Lakeview, 14 Chapel Road

Original construction date is unknown, some records claim c. 1820

George Washington Mead, Sr. and Sarah Frances Studwell Mead, c. 1860
Louise Alice Griswold and Joseph Mead c. 1899
Horace and Florence Mead Brightman c. 1920

The house, also known as the “Incubator”, was home to the Meads for 34 summers.  Some years they spent all year round and the family increased to 11 children.

As the family grew so did the house, throwing out wings in the form of two bedrooms to the west, then two in the tower surmounted with a cupola, in the late Gothic Revival style.  A spring house chilled the milk and provided water for cooking.  An orchard flourished where Fair Acre house now stands (you can still see a few of the trees in the yard).

“Everything about the cottage was primitive,” according to David Irving Mead, a son who spend many summers there.  “There was no running water except a pipeline from the spring to the back stoop.  There were no fly screens so the shutters were kept closed and before each meal the flies were driven out of the dining room with much flapping of aprons.”

From 1868 to 1873 winters were spend in New York with four daughters and one son, George Washington Mead, Jr, born in 1870.  Winter in New York meant George, Sr. could pursue his business career and they could “have some gaiety” as their daughter, Loretta, wrote.  But while winters on the farm were relatively free of illness, childhood disease bore down heavily in the city with bouts of measles one year and the next whooping cough, which was almost fatal to the youngest children.

The financial crisis of 1873 apparently caused the family to sell their city home and all its furnishings and they spent the next several years in Waccabuc.  Mrs. Burchard joined the household to teach the girls their lessons.  Then twin boys arrived to make it eight.

The barn behind the house

The barn behind the house

Sarah Studwell Mead is described by her daughter and son with great admiration and affection as “a guardian angel…in her quiet way a great executive, a housekeeper, seamstress and nurse to the household.”  As her large family grew larger and older, they attended various schools, the younger boys at North Salem Academy for a few years, the girls to Packer Collegiate Institute in Brooklyn.

They were always happy to return to Lakeview in the summer.  The four older girls took care of their little brothers, as there was always a baby in the house.  Often they socialized with the guests at Waccabuc Hotel, located nearby overlooking the lake.

The boys had every opportunity to prepare for college and their father was determined that they should all follow his example and go to Yale.  However, David Irving was the only one to succeed.  In a desperate attempt to bring George, Joe and Martin up to standards, he engaged a young Yale student as a tutor.  And so Herbert A. Smith became an integral part of the Mead family, marring Loretta in 1895.

2016

2016

The view south, looking over the fields, behind Lakeview

The view south, looking over the fields, behind Lakeview