It was the green grass and the solid education that drew Pat and Hud Stoddard to New Canaan in 1956. It was the community they found that kept them here for the 64 years since. Where else could they go to a cocktail party and come home with a pony? Patchy the spotted pony settled in on Sunset Hill Road where the Stoddards put down roots.
As their family grew so did their network. Pat joined the League of Women Voters and the Charter Revision Commissions. Her husband served on the school board.
More people came in the years that followed, and New Canaan’s community grew around them. Hulking houses on shrinking lots changed the face of the countryside as monster cars snarled the winding roads. Public institutions also grew to offer an astonishing array of programs: the library brought enrichment, Waveny offered paddle, hiking and swimming, the Lapham Center’s contribution to the community seemed limitless. So it was natural that Pat’s friends Ellie and Hank O’Neill proposed starting a program so people could “stay put” as they aged, Pat was all in and Staying Put was born. The organization promised to boost the quality of life offering transport and resources for people wanting to stay home as they aged, and it has.
Despite all the changes in town since their arrival in 1956, some things stayed the same. The town’s charm remained, the railways, thruways and parkways being allowed close enough to deliver people, but not so close that they changed the integrity of downtown. Pat and Hud stayed, and their daughter Jane eventually married and bought their house, raising her kids there too. Generation to generation to generation, the family has stayed, contributing to and depending upon the very sanctuary that drew the family here 64 years ago.
Pat Stoddard and her granddaughter Allison.
Hud Stoddard and his daughter Jane.
Special delivery on Sunset Hill Road.