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Photo Archvist's Selection of the Month: November 2002

Commodore Smith's Linden Lodge

Linden Lodge 1899

August 18, 1899

Linden Lodge was a mansion on the corner of Hope Street and Glenbrook Road, where there are now the Linden House condo apartments. It was owned by Commodore James D. Smith (1829-1909), who was a leading light of the Stamford Historical Society in its early days. Quite a few society board meetings were held at Linden Lodge. Commodore Smith was also the incorporator of Stamford Hospital and the “father” of the Stamford Yacht Club.

Linden Lodge interior Linden Lodge around 1892
This interior view is a rare photo in our collection,
as we have few of those of Stamford dwellings.
Another view (from Picturesque Stamford 1892)
More images

From the Tercentenary Edition
of the
Stamford Advocate, 1941
on Commodore Smith

text from the Tercenary Edition, 1941

text from the Tercenary Edition
J.D. Smith
text from the Tercenary Edition
dividing line
The book
Picturesque Stamford, 1641-1892
The 250th Anniversary

Gillespie Brothers, 1892
has several columns on the Smith family, and here is the text:

“In 1659 a colony was planted farther up the valley at Hadley, and among those who joined the new enterprise was the family of Lieut. Samuel Smith, who having become a man of note in Wethersfield, became still more prominent in the affairs of Hadley. One of his sons, John, inheriting the military spirit of his father, served actively in the Indian wars of the neighborhood, and was killed in the Hatfield Meadow fight, May 30, 1676. His son, Benjamin, born in 1673, moved early in life to Wethersfield, and here three succeeding generations of the family were born, including the Rev. John Smith, who was born in Wethersfield, September 2, 1796 and died in Stamford at the residence of his son, James D. Smith, February 20, 1874. For about forty years from the date of his preacher's license, April 24, 1824, at Bridgeport, in this State, until his retirement from the preacher's work, at the urgent wish of his children; he was a most laborious, pains-taking and successful minister of Christ. He was five times installed into the Pastor's office--once each at Trenton, N. J.. Exeter, N. H., Wilton, Conn., Kingston, N. H., and in York, Maine. In each place he gave ample proof of his ministerial ability--in each he was greatly blessed. His settlement in Wilton will be numbered among the marked pastorates of our State for the signal work of revival which attended his labors there. His sons, James D., Charles S., and Walter M., have all earned places of high distinction in the business and financial world. The former's incumbency of the State Treasurer's office was brought about, as above stated, by his appointment by the Governor, to fill the vacancy occasioned by the death of the Treasurer elected by the people, Hon. D. P. Nichols, of Danbury. Mr. Smith was induced to accept Governor Bigelow's offer, upon the showing that an unusual opportunity was afforded him to do the State important service in the refunding of its debt to the amount of half a million dollars, a policy which had been resolved upon by the Legislature and entrusted to the Treasurer's hands. Mr. Smith's appointment was made in January, 1882. In July following, his arrangements for the refunding of the debt culminated in a success which won for the State the enviable distinction of placing its bonds at a lower rate of interest than any State in the Union had theretofore obtained, and of receiving good propositions for five times the amount of money called for. Mr. Smith was urged to become the candidate of his party for Governor in the fall, but declined. Apart from his brief but honorable political service, and his eminence as a business man and financier in the great city--apart, in short, from the more serious affairs of life--Mr. Smith has won an international reputation as a yachtsman, devoting his leisure hours to that royal sport with an enthusiasm and energy which have contributed largely to that predominance of yachting in America, which has done so much to preserve and popularize the traditions of her old achievements on the sea, and--so far at least as national pride is involved--to compensate in some measure for the decadence of American marine commerce since the war. Incidentally, Commodore Smith's example and influence have done more in the last twenty years than those of any other individual to promote the interest and keep alive the spirit of this noble out-door pastime in his home port of Stamford, where he has seen during the past few years a revival of a new interest in yachting affairs, culminating, in the summer of 1891, in the organization of the Stamford Yacht Club, and the erection of one of the finest yacht club houses on the Connecticut shore, in whose brilliant success during its first season there is the promise of a permanent and desirable addition to the attractions of the place, and indirectly to all forms of pleasure-boating in and about the Harbor of Stamford.”

Side entrance to Linden Lodge, 1910   Linden Lodge in the snow

Gracious Living in Stamford, a 2004 Exhibit

Photos © Stamford Historical Society

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