Libby and Al Hollingsworth lived at 64 Fair Street in Guilford, CT, for nearly 45 years and were very fond of strolling. But they never got very far because everyone in the neighborhood stopped them along the way for a chat.
Libby and Al were instrumental in the creation of the Guilford Town Center Historic District, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Since 1837, the Spencer Foundry on Fair Street spewed sparks from its chimney over the neighborhood of historic wooden homes. When it closed in the early 1980s, the new owner planned on building more than 35 apartments on the property (for weekenders, he said).
Libby and Al — along with all the neighbors on Fair Street and Broad Street — spent years raising money via bake sales and tag sales to pay lawyers to help them fight the development. In the end, the owner built 12 beautiful condos, six of them in the brick Foundry.
Libby was born and raised in the Mississippi delta. After Al retired, they spent their winters in her family home in Port Gibson, MS, where they were also very active in historic preservation.
Libby served as director of the North Guilford Nursery School, as president of the Yale New Haven Hospital Auxiliary, and as a member of the Board of Trustees of Yale New Haven Hospital. Both Al and Libby were Mississippi master gardeners.
Libby passed away from kidney cancer this July. As I went door-to-door to twenty-seven houses to ask for permission to put up historic markers for our Stroll, I learned just exactly how much everyone on Fair Street misses her. Libby’s bright smile, contagious laughter, that glorious Mississippi accent, and her positive spirit were marvelous gifts to everyone.
18 Fair Street