Blogcast #8: Harry Houdini’s Stamford Home

By Tom Interval

In 1904, Harry Houdini purchased a summer home on farmland in Stamford, Connecticut. For some unknown reason, he sold it a year later, and since then, only two other families have owned it. The original house burned down in the 1960s, but a replica was built on the original foundation, and two original wells still grace the property. To learn more, check out Blogcast #8: Harry Houdini’s Stamford Home below or directly on the Interval Magic YouTube channel (@intervalmagic).

About Interval Magic

Magician Tom Interval, owner of San Diego-based Interval Magic, provides magic entertainment and training to private and corporate clients locally and throughout the United States. A member of the Academy of Magical Arts (AMA), International Brotherhood of Magicians (IBM), and Society of American Magicians (SAM), Interval has captivated tens of thousands of people at numerous venues, including Busch Gardens theme park in Williamsburg, Virginia, where he performed as a medieval conjurer, trained employees of the magic shop, and promoted the park on several local TV talk shows along the East Coast. As an entertainer, business owner, and former marketing communications professional, Interval understands that the success of any event depends on how satisfied his clients' guests are. Whether it’s a trade show or 50th wedding anniversary, Interval is dedicated to providing his audiences with a highly visual, interactive, mind-boggling magic experience they’ll remember and talk about for years to come. To learn more, please visit www.intervalmagic.com.
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3 Responses to Blogcast #8: Harry Houdini’s Stamford Home

  1. Great work as always, Tom. Do we know Houdini’s exact purchase and sell dates of this property?

    • Thanks, John. I plan on doing an update later today or tomorrow based on information I should have included, but the only documentation I have so far for its purchase and sell dates is the following:

      PURCHASE
      Date: Thursday, September 22, 1904
      Parties: Leopold Weiss to Ehrich Weiss
      Area: Three tracts of land
      Price: $1.00
      (Source: Stamford Advocate, October 30, 2016, citing Renee Kahn)

      SELL
      Date: October 1905 (approximate; see below)
      Parties: Erich Weiss to Nathan M. Parker (see below)
      Area: 68 acres (see below)
      Price: TBD (see below)
      (Source: Stamford Advocate, Oct. 19, 1905, p. 1)

      Regarding the house’s selling, here’s the original text from the Stamford Advocate, Thursday, Oct. 19, 1905, Vol. 77 No. 9., p. 1, under “Transfers of Real Estate”:

      Among the deeds recently led for records in the Town Clerk’s office are the following: … Erich Weiss, New York, to Nathan M. Parker, Greenwich, 68 acres on Bedford Road near Webb’s Hill.

      I have a few questions, so I plan to do more research when I have time:

      • How much area is “three tracts of land,” the supposed amount he purchased in 1904?
      • If he originally purchased seven acres (three tracts?) as Renee et al. found, then how do we account for him selling about 70 acres a year later? Did he buy more land between the purchase and sell dates? Houdini, himself, claimed in a San Francisco Bulletin article that he purchased “a 70-acre farm at Stamford, Connecticut,” and the 1905 Advocate article seems to confirm that (claiming 68 acres, actually).
      • If you look at a satellite aerial shot of 286 Webb’s Hill Rd. (Webbs Hill Rd.) on Google Maps, you’ll see that one acre easily fits within the hillside going down to Long Ridge Rd. And I can easily visualize seven acres along that hillside going north and south. But 70 acres? That’s a massive amount of land. Did Houdini really own that, or was it not reported correctly?
      • Was Long Ridge Rd. formerly Bedford Rd.?

      I left a message with the city of Stamford in hopes they can give me the exact dates and purchase amounts.

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