Newtown news of 25, 50, 75, and 100 years ago, from the files of The Newtown Bee....Read Full Article
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- The Way We Were, for the week ending February 16, 2018
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- Snapshot: Leigh Gerety
July 17, 1992
A severe thunderstorm on July 16 dumped five inches of rain on the area, caused extensive power outages and created a run on the town’s fast food eateries. A home on Church Hill Road was struck by lightning, tearing posts off a side porch. The storm also took its toll on the computer system at The Newtown Bee office, causing delays and omissions in this week’s paper. The storm proved to be a boon for the town’s eateries, however. Co-owner of Subway Sue Talbot reported that between the hours of 3 and 9 pm, the store sold 189 sandwiches. “We had to bake extra bread,” she said, noting that nearly every customer that evening reported power outages at home.
The Cyrenius H. Booth Library will hold its 17th annual book sale over the Labor Day weekend, September 5, 6, and 7. This sale, one of the area’s most popular, has a good selection of cookbooks, and is usually well represented in the arts as well. Fiction for reading as the kids go back to school is always in good supply, and the mystery buff will find plenty to puzzle over as well. Children of all ages will have their special area to browse. The music lover will find much to please, for reading, playing, and listening as the record collection overflows its boundaries. The rare book room will offer interesting fare as well.
With the aid of money seized from drug dealers, Newtown Department of Police Services’ fingerprinting records will soon be launched out of the cluttered filing cabinets and into the age of computers with SDIS. Single Digit Identification System, SDIS, is a computerized fingerprint classification and search program which will give Newtown police the capability to file fingerprints in a computer keeping the department free of cumbersome paper files. According to police Chief Michael DeJospeph, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has a similar system, but operates on a much larger scale and does millions of fingerprints. Newtown’s system will be comprised of all the fingerprints Newtown police collect and have on file.
The possibility of the town pursuing the purchase of the former Yankee Drover property will be discussed at the Board of Selectmen’s meeting on Tuesday, July 21. Last year, officials discussed the possibility of buying the vacant 2.3-acre property located next to the meeting house. It was offered at $375,000, and there was talk of buying it with town funds or with the town’s Iroquois grant. But property owners John Vouros and William Riebe sold an option on the property to Gary Kurtz who wanted to build a restaurant and inn. That proposal recently failed. Subsequently, Donald Studley, president of Heritage Preservation Trust Inc, which maintains Newtown Meeting House, asked if selectmen again would consider having the town buy the property. He said he and many other trustees would like to see the property “made into a town green.” Selectman Gary Fetzer said, “I wouldn’t mind seeing it be made into a park, to tell you the truth.” Selectman Michael Snyder said, “I am against it, because we don’t have the money to do it.”
It’s not too late to enroll yourself, your son, or daughter in one of the summer adventure camps sponsored by Wesleyan University’s Outdoor Great Hollow Wilderness School. These courses are geared for people seeking a wilderness experience under expert leadership. Located on a 1,000-acre preserve in New Fairfield, Great Hollow is the state’s oldest private, nonprofit, outdoor education center. The Wilderness Adventure for youth is a fun adventure incorporating education and leadership development, cooperation, teamwork. and care for the environment. Adult Adventure is a co-ed course for ages 18 and up which encompasses all Great Hollow activities and focuses on trust, challenge, self-discovery, and fun.
July 21, 1967
The last half of the 20th Century seems destined to go down in history as a most eventful epoch. No one can guess, living as we do in the midst of it, whether coming generations will censure us or heap praise upon our heads for the manipulation of the momentous events taking place all over the world. Whether it is war in Viet Nam or race riots in New Jersey, we are kept constantly concerned about the present and apprehensive for the future. Perhaps too many people are becoming too disturbed about far-off affairs over which they cannot possibly exercise any control of exert much influence. At any rate, we think that more people would lead more contented and useful lives if they would become active and thoroughly absorbed in life right around them.
The first public meeting of the Conservation Commission took place Monday evening at 8 o’clock at Edmond Town Hall. Despite announcement the previous week that the public would be welcome to this and subsequent meetings, only one member of the public and one press representative attended. First on the agenda was the matter of authorizing $8,000 for two acres of land on Lake Lillinonah. This appropriation was deleted from the town budget in April despite the Conservation Commission’s strong recommendations for its inclusion. The two acres recommended for purchase are owned by Edward Sarka, who has confirmed his willingness to sell at this price. The property adjoins 1.6 acres rented by the town from Connecticut Light and Power for use as a town park.
Parents whose children are entering kindergarten this September, as well as all who are new to the school system, are asked to register on August 23, between 9 am and 4 pm. Parents should bring health records, birth certificates and other pertinent transfer information to the schools. Kindergarteners will register at the nearest elementary school. Please call the schools to determine which your child will attend.
