Newtown news and notes from 25, 50, 75 and 100 years ago, from the files of The Newtown Bee. ...Read Full Article
- Dog Days Of Summer In Full Swing At Town Dog Park
- Tie-Dyeing Makes For A Colorful Time At The Library
- Nourishments: Hair Today — Gone Tomorrow
- Concert Review: ‘Fresh Baked Musicals’ An Enjoyable Performance Of New Songs
- Theater Review: A Powerful Metaphor, A Poignant Play Staged In Ridgefield
- NewArts ‘Newsies’ Continues To Welcome Celebrity Visitors
- Lisa Unleashed: Riding Among England’s New Forest Ponies
August 13, 1993
In a summer of almost no precipitation, Connecticut is stepping out of character. Typically green lawns are brown and crunchy, perennially lush gardens are looking droopy, and we half expect to see tumbleweeds blowing through town on the spare evening breezes. The most compelling evidence that this summer is extraordinarily dry is the growing number of local wells that are going dry — something that just doesn’t normally happen, according to the town’s health director. Health Director Mark Cooper reports that one or two wells are going dry in Newtown each day, as families demand more water than their wells can produce. In some instances, the problem is temporary as water slowly returns to the well. In other cases, the wells will stay dry until there is a period of sustained rain to replenish the water table.
Two stop signs were positioned at the intersection of The Old Road with Currituck Road this week. Director of Public Works Fred Hurley said on August 11 the signs were installed to improve sightlines for motorists who are turning from The Old Road into Currituck.
The state is considering closing the Southbury Training School for the mentally retarded within five years and placing its 910 residents in community housing. Commissioner Toni Richardson said last week she wants to avoid a court order forcing her agency to close the school, which is the eighth largest institution of its kind in the country. The school was built in the ‘30s for retarded children and was considered state of the art, said school Director Thomas Howley. At its peak, 2,200 people lived there in 1966. But the residents have grown up since then — the average age is 48, and 350 people are over 50. Many residents cannot climb the stairs to their second floor bedrooms any more. And Ms Richardson said the buildings are deteriorating, despite millions of dollars spent renovating.
Members of a task force studying the possible future uses for buildings and land at the state’s Fairfield Hills Hospital complex said August 11 they will seek public comment to guide them in making recommendations to state agencies. State Rep Julia Wasserman, who was elected chairman of the study panel, stressed the need for public participation in the process of plotting the future of the sprawling parcel. Beyond seeking public comments on future potential uses, some task force members stressed the need to familiarize themselves with the contents of a 1990 long-range planning study on future uses of Department of Mental Health holdings prepared by Lozano, White and Associates, Inc., of Cambridge Mass.
Jim Osborne won’t be hawking hot dogs at this year’s Labor Day Parade. This has been Jim’s job for many years at the stand run by the Rotary Club. This year, however, the parade committee has chosen Jim and his wife Betty Lou as the honorary parade marshals. Committee member Mary Ann Murtha said, “They were selected because they have done so much for the town and for so many years.”
August 16, 1968
To print each week’s paper, about seven rolls of newsprint are needed. When a new roll is put on, the one taken off still has yards of useable paper, but not enough for The Bee’s big press. These leftover rolls provide fine “canvases” for young artists and will be given away, while they last, to Sunday Schools and other non-commercial groups. Come and get ‘em. They’re a bit over a yard wide with varying amounts of paper.
As another step in trying to reduce the town’s traffic problems — the first step being the elimination of on-street parking on Queen Street — speed limits for certain roads have been approved by the State Traffic Commission. Approval of limits in other roads has been requested. The Newtown Highway Department is now checking the roads to see that speed limit signs are in place. Newtown police will enforce the speed limit. The speed limits approved so far are on Botsford Hill-Toddy Hill Road from Rt 25 north to Button Shop Road, 35 mph; from Button Shop north to Turkey Roost Road, 30 mph; Turkey Roost north to Rt 34, 35 mph.
The Connecticut National Bank, Newtown Office, Queen Street, is pleased to announce an art exhibit by David Davis of Huntingtown Road. The exhibit may be seen during normal banking hours. Mr Davis is a graduate of Cornell University, college of architecture. He has worked as an architectural delineator and as a landscape architect and at present devotes most of his time to painting, in gouache or tempera.
