William Hoadley was visiting the John Hillyer family at 2 Park Place in 1820. He kept a journal and signed it “Vatticus.” One entry concerned a quilting party he attended. The rather bizarre ceremony he described sounds almost pagan. I told this tale to a large number of quilters and no one ever heard of this. However, a quilting book with newspaper clippings from the early 1800s tells about similar ceremonies — all involving much kissing and dancing. It seems to be a way to have young people socialize, have fun and do some courting.
By Mark Williams
If you have driven down Simsbury Road in West Granby lately, you may have noticed a lot of new lumber leaning against an old tobacco shed at the south end of the Holcomb Farm. And more recently the roof has been stripped of its shingles. What’s going on there?
By John R. Nieb
Setting the clocks ahead one hour in spring begins Daylight Saving Time for the year. The change from standard time during the summer months, and back one hour to Standard Time in the fall takes better advantage of natural daylight. Daylight Saving Time begins at 2 a.m. on the second Sunday in March and ends at 2 a.m. on the first Sunday in November. When people set their clocks ahead one hour, they lose an hour of sleep, but gain an hour of sleep when they set their clocks back one hour.
The center hall house at 8 East Granby Road was probably built about the same time as the neighboring houses (4 East Granby Road and 2 Park Place were both built in 1805). It was a Federal style when new, but many changes and alterations through the years caused people to think it was a Victorian structure.
A lot of 9.5 acres was sold by Heamon Holcomb to Andrew D. Hillyer in 1804 for $161. 14. It was located “a little east of the head of Salmon Brook Street.” No house was mentioned in the deed. The following year, Hillyer bought an additional half acre to make his home lot 10 acres.
The Ellsworth Memorial Association hosted a tea to celebrate the 125th anniversary of the Connecticut Daughters of the American Revolution and honor members with 40 years or more of service. It was held at the Oliver Ellsworth Homestead in Windsor. The Connecticut State Society DAR was organized on Feb. 20, 1892, and was one of the first to appoint a state regent. The program included a lookback at the founding of CTDAR and its early leaders and tributes to six Honorary State Regents and twenty longtime members. The Abigail Phelps Chapter of the DAR is proud to have the following members honored for their years of service: Barbara Crede of Newington, Mary Lou Kerr of Simsbury, Celia Roberts of Canton, Lynn Stewart of North Granby and associate member Carla Bue of West Hartford. Over 80 members and guests attended and many took tours of the house after enjoying tea and a variety of delicious confections.
By Carol Laun, Archivist, Salmon Brook Historical Society
This rather ordinary looking white house was once the imposing Federal-style mansion house of a wealthy Granby resident. In the more than 225 years since it was built, it has undergone huge renovations, additions and subtractions. When built, it was located very close to the southwest corner of Rte. 10-202 and Rte. 20. The house has been moved from its original site and has had even more architectural changes. It has now been divided into apartments and is a rental property.
The house was probably built in the late 1700s. It is difficult, if not impossible, to trace some of the early Granby homes because of the 1877 fire that burned three books of Granby land records.
The entire southwest corner of Salmon Brook Street and North Granby Road, comprising about 25 acres, was owned by Pliny Hillyer. On this site he had a tavern, a store, barns, other outbuildings and at least two dwelling houses, including his home, now 265 Salmon Brook Street. Pliny had tavern licenses between 1778 and 1791, so his house may even date from the late 1770s.
George Seymour Godard
Cossitt Library is celebrating 125 years April 2016 to March 2017. A series of historical articles about the library and North Granby will be featured here.
The latter part of the 19th century saw a "generation of giants" emerge from the one-room schools in the farming town of Granby. Among them were William Mills Maltbie, Chief Justice of the Connecticut Supreme Court; Tudor Holcomb, prominent tobacco grower, dairy farmer, philanthropist; James Lee Loomis, insurance executive, banker, author; Edward W. Dewey, state legislator, County Commissioner, County Sheriff; William Scoville Case, lawyer, author, Connecticut Supreme Court Justice; and George Seymour Godard, Connecticut State Librarian.
George Godard was a direct descendant of Daniel Gozzard (Gossard, Goddard) who came from England to Hartford, in 1646. Daniel's son, Nicholas Gozzard, was granted land in the Salmon Brook section of Simsbury (now Granby) in 1683. His probate inventory in 1692 mentions a homestead in what is now Granby Center. Eventually the Goddards came to North Granby and purchased the land around and including Crag Mill. They operated the gristmill at the Crags and later added cider and saw mills.
