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The Way We Were

September 23, 1988

Authorities still are waiting for laboratory results from samples taken at the scene of The Smoke Shop, which was damaged in a fire August 31. Although the cause of the fire remains suspicious, Deputy Fire Marshal William Halstead said that at this point, he won’t be able to definitively label the fie as arson unless the testing shows that an accelerant was used to start the fire.

 

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The official Town Charter — the guide for the town’s government — is full of spelling and typographical errors, as well as a number of more significant mistakes. As a result, Gary Fetzer, who chaired the now defunct Charter Revision Commission, is balking at endorsing the payment of Rod Mac Kenzie for some of the work he did last year as the commission’s attorney. (Mr Mac Kenzie became first selectman in January.) To correct the problems of the erroneous charter, Town Attorney Stephen Wippermann said this week he will write a legal opinion covering the discrepancies detailed in the report.

 

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People’s Bank said “I Love Newtown” with coffee mugs, breakfast and balloons on September 20. This theme was part of the grand opening celebration of the Newtown office at 6 Queen Street — the 71st in the statewide People’s network. A gift of $500 was given to Newtown Scholarship Association in honor of the occasion as a token of the bank’s commitment to Newtown.

 

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A Service of Dedication will take place in the Newtown Congregational Church, West Street and Castle Hill Roads, on Sunday, September 25, at 3 pm. Members and friends will dedicate this new House of Worship in the Newtown community. The Rev Bonnie Bardot, Interim Senior Minister, and the Rev Richard Fitch, Associate Minister, have planned the service.

 

September 27, 1963

Fairfield Hills Hospital will replace Fairfield State Hospital as the official name of western Connecticut’s mental hospital in Newtown on October 1, 1963. The purpose of the new name is to increase the acceptability of the hospital to patients and their families by eliminating the word “State.” Such a change was originally proposed by Dr Louis Gold, a practicing psychiatrist in Hartford. Similar changes were made in 1961 at Connecticut Valley Hospital in Middletown and Norwich Hospital in Preston.

 

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Robert Lougheed of Eden Hill Road has painted his 14th cover for the Reader’s Digest. Titled “Ploughing Contest,” it appears in the October issue, and shows the gaily decked teams competing, with white Franklin gulls, commonly called “prairie doves,” following the ploughs to pick up the upturned worms.

 

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Christmas comes early to Main Street! Or so it seems to those who have observed the shiny Christmas tree ornaments which adorn one of the recently planted, but dying, trees in front of the home of Mr and Mrs Milton Hull. The tree is one of the few of the Main Street Tree Planting Project which has not survived and flourished. Until it is replaced, either Milt or Dorothy has shown the Hulls’ usual good sense of humor in masking the stark branches in plenty of time to inspire Christmas shopping at the Hobby Shop.

 

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The Republican motorcade and torchlight parade will be led by the Sandy Hook Fife and Drum Corps next Friday evening, October 4, into the shopping centers in Newtown and Sandy Hook. The parade will start at the Edmond Town Hall at 7 o’clock and proceed south to the flagpole and turn down Church Hill Road to the Wheeler Shopping Center, where the townspeople will have the opportunity to talk informally with the Republican candidates, while the Sandy Hook Fife and Drum Corps will play a selection of numbers. At approximately 7:20 the motorcade will move to the Grand Union Shopping Center. The cars decorated with streamers and flares will move to the center of Sandy Hook at 7:45 and again the Fife and Drum Corps will play.

 

September 23, 1938

Joseph A. Turner of Hawleyville has sold his home, gristmill, and six acres of land located in the Land’s End District to George P. Simpson of New York City. With the property goes a large pond. The new owners plan to remodel the residence into a large studio, and will build a log cabin on the north side of the pond, which they will use as a summer home.

 

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The Fairfield State Hospital, in Newtown, is the scene of much construction activity these days, particularly as the McGraw Construction Company of Hartford has launched fullsteam into its contract for the building of two continued treatment units to augment the present bed capacity at the hospital. The two new buildings are to cost $1,4446,000 and the work is being done as a PWA project. A crew of seventy men has been at work for some time at the Fairfield State Hospital, under WPA, constructing tunnels to connect new buildings with the present underground system.

 

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The heavy rains which began to fall last Saturday culminated in a torrential rain and hurricane Wednesday afternoon that caused great damage throughout the state, as well as locally. The storm’s intensity was felt throughout all the New England states. Newtown was not hit nearly as hard as a good many of the other towns of this section, although many large trees were blown over and the whole town was without lights or power from about 5:30 pm, Wednesday, until about 3 o’clock, Thursday morning. Large trees fell on main street at Wallace Mitchell’s, the Hawley Manor yard, the Episcopal parsonage, and in the rear of the Congregational church, where a huge tree dropped across the electric and telephone wires, but completely missed the church and the Parker House.

 

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How badly the old-timers in Newtown and New Milford have been bitten by the softball bug was well exemplified on Sunday afternoon at the Country club, when neither the falling rain nor the muddy field prevented the scheduled game between the New Milford Firemen and the Country Club teams. The spectators, however, were rather conspicuous by their absence.

 

September 26, 1913

Some person or persons broke into the tool chest of C.R. Beardsley, at the McArthur place in Palestine and stole about $30 worth of tools. Mr Beardsley is willing to give $10 for the arrest and conviction of the thieves.

 

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Arthur Beard is erecting a concrete wall along the bank of the Pootatuck river adjoining the property of Mrs Betts. It is a stretch of about 100 feet and five or six feet high.

 

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Down in the Glen some of the young men have been having a good deal of fun of late in shooting at mark, exhibiting their skill at sharp shooting, by knocking off the ashes from a cigar in a man’s mouth, and trying other stunts. Wednesday afternoon Peter Nevans held up his hat for Samuel Wilcox to shoot at. Mr Wilcox proved a poor shot, for he took off the end of one of Mr Nevans’ fingers. Dr Kiernan was called to attend to Mr Nevans’ injury.

 

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Martin A. Corbett passed Wednesday in Danbury. With his brother Daniel T. Corbett, he took an automobile trip which included Norwalk, Stamford, and New Rochelle, N.Y. Miss Tessie Carmody has passed a few days, this week, with friends in Georgetown. Mr and Mrs John Carmody, Jr are visiting Mrs Carmody’s father, Alfred Osborne, at Botsford.

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