000 house of stone.
Other amenities included the trolley that ran regularly along Sound Beach Avenue, the short 10-minute walk to the railroad station, and the proximity, at the time, of the Sound Beach Golf and Country club, later renamed Innis Arden and moved to its present Tomac Avenue location.
Dan Everett Waid, an architect and historic preservationist, bought the Quintard home in 1907 and remained there until 1930. At one time, a President of the American Institute of Architects, he donated the land for and designed the Perrot Library, inspired by Monticello, the home of Thomas Jefferson.
Even earlier 18th century owners of the property included Mary Reynolds, David Pennoyer, Enos Lockwood, who paid 162 pounds and six shillings in New York money for the land in 1760, Alexander Montgomery, Benjamin Hildreth, and Titus and Charles Knapp, with Titus remaining there for 16 years, until it was left to his grandson, William Knapp Quintard in 1838. William married Mary Jane Ferris and raised a daughter and three sons in the house.
One of them, Henry Ferris Quintard lived there from 1876 to 1905, when he sold out to the Greenwich Cove Park developers.
The present house was initially built around 1800 by Titus Knapp* to replace one built in the 1760s by Alexander Montgomery. A goodly amount of the house in American Colonial Revival style has been preserved. The frame, where it is exposed, and the trim in both parlor and east room are original, and especially notable are the carved fireplace wall, with its molded mantel shelf and over mantel with corner “ears, ” the dado and window trim.
The outdoor shutters retain their early hardware, and some of the exterior shingles, with hand-wrought iron nails, remain. Inside, the wide-board floors of the second floor were retained, as were the floors in the east front room. The rough fieldstone chimneys date back more than two centuries, and the chimney stack in the basement features carved recesses. The front portico appears to be of similar vintage.
Waid added to the house with great care. A family room was placed at the rear, a double door to the kitchen replaced a singular version, and dormers were added on the south side of the roofline. A new enclosure for the stairway is composed of square balusters that run from floor to ceiling, and a porch was added.
The fireplaces most likely date to 1800, and the wide kitchen fireplace still has a bread oven to the rear, symbol of an even earlier era.
At about the same time that Greenwich Cove Park was in development, the ancient Ferris farm in Old Greenwich was subdivided, later to become Keoffram Park and Shore Acres. But that is another story…
—Written by Susan Nova, for the Greenwich Historical Society, March 29, 2012
The articles will be featured in the greenwich.patch.com throughout 2012.