Now & Then: The Raymond House


32 Seminary St.

Thanks to letters sent between the New Canaan Historical Society and Howard B. Raymond back in the 1950s, the early history of 32 Seminary Street is fairly complete.

The house was built by Howard’s father, George E. Raymond during the summer of 1889. George Raymond was a carriage maker by trade and started his career in the Johnson Carriage Company located on the corner of East Avenue and Forest Street. Raymond, along with his coworker William Brant, started their own carriage business in 1898.  

This shop was also located on Forest Street seemingly where Gelatissimo is now located. At some point Brant left the business but Raymond continued to work in the shop until his death in 1920. The mainstay of the business was repair work, but by most accounts Raymond was an excellent woodworker who could also build a beautiful carriage. Advertisements for the business were in almost every edition of the Advertiser for a decade. By the time of his death, cars had not become popular enough to have an effect on the business. However, his former employee, Henry S. Duryea, who took over the business upon his death, may have struggled due to changes in modes of transportation.

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George Raymond was also involved in local politics. He was first elected as First Selectman in 1896 and then was re-elected from 1898 to 1900. He also served as Second and Third Selectman for a number of years and was even elected the Justice of Peace in 1910. Despite holding elected positions for a total of 10 years, his son felt that he was never a politician, but “gladly and efficiently performed his civic duties as he was called upon.”

“New Canaan Now & Then” is presented in partnership with the New Canaan Museum & Historical Society.

4 thoughts on “Now & Then: The Raymond House

  1. Greg NCHS 65 grad 66 & younger brother Brian Raymond & their older siblings Penny & Skip grew up also on the corner of East Maple Street & Hoyt, then family moved Church Street corner of South Avenue later on after their father Pete Raymond died. He was bank President. Their mother Marne was cared for by Brian until she died. Brian is in CA where his children reside. Greg lives in Petersbough NH. The elder siblings live in NH & VT.

    • Oh my, thank you for mentioning Marnee Raymond, a real New Canaan treasure who volunteered in New Canaan for many years.
      According to her obituary some of her accomplishments included:

      *For over 42 years, Marnee was the Welcome Wagon hostess for New Canaan. At the age of 80, when Welcome Wagon was dissolved and she was forced into retirement, she joined Tina Blount to start the Town Greeters. Stephanie Radman is now current hostess.

      *The New Canaan Newcomers Club was started by Marnee in 1957. She had been an active board through her eighties. Many will remember her by her inspirational quotes in the Newcomers newsletters.

      *A scrapbook of her work with Welcome Wagon and the Newcomers Club has been donated to the Historical Society. Tuesdays at the Thrift Shop was on her calendar for over 40 years. She also volunteered at Waveny Care Center, serving tea to the residents and helping at meal times.

  2. Thank you for this information! I grew up in this house starting from 1983 when my parents bought it. My dad Eric Landers was an architect in the town and designed and built the addition and second unit. I loved living there and was sad they sold it in 2010. I know it will make a great home for its future new owners!

  3. Hi’ This is Skip frpm Windham, Vt.
    A couple of things missing in your report, 1st I also have a younger sister, Patty who lives in Naples, Fl. and my youngest brother is Bruce, not Brian and yes he took really good care of Marne in her later years until she passed away in 2009. My parent were both great New Canaan citizens who did a great deal for the Town back while we were growing up and after we left.

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