Fiddlers Green Association
FIDDLER”S GREEN- A HALF CENTURY
By Walter D. Kolos
story of Fiddlers Green began a little over half a century ago when an
enthusiastically venturesome group decided to forge a community from a seemingly
primeval remnant of the
the early 1950’s, Harrison Finch, a pilot for TWA, was looking for
parcel consisted of 374 acres, and was much too large for Finch’s
needs. However, he found the offer
enticing, and contacted a lawyer to facilitate the formation of a corporation
to purchase the acreage. In 1954, The Construction
“Caumsett,” the estate of Marshall Field, was
considered to be one of the grandest residences in the
374 acre parcel which would become Fiddler’s Green was a heavily wooded
area, with a couple of meadows and lowland swamps. It was noted for its magnificent stands
of native dogwood, most of which succumbed to the blight of the early
1980’s. Used primarily for
pheasant shoots and fox hunting, the land was traversed by several firebreaks
which were designed to inhibit the spread of forest fires. Broad Path was one of the major
east-west firebreaks. Horse Neck
Path was a vestige of the original
Harrison Finch envisioned a road plan that would preserve as much of the natural beauty as possible. The side streets would be arranged like the branches of a tree, all with dead ends to provide maximum safety for children. A beach on the Sound would be prepared with a drag line, and just behind it, a clearing for an athletic field and small parking lot would be created.
To locate investors, Finch used the addresses in the Airlines Pilot’s Association lists, and as a result, many of the original sixty investors were pilots. However, the formation of the community was not limited to those in that profession. Finch’s doctor, lawyer and others were also participants in the venture.
As soon as enough money was in the corporation, lots were laid out and roads planned, with the first investors having their choice of plots. Eventually, the remaining piece of Marshall Field’s easterly acreage was purchased. Harrison Finch served as the president of the corporation, with Albert A. Bliss as vice president.
potential homebuilders formed a club, the forerunner of the Fiddler’s
Green Association. Meeting at the
American Legion Hall in
initial plan for Fiddler’s Green was done by Edward Stone of
The origin of the name “Fiddler’s Green” is one of the most frequently asked questions. The phrase “Fiddler’s Green” is steeped in maritime legend. British seamen often referred to the mariner’s heaven or paradise by using this name—“a place of unlimited rum and tobacco.” Our particular Fiddler’s Green was taken from a title of a book written by Ernie Gann, a pilot and friend of some of the early founders. It was a novel about fishermen “where credit is good……where there’s many a lass and many a glass…and never a stormy sea.”
Fiddler’s Green has thrived remarkably over the years, and has changed very little considering the tumultuous alterations that have swept through the region. It has not only succeeded maintaining the vision of its founders, but it has enhanced it. Although there have been “many a stormy sea,” it has weathered them well, and we are sure will continue to do so.
Many thanks to Marge Bamman for her information and reminiscences, which were invaluable for the writing of this article.