As in all small and somewhat isolated communities, families intermarried. The Godards married Cossitts, Holcombs, Hayes, Cases and other local families, until land ownership, industries and family relationships were thoroughly entwined.
By 1858, Harvy Godard was operating the mills at the Crags. He married Sabra Beach and they raised six children in their home at 58 Granville Road. Oren Harvy born 1859, Porter Beach 1861, George Seymour 1865, Fred Munyon 1868, Oliver Clifton 1871 and finally a little girl, Grace Minerva who was born in 1874 and died before her fourth birthday.
Harvy owned several farms, large tracts of woodland and the saw, grist and cider mills. Shingles from Godard's Crag Mill covered many of the roofs in the Farmington Valley area. Harvy Godard helped organize the Grange in Granby and was the master from 1875 to 1893, as well as serving as the first master of the State Grange for four years. According to the Encyclopedia of Biography, "He was a man of strict integrity, of generous and social nature and temperate to the last degree."
Young George attended District School 6 on Granville Road. He described it as "the little one-room school house in Granby where my father and his father and his father went to school." With his brothers, George helped his father with the many chores of farm and mill.
He developed a love for libraries and books as a young boy. Godard recalled that it was before 1873 when "I drove into Hartford with my father and visited the State Library. I was surprised to find so many more Connecticut documents than we had in our collection in our attic at home. My interest was noticed and appreciated by Dr. Charles J. Hoadly, State Librarian, who from that time became one of my best friends."
In 1877 12 year-old George was quite ill with a fever. His mother described the rather peculiar medical treatment he was receiving, in a letter to another son, Oren, away at school.
"Poor Georgie is nearly 'done up' in onions, on his feet, under his arms and across his stomach, chopped onions—besides plates of the savory vegetable standing about the room. In addition to this prescription of Harvy's, he is washed thoroughly in saleratus water and rubbed in high wines twice a day. So you see, no common fever can last long with such treatment as that. The Doctor says he is doing as well as could be expected, as he was very bad when we came home." Fortunately, George recovered from his fever, despite being treated like a stew.
While still in his teens, George taught school in Granby for three terms in 1882-83. He was named a state scholar at the Sheffield Scientific School of Yale College in 1884.
Godard went to Wesleyan Academy in Wilbraham, Mass. to prepare for college, and graduated in 1886. He then attended Wesleyan University in Middletown. During his junior year, 1889, the Cossitt legacy to build a public library in North Granby was received. George Godard was chosen to be on the first Board of Directors for the Cossitt Library, was the first librarian, serving 15 years, and remained on the board serving as president from 1918 until he died in 1936.
Postponing his senior year, Godard gave a full year of his life to the building and organization of the library. It was a measure of his ability and a tribute to his talent, that the older men on the Board entrusted this 24 year-old student with almost total responsibility for the library.
Godard competently researched library construction, interior arrangement, planning, selection of books, organization and management. He was involved in every facet of the project. The neatly documented record books of Cossitt Library illustrate the remarkable organizational skills of this man.
He wrote numerous letters, made endless book lists and cataloged, labeled and shelved the books. There were no computers, copiers or fax machines. Everything was transcribed in the precise handwriting of George Godard.
The books he selected "show both his diligent labor in filling the library with a wide selection of important literature, and his efforts to expand the cultural environment of North Granby. He employed 'scientific' cataloging techniques he had learned at college; searching around the region for complete sets of periodicals to which he was subscribing (including three professional educators' publications for Granby schoolteachers); had printed a double-entry catalog so readers could 'send for' books from home; kept detailed statistics of numbers of readers, circulation per reader, and types of books most read; and badgered the board of directors and the architect about everything from designing an inviting reading room to building horse sheds, so readers would stay longer in stormy weather." (Mark Williams)
Despite his heavy involvement in the library, the ambitious Godard also applied for the job of census taker in 1890. Even after George returned to college, he kept the job of librarian. His assistant and future wife, Kate E. Dewey, actually worked in the library.
Godard received his BA from Wesleyan in 1892, attended Northwestern University in Illinois in 1893 and during his vacation, served as a guide at the Chicago World's Fair. In 1895, Godard received a Bachelor of Divinity from Yale and continued his studies for his Ph.D. until 1896 when his father died and he was called home.
He married Kate Dewey the following year and they had three children: George Dewey in 1899, Paul Beach in 1901 and Mary Katharine in 1903.
