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The Way We Were

May 5, 1989

There will be a referendum on the town’s $33.4 million budget. The budget had been approved by a 95 to 43 vote at the Town Meeting, April 25, but a petition drive led by Camille Taylor and Viola Murray will give voters a chance to change their minds. Over 1,000 signatures were collected.

 

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Illegal dumping is becoming easier to spot along Newtown roads and even off well-traveled highways. And as usual, residents are paying the price — in tax dollars and a sullied, rural environment. Hidden clearings like the one off of wooded, winding, New Lebbon Road protect the offender from view while storing everything from stray grocery carts to junk cars. Cul de sacs on roads of new residential developments like two off of Phil Curtis Road also are popular among dumpers, yielding tires, remnants of white appliances and plain old trash. The town’s policy is to dispatch highway workers to pickup the demolition debris, trash, r junk cars and deliver them to landfills or out-of-town dumps.

 

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The Old Meeting House (formerly the Newtown Congregational Church) will again be part of the Main Street Sunday morning activity this week when the Community Presbyterian Church holds its first worship service in the building. The 180-year-old building, which is owned by the town and maintained by the Heritage Preservation Trust of Newtown, Inc, will be rented out to the Presbyterians for 10 am Sunday worship services and for 7:30 pm Wednesday evening Bible study and prayer meetings.

 

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Marilyn Place is the new coordinator at the Senior Center. Marilyn, who started work May 1, lives in Sandy Hook with her husband Robert and two children. She has been a PTA volunteer, scout leader and works as a bookkeeper. Her work at the Center will include coordinating seniors’ trips, arts & crafts, and other activities and writing the Senior Center news column in The Bee.

 

May 8, 1964

The official opening of the Congregational Church’s 250th anniversary observance was marked shortly after noon on Sunday, May 8. The occasion was the setting up of a white-painted signboard lettered and decorated in gold leaf and vermillion. Numerous committees have been at work since the beginning of the year planning, researching and creating for the anniversary which will be observed primarily during the month of October. A history of the Congregational Church will be published in the fall.

 

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The Newtown Methodist Church voted unanimously Monday night to name its newly acquired property “Wood’s Park,” and the house on the property, “Wesley House.” Submitted names indicated a desire to honor a man whose interest and accomplishments on behalf of the church should be remembered. The property was named “Wood’s Park” for the Rev E. Leslie Woods, district superintendent who was so instrumental in having the church obtain the property. The church is progressing under its first full time pastor, the Rev Kenneth Halcott, and many new programs have been instigated, namely the 60-Plus Club, MYF, and Wesley youth group, and renovations to the church hall and the newly acquired property.

 

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Mrs Alton W. Cashman’s kindergarten class had the pleasure of having a very fancy visitor on Monday, May 4. It was the lamb owned by Scott Leitch of Sandy Hook. The lamb came as a guest of Nathaniel K. Housh, celebrating his sixth birthday. Mrs Leitch brought a bottle so the children could see the lamb “gulp it up.”

 

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William A. Honan, Jr, chairman of the Park and Recreation Commission, has announced that park stickers are now on sale. They may be purchased at the Dickinson Memorial Park or at the office of the first selectman, for $3.

 

May 5, 1939

The Committee on the Dedication of the War Memorial met last week and reported fine progress. Hon Edward T. Buckingham of Bridgeport has been secured as the speaker. The decorating committee has just made arrangement to have the street dressed in gay colors by a well known concern. This concern will also decorate homes and places of business. Several have already signed up. Several organizations have already signed up for the parade.

 

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OPEN FOR THE SEASON The Maryland Grill $1.00, A Full Course Sizzling Steak or Hickory Ham Dinner. 60 cents, Special Chicken Dinner Every Day; 35 cents, Featuring: Pecan Waffles and Coffee. WILLIAM HARRIS, Prop. NEWTOWN On Route 6 Telephone 494.

 

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Dog owners in town are very negligent this year in registering their dogs. To date there are well over one hundred dogs still unregistered. The attention of dog owners is also called to the fact that local dog warden, John A. Carlson, is receiving numerous complaints regarding dogs who are running at large and destroying gardens, trees, and evergreens. This nuisance must stop, and Mr Carlson is issuing a warning to all owners to keep their dogs tied.

 

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The noise of construction started on Wednesday at The Bee office, as Contractor Vincent Sullivan and men began work on an addition to our building. A room is being added on the west side to provide increased space for the business and editorial departments, which has been needed for some time because of the larger staff The Bee now employs in its publishing activities.

 

May 8, 1914

A.S. Green & Co. are now arranging their shop and show room in the Postoffice Block, which will be paneled with beaver board and a complete line of all electric appliances will be kept on hand, such as vacuum cleaners, toasters, irons, broilers, chafing dishes, heating pads and everything electrical which goes to make the home more comfortable. The firm are to act as representatives of the Electric Light Co., and a complete line of lamps will be maintained at the store.

 

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Selectman Johnson has had an excellent piece of road improvement made in graveling on the roads about Hawleyville. Over in Taunton near the Edwards place for years there has been a very bad section of road. Mr Johnson has had stone walls carted in and covered with gravel, and a splendid piece of road is the result. Frank Luff and some of the men of Taunton did the work.

 

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Constable C.B. Johnson, assisted by a railroad detective, did a clever job, Sunday, in arresting 16 young men, mostly minors, for trespassing on railroad property. For a long time about Hawleyville the railroad has been pestered to death by young men riding the freight trains, who com in from Waterbury, Hartford, Derby, and other places.

 

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The Spring we have been looking forward to has kept itself in the background so long that Summer will be upon us before we are aware of it. Only a few warm days as yet, mostly rain and wind and damp, cloudy weather. No wonder the farmers are discouraged and are afraid they will not harvest any crops if the weather continues so cold and rainy. Until it warms up considerable it will not pay to put the seeds in the ground. “A late Spring, an early Fall.”

Photo:

14 Main Street, in which merchant Levi Morris (1858–1942) lived, and in which his general store, his undertaking parlor, and a barn/garage was located, burned to the ground April 25, 1914, destroying all of his outbuildings and other nearby properties. Mr Morris then joined with Rodney Shepard to form Shepard Morris General Store at 43 Main Street, later operated by his son.                      —From Legendary Locals of Newtown by Dan Cruson

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