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The Way We Were, for the week ending October 20, 2017

Published: October 20, 2017

October 23, 1992

A local historian has unraveled the mystery behind the true Victorian tragedy of benefactress Mary Hawley’s brief honeymoon and divorce, revealing the not-so-uncommon story of a man who couldn’t commit. Mary Hawley became ill during her honeymoon in Europe in 1885, possibly from an undocumented nervous disorder, according to Newtown Historical Society President Dan Cruson. During that illness, her new husband, the Reverend John Addison Crocket, abandoned her, refusing to even call a doctor for her. Rev Crocket’s motivation? Telling information from out-of-town news reports of the divorce trial reveal disenchantment and an inability to commit to marriage. “I speculated he had a very short attention span. He never held down a job for more than a year. I think his attitude was the same with marriage,” Mr Cruson said. “The man ends his life in a hospital for the insane,” he added. “It does not mean he was nuts, but given his pattern over the years I have to believe the man could not have a permanent relationship with anybody.” With Mary Hawley, he explained, “What you’ve got is a woman who risked everything, ventures into marriage, it’s a horrible mistake, and she pays for it with her reclusiveness for the rest of her life.” Mr Cruson’s sleuthing for the facts reveal telling details about the type of man Mr Crocket was and the nature of Miss Hawley’s suffering that led a judge to grant a divorce based on desertion and extreme cruelty.

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By November, the town’s first application for a car wash is expected to appear on the Planning and Zoning agenda. Brian Corson’s proposed amendments to regulations to allow car washes in town by special exception won approval on October 15. The developer has already drawn up site plans for a project that would be located on Simm Lane. Whether a car wash actually gets built, however, depends on the approval process and the availability of financing, Mr Corson said, adding that he already has a conservation permit in hand.

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Few people need to be reminded of their shortcomings. Even those who are financially secure and who enjoy the respect of and admiration of others for their achievements will admit that there is a difference between who they are and who they would like to be. Often that difference can be measured in small, simple acts of humanity that are left undone at the end of days spent focused on ourselves. There are people we pass along the way who need our help. Again, this year Women Involved in Newtown (WIN) is offering people a chance to help those who have been passed by. For those who contribute to WIN’s holiday gift basket program, the act reflects a small, simple act of humanity.
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The annual scholarship ball, Newtown Scholarship Association’s autumn fundraising event, will be Saturday, November 21, the Saturday before Thanksgiving. The association has granted more than $1 million in financial assistance to Newtown students. The 55th anniversary ball will be celebrated at Ridgewood Country Club in Danbury, with cocktails at 7 and dinner at 8 pm. Music for after dinner dancing will be provided by SRO.

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If Halloween is one of your favorite holidays and you live in or near Newtown, then chances are you have visited Rick “Socko” Mariani’s Haunted Yard. What started eight years ago with Socko and friends dressed as monsters sitting on his front steps and handing out Halloween candy has turned into a full-scale Halloween spook show. Where you had to make a special trip out to Buttonball Lane in past years to visit the Haunted Yard, you only need to stop at Ricci’s Salon on Route 25 this year. The 1992 Haunted Yard is sponsored by Newtown Youth Services and Family Life Center of Newtown and will run for six nights, October 26 through Halloween night.

 

November 3, 1967

Prompt action on the part of 60–75 firemen saved the main barn at Hundred Acres Farm from being destroyed by fire on Halloween. At about 9:30 pm on Tuesday, October 31, a fire was reported at the farm owned by W. Clinton Thornton on Hundred Acres Road in the Palestine district. The first firemen on the scene found a stack of approximately 3,000 bales of hay ablaze next to the barn. They were able to remove cattle from the barn and to move a burning wagon of hay, prior to the arrival of fire apparatus.

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The next meeting of Newtown Historical Society will be Monday, November 6, at 8 pm, in the Cyrenius Booth Library. Danbury’s Scott Fanton Museum Director Henry Mara will be introduced to the museum’s Newtown friends. Marni Wood will speak on the “Secret Ingredient,” a brief talk with demonstrations, on New England Thanksgivings. The public is cordially invited to attend.

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Alvah R. Cramer, Newtown High School principal, is reported in fair condition after surgery at Danbury Hospital. Mrs Cramer said her husband “would not be back at work next week, or the one after, but he is feeling better than last week.”

