About 250 people turned out on the morning of Saturday, July 26, at Dickinson Park off Elm Drive for the dedication ceremonies of FunSpace II, the town’s elaborate new playground that replaces the FunSpace playground there, which was demolished last year. Although the new playground was dedicated on July 26, the facility was not completely built, with some construction remaining to be done, so the playground has not yet opened to the public. Parks and Recreation officials said this week they expect FunSpace II to open to the public, weather permitting, sometime during the week of August 4. The opening date for the playground will be announced. Dickinson Park itself is open for public use.
There was a time when the center of Newtown was mostly farmland and empty lots. Trees shaded grassy plots and tourist homes populated Church Hill Road. Grocery shopping meant a trip to Danbury or Southbury. Traffic passed leisurely up Queen Street, with no full-service banks or restaurants to lure drivers away from the route. At the age of 95, George William Wheeler can be forgiven if precise dates and places are not easily retrieved. But in his reminisces with The Newtown Bee, and through the stories shared with his children, Linda Wheeler, Darleen Wheeler, and Bryant Wheeler, he is able to recreate a scene of bygone days in Newtown and the role he played in, literally and figuratively, shaping the more modern town center of today.
All that remained of the historic Fredericka House on Friday, July 25, was a pile of concrete and bent pipes heaped next to a giant industrial screener in the Newtown United Methodist Church parking lot. Darin and David Renihan of Site Services in Danbury stood nearby, surveying the packed surface where the house had once stood. It has been many years since Fredericka House opened its doors onto Church Hill Road. Built around 1810 by one of the early Sanford family members, it was given to Elizabeth C. Sanford upon her marriage to Edmond Trowbridge Hastings Gibson, a New York broker, by her brother, David Sanford, in 1842. The house continued to make its presence known, though, for many years. When Fredericka House was demolished, its wood, lathe, plaster and foundation were allowed to collapse into the basement. Each spring, the church community has found itself paying to fill in sinkholes that occur as the debris continued to decompose and settle.
This week marks the halfway point of C.H. Booth Library’s Summer Reading Program, “Fizz, Boom, READ!” This summer, readers who wish to participate in the Summer Reading Program now have two options: They can fill traditional paper log of what they have read, or they can set up an online account through Summer Reader. "We figure having the choice to partake in the Summer Reading Program online is easier and more convenient for people. All a person needs is WiFi, and they can sign up,” said Children's Librarian Alana Bennison. Participants of all ages have more than 40,000 titles to choose from this year.
After a trial period of three weeks, EverWonder Children’s Museum Experience founder Kristin Chiriatti said that the museum at 31 Pecks Lane is ready to officially introduce its newest exhibit to the space.
A public reception for the Mag Wall, funded by the Newtown Junior Women’s Club (NJWC), will take place Saturday, August 2, at 12:30 pm. The Mag Wall consists of multiple PVC tubes, ramps, hoops, and cups that attach with powerful magnets to a board mounted on the wall.
Elaine Benko and Lana Dorrian spent time last week raking and weeding the bocce court at The Pleasance. Part of a group of women who regularly enjoy the court, they decided to spend time pulling weeds at their weekly meeting place that had been filled with water following a heavy rain.