Way We Were

Way We Were, for the week ending May 31, 2019

Published: June 03, 2019 at 12:00 pm


June 17, 1994

This week’s excerpts from The Newtown Bee should reflect stories printed on June 10. However, that issue is missing from The Bee archives. This week’s “Way We Were” has jumped ahead to June 17.

A 29-year-old man died Monday afternoon, the victim of an accidental drowning after he jumped off the bridge between Newtown and Southbury and plunged down into Lake Zoar 50 feet below. State Police identified the man as Estaphan Gee of 15-D Terrace Circle, Bridgeport. After plunging into the lake, he surfaced, but then appeared to be struggling as he disappeared below the surface. An unidentified companion’s efforts to swim to Mr Gee and aid him were unsuccessful, police said. Following the drowning incident, which occurs just after 2 pm, divers from Newtown Underwater Search and Rescue and divers from Bethel attempted to find Mr Gee in the flowing waters of Lake Zoar. To aid the search, Northeast Utilities closed dam floodgates to slow the current of the lake. State police divers, using an underwater diver’s sled, located Mr Gee’s body around 5 pm after a brief search.


Democratic Selectman Gary Fetzer announced Tuesday that he will make another bid for the 28th District State Senate seat held by Republican Fred H. Lovegrove, Jr of Fairfield. The district includes Newtown, Easton, Fairfield and the northern half of Monroe. “Over the last two years, I continue to be frustrated that the issues I heard from the people during the last campaign have not been addressed,” Mr Fetzer said. When dealing with issues such as the future of Fairfield Hills Hospital, the siting of a new Department of Transportation garage in Fairfield and the plan for state roads through Easton and Monroe, the state should include the towns in the decision making, he said.


A total of 212 students are expected to graduate from Newtown High School at the commencement ceremony on Thursday, June 23, at 5 pm in the stadium. If it rains, the ceremony will be in the auditorium. Kevin Malone will give the salutatory address. Class Treasurer Courtney Lyddy then will introduce commencement speaker chosen by the students, social studies and math teacher Robert McHugh. Katherine Spengler, second vice president of the class, will discuss class accomplishments. Marie Sturdevant, Newtown Scholarship Association President, will present awards. The valedictorian address will be made by Matthew Dorozenski. Class Secretary Valerie Mauriello will present an honorary diploma to Dorothy Quinn Cavanaugh, who was a member of the class of 1944. Superintendent John Reed will present seniors with their diplomas.


The skies opened up and the rain and lightning poured out onto the Newtown area last Sunday, though property damage in town was limited. “We had 4.61 inches of rain in Danbury on Sunday,” said Gary Lessor of Western Connecticut State University Weather Center. “It is not unusual to have 2 inches of rain, but for June we would normally have 3.94 inches the whole month.” The storm also brought down a tree on Riverside Road, necessitating a fire department response. And Hawleyville firefighters assisted Bethel with a structure fire in the Stony Hill section, which was caused by lightning.


A fire alarm at Edmond Town Hall sounded at 2:29 Wednesday afternoon, and town hall workers had to evacuate into the sweltering heat outside while the Newtown Hook & Ladder Company checked the building. No fire was found, and workers gladly returned to their air-conditioned offices.


June 6, 1969

As a prelude to the start of the annual fundraising campaign of Newtown’s Fire Companies there was a massed display of firefighting equipment last Sunday morning in front of the high school on Queen Street. Assembled for view from 10 am to noon was equipment from each of the five companies. The fire equipment review was arranged by the Newtown Combined Fire Companies under the directions of Richard Farkas, chairman. His committee consisted of Paul Carola, Sam Ferraro, Paul Wilson, Bill Halstead and Ed Forbell.


Friends of Carl LeGrow, retired superintendent of Newtown schools, will be glad to know he is in good health after a severe winter in Maine. Mr and Mrs Sydney Dobbs visited him in Portland last Sunday. He asked especially about friends in town and new developments at the schools. He has planted his garden and is expecting a cousin from England to visit him at the end of June.


A car driven by Roy Bresson, 36, of Parmalee Hill Road, struck two unoccupied parked vehicles on Newtown’s Main Street at 12:15 am on Thursday, June 5. The accident occurred 300 feet south of East Street. Owners of the parked cars are Mrs Walter Lowry Sr of Codfish Hill Road, Bethel, and Mrs Roger Dobbrow of 100 Cedar Hill Road, Newtown. Mr Bresson was injured and taken to Danbury Hospital in the Newtown Ambulance by Stan Verry and Lew Rowe. Mr Bresson’s car and one of the cars damaged in the crash were towed away. The accident was investigated by Officer Robert Wrabel.


One hundred and sixty young people have registered for the First Annual Newtown Jaycee Junior Olympics to be held Saturday, June 7, at the Newtown High School Track, according to event chairman David Larson. He announced that Timothy Treadwell, First Selectman, will participate in the ceremonies.


June 9, 1944

Word has been received at The Bee office that Sergeant Donald F. Stickles, gunner with the eighth AAF Flying Fortress group commanded by Col. William B. David, stationed in England, has been awarded the Air Medal. The decoration was presented for meritorious achievement on bombing attacks over Nazi Europe. Srgt. Stickles is the son of Mr and Mrs Irvin Stickles of Sugar Street. He worked with the Brewster Aircraft Co., in Newark, N.J. before entering the AAF in February 1941. He is to be congratulated for his work as a gunner.


Beginning Wednesday, June 21, the Bookmobile will resume its summer visits to the Taunton-Hawleyville districts, Palestine, Huntingtown, Hattertown, Walnut Tree Hill, Berkshire districts, and at the Little Red School House at Gray’s Plains. The library would appreciate it that if those wishing book service would telephone or leave their names at the library.


The Camp Fire Girls of Sandy Hook will entertain this Thursday evening at the Mother-Daughter supper in the reception room of St John’s Church. It will be the last gathering for the girls before disbanding for the summer months.


June 6, 1919

One day last week Israel Nezvesky started a brush fire. It got the best of him and went galloping over the top of the mountain into Monroe. Deputy Fire Chief Harold Tomlinson got out 30 men and the fire warden in Monroe got out men to fight it. The fire ran over wood land of Neil Rasmusen and John Frank.


James Dest was arraigned before Justice McCarthy on Thursday at the town hall on the charge of short weighing in selling ice. The case was a most flagrant one and Justice McCarthy imposed a fine of $20 and costs, amounting to $178.46 on five separate counts. Mr Dest, and a brother in New Haven, own the ice, renting the building and property of the owners. Dest was arrested by constable Thomas Carlson.


Some of the Sandy Hook boys attended the baseball game and Memorial day exercises in Bethel on Friday.


Two of the editor’s young friends, a couple of pupils of Miss Gallagher’s school in Pootatuck, Katie and Tessie Jacobson, gave him a happy surprise Wednesday afternoon, and made glad his heart in presenting him with two large and beautiful bouquets, one of the showy lady slipper, and the other of painted cup. This is the third or fourth year these children have graciously remembered their friend in a similar way.

Please consider sharing your old photographs of people and places from Newtown or Sandy Hook with The Newtown Bee readers. Images can be e-mailed to kendra@thebee.com, or brought to the office at 5 Church Hill Road to be scanned. When submitting photographs, please identify as many people as possible, the location, and the approximate date.


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