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The Way We Were

August 18, 1989

The Legislative Council has approved the town’s formally applying for partial state funding towards a new swimming pool at Treadwell Park. But at its meeting August 16 the council held off on approving $60,000 for hiring a consultant to prepare specifications for putting the project out to bid. For years, town officials have been talking about building a pool at Treadwell Park. More than five years ago, the town had the New Haven firm of Technical Planning Associates draw up site plans. Since then, the Parks and Recreation Commission annually has proposed the project, estimated at $750,000. But each year, town officials have rejected it as too costly.

 

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It’s certainly been a year of wacky weather. Through the first four months of the year, the Western Connecticut State University’s Weather Center only recorded a total of 9.2 inches of precipitation. Then came May, with 11.55 inches. In June, there were 6.8 inches. In July, the precipitation was down somewhat, as 2.93 inches were measured. On August 11, there were 1.25 inches in a storm that continued into August 12, when there were 3.41 inches. For August, through the 15th, there had been 4.8 inches, which already exceeded the monthly average of 4.21 inches.

 

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A fire caused an estimated $35,000 to $40,000 in damage to a house in Shady Rest on the afternoon of August 16. A faulty television set is believed to have caused the fire, according to William Halstead, chief of the Sandy Hook Volunteer Fire Company. In the combination living room and kitchen, the fire damaged two walls and the ceiling, as well as destroying a television, a radio, a couch and other furniture. The fire also caused heavy smoke and heat damage throughout the house.

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Eight people here appear to have contracted hepatitis at Davey Bros Deli in Sandy Hook, state and local health officials say, but the delicatessen has had a clean bill of health for over a month. On July 4, a food handler stopped working at the deli. By July 13, his physician had confirmed that he had hepatitis. But anytime after those first days when he left work and the food was no longer being prepared by him, there is no way the hepatitis could have been communicated to others. A routine quarterly inspection on June 5 gave Davey Bros a rating of 96, close to the top of the department’s 100-point scale. Six people who contracted the illness told health inspectors they had eaten at the deli. Another two had had food from both the deli and Newtown Fruit and Flounder.

 

August 21, 1964

The prompt arrival and fine work of firemen headed by Chief Lee Glover prevented what might have been total destruction of the Yankee Drover Inn on Sunday afternoon. Flames from a kitchen fire shot up through walls to the roof. The call came in to the Newtown Hook and Ladder Company at 3:04 pm. Recall was at 5:10 pm, but some firemen remained at the scene, keeping careful watch, until almost 6 o’clock. Damage has not yet been fully determined but is believed to be extensive and on the third floor. It was necessary to open the roof to control the flames.

 

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The home of Timothy Reardon, Jr on Currituck Road was struck by lightning during the severe thunderstorm Tuesday evening about suppertime, causing some fire and a good deal of smoke. Newtown Hook and Ladder was called and had things under control promptly, with damage reported to be slight. Chief Glover said that the home of Martin Sealander on Route 6, across from the Chevron station in the Borough, was also hit by lightning during the same storm. He said that Mr Sealander checked the house and found no damage.

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On Monday, August 17, a steering committee meeting was held at the home of Mr and Mrs George Mayer, of Hanover Road, for the purpose of forming a choral society. It will be open to residents of Newtown and people of surrounding areas. Its purpose is to provide an opportunity to participate in singing classical, semi-classical and popular music. The group is happy to announce that the director of the chorus will be Joseph Grasso, Director of Music in the secondary schools of Newtown.

 

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On Sunday afternoon, September 6, the Newtown Progress Festival is proud to present to the town of Newtown a two-hour Band Concert by the New York Navy Band. The starting time is 3 pm, immediately following the Water Carnival. The event will be in the Town Park. This natural amphitheater will prove a delightful spot to spread your blankets and just sit and listen to two solid hours of music.

 

August 18, 1939

As the years pass, one after another, we become quite accustomed to the more firmly established institutions in a community and rather take them for granted. Once such institution which has filled a substantial place in the business life of Newtown for the past thirty years is the store of Corbett & Crowe in Sandy Hook. Though the store’s thirtieth anniversary was passed on Friday of last week, August 11, little fuss was made of the event by the two sterling partners, Martin A. Corbett and Arthur J. Crowe. The firm of Corbett & Crowe was formed on August 11, 1909, when Messrs Corbett and Crowe joined in partnership, taking over the business which had been conducted for the previous two years by Charles Finch. Mention of this business block will recall to older resident its long history. It was built about 1864 by Levi C. Morris, an uncle of Newtown’s present beloved merchant of the same name.

 

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Shortly after midnight, Monday, Newtown was visited with one for the most severe electrical storms of the season. For over a half hour the rain came down in torrents, with lightning and thunder almost continuously. Many homes in town were without electric service and numerous telephones were put out of order.

Frederick Taylor, who was recently in England with Walter J. Hutchinson, brought back one of the gas masks with which everyone in England is supplied. It gives those who have examined it a rather dread reminder of the prevailing conditions in Europe. Not a pleasant piece of equipment to be required to keep handy.

 

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Mrs Chandler Mackey reports a Japanese crabapple tree in bloom at the house which the Mackeys have recently built in South Center district. The tree, transplanted, had shown little sign of liking its new location until, at this late date, it suddenly burst into bloom.

 

August 21, 1914

Charles Canfield of Botsford, the artistic painter, has been at work upon the school buildings in Huntingtown district and as the result, they present a very fine appearance. No other school buildings in town equal them. Ground was broken, last week, for the cellar to the house which Herbert Coger is to build in Huntingtown, just south of the residence of Mrs Mary Crowe. The house Israel Nezveskey is building upon the property formerly owned by George French is nearing completion.

 

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Walter Ruffles of Palestine, while working in a loft over a pig pen on Tuesday, fell and fractured a rib. Dr F.J. Gale was summoned and attended to his injuries. Mr Ruffles suffered a considerable pain but is now more comfortable.

 

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The peach harvest is just beginning at the great orchards of Newton M. Curtis of Curtis Hill. Way back in February, after the cold snap, Mr Curtis went out into the orchards and after examining the buds, expressed the opinion there would be no crop. While he will not be favored with a bumper crop… the orchard of Elbertas east of the Curtis residence was not touched by the low temperatures. Mr Curtis’ peaches have had an enviable reputation in the Danbury and Bridgeport markets.

 

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That popular citizen of Gray’s Plain, Charlie Harang, has given up house painting and is spending his time in his poultry yards, watching his one thousand or more high grade birds eat, grow and fill the egg baskets.

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