Conn. officials solve postcard mystery





Officials now know who wrote a 50-year-old postcard that has intrigued Stratford residents, but they may never solve the mystery of how it arrived at town hall earlier this year.

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The cellophane-wrapped postcard, postmarked Aug. 14, 1957, showed up in January, more than 50 years after it was sent from East Sumner, Maine, to Stratford Town Manager Harry Flood, who died in 1966.

"Hi, Enjoying this rather fallish weather. It was 44 degrees yesterday. See you next week. Alice," it read.

Fairfield genealogist Melanie Marks did some sleuthing and concluded the postcard might have been sent to Flood by Alice Staples, the widow of an assistant town clerk at the time.

The two lived on the same street, had the same circle of friends and are buried a few feet apart in a Bridgeport cemetery.

But that wasn't the end of the story.

James Merrill, 85, grew up in East Sumner and was so intrigued that he sent a copy of a Connecticut Post story about Marks' conclusions to his daughter, Jan Merrill-Oldham, a preservationist librarian at Harvard University who lives in Cambridge, Mass.

She quickly recognized the handwriting on the postcard.

"It was the unmistakable handwriting of my mother Alice (Merrill), and I just stared at it and couldn't believe the story was saying it was written by someone else," she said. "I called my father and teased him and said, 'Dad, don't you even know your own wife's handwriting?'"

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