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The Way We Were

July 21, 1989

The town plans to contract with various companies for rebuilding and chip sealing roads, as well as for sweeping sand from roads. The town will rely more on contractors for such tasks, with less involvement by Highway Department crews. This will allow department employees to do more routine road maintenance, such as clearing brush from roadsides and vacuuming sand from drainage pipes.

 

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The state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has set aside $300,000 for the town’s proposal for building a swimming pool at Treadwell Park. Through its outdoor recreation grant program, DEP funds such projects by up to 40 percent of the total cost. Since the town has estimated the pool’s cost at $750,000, the $300,000 would be 40 percent of the project funding.

 

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The Board of Education was the recipient of bad news at the meeting July 18 when it heard additions to Sandy Hook and Middle Gate elementary schools are going to cost at least $1 million more than planned. Originally, site work at Sandy Hook Elementary School was going to cost $335,000 but the need to enhance a planned septic system has jacked the price up to at around $500,000. Originally, site work at Middle Gate was going to cost $220,000 but that cost will now be more than $300,000. The soil at the Sandy Hook school, according to Ozzie Torres, civil engineer, is very porous, making it necessary to dilute septage before routing it into a retention base. At Middle Gate School the soil is so heavy that a much larger septic system will be necessary.

 

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At its meeting July 17, the Board of Selectmen discussed the idea of initiating renovation projects for the Newtown Hook & Ladder Firehouse and for Town Hall South. Each project would involve correcting fire code violations identified several years ago, and also would involve other improvements.

 

July 24, 1964

The Newtown Little League season has ended and with it comes the choice of an all-star team to represent the town in area play. The first game is being played this Thursday afternoon in Union City. If Newtown wins this first contest, it will return to play its second game this Saturday at home at 2 pm. Other teams in the same draw with Newtown are Oxford and Watertown.

 

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Going into the final ten days of the schedule, The Tuttle’s Grill team leads the Newtown Softball League 14-1; The Fairfield Hills lads defeating them 5-4 early in the season. A play down between the top eight teams will close the season. This play down will match the teams according to their final league standings.

 

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A tractor-trailer truck load of steel and fire brick was strewn over Route 34 in Sandy Hook last Wednesday when air brakes failed as the truck started down grade. The driver decided to ditch the truck, which struck a tree and overturned. Although the truck cab was wrecked, the driver escaped without a scratch.

 

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The exhibit now at the Cyrenius H. Booth Library is an unusual one of American primitive water colors, pastels, and paintings on velvet. Works of this kind were done bit by bit, according to specific rules. Two of the paintings shown were done by the great-grandmother of Mrs Harrie Wood. Other fortunate owners who have loaned pictures are Edith Halpert, Lillian Jones, and Kenneth Hammitt.

 

July 21, 1939

M.F. Crowe, local realtor of Main street, has just completed the sale of the former John Keane property in the Zoar district of Newtown to John R. Brown of New York City. It is one of the finest and largest farms in that section of the town and consists of a fine old 10-room Colonial house, several outbuildings, and one of the largest dairy barns in the town. There are also 100 acres of land.

 

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There will be something new in town this next Thursday. Pretty funny things on wheels go through our streets; this time it is going to be Books on Wheels. The Stephen Daye Bookwagon — a display of books about New England, published by the Stephen Daye Press at Brattleboro, Vt., — is coming to Newtown, Thursday, July 27, and all day it will be parked at the Cyrenius H. Booth Library. The display will be doubly interesting to Newtown, for one of this publisher’s newest books is “Free… For Three Months Only,” and the author, Dwight Hutchison, has recently come to Newtown to live.

 

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Local farmers, and even those with small gardens, will be interested in the Boysen berry which is now being raised in the garden of “Chief” McKenzie on Queen street. About thirty of these plants were brought here form California last year and are now producing ripe fruit, and The Bee feels sure that these plants are the first or among the first, to come to Connecticut. The Boysen berry according to Mr McKenzie, is a cross from Logan, rasp and blackberries. The juice makes a nice drink and the berries are very good for pies, jelly and preserves. A cordial invitation is extended by Mr And Mrs McKenzie to anyone interested in seeing these Boysen berries on the vines in their garden.

 

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“Mickey” Halsted, small daughter of Mr and Mrs John S. Halsted of Mt Kisco, N.Y., was the victim of an unfortunate accident on Saturday while visiting at the home of her grandmother, Mrs Grace Wulff of Taunton district, when a vicious rooster flew at the little girl and inflicted severe wounds on her cheek and eyelid, narrowly missing the eye. Dr Waldo F. Desmond was called and the child was removed to the Danbury hospital where he found it necessary to take several stitches to close the wounds.

 

July 24, 1914

Sam Valentine’s tent show finished a week’s engagement at Dodgingtown, Saturday night. The tents were pitched next to the Fire Co.’s building. In the voting contest, William Gower was voted the most popular gentleman, Miss Andrews the most popular lady and Byron Andrews the most popular baby. The program presented by the Valentines consisted of singing and humorous sketches. He represented the Oregon Medicine Co. and sold their remedies.

 

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A representative of The Bee had a pleasant chat, Wednesday, with “Sam” Patch, an expert machinist of the old days, and the oldest male resident (if we are not mistaken) in Sandy Hook village. Mr Patch is 83 and is as alert mentally as a man of 40 years. He possesses a fund of information as to old-time business activity in Sandy Hook. One of the first hat shops in town, he says, was located in what is now the house occupied by Miss Henrietta Judson on Washington avenue. The old saddler’s shop, a part of the present house, was utilized. Ezra Patch, Roswell White and a man named Duncombe went to work. Anthony Wygant built what is now known as the Dutcher place and also made hats. Daniel Connelly started a hat shop in the present building where John H. Blackman lives. Dea Summers had a hat shop in Berkshire in the building now occupied by Mrs Partridge. The market building of J.H. Blackman was the machine shop of Beecher & Tucker. In the Niantic mill property across the street, David Curtiss, a great uncle of Henry G. Curtis, carried on comb making in one end of the building. As a boy, Mr Patch says he drove cows to pasture for seven cents a week. How many boys in Sandy Hook would be willing to do this work today, at this figure?

 

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The medal speaking contest in the Taunton schoolhouse, Tuesday night, brought out an audience filling every seat, while many of the boys and men were forced to stand at the doors. Miss Jennie Sturges was awarded the medal. Great credit is due Miss Susie Camp, who assisted in the drilling of the children.

 

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A sad case of drowning, indeed, was that which occurred in the Housatonic river, near Bennett’s Bridge, on Thursday afternoon, when Lester F. McCoy, in bathing, was seized with cramps and went down to his death. He was 20 years old and had been a pupil of Prof Skiff, who has a summer school of music at Botsford, for about a year. The sad event cast a gloom over the colony at Botsford Hill.

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