Gould Family (1729-1891) and Gould Homestead (1908-1977) Papers
Ms 6

Summary Information

Fairfield Museum and History Center
Gould family
Gould Foundation (Fairfield, Conn.) .
Gould, John, 1801-1871
Gould Family (1729-1891) and Gould Homestead (1908-1977) Papers
Ms 6
1729-1891, 1908-1977
1.75 Linear feet (4 boxes; 4 oversize items; 1,000 items approx)

Preferred Citation note

Item, Collection Title, Collection number (Box #, Folder #). Fairfield Museum and History Center, Fairfield, Connecticut.

Return to Table of Contents »

Biographical/Historical note

Nathan Gold of St. Edmondsbury, England arrived in the new village of Fairfield in the year 1648, establishing within a short time his preeminence in the community as, among other things, constable, assistant judge of Connecticut's General Assembly, and the commander of Fairfield's militia. His descendents carried on this tradition of civic responsibility: his son, Nathan, Jr. (d. 1723), served as Lieutenant Governor of Connecticut for many years; his great-grandson, Colonel Abraham Gold (1732-1777) was killed fighting the British in Ridgefield, CT; and his last male descendant, Captain John Gould (1801-1871), served as notary public, representative (and later senator) in Connecticut's General Assembly, railroad commissioner, moderator of town meetings and United States Marshall by appointment of President Abraham Lincoln.

Captain John Gould was also a businessman, the owner of a fleet of schooners that over a period of approximately forty years (1826-1865) plied trade between New York City and Richmond, VA and later Liverpool, England. A measure of his success, both as a businessman and as a public official, was the stately mansion known as Gould Homestead which he had built in 1840. This Greek revival home stood at 172 Post Road in Fairfield until 1956, when it was torn down to be replaced by a Food Fair supermarket.

The Gould Homestead was the site of the Gould Homestead Summer Home for Women during the years 1910-1955. The Gould Homestead Summer Home for Women was established under the will of Captain Gould's daughter, Elizabeth Gould (1825-1908) to provide a free vacation home to working women of Fairfield County.

After the demolition of the original Homestead in 1956, the vacation home was run at 85 Post Rd., Fairfield. By 1967 however, the Homestead no longer attracted working women as a vacation home. The trustees of the Gould estate then established a scholarship fund for female residents of Fairfield County, initially under the auspices of the Gould Foundation (1968-1977) and later (1977 to present) under the management of Bridgeport University.


Banks, Elizabeth V. H. This is Fairfield: 1639-1940. New Haven: The Walker-Rackliff Company, 1960.

Cutter, Richard, et al., ed. Genealogical and Family History of the State of Connecticut., Vol. II, pp.757-758. New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1911.

Hurd, D. Hamilton. History of Fairfield County, Connecticut, with Illustrations and Biographical Sketches of Its Prominent Men and Pioneers. pp. 317-320. Philadelphia: L. W. Lewis and Company, 1881.

Return to Table of Contents »

Scope and Contents note

This collection is composed of 4 boxes of documents and account books and 4 oversize items--an account book and three photographs. The bulk of the collection consists of the papers, both personal and business, of Captain John Gould. The personal papers of the Captain range from numerous bills for tailor-made clothes to poetry on small bits of paper. Equally diverse are his business papers, which include not only bills but also insurance and sales contracts for his schooners and a few letters regarding cargoes of the same.

Also in this collection are: (1) some older Gould family papers, chiefly legal documents (which are quite fragile); (2) legal documents, correspondence, reports and newspaper clippings of the Gould Homestead Summer Home for Women (later the Gould Foundation); and (3) photographs of the Gould family members and their residence, the Homestead.

Within the folders, the arrangement is alphabetical according to subject matters where feasible, and within those categories, chronological. Otherwise, chronological order prevails.

Return to Table of Contents »

Administrative Information

Publication Information

Fairfield Museum and History Center

370 Beach Rd.
Fairfield, CT

Conditions Governing Access note

There are no restrictions on access to this collection.

