Newtown news of 25, 50, 75, and 100 years ago, from the files of The Newtown Bee....Read Full Article
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August 21, 1992
After a brief standoff, Newtown Police Union Local 3153 members have decided to work the Labor Day Parade, raising parade organizers’ spirits. “We’re thrilled with the fact that they reconsidered and they’re with us again,” said Carol Luf, a 30-year Newtown resident and parade committee co-chairman. “We had a meeting last night and when I told the committee everybody was very relieved and very happy.” “It’s a public safety issue,” said Darlene Froehlich, police union secretary. “We’re obligated to fulfill that and we realize that.” Despite rumors of the parade’s demise if Newtown police officers did not control traffic, Police Chief Michael DeJoseph, who is not a union member, remained optimistic that the dilemma would be resolved. “Officers recognize their responsibility to the public safety of the community. I know my officers are very community related and are very frustrated working without a contract for so long.” According to the chief, officers do not have to work the parade if they do not want to.
A Baldwin Road home was heavily damaged by fire, heat, and smoke late Saturday afternoon, August 15, while the owner was out taking a walk. The incident is under investigation. The fire was first discovered by Michael Thorn, pastor of Bible Baptist Church, as he and friends who were visiting from Ireland were walking out the door of his home on Sugar Street. “We saw the smoke and it was quite unusual, and very black,” Mr Thorn said. Thinking it was his neighbor’s house, Thorn said he tore over the wall accompanied by his friend Dennis Jacob, of Ireland. When they got to the residence they found that the flames were coming from a home at 18 Baldwin Road instead. He alerted the woman next door to call 911. Apparently the fire started in the back porch and worked its way to the roof. The fire was put under control but two firemen were reportedly injured. Milt Adams bruised his ribs when he fell through the porch ,and Toby Horelick got debris in his eye as he was tearing up shingles.
Police are investigating an accident on Riverside Road that involved a 1980 Ford Fairmont from Danbury. Newtown Police Sergeant Henry Stormer and officers Stephen Ketchum and Robert Haas responded to a report of a one-car accident on Riverside Road near Lorenzo’s Restaurant late Sunday night, August 9. Upon arrival, officers were only able to locate the car’s passenger, who complained of pain. According to officer Ketchum the vehicle had been eastbound on Riverside Road, lost control, struck and embankment, and rolled over. The owner reported the car stolen to Danbury Police on August 10.
It was another typical weekend in the summer of 1992 — rain was coming down and there was no sign of its stopping. But the weather couldn’t dampen the spirits of Shady Rest residents who gathered for their annual picnic. This year, as has happened nearly every year for the past 60 years, residents and friends gathered to share summer fun and talk about previous picnics. The Hewitt family, for instance, has been gathering for picnics for 30 years, passing to their children and grandchildren the delights of living in a waterfront community.
A search committee is forming for someone to take over duties of Doris Bushaw, principal of Hawley School. She will be leaving in December. Committee members include Susan Hill, parent representative, and Jack Lynch, school board representative. Teacher and PTA representatives are still to be named.
August 25, 1967
Copper sulphate — 8½ tons of it — was spread over Lake Zoar’s green waters on August 17. Boat owners such as Mr and Mrs Joseph Giovannini volunteered their boats and time to drag burlap bags containing copper sulphate through the lake. To cover the Newtown side of Lake Zoar they left from Johnny Saad’s Eichler’s Cove Marina. The water resources board had mapped the lake, dividing it into 62 sections. About 300 pounds of copper were spread over each area, killing algae by dissolving in the water. Less than a week later the waters were reported to no longer be green.
It’s hard to believe, but summer is over and the long Labor Day weekend is all but upon us. The Bee asks its correspondents and local news gatherers please to get copy in early for the September 8 issue. Copy that can be brought or sent to the newspaper office on Friday, September 1, or slipped through the door slot over the Labor Day weekend will be greatly appreciated.
When social disorders erupt in New Haven, it comes pretty close to home. And such unrest becomes very difficult to understand when it occurs in a city whose urban renewal program and anti-poverty projects have been models for the whole rest of the nation to follow. Even Mayor Richard Lee is unable to pinpoint the reason for all the looting, property damage, and physical harm which plagued the city for three consecutive nights last weekend. A curfew was promptly invoked and through the effort of a large number of city and state police, most of the trouble has now subsided. Yet the cause of the general feeling of unrest across the country which has created trouble in New Haven and so many places lies hidden. It has reached a point where there is no peace of mind. Perhaps hot weather makes for hot tempers, but this country’s troubles cannot be laid to weather. We think the most disturbing fact in the minds of most people is the undeclared warfare in Viet Nam.
