Quintessential Rowayton Mom of the 1950s
June’s formal name was Helen Harwood Magill. “June” was a nick name for “Junior”. She was born at Brooklyn Hospital on September 28th, 1919. Funny thing but we have always celebrated her birthday on the 27th. It was a little bit weird discovering this a few months ago.
Left to right
1. Leland with Helen Tousley at Coney Island with Pratt Institute friends in 1915 (furthest to right); Leland and Helen married in 1918.
2. June at about six-months; picture developed in April 1920.
3. June in either Dec 1930 or Jan 1931 at the age 11 with sisters Kate (age 6) and Mary Lois (about 6 months).
4. Milton Garden kids around 1931: June Magill’s face is partially hidden in back; to the right of June are Jean and Tommy (Betty) St. Claire who lived in the house on lot 5/6; Nancy Adamson (Foster), who lived next to June in the house on lot 17/18, is between June and Jean slightly in front.
5. June, Lois, and Kate sitting on the front step of the Magill house on lot 19/20 in about 1931 or 32.
6. June at about 15 or 16 around the time the Magills left Milton Gardens.
June’s father, Leland Magill, was from Massachusetts and had received an architectural degree from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. This is where Leland met June’s mother, Helen Tousley from Saranac Lake NY (next to Leland on far right). With baby June, they moved to Rye NY around 1919-1920 where Leland had gone into business designing and building nice houses, mostly in the Milton Gardens section of Rye. This is where June and sister Kate, and later sister Lois, lived until around 1935 and where they met Nancy Adamson (Foster), eventually our neighbor in Rowayton CT.
Milton Gardens is also where the Magills met the Leavitt family that had moved to this country in 1927 from Istambul/Constantinople Turkey and had rented one of Leland’s homes (on Lot 7). The Leavitts brought four kids into the neighborhood – eldest Peter (eldest), Ruth, John, and youngest Ann.
1. Peter, Ruth, Anne, and John (clockwise); picture probably taken in fall of 1927 or spring of 1928 when Peter was 14 or 15.
2. June (back right) almost flirting with John with Kate standing in front of John; June always spoke about having a crush on John. This large tree is in the hollow area between houses on lot 19/20 (Magills) and lot 7 (Leavitts).
3. Leavitt family after leaving Milton Gardens in the 1930s: Peter, dad Aurthur, mother Elsie, John, Ruth and Anne.
Peter was a big kid, seven years older than June, so June played with Ruth, John and Ann. Then, the Great Depression slowly broke up this neighborhood during the early-mid 1930s. Read the rest of this entry »