Submitted by Claudette Lagasse, Killingworth Historical Society.
Editor’s Note: This is the fourth in a series about the Historic Women of Killingworth. In 2001 Sandy Smith proposed making small replicas of Historical Killingworth Women. Each doll was sold for $15 as a fundraiser for the Historical Society. Five dolls were made, one for each year 2001-2005. The first article can be found HERE. The second article can be found HERE. The third article can be found HERE. Below is the information that was included with the Ruth Warner Robinson doll.
RUTH WARNER ROBINSON
FOLK ARTIST, SCULPTOR, ILLUSTRATOR, POET, STORYTELLER, WRITER OF BOOKS
Our Fourth “Historic Women of Killingworth”
Christmas Doll Ornament
Ruth W. Robinson was a lively Killingworth folk artist and is still well known to the town’s old-timers for her quaint, colorful farm scene paintings and charming sculptures of farm folk and animals.
Born on Christmas Day, 1906, Ruth was the daughter of Harris J. and Florence H. Warner. She lived on a 100-acre farm in the Mount Carmel section of Hamden, CT, until her father decided to sell the farm because automobiles were taking over the roads. (Harris peddled his vegetables and dairy products driving to New Haven on his wagon.) The 1920 census reveals the family living on a farm in Killingworth (now the Country Squire), which Ruth described “as going back in time to a generation before.” To quote from her book, Tomorrow Became Yesterday: “Pa and Ma wanted no modern interference in their rearing of us. They felt fortunate to have found a farm for sale in a community so far removed from the changing cultures becoming so evident in the more urbanized areas.”
Ruth’s memories of both farms are captured in her oil paintings, as well as her short stories, books, and wood carvings. Her inspirations were simple pleasures of living the country life….the scent of flowers, plowing, haying, berry picking, the birds, and farm animals. Quoting from Chapters From My Childhood: “I like to scoop up the memories of my childhood, as though in my hands, allowing the little hardships and unhappiness’s to sift away through my fingers, saving only the memories worth retaining to be relived over again.”
In the late 1920’s Ruth met her future husband, Frank G. Robinson, while staying with her aunt and uncle in Vermont. Later, they were blessed with a beloved daughter, Emogene, and settled in Killingworth in 1938.
This year’s doll is a replica of a child character (could she be Ruth herself?) from one of Ruth’s many books. Dressed in dark stockings, boots, apron, and braids, we put “Ruth” on a swing to express the great joy that lived inside her. She is signed and dated on the bottom of the swing.
Photos provided by Claudia Lagasse.