I had mentioned a few things in an earlier post about Beekman, Ed Burns and Marydon Cottage.
Ed Burns lived in an old two story house where the road curves just east of the Sylvan Lake turnoff on Beekman Road. The house was set on a hill and next to it was Ed’s garage which was a one story structure and had been there since, I guess the 1920s. The house and garage are now gone, taken to straighten out Beekman Road where the Soccer field entrance now is.
Ed was as good a car mechanic as anyone around here could find. He was always single, way overweight and lived in the house with his old mother and his dog Rover. As far as I know Ed never worked on a foreign car. Not because he didnt want to, although he would have had to get a set of metric wrenches, but just because everyone in those days had Fords or Chevys.
When I was in my 20s I bought a 1930 Model A Ford tudor sedan. It had had an electrical fire and I overpaid for it, $300. Ed helped me put the car right and I was amazed at how he could look at that car, see a part was needed and rummage around the shelves in the back of the garage until he found the right part.
Ed worked only at night. If you went by at 1 in the morning Ed would be out there working away. The garage was heated by a wood burning stove made from a 55 gallon drum which he fed just enough to keep the place from freezing.
In those days there were three of four garages like Ed’s, small, one car at a time. Muggsie Davis’s father was on 55 and had started working on Model Ts, probably when they first came out. The only person of that generation left is George, whose garage is next to Davis but he rents it out now. His backyard was filled with old cars that had been driven in and left for probably 30 years. George would’t sell you a part off those old wrecks and they stayed there until they were bulldozed for the road next to the new library.
I think Ed’s house must have been on some hobo route because from time to time a couple would come to sleep out in a shed behind the garage. They were a rough looking couple but seemed to come back every few years. I remember Ed once telling me that the woman, who was skinny as a rail, could pick up a model T engine by herself.
Now on to Marydon cottage. That is still there right before you get to the entrance to Stop and Shop. When Mary and Don bought the land and built the house, they thought it would be nice to build a pond. They dug a big hole and waited. In the last 30 years or so the pond never filled in so they built a swimming pool which you can see from the road. But if you look carefully you can see where the pond would have gone had there been a spring or stream. It’s pretty much filled in by trees and bushes but who knows, maybe one day it will fill in.