To purchase photos visit http://photos.newtownbee.com×

The Way We Were, for the week ending September 29, 2017

Published: September 29, 2017

October 2, 1992

An abandoned house on Wilderness Road was set ablaze late Tuesday afternoon, September 29, adding another fire to the list of arsons plaguing Newtown since June. “There was no electricity to the house so it had to be arson,” said Deputy Fire Marshal George Lockwood, Sr. “We’re seeing if there are any of the same patterns being used as those in some of the other fires.” At approximately 6 pm firemen responded to a report of smoke in the area of Taunton Hill Road, Newtown Police Officer Henry Stormer stated. After checking the area, the fire was discovered at a vacant home on Wilderness West Road. “It was completely gone,” said Hawleyville Fire Chief Joe Farrell. “All that was left were the chimneys.” After investigation, fire officials found that the fire had been “deliberately set.” The home was owned by a Bridgeport woman and had been abandoned for the last two years. Neighbors say it had become a local hangout for teenagers.

***

Pockets of frost in exposed elevations and sunless hollows dotted the early morning landscape this week, a prologue to winter and postscript to an exceedingly cool summer. It is common at this time of year to wonder where the summer went, but in 1992, many are wondering if there was a summer. We somehow missed the scorching heat waves that seem to settle on us for a few weeks each year. Meteorologists say it was the coolest summer in 50 years. Then we came across a clipping from The Bee in an old notebook we received from Rev Frank Dunn, which included a diarist’s account of 1816, the year without a summer. The diary of Charles Pierce described a July of “melancholy forebodings” of heavy frosts and ice “so that but a few vegetables came to perfection. It seemed as if the sun had lost its warmth and cheering influences.”

***

Although Texas billionaire Ross Perot was being cagey about his intentions to reenter the presidential race this week, volunteers for his campaign made no secret of their unity in backing his declaration as a candidate. They were less united in their own organization, however. “We’re more excited than ever,” said Oxford resident Linda Muller, Fifth District coordinator of United We Stand. “He’s really reenergized us.” Recently, Mrs Muller’s link with Mr Perot’s support group, United We Stand, came under question when she reportedly separated herself from United We Stand and started her own “grassroots” organization, Connecticut Volunteers for Perot. “She is no longer the Fifth District coordinator of United We Stand, James G. Boutelle, Perot Petition Committee Executive Director, said. According to Mr Boutelle, the division occurred when United We Stand leaders met in Wethersfield and voted two-to-one

***

Women interested in learning more about the Newtown Junior Women’s Club, and possibly joining, are invited to the annual membership open house on Thursday, October 15, at 7:30 pm. Membership is open to women of all ages. Members meet monthly. Recently the club coordinated efforts to collect items for the relief of hurricane victims in Florida.

***

Separated from the still-unopened prison by only three-tenths of a mile of woods and road, many elderly residents at Nunnawauk Meadows are worried about potential car thefts and break-ins by escapees. “It’s frightening, it is,” said Sophie Carroll. “First they were going to have 400 inmates and now they’re going to have over 700. We’re all a little bit scared.” Others, like Martha Fiedler, say they are not concerned about the prison. Residents will get used to it much the same way they got used to patients wandering away from Fairfield Hills Hospital, especially if security proves adequate and there are few escapees from Garner.

 

October 13, 1967

Connecticut’s general upland game and waterfowl season opens at 7 am, Saturday, October 21. The season includes grouse, rabbit, squirrel, quail, woodcock, and other fowl. The raccoon season opened on September 20. For more information and details on bag limits, hunters should consult the 1967-68 Abstract of Laws and Regulations.

***

We sometimes think that a town is no better than its service organizations are willing to make it. At least the majority of various service organization members in any community are public-minded citizens, dedicated to working for the best interest of the community as a whole. Just now appeals have gone out to Newtown firms from two active civic groups, asking for support in giving. We mention them together because donations are requested, and we believe an appeal deserves a generous response. The Newtown Jaycees are sponsoring a visit from the Red Cross Bloodmobile, which will be here Tuesday of next week in the undercroft of Trinity Church. The Jaycees have issued a challenge to the fire companies and other service groups, offering a trophy to the group with the most donors. We would like to remind residents too, that a second organization that is asking for gifts is the League of Women Voters. The League does a lot of good in the field of local government and politics. Its only source of income is membership dues and contributions. If you have not sent in your donation, the League would appreciate your cooperation in doing so promptly.

***

The annual scholarship ball on Saturday, October 7, in Edmond Town Hall was attended by a capacity crowd. Dancing to the enchanting music of Joey Zelle’s orchestra in the colorfully decorated gymnasium, everyone enjoyed a delightful evening never to be forgotten. Mr and Mrs Winthrop Ballard were the lucky couple in the drawing for the two round-trip tickets to Washington which were donated by the American Airlines Inc.