Conditions Governing Use note

Use of the material requires compliance with the Fairfield Museum and History Center regulations.

Custodial History note

Items in this collection were donated by Eleanor S. Cathcart, Elbert S. Overbaugh and other unknown donors. Accession numbers L1983.July.1 and L1986.June.6 also make up the collection.

Processing Information note

This collection was processed by Angela Suter in March 1981.

Return to Table of Contents »

Controlled Access Headings

Personal Name(s)

  • Gould, Elizabeth B. (Elizabeth Burr), 1825-1908


  • Account books--Connecticut--Fairfield.
  • Correspondence.
  • Endowments
  • Houses--Connecticut--Fairfield
  • Photographs.
  • Receipts(financial records)
  • Ships

Return to Table of Contents »

Collection Inventory

Box I 

 Folder A Bills, contracts, legal documents, miscellaneous 1729-1823   19 items

Contracts for sale of land   5 items

Writs   2 items

Inventory and distribution of estate of Abraham Gold 1778-1779 

Account between Hezekiah Gold and Elizabeth Gold 1777-1783 

Bills   2 items

Miscellaneous notes   2 items

 Folder B Captain John Gould bills, personal   20 items



Doctor 1826-1844 

Groceries 1827-1836 

Hotel accommodations 1840-1848 

 Folder C Captain John Gould bills, personal   29 items

Housewares 1834-1835 

Liquor 1835-1836 

Postage 1834, 1841 

State and town taxes 

 Folder D Captain John Gould bills, personal   25 items

Tailoring and fabrics 1834-1845 

 Folder E Captain John Gould bills, personal   24 items

Tuition 1832-1844 

 Folder F Captain John Gould bills, personal   19 items

Wages 1834-1844 

Wagon repair 1835-1838 


 Folder G Captain John Gould bills, business   9 items

Allen and Paxson Co. 1832-1844 

Gilbert Allen and Co. 1830-1832 

 Folder H Captain John Gould bills, business   12 items

John Pitts, Captain of the Schooner Hornet 1833-1835 

 Folder I Captain John Gould bills, business   14 items

John Pitts, Captain of the Schooner Hornet 1835-1837 

 Folder J Captain John Gould bills, business   25 items

Doane Sturges and Company 1833-1837 

 Folder K Captain John Gould bills, business   5 items

Schermerhorn Willis and Co. 1833-1834 

 Folder L Captain John Gould bills for schooners   36 items

Courier n.d. 

Greenway 1844-1845 

Hornet 1833-1837 

 Folder M Captain John Gould bills for Schooner Hornet   22 items

Provisions 1833-1837 

Sails and sail making 1833-1836 

Commissions, procuring, advertising 1834-1837 

Harbor Master's fees 1833, 1837 

 Folder N Captain John Gould bills and letter for schooners   27 items

Hornet miscellaneous bills 1833-1837 

Hornet letter, signature illegible 1832 

Lynchburg bills 1843-1847 

 Folder O Captain John Gould letters, legal documents and bills for schooners   25 items

Lynchburg letters 1838-1839   3 items

Richmond bills 1839-1844 

Virgina bill, letter and statement of foundering 1848, 1854, n.d. 

Contract to build ships 1836, 1845 

receipt for payment on ships being built 1844-1845 

 Folder P Captain John Gould schooners' sales and insurance contracts   18 items

Contracts for sale of ships 1831, 1843, 1850 

Statement of ownership of ships 1831, 1844 

Insurance contracts 1826, 1856-1865 

 Folder Q Captain John Gould bills of lading, account with Walter Thorp and miscellaneous business letters   19 items

Bills of lading 1832-1845 

Letter from Schermerhorn Willis and Co. 1834 

Letter from R. Hoyt 1839 

Letter from James Stubs 1849 

Letter from James Piker 1852 

Account with Walter Thorp 1836-1837 

Bills and account re: Gould's role as administrator of Walter Thorp's estate 1836-1844 

 Folder R Captain John Gould miscellaneous business papers and bills, cancelled checks   63 items

Papers re: Gould's role as school commissioner 1835 

Papers re: Gould's role as railroad commissioner 1859 

Papers re: Gould's role as United States Marshall 186? 

