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Topsmead, Chase family, and Echo Farm Company records

Overview

Scope and Contents

Administrative Information

Detailed Description

Echo Farm Company Records

Henry S. Chase Probate Records

Topsmead Book List

Furnishing Receipts from Trip to England

Architectural Drawings



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Topsmead, Chase family, and Echo Farm Company records, 1887-1923 | Litchfield Historical Society

By Leith Johnson

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Collection Overview

Title: Topsmead, Chase family, and Echo Farm Company records, 1887-1923Add to your cart.

ID: 00/1986-18-0

Primary Creator: Chase, Mrs. Rodney

Extent: 1.0 Folders

Date Acquired: 01/01/1986

Subjects: Chase, Edith, 1890-1972, Chase, Frederick, Chase, Henry, Echo Farm Company, Land titles--Connecticut, Topsmead State Forest (Litchfield, Conn.)

Forms of Material: Correspondence, Deeds

Languages: English

Scope and Contents of the Materials

Topsmead, Chase family, and Echo Farm Company records, 1986-18-0, includes records related to land transactions involving Echo Farm Co. and Frederick Chase, Edith Chase, Henry Chase and others. It also includes receipts for buying antiques in England, and a list of the books in the library of Topsmead in 1972 The records include correspondence and deeds.

Collection Historical Note

Topsmead State Forest is the former summer estate of Miss Edith Morton Chase, daughter of Henry Sabin Chase and Alice Morton Chase. Henry Sabin Chase was the first President of Chase Brass and Copper Company in Waterbury. Chase Brass was one of the leaders in the brass industry when Waterbury was the Brass Capital of the world.

In 1917, Miss Chase received from her father approximately 16 acres on Jefferson Hill in Litchfield. Here she built a rustic cabin, which was replaced with a more substantial summer home in 1923. She hired noted architect Richard Henry Dana, Jr. to help her design and build the English Tudor style house which was completed in 1925. The exterior woodwork is of cypress, the downspouts are lead, the walls of brick and stucco, and the roof is slate. The interior woodwork is oak, as is most of the flooring. The foyer, hallway and dining room floors are of polished terra cotta tile. Most of the interior walls are of the same type of stucco as is found on the exterior. Fine craftsmanship, an eye for detail and understated wealth are evident throughout the house, which is tastefully and simply furnished with 17th and 18th century English country antiques. Miss Chase loved the outdoors and as much care was given to the landscaping as was given to the design and furnishings of her home. Surrounding her home are plantings of holly, lilac, and juniper. Apple trees line the drive and formal gardens on each end of the house compliment the English Tudor architecture.

Edith Chase shared her summer home with her life-long companions, Mary and Lucy Burrall. The ladies spent the winter months at the Burrall sisters' home on Church Street in Waterbury. Because it was their dream to create a pocket of serenity, the ladies' lifestyle at "Topsmead" was relaxed. Guests were entertained informally.

Miss Chase was a clever businesswoman. She built up her financial inheritance and subsequently her real estate holdings. One of her most significant acquisitions was the 1927 purchase of the Buell Farm which was renamed Topsmead Farm to reflect its location at the "top of the meadow". The farm produced food used on the estate. In addition to vegetable and flower gardens there were beef cattle, poultry, sheep, pigs, and at one time, draft horses.

Upon her death in 1972, Edith Chase left her beloved country estate to the people of Connecticut and to be known as Topsmead State Forest. In her will, Miss Chase requested that Topsmead State Forest "be kept in a state of natural beauty". To ensure that Topsmead would remain undisturbed, Miss Chase left an endowment to be used toward maintaining and operating the buildings and grounds as they were upon her death.

Subject/Index Terms

Chase, Edith, 1890-1972
Chase, Frederick
Chase, Henry
Echo Farm Company
Land titles--Connecticut
Topsmead State Forest (Litchfield, Conn.)

Administrative Information

Repository: Litchfield Historical Society

Access Restrictions: The collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions: Copyright is retained by the creator(s) of this collection for materials they have authored or otherwise produced. Copyright status for other collection materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

Acquisition Source: Mrs. Rodney Chase

Acquisition Method: Gift

Preferred Citation: Topsmead, Chase family, and Echo Farm Company records (1986-18-0), Litchfield Historical Society, Helga J. Ingraham Memorial Library, P.O. Box 385, 7 South Street, Litchfield, Connecticut, 06759

Other Note: This collection was processed with support from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC).


Box and Folder Listing


Browse by Folder:

[Folder 1: Echo Farm Company Records],
[Folder 2: Henry S. Chase Probate Records],
[Folder 3: Topsmead Book List, 1972],
[Folder 4: Furnishing Receipts from Trip to England],
[Folder 5: Architectural Drawings, 1934 Jan 25],
[All]

Folder 1: Echo Farm Company RecordsAdd to your cart.
Folder 2: Henry S. Chase Probate RecordsAdd to your cart.
Folder 3: Topsmead Book List, 1972Add to your cart.
Folder 4: Furnishing Receipts from Trip to EnglandAdd to your cart.
Folder 5: Architectural Drawings, 1934 Jan 25Add to your cart.
Drawings and plans for cottage  for Miss Edith Chase by architect R.H. Dana, Jr.  Floor plans revised Jan 25, 1924. Includes preliminary study of Dove Cote House, 1934 (now Topsmead).  [acc.# 1986-18] Located in aisle 18B Oversize Box 7.


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