There are two ways to paint the Newtown Congregational Church steeple. The one used most recently employed a crane which whisked two painters, Eugene Klase and Arlton Monsanto, to the top. The entire operation took about one hour and two gallons of paint, leaving the eight-sided steeple shining white. The old way, used by the late Bert Nichols up until the early 1940s, employed extension ladders and scaffolding. He was often aided by his son, postmaster Albert Nichols, who told The Bee that the last time his father painted the church he brought the rooster weather vane down for him. The rooster, which Mr Nichols remembers to weigh 70–80 pounds, always received a coat of gold leaf while on the ground.
Trees, especially weakened ones, need a sufficient supply of water during the summer months. Moisture is essential now in those species that are laying down leaf and flower buds for next year. In caring for their property, homeowners will try to aid their trees by watering during the oncoming critical dry period. But, it does little good to water a tree by the trunk. A tree should be watered out at the drip line or outer crown limit or beyond. “This is where the feeder roots are and water is absorbed through these tiny roots,” said Dr Philip L. Rusden, plant pathologist of Bartlett Tree Research Laboratories in Stamford.
July 17, 1942
We oppose Sunday night movies in Newtown. After considerable inquiry, The Bee editor has, he thinks, correctly determined the sequence of events in back of the movement which makes it possible to start Sunday night movies at Edmond Town Hall. Acting on a petition, presented to the Board of Selectmen, that board and Borough Burgesses in joint session on the evening of July 7, approved the petition authorizing Arthur Smith, town hall manager, to schedule Sunday movies. The board of managers at the town hall, in whose hands custody of the town hall really rests by special act of state legislation, some time ago discussed the matter but decided to delay action; John Keane, chairman of the board, not knowing that movies were actually being started this coming Sunday evening until The Bee called him on the subject. So, it seems to The Bee, that the matter is being unduly hastened — certainly before townspeople and borough residents have had an opportunity to become informed or express their opinion.
The artists, writers, and musicians of Connecticut have been making elaborate plans for the Exhibit and Sale, which will be held on Saturday, July 18, at the Middlebury town hall from 3 to 8 pm. Admission is free to this exhibit and members of the committee-in-charge are hopeful that gas rationing will not prevent a large attendance. The program will be opened by greetings from the president, Martha King Davis of Danbury.
It seems some confusion is in the minds of townspeople regarding the hours of the local War Price and Rotation Board. Except for special registration, the office is open from 3 to 5 pm in the afternoons, Monday through Friday, and every Tuesday evening from 7 to 8 o’clock. All business relating to sugar rationing is handled only on Mondays and Fridays. As rationing affects everyone, it is suggested that you cut out this notice for future reference.
Baseball history was made at Pine Grove Park on Sunday afternoon when Jack Leavy’s Sandy Hook ball club pulled a decisive victory over the experts from Bethany who have been leading the Pomperaug League all season and were surprised to be handed a 9-3 drubbing. Credit for the victory goes largely to George Wiemann, who struck out 13 visitors and allowed only six hits.
At the weekly meeting of the Newtown USO War Fund Campaign committee on Monday evening, contributions totaling approximately $1,100 were reported by the committee members. During the coming week the Committee will release a direct mail appeal to the citizens of Newtown who have not already been contacted with the hope that Newtown’s quota of $1,500 will be substantially oversubscribed.
July 20, 1917
Looking south from the room where the editor and business manager of The Bee have their desks, a vision of beauty always refreshes one. Some years ago our neighbor, C.F. Beardsley, set out Rambler roses along his fence and today they are a thing of beauty and a joy to the lover of the beautiful while they last. In the care of his place, Mr Beardsley sets an example worthy to be followed by us all. We wish the Beardsley spirit of improvement might become epidemic in every town where The Bee circulates.
Have the farmers of this township all the money they reasonably need to place their farms upon a paying basis? Is money on mortgages secured on terms which make it possible for farmers to build and plan ahead? Are farmers sure that present favorable financing conditions are likely to remain so indefinitely, so they will not sooner or later be crowded by the mortgage debt on the farm? These questions are vital. They are pertinent to the prosperity for our township and each farmer’s prosperity is dependent on the prosperity of the whole community. There will be a meeting at Paul Pierce’s Farm, Hanover Springs, Monday, July 23, at 2:30 pm to organize a local Farm Loan Association.
Have you taken a trip across the Sound on the Steamer Park City from Bridgeport to Port Jefferson L.I. this season? If not, go enjoy a sail on the Sound where the breeze is cool. It’s an invigorating trip and just long enough. Special low fare. —[Adv.]
A.E. Harris reports business is very brisk at the mill of the Harris Wire Co., with all the orders they can handle. He says that in six months they had refused orders which would total a quarter million dollars in value. Mr Harris says the inability to obtain diamonds, which are used in drawing the wire, is chiefly the reason they cannot expand business more rapidly.
Joseph Joubert of Massachusetts will open a store for tailoring and pressing in the former Augur block at Sandy Hook, now owned by Edward Troy.
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.