Papers re: Gould's role as delegate to state conventions 1848, 1855 

Bills paid by Gould for Samuel A. Nichols 1832, 1838 

Cancelled checks 1859-1870 

 Folder S Captain John Gould miscellaneous   31 items


Receipts 1835, 1836 

Promissory notes 1858, 1866 

Notes (undated arithmetic figuring) 

 Folder T Captain John Gould undated papers found in account books II, III, IV, and V   15 items

 Folder U Bills, contracts, miscellaneous 1872-1891   18 items

Bills 1872-1886 

Contract for sale of land 1885 

Letters 1872, 1875, 1888 

Miscellaneous 1876-1891 

Letters to Jeremiah Gould re: cow's death on railroad tracks 1851-1853 

Calling cards-E. Gould and Mrs. J. Gould 

 Folder V Gould Homestead: Papers relating to Management of Elizabeth R. Gould's trust   18 items

Legal documents re: assets of trust 1914, 1955 

Minutes of trustees' meetings 1951-1956 

Treasurer's report 1955 

Correspondence among trustees (see box for full list) 1949-1956 

 Folder W Gould Homestead: Documents relating to sites and contents   16 items

Legal documents (contracts for sale of property, etc.) 1951-1955 

Correspondence (see box for full list) 1941-1956 

Inventory 1932 

 Folder X Gould Homestead: Its management as vacation home   67 items

Leaflet 1910 

Notes for speech 1923 

Receipts of expenses 1835 

Autobiography of Katherine M. Spaulding 1935 

Letter, list and pamphlet for donation 1941 

Thank-you notes from guests 1951, 1966 

Monthly reports of expenses 1955, 1965-1967 

"The American's Creed" DAR publication 

"The Gould Homestead: A Memorial" pamphlet 

Gould Homestead leaflet 


 Folder Y Gould Homestead: Newspaper clippings   25 items

 Folder Z Gould Foundation   5 items

Newspaper clippings 1968-1977 

University of Bridgeport report to donors 1968-1969 

Return to Table of Contents »

Box II 

 Folder A Captain John Gould account books   2 items

Mechanics Bank 1838-1854 

Schooner Hornet 1828-1837 

 Folder B Captain John Gould account books   2 items

Miscellaneous figures 1822-1854 

Schooners Lynchburg and  Richmond 1834-1846 

 Folder C Books   2 items

Julia Gould's friendship book 1854-1858 

Gould Homestead reunions 1941, 1947, 1959 

 Folder D Gould Homestead Guestbook 1910-1914 

 Folder E Gould Homestead Guestbook 1914-1919 

 Folder F Gould Homestead Guestbook 1919-1923 

 Folder G Gould Homestead Guestbook 1941-1966 

Return to Table of Contents »

Box III 

Gould Homestead record books 

Minutes of trustees' meetings and annual reports 1909-1914 

Minutes of trustees' meetings and annual reports 1913-1966 

 Folder A Loose papers from record books   14 items

 Folder B Gould family photographs   13 items

 Folder C Gould Homestead photographs and negatives, exterior   68 items

 Folder D Gould Homestead photographs, interior   12 items

Return to Table of Contents »

Box IV 

 Folder A Gould Homestead Photographs, miscellaneous people and pets   45 items

 Folder B Miscellaneous acquisitions   5 items

 Folder C Gould Homestead financial reports 1946-1951   48 items

 Folder D Gould Homestead financial reports 1952-1955   36 items

 Folder E Gould Homestead financial reports 1956-1958   36 items

 Folder F Gould Homestead financial reports 1959-1963   48

 Folder G Gould Homestead application 

Return to Table of Contents »

 Oversize Item A Captain John Gould account book V 1840-1843 

Return to Table of Contents »

Three photographs of Gould Homestead 


Return to Table of Contents »