The following is a copy of the text of an undated magazine article found in the archives of the Oxford Historical Society.  There is no attribution as to what magazine published the article and when it was published.  We do know that the first article was published in CENTURY MAGAZINE in 1901, and it is probable that the following article was also published in that magazine.  The date would have to be sometime after 1905 as that is mentioned in the article.  Anybody with further information is encouraged to notify the town historian, Dorothy A. DeBisschop at

Proverbs 22-28. Proverbs 24-31.

“The Boulder’s” name and fame were first made known when the article entitled “The Abandoned Farm Found” appeared in the Century Magazine of October, 1901, written by Prof. W. H. Bishop, of Yale University. This most fascinating place is in the tiny village of Oxford (New Haven County, Conn.), four miles from Seymour, Conn., up the “Little River” Valley. Oxford is about 13 miles from New’ Haven. and perhaps 20 from Bridgeport. Seymour, the railroad station on the N.Y., N.H. & H.R.R., is in the Naugatuck Valley, and is the next station north of Ansonia, is two hours ride on train from New York (being 75 miles) with SIX trains a day each way. On some trains it is necessary to change cars at Bridgeport, others (two a day) are through expresses from New York.

Oxford is a lovely little hamlet with two churches, Congregational and Episcopal; one store, two inns and about twelve or fifteen residences in the “Centre.” "Little River” is a beautiful stream with its rocks and waterfalls, glens, coves and pools, which the river road follows closely from Seymour to Oxford and on beyond to “Red City,” Southford and so on. The Boulder, which is so charming in itself that words will faintly describe its beauties, derived its name from the large boulder upon it.

When I read Prof. Bishop’s article describing the place I wrote him a line expressing my admiration for the style of the article and saying it was a deep desire of mine to find a country home. Some time thereafter, to my great surprise, Prof. Bishop wrote. and offered me the place. saying he had been appointed consul to Genoa and was going to live in that part of the world the balance of his days. Thereupon I went up to look at it. It was during November and I recall it was quite a cold and disagreeable day; of course all leaves were off and everything bare and brown and bleak, but as we have since learned there is no time of the year when it is not beautiful in that valley among the hills and rocks.. While I saw none of the wonderful wealth of vivid green that exists there when the foliage is on, yet the place and the landscape seemed entrancingly beautiful.

Aside from the beauty of it, I was impressed with the nearness to New York, because our summer home had been in far away Vermont, to reach which it took us from 9 a.m. at Grand Central Station until 5.30 p.m. steady railroad riding. So when we found so pretty a place only two hours by railroad from Grand Central Station and forty minutes or less by drive, it seemed a haven indeed.

There are six daily trains, telephone connection, mail regular.

The Boulder consists of eight acres of land, fronting on the main road that for two hundred years has been the through route to New Haven and New York from the various towns and villages in northwest Connecticut. and in early days it was a very busy and active thoroughfare, stages and wagons making frequent trips to New Haven or Bridgeport, and on to New York. The land lies charmingly—even on this small patch are tiny but beautiful bits of landscape; and the more distant views of the hills—the village, the church. and old cemetery. one never ceases to admire. The buildings consist of first the old house close by the road, and the pavilion. A pergola, built by Prof. Bishop, leads to the latter. These two buildings are the first seen as one drives in.

