Images of residents, their family and friends, and their lives
Dick Everett was born in 1931 in Wilton, NH. His family moved to Belmont, MA, in 1937, buying a "nice house on a wretched piece of land." He's about 12 in this picture, the age at which he got a job working on Stanley Steamer automobiles (1942).
Dick at about the age when he and his buddies would drive weekends from Salem, MA, to Fort Lee, NJ, to buy gas for 9 1/2 cents per gallon at the Red Apple Diner truck stop. They filled two lashed-together 40-gallon tanks with gasoline for the 4-hour ride back.
Drafted into the Army during the Korean War, Dick was trained in guided missile repair (1953).
During the war, Dick specialized in missile liquid propulsion. Post-war, he worked for a Newfield, CT, company that manufactured arming devices for missile warheads and then was a partner in a company that made highly corrosion- and abrasion-resistant tiles of porcelain bonded to aluminum. Their biggest job was supplying all the tile for the Holland Tunnel.
Dick and Mary married in 1957. They bought a house dating to 1704 in East Haddam, where they raised three daughters.
After a few years working as a marine engine mechanic in Essex, he started blacksmithing in the 1960s to make nails, hinges, pintles, and other items for his new old house. Clients discovered his work and started to place orders.
In 1962, Dick built a blacksmith shop behind his house. His work soon was in demand from museums and large restorations.
Clients included museums (Sturbridge, Winterthur, Williamsburg, Shelburne, Plimoth Plantation, Wadsworth Atheneum, and others), restoration architects, and homeowners.
Dick became known nationally for his blacksmithing, a career that spanned several decades.
A picture from a 1960s Yankee Magazine profile. Dick's posing with a Colonial-style roaster engine for driving a fireplace spit.
Forging, from the 1960s Yankee article.
Dick's creative and restoration blacksmithing skills were featured twice in Yankee Magazine.
At the Guilford Crafts Expo, where he won the blue ribbon for best of show several times during the late 1960s to early 1970s.
In his blacksmith shop during the 1970s. Dick trained a number of apprentices, who later became key ironworkers at Williamsburg, Old Sturbridge, Mystic Seaport, and Plimoth Plantation.
A reproduction John Warner latch he made for East Haddam's Congregational Church. His work is a part of numerous historic structures all over the state (1990).
Dick regularly presented to the East Haddam Historical Society and other groups on a variety of subjects. This Hebron Historical Society newsletter refers to his previous talk on "The Development of the Center Chimney in the Connecticut Valley" and his upcoming talk on "2,000 Years of Lighting."
Dick's expertise in engines started in childhood when he was entranced with how his new wind-up car toy could go up his basement bulkhead door.
Mary and Dick loved competing in 1950s road rallies. This shot is at the Haddam Rollin' on the River car show (2013).
Driving a 1943 Chevy military truck during a Rollin' on the River car show in Haddam.
An original Warner latch on the Everett home.
Each summer, Dick sailed his circa-1900 replica of a fishing schooner, Vernon Langille, from Hamburg Cove to Martha's Vineyard and back at season's end. It is an entirely open boat with no cabin or deckhouse.
Dick's touchmark, which he impressed on all his work.
Dick has made hundreds of model airplanes for himself and clients. This is an indoor model (2023).
Model airplane tools. He was awarded a lifetime member of the Academy of Model Aeronautics (2023).
Dick started blacksmithing by hand-forging Colonial-style nails for his own house.