Way We Were


The Way We Were, for the week ending October 12, 2018

Published: October 11, 2018 at 04:30 pm

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Hurdlers from Bethel, Newtown, and Weston fly over the beam in this 1982 image.

October 15, 1993

Nearly 20 years ago when Bruce McLaughlin and his brother agreed they would like to restore a town, they considered Sandy Hook and Minturn, Colo. “My brother wanted Minturn because he lived there,” Mr McLaughlin said. “I wanted to fix up Sandy Hook. Thankfully, he won. Otherwise, we would probably still be waiting on the approvals [from local land-use boards].” Today, Minturn is a territory town, a popular resort community near Vail, Colo., with only 350 year-round residents. There is also a winery, Minturn Cellars, one of two that Bruce and his wife Taffy have started in Colorado with their families. The other, Pikes Peak Vineyards, is located on 160 acres near Colorado Springs. “We started those wineries after we started McLaughlin Vineyards in Sandy Hook in 1978,” Mr McLaughlin said. The McLaughlins were in California when they learned that both the Democratic and Republican parties were cancelling their wine and cheese parties scheduled at the vineyard on Albert’s Hill Road when they were told that the town’s zoning enforcement officer Bill Nicholson had sent a cease and desist order. A neighbor had complained that the winery was holding public events like tastings and tours. Mr McLaughlin does not deny that if someone stops by and wants to see the operation, he will show them around, but he shakes his head in exasperation at what he considers obstacles that the land use agencies have put up in his effort to establish a boutique winery in Sandy Hook.

***

Armed with rakes, gloves, and paper and crayons, Cub Scout Pack 470 members began work last week at a thickly wooded ridge off Cemetery Road. Their mission was to clear an overgrown and forgotten graveyard, which dates back to the mid-1800s, and make headstone rubbings to include in a skit later this month. Cub leader Bill Weber came up with the idea to tidy the cemetery when he was researching the history of his nearby 1822 home. “There wasn’t much information on who had lived in the house,” he said. “Some neighbors told me about the cemetery in the woods. Some of the people buried there must have lived in this house.”

***

Turkeys with all the fixings will be served on Friday, October 15, in the Alexandria Room. There will be continuous servings from 5-8 pm. The dinner is part of the Congregational Church Harvest Festival. Tickets are $7 adults, $3.50 children, and may be purchased at the door. The public is welcome.

***

Fairfield Hills Task Force members are considering a proposal to build an 18-hole golf course on the hospital grounds. Resident and golf enthusiast Andrew W. McCullough of AWM Associates presented the proposal to task force members. The task force is evaluating various requests for the future use of buildings and land in light of the Department of Mental Health’s decreasing presence on the 800-acre campus. Mr McCullough’s concept involves building a town-owned golf course and driving range. The design, construction and maintenance costs would be borne by the town, according to Mr McCullough. The town would have to produce roughly $3.5 million in capital to get the course built, and the course would generate some traffic, especially on weekends in the summer. Most of the proposed course would be sited over the Pootatuck Aquifer, the extensive underground drinking water source which has been designated as the town’s sole-source aquifer.

***

Last Saturday, five youths crossed the threshold of the Matthew Curtiss House and entered the 18th Century. Under the guidance of Cheryll Compton, a re-enactment enthusiast, the group cooked up a batch of home remedies, harvested an herb garden, created a fragrant “sleep pillow,” enjoyed an authentic meal, and had a stitchery lesson. “Why did the mother use medicinal recipes for her family in the 18th Century?” Ms Compton asked. “She didn’t want the doctor to come,” chimed Janine Pixley, “because he would bleed you, leech you, poke you, or purge you.” “Right,” said Ms Compton, pleased that the children were learning.

October 18, 1968

The Society of the Hawley Family’s 46th annual reunion took place at the Hawely Manor on Saturday, October 12. Members in attendance were primarily from the New England, mid-Atlantic, and midwestern states. Founded in 1923 in Bridgeport by the late Miss Emily C. Hawley, the family group has reconvened every year since then in some greater Bridgeport location. A feature of this year’s day-long reunion was an illustrated talk by Mrs Henry R. Bollinger in which she reported on her recent trip to the Middle East with several weeks each in Lebanon and Egypt. The treasurer, Philip C. Hawley of Windsor, announced that gift stationary with the family crest had been prepared. Among the specific items on display were an 1852 day book diary of John H. Hawley, grandfather of Franklin Hawley of Brookfield Center; several charts prepared by Charley Hawley of Trumbull, and an old 1832 Bible of the Hawley-Warner family given to the society by the Rev Dr Verdery, headmaster of Wooster School in Danbury.

