Miss Mary Graham Jones

Miss Mary Graham Jones was a director of the Hartford Social Settlement, an organization committed to bettering the lives of underprivileged inner-city children in the early 20th century. Miss Jones opened “Happy Cottage” in Haddam in 1906 as a place where poor urban children and young adults could spend a week or two in the country to enjoy and refresh.

The house located at the intersection of Walkley Hill and Saybrook Road could accommodate up to 15 guests, who would spend their visit hiking, swimming, boating or picking huckleberries. Children were invited regardless of their race, religion or background and kosher food was served. Local residents supported the cottage by donating fruits, vegetables and doing odd jobs around the property. Mr. Carlson who lived on Haddam Island, spent many hours entertaining and hosting “cottagers”.

Happy Cottage, however, was short-lived. Miss Jones died at the age of 47 in April of 1912 and the building ultimately sold. She and the residents of Haddam made summer pleasant and unforgettable for a number of less fortunate, inner-city children through kindness, generosity and hard-work.