***

Local 2239 of the IBEW October 5, at midnight struck the Connecticut Yankee Atomic Power Company plant. This was a surprise move by the union as it occurred with only five hours of warning during the contract negotiation session. Principal issues involved were wages, union security and work assignments of certain classifications. The plant is in the process of test operation and will continue its program with supervisory and other non-bargaining unit personnel.

***

George C. Peterman of Newtown has been appointed to the post of District Supervisor, of the Ritter Finance Company Inc, according to a company spokesman. Mr Peterman will be assigned the supervision of some Ritter System offices in the Connecticut, Rhode Island area and will continue to make his home in Newtown.

 

October 9, 1942

An organization of Gray Ladies, under the auspices of the Red Cross, is starting in Newtown and a course for this group will begin in the near future at Fairfield Hills State Hospital. At the moment the hospital is very short of help and this group will do all their work there. The women will not be required to do any nursing, but a variety of such duties as clerical work, receptionist, and showing visitors around.

***

Scrap collection figures for September issued by William Hunter, local salvage chairman, show that residents are continuing to do their part in the current drive for scrap metals. It is Mr Hunter’s plan to continue regular collections, and he emphasizes the need for the continued accumulation of tin cans and the help of the housewives in the collection of grease.

***

Over 100 people attended the 50th wedding anniversary of Mr and Mrs William Hall of Beers Road, Easton, which was observed on Sunday at the home of their son and daughter-in-law, Mr and Mrs Walter Hall of Sport Hill Road. Open house was from 2:30 to 5 in the afternoon. Mr Hall Jr was assisted in greeting the guests by the Misses Gertrude and Shirley Marsh. Mr and Mrs Hall were the recipients of many beautiful gifts in honor of this happy occasion. An evening highlight was a three-tiered wedding cake which was placed in the center of the dining table.

***

It is announced by the local Republican Town Committee that Clare Booth Luce will speak on Wednesday afternoon, at 4 o’clock in the Edmond Town Hall Alexandria Room. The public is cordially invited to hear Mrs Luce, who is the Republican candidate for the state’s fourth Congregational district. She will be in the vicinity on that day and so has arranged to speak here and meet and talk with Newtown voters.

***

The Sandy Hook ball club gained a decisive victory over the Naugatuck Bluebirds Sunday at Pine Grove Park, to even the count in the Pomperaug Valley League final play-offs, making necessary a third game to be played this Sunday afternoon on a neutral field in Middlebury. Having been rained out for two weeks and competing with diverting interest in the World Series, both teams presented patched up line-ups on Sunday afternoon, which, however, did not prevent “Jack” Leavy’s men from scoring eight runs to Naugatuck’s meager two tallies.

 

October 4, 1917

Monday’s annual election brought out the largest vote for several years. The fine weather, with effective organization on the part of party managers, was responsible for the increased vote. Justice P.H. McCarthy was moderator. The number of ballots cast was 640, against 538 in 1916. Ephram Briscoe, the democratic nominee, won out as first selectman with 314 votes to 294 for William B. Glover, the republican nominee. The republican ticket was ahead on the straight party vote, electing Charles F. Beardsley as assessor and A.E. Bevans as a Board of Relief member. Intense excitement was roused over the count of votes of T.F. Brew and W.B. Glover. The rather loose practice of allowing some men, not having a legal right, to enter the enclosure where the votes were being counted, which has been quite common in past years, prevailed this year, although at the last Moderator McCarthy cleared them out.

***

With everything that Nature could do to make the fair a success the Danbury Fair of 1917 opened, Monday, under ideal conditions. The weather was simply perfect and if Mr Rundle and his associates had had the ordering of the weather themselves, they could not have hit it better. It is in many respects the best fair the Danbury Agricultural Society has ever held. To be sure, the fair officials have been greatly handicapped. In the first place the was exigencies prevented the running of excursions only on Thursday. The congested condition of the freight business made it necessary to transport all the farm machinery and other equipment to the fair by auto truck.

***

Thomas Donahue, a popular young resident of Walnut Tree Hill, went down to Sandy Hook on Monday afternoon. He ventured to call on his friend, Sheriff Morris Beers, and picked up a pair of handcuffs. While examining them, he slapped a bracelet toward his fingers, but his aim was not good and the cuff snapped on his wrist. To his consternation he found that he could not get it off and a search was made by Mr Beers’ assistant who hastened to the market and unlocked the bracelet from his friend’s arm.

***

There will be a dance at the Dodgingtown fire house on October 12. Tickets 50c. No refreshments. The public is invited to enjoy the event.

***

Miss Adeline Hurd lost a fountain pen, last Friday, somewhere between Trinity Church and the post office. She would be thankful for its return.

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.

Related Articles