|Bringing Back Holleywood||
A beautifully told story of our house in pictures appears in the September 2016 issue of Victoria Homes, thanks to New Canaan photographer Jane Bieles and writer Rebekah Wahlberg.
That's what they call snow that falls out of season. What a surprise to wake up to it today. I hurried downstairs for shears and a bucket, pulled on snow boots and rescued daffodils, coat over my PJs.
Tucked under the fourth floor tower is a wonderful studio where I write. Outside the studio is a looooong hallway convenient for posting a timeline for the novel I've been working on, old school-style, with index cards. I (and houseguests) have lived with the timeline for years, but I was excited to finally take it down today. Early finished copies of the book are in! WHAT WAS MINE is a novel from Simon & Schuster/Gallery Books. The story is about secrets. (It was written in a house harboring many of them.) A childless woman takes a baby from a shopping cart and raises her as her adopted daughter for 21 years. The novel opens when the secret is out. It started out as a story, but after we acquired Holleywood, the story expanded, along with our living space. Pub date Jan 5, available here.
Eight pages of house portraits by photographer and neighbor John Gruen.
We had a wonderful week with visiting family from Boston, Ohio, Kentucky and Dallas who proved that the house is indeed made for a crowd. Most popular features of the house for the kids were tower top, bell butler and crawlspace closet in hallway.
We tracked down the gazebo that Governor Holley gave to his wife in 1859! As you can see in first two photos, from the 1860s, formal gardens were created around it. It was sold in the tag sale before we bought the house, but Peggy O'Brien connected us with the buyers who kindly allowed us to buy it back. Rob, Matt, Bill and Larry worked yesterday to piece the parts together, like a puzzle. Today, Matt cut out diamond shapes in a new plank to match the old, which was rotted. The gazebo is only halfway up but already looks magical.
who we are
We are a couple of Upper West Siders from NYC who never set out to buy an old mansion in Connecticut. But the moment we walked through its massive front door, we were smitten. The info on this site is earnestly cobbled from a variety of sources, including the web. Please let us know if we've gotten something wrong, or if there's a story about Holleywood you'd like to share.