Posts Tagged “1938 Hurricane”

Courtesy: The Connecticut Historical Society, Hartford, Connecticut
Kate Hepburn sifting thru the debris following 1938 Hurricane

Courtesy: The Connecticut Historical Society, Hartford, Connecticut

Kate Hepburn gathering keepsakes from 1938 Hurricane

Courtesy: The Connecticut Historical Society, Hartford, Connecticut

Hepburn devastated following Hurricane

Courtesy: The Connecticut Historical Society, Hartford, Connecticut

On September 21st, 1938,  it came without warning. As the story goes, Katharine Hepburn was out playing golf in Fenwick as the monster storm was approaching. Hepburn and many other rode out the storm in Fenwick.

There was no radar or satellite or buoys. Nobody had any idea about what was about to roar ashore. Many experts today believe it would be likened to what we now know as a category 4 Hurricane.

Nearly 700 died in the storm. Along coastal New England 9,000 homes were destroyed including the Hepburn place in Fenwick.

These pictures, from the Connecticut Historical Society, show Kate sifting thru the ruins. So vast was her love of Fenwick, she would rebuild the home within one year, raising it several feet to try and keep any more storms at bay and stronger, out of brick, not wood. Nearly 60 years later that brick has held up just fine, leave it to Kate.

See you at “The Kate.”
Ann Nyberg, Trustee, KHCAC

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The Former Home of Katharine Hepburn in the Fenwick Section of Old Saybrook, CT

The Former Home of Katharine Hepburn in the Fenwick Section of Old Saybrook, CT

For those of you who may be wondering what the former Fenwick, Connecticut home of Katharine Hepburn looks like today, here it is. Now owned by a New York developer, its exterior remains the same as when she rebuilt the “cottage” in 1939 after the original structure was destroyed in the 1938 Hurricane. It took her just one year to build a much sturdier rambling brick colonial. The first home had been made of wood. The new owner raised the home some 6-feet to protect it even further from any violent storm which might approach.

Katharine Hepburn called Fenwick her “real” home even though she was born and raised in Hartford, Connecticut. Hepburn is quoted by Stuart W. Little in his book “Home in Fenwick, A Memoir of a Place” as saying, ” I would go there (Fenwick) even if I could spend only an hour.” Incidentally if you want to know about the Borough of Fenwick check out Little’s book. He was a long-time resident of the summer community and his book is filled with a lot of History of the place that sites on Long Island Sound at the mouth of the Connecticut river.

See You At “The Kate!”
Ann Nyberg, Trustee, KHCAC

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