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The Way We Were

August 5, 1988

The Second Company Governor’s Horse Guard is coming to town. For good. The company is moving from its leased site in Bethany to a permanent one in the old dairy barn on the former patients’ farm at Fairfield Hills Hospital (FHH). It will take over the second floor of the sprawling barn, as well as two of the three first floor wings. Although the company’s lease for the Bethany site extends until May 1989, Gov O’Neill said he hoped renovations to the barn — as well as other work — will be completed in time for the company to move in by November.

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The Board of Selectmen, at its meeting August 1, unanimously approved town acceptance of the donation of the old meeting house from the Newtown Congregational Church. The church had voted to donate the 180-year-old building, the former home of the Newtown Congregational Church, over a year ago, but the matter had been repeatedly tabled by the board. Church members had said it wanted the town to accept the building to guard against demolition, more possible with private ownership.

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The construction of a concession stand by the Pop Warner organization at Taylor Field was approved by the Board of Education, August 2, after an agreement was reached. The project was approved with a series of stipulations. Approval hinges on the Board of Education’s assuming ownership upon completion of the structure and Pop Warner’s agreement to abandon the use of the structure at the request of the board. The board must have final approval on the location and design of the structure. The football team must maintain the building, carry property and product liability insurance with the board named as insured. Also, the Pop Warner organization will pay all related utility fees on an annual basis at the start of each season.

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Two land use projects pending in the historic Hattertown District have prompted residents and town officials to take action aimed at preserving the area’s “antique rural atmosphere.” Some neighbors are protesting the building of a raised ranch in the historic district, while others are watching for resolution to a problem at Morgan’s Pond that threatens the pond’s existence. Castle Meadow resident Chris Barone contends the modern one-family home will destroy the continuity of the district, where houses date back as far as 1750.

August 9, 1963

Boy Scout Troop 370, Pomperaug Council, is proprietor of a floating refreshment stand on Lake Zoar. The stand is on the dock of Scoutmaster Charles Ensign of Lake Drive, Sandy Hook. Robert Sturges of Riverside, Troop Committee head, is in charge of the operation of the stand, which is open every Saturday and Sunday from 11:30 am to 6 pm. The Scouts cordially invite all their boating friends to stop by and patronize their stand, and thus enjoy a snack on the river.

The Newtown Progress Festival continues to grow larger and larger as each week goes by. From all reports, this will be a three-day weekend, which will be remembered for years to come and will be hard to top next year. One of the outstanding events this year will be an exciting aquatic show, to be held at the Town Park on Sunday afternoon at 1:30 pm, just prior to the band concert. This show, put together by Mrs Paul Berkins, will have everything from water clowns to a water ballet.

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A house and barn burned “according to plan” when Newtown and Sandy Hook fire companies joined in a scheduled fire drill Sunday morning, efficiently controlling the blaze and protecting nearby buildings. Approximately 40 firemen took part in the drill under the direction of Chief Lee Glover of the Newtown Hook and Ladder and Chief Herbert Lewis of the Sandy Hook Fire Department. The burning house and barn on Route 6 attracted passing motorists and townspeople by the hundreds. Some thought it was a “real fire” but the owner had requested the buildings be burned to make way for a shopping center.

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Ever since Gay Parker visited Norway in 1960 as an AFS exchange student, she has hoped that her Norwegian “sisters” might some day come and stay at her Newtown home. This summer her wish came true, as Bjorg Kvadsheim arrived from Stavenger.

 

August 5, 1938

Mayor and Mrs Jasper McLevy of Bridgeport stopped for a short time in Newtown on Wednesday evening, on their way to their place in Washington, Conn. The Mayor was in his usual genial, chatty mood and entertained a few of the local townspeople with some rare stories.

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Miss Barbara Gratto, Newtown’s visiting nurse, who will spend several weeks on a cruise through the Mediterranean, was given a rousing send-off on Saturday morning from the Edmond Town Hall, when she left for Boston, from where she sailed Sunday morning. The Town Hall folks were in fine fettle, and all with whom she is associated were on hand with tin rattlers, horns and rice, to let her know that she will not be forgotten.

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“New Members’ Night” will be observed at the meeting of Pohtatuck Grange on Tuesday evening at the recreation rooms of Hawley Manor. All those who have joined the Grange since 1935 will be asked to respond to the Roll Call, “What I Have Found Most Interesting in the Grange.” Dr Russell Strasburger has prepared a most interesting talk on “Humane Treatment of Animals.”

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One of the worst automobile accidents that has happened in Newtown in some time, occurred shortly before 6 o’clock on Monday morning, when a car driven by Louis Carbonneau of Sandy Hook cut out of line passing three other cars and crashed head on into a car driven by Dr Lee R. Pierce of White Plains, N.Y. With Mr Carbonneau was his wife, both of whom were on their way to the Fairfield State Hospital where they were employed. In the Pierce car were Dr and Mrs Pierce and two children, Peggy and Jane. The force of the collision threw the Packard car of Dr Pierce back some 84 feet, while the Carbonneau car was thrown backwards, turning over several times into the left hand ditch. Mrs Carbonneau died at the hospital on Monday afternoon. Mr Carbonneau received cuts and bruises, with leg and arm fractures. Dr Pierce suffered lacerations and bruises, while Mrs Pierce suffered a concussion and cuts. Jane received scalp cuts, while June received internal injuries and cuts.

 

August 8, 1913

Some people without permission from the principal of the High school have been picking flowers in the High school gardens. These are private grounds, and the flowers are there for show, and the public to enjoy and the people should have sense enough to know the fact.

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The local company of Boy Scouts, under the direction of B.J. Thrall, Jr, as scoutmaster, went to their camping grounds on the Housatonic river below Zoar Bridge, Monday, for a week’s outing. That they will have a good time boating, bathing, fishing and tramping up and down the river goes without saying.

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The Sandy Hook hotel and barns are shining in a new dress of paint. Carroll & Peeso are the artists. The old brick wall underpinning on the east side is being taken out and cement blocks substituted. William Shepard of Zoar, the well known mason, is doing this latter work.

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Arthur Beard, leader of the Sandy Hook band, has been on the sick list for a week, but is now able to be about again. He is doing plaster and concrete work on the addition E.S. Lovell is building on to his cottage on Queen Street.

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