Ahrens-Fontaine Family Collection

 

Windsor Historical Society

96 Palisado Avenue, Windsor, CT 06095

© Windsor Historical Society of Windsor, Connecticut, Inc.

 

 

Creators:          Ahrens, Vivian G., 1904-1990

                        Fontaine, Florence A., 1930-2003

                        Fontaine, Marianne F., 1958-

Dates:              1900 – 1965, bulk dates 1930-1959

Extent:             2 linear feet archival materials, 3 textile boxes

Accession #:    2012.47

 

Biographical Notes

Four generations of the Ahrens, Goddard, and Fontaine families are represented in this collection. William August Jacob Ahrens (April 21, 1843 – June 1, 1926) was born in Germany and immigrated to East Granby, CT where he made a living as a farmer and cigar maker. He and his second wife Christina Kalmbach were the parents of Theodore Roosevelt Ahrens (January 12, 1902 – June 16, 1983). Ted was born and raised in East Granby, but moved to Windsor, CT with his new bride in 1928. He has been described as charming and personable, qualities which led to a successful career selling, installing, and repairing household appliances. During leisure time he enjoyed hunting, fishing, and filming home movies. His wife, the former Vivian Goddard (July 9, 1904 – November 6, 1990), was the daughter of Charles and Alice Goddard of Firetown Rd., Simsbury, CT. She maintained the business and household account books, enjoyed traveling, stylish fashions, social activities, and furnishing her home. She was interested in modern methods of infant care and her children were born at a hospital in the city of Hartford. Both she and her husband served as neighborhood air raid wardens during World War II. It is her propensity for saving records and memorabilia which has contributed substantially to this collection.

 

Ted and Vivian had two children: Florence Ahrens (October 22, 1930–August 22, 2003) and Earl G. Ahrens (November 12, 1935 – ). They grew up at 25 Remington Rd. in Windsor and attended local schools. Florence spent a year at Bay Path Junior College and then married Francis A. Fontaine in 1952. Their children Marianne F. Fontaine (June 9, 1958 – ) and Mark A. Fontaine (July 8, 1959 – 1991) attended John Fitch School for several years before the young family moved to Granby, CT in 1966.

 

Scope and Contents

This collection of photographs, clothing, fashion accessories, personal papers and memorabilia spans four generations of the Theodore R. Ahrens family of Windsor, CT.  The bulk of the collection dates from 1930-1959. The documentary materials include business and household expense ledgers, family and school class photographs, baby record books, and a 1952 wedding planning book. Highlights of the clothing portion of the collection include baby clothes from the 1930s and 1950s, men’s bathing suits, several ladies’ dresses from the 1950s, and a Victorian silk dress with provenance from Ethel Ellsworth Geer. Personal and fashion accessories include items such as ladies’ gloves, fur and velvet muffs, child’s parasol, and dresser sets.

 

Arrangement

The personal papers and photographs are arranged by provenance in chronological order.

 

Box and Folder List for Personal Papers and Photographs

Document Box 1

William A. J. Ahrens (1843-1926)

1.1          Personal photographs, receipts, cigar maker’s advertisement

 

Theodore R. Ahrens (1902-1983)

1.2          Family photographs, East Granby school class photographs

1.3          Personal papers, hunting dog registration papers

1.4          Identification card and training materials for service as neighborhood air raid warden during WWII, civil defense training handbooks, warden report forms, list of sector wardens on Remington Road, Selective Service registration cards

1.5          Purchase of property and mortgage for home at 25 Remington Rd., Windsor

1.6          Receipts for furnishings for home at 25 Remington Rd., Windsor

1.7          Ledger of business accounts including purchases from suppliers 1946-1987

1.8          Pressboard molded advertising templates for appliance sales

1.9          Pressboard molded advertising templates for appliance sales

1.10        Cookbooks from Hotpoint Appliances, 1920s, and First Church in Windsor, 1957

 

Document Box 2

Vivian Goddard Ahrens (1904-1990)

2.1        Family photographs

2.2        Personal papers, social activities

2.3        Papers and arm band from service as neighborhood air raid warden during WWII

2.4        Ledgers of household accounts including utilities, taxes, insurance, etc.; two volumes covering 1955-1975 and 1969-1990

2.5        Prenatal and infant care handbooks written for new mothers and published by the US Dept. of Labor, 1929

2.6        Baby cards received at birth of son in 1935

 

Document Box 3

Florence Ahrens Fontaine (1930-2003)

3.1        Personal and family photographs

3.2        Baby record book for Florence with various gift lists, locks of hair, growth charts, school photographs, and 1952 wedding photograph

3.3        Records of schooling at Roger Ludlow School, H. Sidney Hayden School, John Fitch High School, and Bay Path Jr. College; 1945 Tunxis yearbook

3.4        Children’s Activities magazine, ten issues from 1938-1939

3.5        Wedding record book and honeymoon memorabilia

3.6        Wrapping paper samples from the 1950s

 

Document Box 4

Marianne F. Fontaine (1958-  )

4.1        Family photographs, John Fitch School class photographs, report cards

4.2        Baby record book for Marianne with snapshots, genealogy, growth charts

 

Mark A. Fontaine (1959-1991)

4.3        John Fitch School class photographs

4.4        Baby record book for Mark with congratulatory cards, photographs

 

Related Materials

Subject files:    

Businesses – Retail stores -- Appliances

Schools – John Fitch

            Wars – World War II

 

Subject Terms

Ahrens, Earl G., 1935-

Ahrens, Theodore R., 1902-1983

Ahrens, Vivian G., 1904-1990

Ahrens, William A. J., 1843-1926

Fontaine, Florence A., 1930-2003

Fontaine, Francis A.

Fontaine, Mark A., 1959-1991

Fontaine, Marianne F., 1958-

Household appliances--Maintenance and repair – Connecticut -- Windsor

Windsor (Conn.) – Social life and customs

Windsor (Conn.) – Businesses

 

Custodial history

The Ahrens-Fontaine Family Collection was processed in September and October 2012 by WHS curator Christina Vida and librarian Barbara Goodwin. The clothing and personal fashion accessories were re-evaluated on-site in direct comparison to objects already in the Society collections and then some items were returned to the donor. The accepted clothing and accessories were photographed and cataloged in PastPerfect by Christina Vida. Barbara Goodwin cataloged the documentary materials and photographs and then prepared the finding aid in November 2012. Home movie films taken by Theodore Ahrens may be added to the collection at a later date.

 

 

 

Return to Finding Aids listing

 

Copyright © 2010 by Windsor Historical Society of Windsor, Connecticut, Inc.

Webmaster