The Real (estate) Value
About six months ago I received a Facebook message from Kim Tamalonis, a fellow Greenwich Academy alum, asking if it was too late to consider a nomination for our annual Light a Fire Awards, which honor the volunteer efforts of people in our community who are doing extraordinary things. Unfortunately the voting had closed. But after digging a little deeper, I realized that Bill Strain, the gentleman she was suggesting for his lifelong involvement with the Round Hill Volunteer Fire Department, was a true gem filled with memories and anecdotes of the Greenwich of yesteryear.
Bill’s family has owned the Round Hill Market and Round Hill Service Station for more than 100 years. He speaks of the days when family farms thrived, Friday nights were reserved for dances and the Moore estate opened its gates for the Scottish Games. He has become an iconic fixture on Round Hill Road, at the station every day fixing, building, working (but he will always find time to share a story or two).
It seemed all too fitting to introduce you to Bill in this, our annual real estate issue. Yes, every April we examine the market for the winds of change; we explore mortgage rates, average home prices and the number of homes sold; we take the temperature of Realtors and lenders. But in addition, we like to highlight the softer, gentler side of what makes living here priceless—the heart of our town. We think after reading Bill’s story (“The Soul of Round Hill,” page 82), you’ll agree that we nailed it this year.
Also in this issue we go island hopping off our own little piece of the coast. Today the Greenwich islands bring to mind ferry rides, beach days and camping trips but a look into their past reveals a ton of fascinating and quirky stories of shipwrecks, ghosts, murder, mansions and so much more.
Sure, real estate values are about quantifiable influences—the investments we make are important. But there is the intangible value that comes from living in a town with history. And though times have changed, we’re pretty confident that today’s interesting characters, grand estates and town personality will be great fodder for this magazine 100 years from now.