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The Way We Were



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September 6, 1996

It was such a great day for a parade on Monday, even the sun showed up for Newtown’s annual Labor Day march through town. Hurricane Edouard threatened, but stayed away, much to the relief of parade organizers, flag-waving spectators, and those scheduled to ride in convertibles, like parade Grand Marshals Joan and Jim Crick.


At the shopping center on Queen Street Monday, instead of battening down the hatches, the Booth Library book sale, the library’s biggest fund-raiser, was doing a booming business, selling about 70,000 of the 100,000 books on hand. By Wednesday, volunteers from Daytop at Fairfield Hills were loading the remaining books on a Goodwill truck bound for yet another book sale in Washington, D.C.


The Board of Education met Tuesday night at Newtown High School to hear a progress report from Frank Krasnickas, chairman of the Public Building and Site Commission, on the Hawley School construction site. What board members learned from Mr Krasnickas is what anyone who had driven into the parking lot behind the back of the Church Hill Road school already knows. Except for the placement of an attractively mulched path leading out to the playing field, separated from the construction site by a six-foot, chain link fence, there was not much going on to show that a $4 million construction addition was underway.


Renovations to the interior of Cyrenius Booth Library are progressing slower than expected so the library will not reopened as planned. Library Director Janet Woycik told The Newtown Bee that she is “really disappointed” that she and staff were unable to move out of the building and avoid a scheduling conflict. Construction on the library addition is on schedule, but interior work on the existing building is taking longer because the area is so congested, according to clerk of the works Ed Callo.

September 10, 1971

EDITORIAL INK DROPS: We extend a word of praise and appreciation to all who had a part in this year’s Progress Festival in Newtown. From Ed Sullivan, who chairmaned the affair for the Chamber of Commerce, to the littlest bike rider in the parade on Labor Day, the efforts of everyone who participated did something to arouse community pride and make of the event a truly town-wide celebration. A total of 65 units marched in Newtown on Labor Day morning, making up the largest Progress Festival Parade in the town’s history.


The Pole Bridge Road intersection with the eastbound lane of I-84 has now closed, the Campanella Construction Company reports. To get to and from Pole Bridge, one must now use Route 34.


The Newtown Jaycee Holiday Rest Area ended the same way it began with people, people and more people. They were all served coffee or orange drink with some type of pastry. The rest area opened on Friday, September 3, at 6 pm and did not close until Monday, September 6, at 9 pm and catered to over 5,000 people.

September 6, 1946

Approximately $800 clear was realized by Pohtatuck Grange from the carnival held the latter part of last month. Credit for the successful results are due Chairman Howe Smith and his assistant, Charles Hawley, as well as the numerous other Grange members who worked before, during, and after the carnival.


Word has been received from Washington, D.C., by Mr and Mrs George U. Burr to the effect that the Commanding Officer in the European Theater where their son, Lieut Howard Burr, was killed, is forwarding a detailed account of the accident which caused his death. The communication also announced that a fellow officer has been detailed to accompany the body from the port of embarkation to his home. Funeral arrangements will be announced upon receipt of final word.


Newtown schools opened this Wednesday morning with a first-day total enrollment of 579 students as compared with 554 on the first day of last year. Based on previous experience and information as to students who will enroll late, Principal Carl A. LeGrow expects complete figures to show a top of over 600 in the six locations included in the Newtown school system.


Saturday closings during July and August have proven so popular with The Bee staff, that it has been decided to continue them through the month of September. The Bee office, therefore, will be closed each Saturday during September and the public is asked to cooperate by calling on other days during the week. —Paul S. Smith, Editor

September 9, 1921

Newtown loses a substantial and highly respected resident in the death of Frank L. Mitchell of Mile Hill, who passed away in the early hours of Monday at the home of his daughter, Mrs George Camp, of Waterbury, where he went a few weeks ago with Mrs Mitchell in the hopes that a change would be beneficial to his health. Mr Mitchell was 65 years old and is also survived by his wife, and a son, Wallace. The funeral was largely attended on Wednesday afternoon from his home. Rev J.L. Lasher officiating. The burial was in the cemetery at South Britain.


The work on the new Hawley school goes steadily forward under the daily work of the men of the Hewlett Construction Company’s force. The brick work is now completed to the second floor and the concrete is poured. The frame for the front entrance is set and the columns have been laid on the sides, which makes a very impressive appearance. The stone window sills have been set on the second floor. Miss Mary Hawley, the generous donor of this beautiful memorial, was at the building, Wednesday, and expressed her pleasure at the progress being made. Mr Hunt, the superintendent for the Hewlett Company, on this job, is certainly a hustler.


Cushman C. Morse will enter the famous Drummer Academy at South Byfield, (Newburyport) Mass., this fall, as a special student to prepare for the Boston School of Technology.

September 11, 1896

The (Hattertown) schoolhouse has been cleaned, whitewashed and the seats repaired, the wood cut and yard mowed, and everything is in readiness for the beginning of the school, Tuesday. Miss Viola Waldron of Long Island is the teacher.


During the shower, Sunday afternoon, lightning struck the barn of Miss Ann Blackman in the Street, tearing off boards on the side and ripping a pathway from the ridge-board to the eaves of the barn. It was remarkable that it did not fire the hay, which was close to the track of the lightning. It was a severe shower, the rain descending heavily.


FAIR JOTTINGS: The Consolidated road is to sell excursion tickets, including admission to the fair, from various points at the following rates: Danbury, .65; Bethel, .75; New Milford, .75; Brookfield Junction, .50; Brookfield, .50; Stepney, .50; Long Hill, .60; Trumbull, .65; Bridgeport, .50; Stevenson, .50; Shelton, 75; Derby Junction, .75; Ansonia, .85; New Haven, 1.10.

*The buildings at the fair grounds are fast nearing completion. Carpenter G.A. Northrop has the contract for building the fence enclosing the grounds. It will be an eight foot fence and nearly a mile in length.

*The medals for the local bicycle races will be on exhibition at R.H. Beers & Co.’s store. The silver cup for the open race will be exhibited in New Haven, Danbury and Bridgeport.

*The trotting and bicycle entries will close positively September 21. All those expecting to enter will please bear this in mind.

*Entry blanks for the bicycle races can be obtained by addressing the secretary.

*Any one wishing to subscribe to any of the new issue of stock will please advise the secretary to that effect. A good share of it is already sold and it seems to be quite in demand.

Do you have photographs of people or places in town from a bygone era? The Way We Were is the perfect landing spot so that your photographs can be enjoyed by Newtown Bee readers. Images can be e-mailed as attachments to shannon@thebee.com, subject line: Way We Were photo. When submitting photographs, please identify as many people as possible, the location, and the approximate date. If you live locally and would like to loan a photo/photos, please give us a call (203-426-3141) to let us know when you will be visiting.

Another vintage postcard that was recently donated to our archives depicts Edmond Town Hall. Like the one showing Booth Library featured in this column two weeks ago, this postcard is unused and in beautiful condition. The trees are long gone, and the automobiles have been updated since this card’s printing, but the building itself looks very much the same today.
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