What does Llewellyn Park, New Jersey have to do with Bix Beiderbecke, the jazz trumpeter? They are connected, if only through my web meandering yesterday. Maybe everything is connected at some level but I thought I might share with you the path of my meanderings as an example of what you can learn along the way.
I was looking at a book that is a chronology of automobile events. In the chapter on pre-automobile events, I found this entry:
1856That got me curious about both Llewellyn Park and Alexander Jackson Davis, which sent me off to Wikipedia. Today, Llewellyn Park is home to perhaps a few hundred extremely wealthy individuals. From the beginning, the community was planned to provide beautiful mountainside vistas to the residents. Estates varied in size from a couple of acres to ten acres, all nestled within the woods and highly-planned landscaping for a suburban Eden. The development was the brainchild of Llewellyn Solomon Haskell, a prominent New York City businessman who asked the architect, Alexander Jackson Pope to design his new suburban community. When it was built, Llewellyn Park was as close to downtown Manhattan as was Central Park. Thomas Edison built his palatial estate, Glenmont, in Llewellyn Park.
Alexander Jackson Davis designs Llewellyn Park, New Jersey, the first suburban subdivision in the United States. Planned in the romantic style with curving, non-gridiron streets.
|Glenmont, Edison's Estate|
|U.S Customs House, New York City|
The Keeley Institute was probably the first U.S. institution to treat alcohol and drug addiction as a disease, rather than a moral failing. The founders of the Institute were Leslie E. Keeley, a doctor in Dwight, John R. Oughton, a local druggist, and a Fargo, N.D. merchant named Curtis Judd. The treatment they devised was an injectable concoction that they termed "bi-chlorides of gold".
The first Keeley Institute was opened in Dwight, Ill in 1879 with the slogan, "Drunkenness is a disease and I can cure it." The treatment which consisted of four injections a day plus other remedies plus rest became known as the "Keeley Cure". The Cure turned out to be a huge moneymaker for Dr. Keeley and his compatriots. They built a complex of buildings consisting of offices, laboratories, and a hotel to house their patients. By sheer coincidence, I had come across a Detroit Photographic Company image of the Keeley office building a while back in Dwight - a magnificent Richardsonian structure with an enormous portal - taken sometime before 1902 when the building complex burned in a fire.
|Keeley Institute Office circa 1902|
And so that is how Llewellyn Park is connected to Bix Beiderbecke. It is a connection built on links between seemingly-unrelated subjects. Yet, the world is connected through just such random links. I love the internet but I sometimes hate it when I get off on one of these tangents. Nonetheless, I learned a lot for just one day. May you be so blessed (or cursed).