Should a Newtown resident have to pay a toll to telephone to another Newtowner a block away? Over 200 townspeople have already signed a petition, with many more signatures expected, asking the Southern New England Telephone Company to extend Newtown’s local calling area to include the Trumbull 268 exchange in which a number of Newtown residents are listed. The group points out that Newtown’s toll-free calling area includes only three other towns, Redding, Danbury, and Woodbury. A spokesman for SNET tells The Bee that the company’s rate structure in the area is under study.
The Jaycee wives plan a bake sale in front of the Grand Union starting at 9 am on Friday, August 23.
August 20, 1943
The telephone at The Bee office rang with more than usual vigor on Wednesday afternoon and an excited voice on the other end of the wire announced that a hole-in-one had just been made at the Newtown Country Club. Ordinarily a hole-in-one is no mean accomplishment, but when a fellow makes it during his first game of the season, it is news with a vengeance. The excited voice over the phone was that of Judge “Charlie” Hallock of Danbury, who proclaimed the accomplishment of Charlie Hatch, whose shot off the seventh tee with a Number 5 iron had landed plunk on the green and rolled right into the cup.
Miss Patricia Carmody has completed her course at the Booth & Bayliss Commercial school, Bridgeport, and is now connected with the Royal Typewriter Company, Inc.
Friends of Sergeant Francis Hubbell will be interested to know that he is now stationed in England. “Frankie,” in his usual good nature, has written the following note to The Bee editor: “Hi Paul, they moved me again, this time to somewhere in England. And they gave me a new APO number, so be sure and send that good paper of yours. I haven’t had one in a couple of weeks and I sure miss it. This is swell country over here, the only bad part is getting used to the English money, not that we have much of it but it slows down the poker games. I have a little advantage on the rest of the boys on account of having had it in Bermuda. The nights here are cool and it is still light when we go to bed. Well, don’t work too hard and take care of the best town in the world. As ever, Frank.”
It is reported by H.H. Burtch, Treasurer of Newtown Boy Scout Troop Committee, that $550 has been contributed to date in the annual drive for the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts of Newtown. The drive has been in progress for the last three weeks. While the committee is thankful that there has been a larger than usual number of contributions, there is regret over the fact that the amount of the contributions has thus far fallen below the budget figure of $595 and last year’s total contribution of $662. It is felt that there are many friends of Scouting in Newtown who have not yet contributed to this local work which is of so much importance. Donations of any size would be most welcome.
August 16, 1918
The War Industries Board at Washington has ordered a reduction of 15 percent tonnage of newsprint paper, on the part of newspapers, the order becoming effective August 12. The customary size of The Bee, 10 months in the year, is 16 pages. The Bee, with other newspapers in the country, is cheerfully trying to do “its bit” and the publication size of The Bee until war conditions change will be 12 pages. The Bee will be able to take care of its regular local advertisers to the extent of the amount of space they have averaged to use the past month. If advertisers desire more space it will be necessary for them to take it up in advance with the business manager, and whether they can be accommodated will depend on what advertising has already been arranged for the issue.
Last Friday at noon the spire on St Rose’s church was struck by lightning in the upper part of the spire and some damage done. It is a matter of general congratulation that the result was not more serious.
Judge Donald T. Warner of the Superior Court handed down a decision, Monday, in which he accepts the report of Judge Samuel Davis of Danbury as committee in the case of Emma S. Smith of Mt Pleasant, Newtown, vs Mortimer Smith, and grants Mrs Smith a decree of divorce and alimony. Mrs Smith, who is a singer in musical comedy, is known in the theatrical life as Emma Janvier, brought the action of divorce on grounds of intolerable cruelty. Mrs Smith is given the custody of three minor children. The defendant is ordered to pay Mrs Smith $2,500 annually. He is also required to pay $500 a year for each of the children.
Robert Levy of New York is the guest of Mr and Mrs W. L. McLaughlin of The Elms, Hanover. Mr Levy’s father, Sol P. Levy, is a celebrated composer of New York City.
Miss Anna Murphy has accepted a position in the employ of Curtis & Son. Miss Murphy has been the efficient and popular teacher at the Gray’s Plain School. Her resignation will be regretted throughout the district.
Please consider sharing your old photographs of people and places from Newtown or Sandy Hook with The Newtown Bee 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.