Like many other streets and roads before, "University Drive" no longer reflects the reason for its' name. Just as there are no longer any elm trees lining Elm Street, fields on Field Street or icehouses on Ice House Road, no longer are there any universities on University Drive. Perhaps some day the name will be changed, once again, to reflect something more appropriate. It has before.
Many people today are not familiar with the term "Town Farm". This was a place where towns placed those that couldn't take care of themselves, a form of welfare, if you will. Residents, under supervision, were to do what they could to help out on the farm in return for room and board. Our Almshouse was near the future Uconn campus, and University Drive used to be called "Town Farm Road".
Mason and Ruth Deming's Mt. Pleasant Farm ran along the west side of Town Farm Road and along John Brown Road. We are lucky to have two portions of Mason's farm- a 6 acre piece on the north corner of John Brown Road/University Drive and a 10 acre piece behind the old farmyard.
Mason was born in 1909 and grew up in the area, buying Mt. Pleasant Farm in 1943 and working it until he retired in the 1970's. George Stickles wrote that Mason's hands "were calloused and swollen by countless farming tasks, each one honed to an exacting skill." Mason passed in 2002 at age 95.
In his old farmyard sits an imposing red barn. It has been put into excellent condition by its' current owner and is being put to good use, possessing its own memories going back many, many years, looking down on the road before it. Whatever its' name may be.