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The Way We Were, for the week ending October 6, 2017

Published: October 6, 2017

October 9, 1992

The prison open house scheduled for Saturday, October 10, is more than a one-time gesture. This month the State Department of Corrections distributed a “Good Neighbor” handbook to all its staff. Part of a “Good Neighbor Program,” aimed at encouraging a positive relationship between the state jails and prisons and the communities where they’re housed, the book is full of suggestions about how to accomplish that goal. Garner Correctional Institution’s open house is just one example. Although Warden Frank Crose could not be reached for comment this week there is already evidence that he intends to use the longstanding Good Neighbor program to enhance relations with the town. As prison construction neared completion, the warden hosted and gave tours to the press and civic groups.

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Behind these familiar pages, The Bee Publishing Company has undergone a transformation this week, the latest turn in this company’s long history. Two of The Newtown Bee’s sister papers, The Weekly Star, serving an eight-town region east of the Housatonic River, and Town Times, serving Watertown and Oakville, were sold to Prime Publishers of Southbury. The change marks the end of a period of dramatic expansion for our company, and it signals renewed commitment to what we have always seen as our central mission: to provide the information citizens need to understand and appreciate community life. We now believe we are in a better position to fulfill this mission for the people of Newtown and all the readers of The Newtown Bee.

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Police are applying for an arrest warrant for a student who they and school officials believe set a fire that caused more than $100,000 of damage to the Newtown High School last month. The suspect is a high school boy, 17, who police say has no prior criminal record. “There has been some significant progress made,” said police Chief Michael DeJoseph regarding the arson investigation. “There is compelling evidence” that this individual was responsible for the fire. He added, “And I feel strongly that a warrant will be issued.” Although he would not elaborate on how the crime was committed or its motives, he did say the teen had worked alone and there were no other suspects. At about 11:30 Tuesday morning, September 22, the school’s interior fire alarm sounded, resulting evacuation. The fire was extinguished by Sandy Hook Volunteer Fire Company with assistance from Hook & Ladder. The fire had started in a paper towel dispenser in a second-floor boys’ bathroom.

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Suzanne Benton will be at the Cyrenius H. Booth Library on Sunday, October 25 at 3 pm to present “Masks, Myths, Lifestories & Legends.” Using her sculpted metal masks with voice, movement, and narrative, Ms Benton breathes life into our mythic and artistic inheritance. The physical handling of the masks is important because it is a symbolic transference and therefore becomes a way to draw upon the mythic and archetypal sources of all cultures. Ms Benton brings extraordinary insight to audiences through imagination, myth, masks, and storytelling.

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Newtown resident David Zolov recently completed a forest and wildlife conservation course. He was among 31 people selected statewide who completed the intensive three-day training session at the Yale Forestry Camp in Norfolk. The program is called the Coverts Project. It was started in 1982 in Connecticut and Vermont by the Connecticut Cooperative Extension Service in Storrs and the Ruffed Grouse Society, a group trying to preserve natural habitat to protect the ruffed grouse. A covert is a thicket that provides sheltering cover for wildlife.

 

October 20, 1967

Joseph and Martha Matzelle will have a show of their geometric solid constructions at the Cyrenius H. Booth Library beginning October 22. Mr and Mrs Matzelle will be at the opening reception on Sunday from 3 to 5 pm. The show will continue at the regular library hours through November.

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Word has been received from Claxton, Ga., that a half ton of Famous Old Fashioned Claxton Fruit Cake has been shipped to the Newtown Kiwanis Club for its second annual cake sale. According to Frank Corvino, the proceeds of this Kiwanis project will be used toward the band shell to be erected by the club at the new high school. Club members can be called for delivery of the cake. It is hoped that fruit cake will be the favorite snack in Newtown during the next two months.

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With the opening of Connecticut’s general upland game and waterfowl season at 7 am on Saturday, October 21, hunters are reminded that hunting is absolutely prohibited within the Borough. No Trespassing and No Hunting signs posted on private property also mean what they say and constitute a valid prohibition. Be a law-abiding hunter.

