Friday, July 29, 2011

A real character: Captain Zeb


In keeping with the Stonington theme, I discovered this gentleman, Zebulon Hancox, at the Stonington Historical Society Old Lighthouse Museum.  Didn’t he have a great name?  Sometimes life really does give you better characters than anything you can find in fiction.  Although, if I ever put him in a story I’m afraid people would call him a clich√©.  I think he sounds brilliant, and I wish I could go back and drink a glass of hot buttered rum with him (the photo above looks like he could use one). I’d be the one buying of course.     

The photo above and the description below are from the Stonington Historical Society Museum:

"Born in 1808, he was an extremely eccentric member of an old Stonington family.  The girl of his choice refused to marry him because of his poverty, and it is said that he resolved to spend his life making enough money to satisfy her.  In 1899, at age 91, he died, leaving over $100,000.  Unfortunately, the girl had long since married another and died.

Captain Zeb made his fortune by fishing (always), by building houses to rent, and by never buying anything he could possibly do without.  He made all of his own clothes, and even whittled his own buttons. 

His name survives in Hancox Street.  Most of the fourteen houses that he owned when he died were in that neighborhood.

Cheers to you Captain Zeb!   

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