Rep John S. Monagan has had the editorial titled “Keep Patriotism Active,” from the July 7 issue of The Newtown Bee, inserted into the Congressional Record’s August 15 issue. The editorial deals with the “Grass Root Guide To Democracy and Practical Politics,” one of a series of pamphlets called “Vital Issues,” published by the Center for Information in America, in Washington, Conn.
Old school desks, or not so old if your memories go back to the twenties when Hawley School was built, will be sold on August 29 for the benefit of the Hawley PTA.
August 21, 1942
Older residents in Newtown will recall the days when Duncan K. Colepaugh owned the barber shop in Sandy Hook some forty years ago, which was later sold to the late John Pitzschler. Mr Colepaugh now lives with his daughter Mrs Lewis Sage of Waterbury, enjoying fine health except for impaired eyesight, which, however, does not prevent him from having a nice garden and sawing and chopping wood for the stove and fireplace. Belated though hearty wishes are extended to Mr Colepaugh on his 90th birthday.
Frequently men in uniform are noticed along the highway, thumbing rides home on furlough or hoping for a quick trip back to camp. While “bumming rides” is certainly to be discouraged on the part of civilians, it often affords the quickest means of getting from one point to another for men in uniform — provided motorists give them a lift. The number of cars on the road is obviously greatly reduced at the present, which decreases the chances of lifts — so if you see a boy in uniform with a thumb pointed in your direction, stop and take him in. The “lift” may do more good than you will ever know.
H.C. Ferrier Jr of South Center had a harrowing experience on Monday during an electrical storm, when he was just leaving his car that he parked in front of his home. As he got out of his car a bolt of lightning struck the curb near the car and followed down into the road, where it made two holes and then struck Mr Ferrier’s foot which was still on the car’s running board. It took his shoe and stocking off completely, leaving them in torn bits. Dr J.B. Egee attended Mr Ferrier, who suffered from shock and his injured foot.
Once again the Pomperaug Valley League play-off, scheduled to take place in Middlebury on Sunday, August 16, was rained out and thus postponed until August 23, when the Middlebury team will meet the Bethany outfit in a hotly contested battle for top place in the league.
Newtown residents who observed a lone horseman riding through the rain on Sunday, August 16, might be interested in learning, through the kindness of Henry Senber of Redding Ridge in reporting to The Bee, that the equestrian was on the first lap of a 600-mile jaunt through Connecticut to Vermont. The riding enthusiast is Dr Rosario Davide, a New York surgeon, who is following a trail laid out by the Connecticut Riding Trail Association.
August 24, 1917
In face of the present activities here the most skeptical have to admit that after many years of waiting, the dam across the Housatonic, at this place, is no longer a joke, but will finally be constructed and that the work, now going on, will continue till the dam is completed, a dam which, it is said, will be four times as high as the dam of the Housatonic Power Co. at Shelton. The work of surveying and drilling is being carried out as rapidly as possible, and when completed the real work of constructing the immense dam will be started. Nearly all the property, which will be flooded or damaged, has been purchased, and will mean many changes. But the place which will be most affected will be Riverside for it will mean the loss or removal of several permanent homes, besides 17 cottages or bungalows, which have been built by city people for summer homes, the removal of Zoar Bridge, Stevenson Union Church, the cemetery, blacksmith shop and school building. When completed the dam will create a lake 12 miles in length and we are told that its completion will mean a great deal to those whose property borders its shores; that it will be one of the most beautiful and popular in the state, especially during summer months.
Morris D. Beers, the popular Sandy Hook market man, removes his market next week from the Keating block, Sandy Hook, where he has been located for three years, to the old market rooms in the Troy block, formerly occupied by the late Minott Augur. Mr Beers has discontinued his cart but will deliver orders received in the forenoon. A market was conducted by the late Minott Augur over 40 years in the store to which Mr Beers is moving, so it will seem like old times to see it open again.
Mine Host Parker of the Newtown Inn has arranged for a clam bake to be held on the grounds of the Inn, Saturday, September 1, beginning at 3:30 pm. The bake will be in charge of Senator O’Connell of Bridgeport, an expert in that line. The bake is open to ladies as well as gentlemen, and promises to be largely patronized.
The house of Homer G. Clark of Zoar was struck by lightning in the storm of Friday. The lightning demolished the telephone, but no substantial damage was done to the house.
James Campbell has been making repairs to the Sandy Hook mill, getting things in readiness for the fall grinding. There is every prospect that grist mills will have a busy fall and winter.
Please consider sharing your old photographs of people and places from Newtown or Sandy Hook with readers. Images can be e-mailed to email@example.com, or brought to the office at 5 Church Hill Road to be scanned. When submitting photographs, please identify as many people as possible, the location, and the approximate date.