***

Luke and Diamond, Brown Swiss Oxen owned by William Ferris of Sugar Street, took first prize in the Danbury Fair free-for-all and sweepstakes this year, winning both trophies. The veteran team also took first in pulling and in show at the North Stonington, Chester, Goshen, Bethlehem, Terryville, Guilford, and Altamont, N.Y. fairs as well as at the Eastern States Exposition. The Brown Swiss have been driven in all these contests by Bill’s brother, Percy Ferris, a top teamster in the New England states. On top in pulling contests for the past eight years, Luke and Diamond will compete this Saturday, October 19, at the last fair of the season in Riverton.

***

Another in a series of six-town Lake Lillinonah algae control meetings has been scheduled October 24 at 10 am at the CL&P auditorium in New Milford. Water Resource Commission representatives will be present.

****

Poverty Hollow Farm in Newtown will be the site of an All-Electric Farm Open House on October 25. The day-long event, designed to acquaint Connecticut farmers with modern, all-electric farming methods, is co-sponsored by the Connecticut Light and Power Company and dealers, contractors, equipment suppliers, and agricultural consultants who were involved in the construction of the state’s newest all-electric dairy farm. There will be free door prizes, refreshments will be served. The several-hundred-acre farm on Poverty Hollow Road is owned by Daniel Lufkin. Frank Perry is the modern dairy operation manager, which is geared geared toward producing 2,300 pounds of fresh milk every day from the present herd of milking cows.

***

HUNTING SEASON: Connecticut’s game and waterfowl season gets underway at 7 am this Saturday, October 19. Hunters should consult the 1968-69 abstract of Laws and Regulations and the current Waterfowl Hunting Guide, both available at the office of the town clerk Barbara Parker, for information as to open season and bag limits, as well as data on state-controlled hunting areas.

October 22, 1943

When The Bee, in its issue of September 24, pictured seven playful Corgi puppies at the Greencorg kennel of Mrs H. L. Green in Palestine district, it was little realized that two of the pups would soon have the distinction of flying to California. Yet such is the case. Two of the puppies were recently purchased by Jimmie Mattern, noted flier, who took them with him to Burbank, making the transcontinental trip in his P-38 Piggieback airplane in nine hours. He telegraphed Mrs Green on October 6 as follows: Two Corgi puppies I purchased from you completed transcontinental flight in my P-38 Piggieback plane in nine hours. They stood the trip well and are in good health. As they are the first dogs to have the distinction of flying in a P-38, I dubbed them Aircorgis. Best regards to Mr Green and yourself.—Jimmie Mattern.

***

The Bee is both pleased and flattered in its constantly expanding subscription list, which now tops 4,350 copies each week. Among the most recent additions to the Bee family are Mr and Mrs Westbrook Pegler of Ridgefield, Mrs Pegler taking occasion to write to the editor on October 16, as follows: Dear Mr Smith, enclosed is my check for $2.50 to pay for one year’s subscription to The Bee and also for our ad … my husband and I both think that you are running a grand sheet. More power to you! From one old newspaper man to another. Sincerely, Julia Pegler (Mrs Westbrook Pegler)

***

During the heavy wind and rain storm on Friday night, one of the halyards attached to the flagpole in the center of Newtown Street broke, dropping the flag to half mast. The flag became wound around the pole and considerable difficulty was encountered in getting the halyard and flag loose. On Monday, however, Wilber Coy, assisted by Al Boyson and Alvin Coger, was successful in lowering the flag and on Tuesday a new flag was raised.

***

John C. Beers, who is confined to his home on Queen Street, continues to show steady improvement. His many friends hope that he will be about soon.

****

Geraldine Jacobsen was tendered a surprise party on Sunday, October 17, at her home. The room was prettily decorated in pink and white. Refreshments were served, and games enjoyed by the children. Geraldine received many useful gifts.

October 18, 1918

Master Harold Jackson of Hawleyville, who had been a patient at Danbury Hospital since last summer, under treatment for an injury received when he was caught in the knives of a mowing machine on his father’s farm, has recovered sufficiently to be able to return to his home. His foot was almost severed by the machine and only skillful surgery and excellent care that the boy received at the hospital meant that the foot was saved.

***

The local telephone repair gang are stopping at Daniel Keane’s on Gas street, while working in the local territory.

***

Because of the influenza epidemic, the teachers’ institute which was to be held at Brookfield Friday has been indefinitely postponed. The teachers have completed their fall visitations. The school calendar permits each teacher to visit another school one day a term with a view of improving the service. Observations are made and recorded. This data is used as a report at the next monthly teachers meeting.

***

The High School closed Wednesday, from 11:15 to 2:15, that the students might visit the War Relic Train.

***

An urgent appeal to the public not to waste gasoline by leaving motors running after stopping their cars was issued by Thomas W. Russell, United States Fuel Administrator for Connecticut. Mr Russell said that investigation showed that thousands of gallons of gasoline were wasted in this manner. Quoting a letter from C. S. DeForest, a Stamford businessman who reported that his Ford delivery car, with a careless driver, used about 40 gallons per week, with a thoughtful driver, who shuts off his engine, averages less than 25 gallons per week, though the number of deliveries has increased.

 

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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