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According to resident State Trooper Sgt James Costello, little disturbance of note took place on Halloween. About 25 police officers, special police, constables, and firemen in radio-equipped cars were on patrol as dusk fell over the town. Eight teenagers were brought into the police station, on the complaint of the mother of a younger boy in Sandy Hook. They allegedly had taken candy and a guitar away from him. Police called the parents of all the boys involved and explained that the charge of larceny could be brought against them. When the property was returned to the younger boy charges were dropped. Other incidents reported were an egg thrown from a car at the driver of another vehicle. One paint smearing incident was reported from Dodgingtown. For the rest, damage was limited to shaving cream squirted on highway signs, and paper strewn about.

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The Newtown Homemakers will meet on November 8 at 1 o’clock at the Extension Service building in Bethel. Slides and script will be used to show the uses of chemicals to preserve food and make it more nutritious, abundant, and safer than at any other time in history. Members are asked to bring with them ideas for making Christmas gifts.

 

October 30, 1942

More than one friend of The Bee has commented in recent days on the privilege of election which Americans have always taken for granted, and many times have abused and neglected. This year, as our November 3 state election approaches, we are more conscious of this great heritage of democracy and intent not only upon its preservation but more intelligent use. Without endorsing one candidate above another, The Bee does express the hope that the best candidates will win, irrespective of party. Party lines have meant too much in the past and no better time could possibly be named to consider candidates on their own merits than right now. We are convinced that the candidate best qualified for the job is the one who should have it.

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Refugee children of England in this fourth year of war will not be forgotten at Christmas time. One hundred cuddly stuffed dolls and animals have been contributed to them through the Newtown Committee for Child Refugees and are already enroute to London. Mrs Robert McGraw was delighted by the committee to make selections in New York, and examples of her happy choice were shown at a recent meeting of the ladies at the Congregational Church.

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IS NEWTOWN WORTH DEFENDING? We appeal to you as a patriotic resident of Newtown to come to a meeting on Thursday, November 12, at 8 o’clock to discuss this question. The meeting will be held in the Edmond Town Hall. The heads of all defense operations and their department members will be present to explain their activities and answer your questions. We need your cooperation. This is urgent.

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In the midst of war activities, the American public has not lost its interest in elections, realizing this year more than ever before, the value of being able to get to the polls and voting for candidates of one’s choice in true American fashion. Candidates of all parties are urging voters to go to the polls and exercise this privilege in Tuesday’s election. Polls in Newtown will be open from 6 am to 9 pm in the first district at the Edmond Town Hall and in the second district at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Sandy Hook.

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Due to the war, Chinese pig bristles, which are extensively used in the manufacture of paint brushes, are no longer available. One brush company has collected and rehabilitated old brushes; another company has invented a roller to spread paint.

 

October 26, 1917

The All-Hallowe’en Frolic to be held in Bull’s Hall, Wednesday evening, October 31, for benefit of the library, will be a genuine old-fashioned frolic with games and fun for all interspersed with vaudeville stunts by noted local talent. Admission is 25 cents. Besides all this there will be slide shows with witches to tell your fortunes, a magic mirror in which to see the reflection of your future partner in matrimony, a cobweb room, a refreshment booth. Prizes will go to those who excel in some of the games and contests. Don’t miss it.

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Thomas Kinsey, 82 years old, is in St Vincent’s Hospital in critical condition as a result of being run over Monday night at Railroad and Fairfield avenues by an automobile driven by Max Goldberger of Union Avenue. Goldberger was arrested on a charge of reckless driving and the case in city court was continued to October 30 under bonds of $500. Goldberger was driving east on Fairfield Avenue, and felt a bump as if a tire had blown out. He stopped and found Kinsey lying in the roadway behind him. Kinsey was suffering from shock, his right ear was torn nearly off, and there is a possible fracture of the skull. Mr Kinsey is a former resident of the Hanover district in Newtown.

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The Newtown Home Guards platoon are planning to give a dance at the Town Hall, November 9. All the Home Guard will appear in uniform. Gentlemen, 50c; ladies, 25c. Bentley’s three-piece orchestra will furnish music and a first-class time is assured all who attend.

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The heavy rain of Wednesday was timely and did a great deal of good. In this sections, wells, springs and brooks were getting very low. Many of the wells about Sandy Hook were dry. Rain poured in torrents from noon on till 5 o’clock, when it cleared up.

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Through the purchase of the entire talking machine stock of the Darius J. Stevens Corporations, the Heim Music Co of Danbury has practically doubled its equipment of Victrola machines and records, making its talking machine department one of the largest and most complete of any store in Connecticut.

Please consider sharing your old photographs of people and places from Newtown or Sandy Hook with readers. Images can be e-mailed to kendra@thebee.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.

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