124 SAGAMORE AVE. The Moot-Roosa family
The Moot-Roosa family’s stucco is notable for its two addresses and its unusual entrances. As you enter 124 Sagamore Avenue, you will actually be entering through what used to be the rear of the house, near the kitchen. The formal front entry, with its large foyer and double doors, now goes out to a yard on the other side of the house. It has a beautiful view of the Lower Mystic Lake, across the Mystic Valley Parkway, but thanks to a swath of public woods, one can’t access the house from the Parkway, despite its official address of 1416 Mystic Valley Parkway. We can only imagine that things looked very different when the house was originally constructed around 1910 by Mr. Hall, a local industrialist. At that time, the Parkway was a shady, winding dirt path, traveled by horses and buggies. People perhaps rode or walked to the “front” of the house up a narrow carriage way off of Ravine Road. Coming up that way, one would appreciate the formal front entry, with its copper-roofed portico, supported by large stucco pillars, and the
stone lions and griffins guarding the house from 2nd parapets.
The second noteworthy entrance to the house is best appreciated on Halloween, when it becomes the site of a very spooky Haunted Tunnel. Ask any neighborhood child and they’ll tell you about 124 Sagamore Ave! On Halloween night, the garage doors swing up, and inside is a dark, foggy, creepy place. Brave children (and many scared adults) travel up the 60-foot tunnel, winding around hanging obstacles, skeletons, noisy witches, and plastic rats. The haunted tunnel would not happen each year without the help of our neighbors, Tony, Jackie, Alex and Zoe Fenn, and the props passed along by Sagamore Ave. neighbors, Jim and Barry, who for many years held a wonderful neighborhood haunted house. During the rest of the year, the tunnel is a very useful, innocent and brightly lit passageway that connects the garage to the basement of the house, which allows one to avoid walking up the concrete stairs during the wet and icy days of winter.
The tunnel was installed by the home’s previous owners, Kathy and Carl Rausch, who lived in the house from the 1985 to 1998. They also renovated the bathrooms, expanded the kitchen to its current size, and finished the third floor and basement. They changed the layout of the main staircase, which used to have two separate flights leading down from the landing. The