The Silvermine Community Association Potluck Dinner is Going South!

The Silvermine Community Association Potluck Dinner is on Saturday, January 26, starting at 6:30PM at the Silvermine Arts Center. Catch up with friends and neighbors! This is a “members only” event. This year we’re going southern, so if you love ribs, southern fried chicken, pulled pork and other scrumptious southern dishes, buy your tickets now. Everyone is requested to bring something to share.

Praise for New ‘Welcome to Silvermine’ Sign

Residents of Silvermine recently unveiled a new ‘Welcome’ sign to their historic and unique neighborhood. The painted blue ‘Welcome to Silvermine Historic Area’ sign near the intersection of Silvermine Avenue and River Road features a swan and has been in place since July 10, officials say. The sign’s creation and installment was a year in the making, according to Silvermine Community Association president Megan Ferrell, who spearheaded the project and helped with design. “It took a lot of time to get the proper permits for it,” Ferrell said, as the sign sits on a circle that although maintained by the Silvermine Community Association is under the jurisdiction of the city of Norwalk. The fundraising for the sign was driven by the neighborhood’s desire for something that represented the community, she said.

‘It Means So Much’: New Canaan Land Trust’s Acquisition of Fowler Property Fulfills Family’s Wishes

A local organization dedicated to preserving land and open space in New Canaan has acquired a large property in Silvermine, protecting it from future development and closing the loop on a closely followed conservation effort. The New Canaan Land Trust last month purchased 763 Silvermine Road—a 6.35-acre parcel that will help form the Silvermine Fowler Preserve—from Jim and Betsey Fowler. It’s adjacent to the 41-acre Hicks Meadows-Kelley Uplands Audubon Sanctuary, and plans for the now 48-acre property include creating trails where residents can hike, view wildlife and experience nature, officials say. “It means so much to have the land preserved, to bring it back,” said Mark Fowler, son of Jim and Betsey and now the nature initiative director at Grace Farms. “The old house will come down and it will be a beautiful piece of property with wetlands and small fields and a beautiful forest and a nice hiking trail, so for me, this is what the Fowler legacy is all about and it’s what the town needs.”

His dad, Jim Fowler, is an award-winning zoologist who gained fame as host of TV’s “Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom.”

“My father was a famous falconer, and we had a falconer that lived with us, so there was always some amazing wildlife experience going on there, and therefore we always were outdoors,” Fowler recalled. “We were always hiking around in these back properties.”

Mark Fowler said that preserving the land is important, in part, because it gives locals a place to unplug and explore—a snapshot of the 1992 New Canaan High School graduate’s own upbringing.

‘Consonance’ on Carter Street: Owners of Historic Silvermine Home Seek To Re-Assemble Barn

Charles Robinson, owner and resident of one of New Canaan’s oldest and most prominent homes, has a ready analogy to explain the philosophy that he and his wife Sarah embrace as they make improvements to their property. In the nearly 20 years that the Robinsons have owned the 1737-built classic Connecticut saltbox at 4 Carter St.—long known to scores of New Canaanites as “the pumpkin house,” for its former painted color when clapboarded—the couple has taken great pains to respect the antique’s craftsmanship, heritage and aesthetic, preserving and achieving a harmony and consistency with the home that Charles refers to as “consonance.”

“Let’s say you are given a Bentley and it is a 1968 Bentley, the real deal, and it comes with all its flaws but there is also the original leather and handcrafted Bentley engine and all the panels are hand-beat it has been painted with real lacquer,” Robinson said on a recent morning, standing in a clearing on the south side of his property where, until last year, an irreparably sagging barn had stood. “When you have that and you are going to go to put new tires on it, instead of just saying, ‘I am going to go down to Mavis Discount Tire,’ you will stop first and say, ‘I at least better find out what kind of tires were original, and does it pay to do that from the standpoint of value, or am I better off from a safety and utility perspective to get radials and, if so, what radials?’ When you have something that is genuine and you know it is valuable, you stop before you just go paint it pink. You catch yourself and say, ‘With every move I make, I can hurt this if I do not do it as close to right as possible.’ ”

With that in mind, the Robinsons on Tuesday night will seek a Special Permit from the Planning & Zoning Commission that, if granted, will see them erect with some slight modifications an antique barn from Hancock, Mass., that they purchased and had disassembled and which now sits in a weather-protected pile in their yard. Technically, the permit they’re seeking is for a detached “garage” that will exceed 1,000 square feet—see page 53 of the regulations here.