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Fred Johnson of Sugar Lane recently celebrated his 80th birthday. He came from Ireland when he was 17 and after working in Boston and Bridgeport, settled down at his Newtown farm in 1920. On Sunday, October 15, his son and daughter in-law, Mr and Mrs Clifford Johnson, had open house for about 100 kith and kin, to celebrate his birthday.

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Nearly 400 boys and leaders of the Treamone District of the Pomperaug Council of the Boy Scouts of America will gather at the Putnam Memorial Park in Redding October 20-22, for the annual Fall Camporee. Boys and Scouters form the towns of Trumbull, Easton, Monroe, Newtown and north Bridgeport will gather in the encampment, which will feature the theme: Fife & Drum Setting Early America.

 

October 16, 1942

New England is in the midst of its fall season. Foliage has never been more beautiful, and while the weather has not been perfect, we have had a fair number of those sparkling Autumn days when all nature smiles and even the grouchiest grouch softens under the warm rays of an October sun. We know that everyone is busy, and we fear that interest in other things keeps many people away from the great outdoors during this short period when every maple is a myriad of colors. There is no rationing of fall days, only our own indifference to the beauties of nature so close at hand.

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Work was completed on Tuesday of tearing down the old iron fence surrounding Trinity Church, sending it on its way as iron scrap to do its part in America’s war effort. William Hunter, local salvage chairman, reports that the fence weighed 16,450 pounds. It was cut in sections and then carted to Danbury by Mr Ferrarone. The arch over the walk at the front of the church was left standing and will be repaired and will continue to serve as a memorial. There has been much interest in the removal of this fence. It is an important contribution to Newtown’s scrap collection.

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Friends of Ezra J. Hall of Sandy Hook will have the extreme pleasure of wishing him “many happy returns” on Saturday, when he hits his 90th birthday. Still doing a little plumbing work, singing some, and enjoying ball games at Pine Grove Park, “Ez” Hall is a young fellow in spirit and gets around much better than a lot of younger folk. He will celebrate with Mr and Mrs Gage in Danbury. What a feast Mrs Gage will serve with those two lads! The Bee adds its congratulations.

***

A “yellow” alert was received at the report center Monday evening at 5:50, which lasted until 7:20 pm. All air raid wardens and others on the call list were notified, and the auxiliary constables were soon at their assigned posts, with 18 or 20 men reporting.

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In the rush of last week’s news, The Bee was prevented from making public comment on the 87th annual statement of the Newtown Savings Bank, as published on the front page of last week’s issue The statement is an impressive one, showing the soundness of the local bank and providing its value to the people in this part of the state who use its facilities. A.T. Nettleton and his associates are deserving of a great deal of credit.

 

October 11, 1917

William B. Glover, 288; Thomas F. Brew, 284. The largest vote ever cast at a Newtown election was the record of Monday’s contest, when the tie was voted off between William B. Glover and Thomas F. Brew, candidates for first selectman. The contest was clear-cut and a clean one, and both sides hustled to get the vote out. The democrats were confident of winning, but Mr Brew went down to defeat by a vote of 288 to 284. This election gives republicans a majority in the board of selectmen and leaves the result the same as a year ago. Commenting on the result, Selectman Glover said: “I do not know how I can thank the republicans and the independent voters of the town for their loyal support, but I shall try to merit the confidence they have reposed in me, and shall endeavor to perform the duties of the office to the best of my ability”

***

The high school was entered by burglars, last Friday night, and a valuable pair of laboratory scales were stolen, a gift to the school. Entrance was made through a window.

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A large group of young people from Sandy Hook intend to attend the dance in Dodgingtown, this Friday evening.

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A smoker and vaudeville entertainment for gentlemen will be held Saturday, October 13, at St Mary’s Hall. The admission is 50c. There will be 10 big acts and a fine entertainment is promised. It is expected that a large delegation from the Danbury T. & L. society will attend.

***

Frederick Lockwood sustained quite a bruise to one hand, while at work in the factory of the Fabric Fire Hose Co. Tuesday. Dr W.H. Kiernan dressed his wounds.

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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