The old house is very queer add unique, with many curious corners, turns and angles. The house proper consists of, on the first floor, the “blue room,” “red room,” the spaceway, the kitchen, the “well room,” and the “green room,” and the big pantry or store room. The little, crooked, quaint old stairway inside the house (and I say inside, as you will understand later on), leads to a small hall upstairs, off of which are four rooms, the first, large and covering all the front of the house; the others smaller, and having been built on and enlarged, they are queer and odd enough. From one room (the bathroom), leading down to the ground, is the outside stairway. These stairs are most frequently used, and are extremely convenient and withal quite unusual. The “green room” is somewhat separate and yet attached to the rest of the old house. This room is but one story. It was in years long gone by a cooper shop, and has in it now the huge great fireplace of stone and brick. This is a charming room, long and quite spacious, with an east door and porch, and a door also opening on to a porch or veranda entering the old house. Prof. Bishop used this room in cool or inclement weather as a dining room. We use it as a bedroom for guests, nursery, etc., as the occasion requires. The old house has many entrances and porches, one east and one west, one north and one south. The pavilion is our constant resort, open on front and side, sheltered by a great old apple tree and covered with vines. In it we hang two or three hammocks and here we keep a table and chairs. Here the mother sits and reads or sews; here she and others often take a nap; here the children swing and play, sheltered from sun and rain, with all the freedom and freshness of outdoors. Next comes the “annex.” This building is 200 feet north of the pavilion and old house, up a little incline path. Here is where the more prosaic part of our Boulder life is played. The “annex” Prof. B. called his studio and had changed but little. I saw that we would have to make much use of it, and so after planning and talking, we built in the basement a kitchen, large and ample; a bedroom and a large pantry. This necessitated building a big chimney running way up on outside of the north end of the building, cutting windows, putting in pump and drain and countless other things.

On the floor directly above is our dining room, occupying the entire floor. The great old sliding door is unchanged and is kept constantly open, letting in air, sunshine, view and health. Overhead we built four bedrooms, for use of the children or guests. All cooking, etc. is done at the “annex,” and when mealtime comes we assemble in the big dining room, having found that to
one and all, guests as well, the walk to the annex has given appetite, zest and health. We have never had a guest that was not delighted with it, never a servant that did not grow fat and healthy from life at the “Boulder.”

Then I built the barn, and room for man and storage, etc. Each year has found its charm in some added improvement, the chicken house and yard, the big garden, the strawberry bed, the raspberry bed, the countless vines planted everywhere, the roses covering now the front of the house, and in clusters and clumps over the ground; the many shrubs and flowers, and finally our tennis court made after much work of blasting, planning and study. Oh! the charm of Spring, of Summer, of early and late Fall, each day to be wondered at, exclaimed over, enjoyed. There are no mosquitoes at the “Boulder.” One may enjoy out of doors as far as mosquitoes are concerned. The nights are invariably (cool?), the "Little River," just down the hill across the road in front of the house, bubbles and ripples night and day, and we fall asleep with its music in our ears.  It was a famous trout stream in its day, and is even yet. Up the stream a few miles fine strings of trout are caught each year, and the writer saw an 18-inch trout caught under one of the numerous waterfalls by an urchin scarcely more than 18 inches tall himself.

The foliage in this part of Connecticut is very dense: chestnut trees growing everywhere and chestnuts are gathered in great quantities each Fall. There is a considerable variety of trees — maple, oak, hickory, walnut, butternut, poplar, birch and others. It is a terribly hilly, rocky part of the world. many of the hills are steep and in the woods and other places the rocks are precipitous.  Well I know this, from hunting quail, ruffed grouse, squirrel and rabbit, for strange to (s?) so near such a big city as New York to say nothing of New Haven, Bridgeport and the many towns around, hunting is good. I have made excellent bags of quail and ruffed grouse. killing both of these magnificent game birds within call of our door, last Fall a grouse just in front of the house across the brook and again several in the woods adjoining our eight acres.

Our two wells of water are something to rejoice over: The one in the old house is so cold, even in the hottest weather, that ice is never used,, and there is something about it that makes you long for it and drink quantities. We know, as do our visitors and friends quickly discover, that it has properties which are very beneficial. How, when one can have such a home as this, such real rural life, such freedom and closeness to nature, one can stay in the cities, or even go to hotels and boarding houses, or rent cottages at crowded seaside resorts, is a mystery to us. We one and all love the Boulder, revel in its joys during the Summer, and talk of it during the Winter and plan for it each year. We find ourselves going up there earlier each Spring and staying later each Fall. Were it not for our children’s schooling, we would stay through November, although of course it is getting cold up there then; but we enjoy it with the big fires in our fireplaces, and the frosty mornings seem perfectly delightful. Mrs. B— and I have run up many times during the Fall for a few days’ hunting. There is no trouble getting supplies, the store in Oxford Centre carries much that one needs, and when not so, it is obtained in Seymour, while grocers, butchers, bakers, etc., almost daily pass our door. We also easily drive to Seymour or up to Southford for anything desired. We keep a cow and hens, while the garden, with its great variety and quantity of vegetables, provides us with a more lavish and far better table than one can get in the city.

I have put out vines and roses, shrubs, etc., and their growth has been most satisfactory; but every Spring and Fall I find myself putting in something more, and often changing a location. We have found our eight acres so fat filling every want of our two boys. They build huts, climb trees, put up swings, cut hay and do countless things all on our own little domain.

The place is so full of nooks and crannies, shaded corners, hiding places for hammocks, camps, quiet nooks for reading or a nap, that we never tire of wandering and exploring. One should read Prof. Bishop’s article and learn of how the Boulder appealed to his artistic temperament. Last Summer he came to the United States and journeyed to the Boulder. He examined every nook and corner of the buildings and every foot of ground, and said when he left that he had seen nothing abroad that he thought was more truly charming. It is all a landscape which is ever a joy.

Our orchard is a delight. We have early and late apples. One tree of “Red Astricans” which is close by the house bears prolifically each year, and the apples are eatable in July and early August. The orchard proper has in it about forty or fifty trees, and in the hands of an expert fruit raiser or farmer would yield bountifully. But apple trees, alas! like other things in this world, require care, such as spraying. pruning ground plowing, etc., and as we treat the Boulder as a plaything. our experiments at farming are not a big success.

We have not had any trouble over servants.  All so far like it, stay with us gladly and gain in health. We have all that the country can give and miss none of the privileges or so-called advantages of the city. I quote here one original poem from our guest book, written by a friend:

"An ancient dwelling nestled amid bower
Of orchard, trellised vine, and flower
The winding road, the ? upon the hill
The heart responsive to the wild bird's trills
The restful mummer of the stream
Afar the church spire's holy gleam
The boulder, relic of the ? hour,
A touch of poetry and of power.

Here far removed from turmoil and from strife,
The struggles, victories and defeats of life,.
This nook so near to nature, heart shall calm
The tired spirit and with courage arm.

The Boulder. Sept. 7, 1905

Connecticut and Oxford must be healthy judging by the number of old people among the residents — plenty over 70 and upward — All hale and vigorous, attending to their daily duties of farming or otherwise, most of whom have lived in Oxford the greater part,  if not all their lives.

The following humorous poem was written at least fifty years ago by an old resident of Oxford who was the doctor of the village, a very original character, and one of the very first graduates of Yale University.

“Great cities often boast of wealth,
But Oxford is the place for health.
Oxford is noted for aged men,
Black Harry Lou was a hundred and ten.

At Dinah’s Vineyard did Carter thrive,
And died at the age of a hundred and five.
Aunt Clara Wooster, we have no doubt,
Was a hundred and four and very stout.

Clarissa Williams, a hundred and one,
Shook hands with Gen'l Washington.
Widow David Peck saw a hundred years
Before she left this vale of tears.

William Morris, surviving his mate,
Died at the age of ninety~eight
Many past ninety years ‘tis said,
Were only killed by being bled.
And others had to leave the town
Before pale death could fetch them down.

Oxfordites are honest and bold,
Living in health and growing old.
Laboring heartily with good cheer—
That’s the way we live up here.”

When such a home can be had for a few thousand dollars, we marvel that all the many city workers and those who travel to one place one summer and another the next, troubled by crowds, heat, mosquitoes. disagreeable neighbors, noises and the thousand drawbacks to a Summer, do not flock in to the hills of Connecticut, and we feel sure the reason must be that they do not know how to find a place. There is a trolley now from Seymour to New Haven so that it is easy to run down to New Haven for a day’s shopping. It is rumored there may be a trolley through Oxford some day, but we feat it would take away much of e rural charm.