Godard entered the most illustrious phase of his career in 1898, when his old friend, Dr. Charles J. Hoadly, asked George to be his assistant. When Hoadly died two years later, Godard (only 35 years old) became the third State Librarian in the history of Connecticut.
Under the direction and leadership of Godard, the State Library was reorganized and its activities were widely expanded. He found a wealth of material not cataloged nor indexed and a lack of protection for the state's historic treasures. He was a historian as well as a librarian and earned the title of "Preservation Godard."
He gathered early Connecticut church records, probate records, military history and other important documents. He compiled an inventory of all printed data on the state found throughout Connecticut. He was innovative in his use of a photostat to copy original papers. He was tireless in his efforts to save the history of the state. During his tenure, every book was indexed, the library was open to all, and every item was available.
The State Library soon outgrew its space in the State Capitol and a separate library was approved in 1907 and completed in 1910. Godard supervised every detail of the new Connecticut State Library building, just as he had done with Cossitt Library.
Godard did not limit his activities to the library. He was an active member of many professional, patriotic, fraternal and civic organizations. He was chosen to chair many committees; the old cliché, "let George do it," became literally true with George Godard. He traveled widely, often representing the Governor, and was in constant demand as a public speaker. He was so well known and respected, that he often was introduced before the Governor or other dignitaries at public events. And yet, this busy man always found time for his visitors.
George Seymour Godard died Feb. 12, 1936 and an unprecedented outpouring of tributes and accolades attested to his renown. Letters, now bound in two large memorial volumes, came from local, state and national political leaders; from librarians all over America and overseas; from historical and genealogical organizations; schools and universities; colleagues, friends and old neighbors in Granby. The letters are not just routine formal condolences; most of the writers knew Godard as a friend and wrote notes of personal memories.
His funeral was held in his beloved State Library and Governor Wilbur L. Cross said, "Connecticut has suffered a loss so great it can hardly be estimated."
George Godard wrote a fitting summary to his life in a letter to a friend shortly before he died. He wrote that his years at the library were the best of his life and "I have been happy every day."
by Carol Laun
In the 18th and 19th centuries, Granby voters decided most local questions and elections by a voice vote or a show of hands. For State and National elections, a ballot box was used. In the 1890s, it was decided to vote for local issues by ballot, and this method was used even as late as 1950. The ballot box voting process had quite a few differences from the way we vote today.
The Salmon Brook Historical Society has the complete voting record from a special constitutional vote held in 1907. The legislators submitted a Constitutional amendment to the people of Connecticut. It was essentially the 1818 Constitution rewritten to organize all the previous amendments, which were scattered throughout the document.
The Granby Board of Selectmen called a special Town Meeting at 9 a.m. on October 7, 1907 at the Town Hall on North Granby Road (now the Grange building). All eligible town voters were invited to attend. After discussion, they had a vote by ballot. Seated at a table were the two town registrars, Harold M. Hayes and William Shattuck. They had to share a hand-written voter list. Naturally, there were only men’s names on the list.
After his name was verified on the list, each voter was given an official marked envelope and two small slips of paper. On one side of each paper was printed “Official Ballot,” and on the other side “Constitutional Amendment in the form of a revision of the Constitution.” One ballot had No and the other had Yes. The registrars watched while the voter made his choice and sealed his vote in the envelope. Before the vote could be dropped into the ballot box, each of the registrars had to sign his name on the envelope, as proof of a legal vote.
Despite the seemingly reasonable request for this amendment from the state legislators, they couldn’t resist adding a few other items. The terms of the Probate Judges were to be changed from two years to four years and the legislator’s salaries were to be raised from $300 to $500. The result of this vote was a resounding NO, both from Granby and the state. Granby vote results were 62 yes and 133 no.
All of the envelopes, carefully signed by Hayes and Shattuck, and all of the votes, were found in the Loomis Store attic, before the building was taken down in 1975. The Granby Town Clerk was Chester P. Loomis, one of the store owners, and town papers were kept in the store.
Other voting documents were also found, and one from 1895 contained a curious statement. Printed on the state form was “Number of ballots found in box marked “For Women’s Ballots” and the Granby Town Clerk just wrote “No Box.”
The reason for this was a bill passed by the State Legislature in 1893 that allowed women to vote “at any meeting held for the purpose of choosing any officer of schools or for any educational purpose.” The women had to be at least 21 years old, have resided in Connecticut for at least one year, lived in their town for at least six months, and they had to be able to read English. Women’s ballots were cast separately from men’s, in special boxes labeled “For Women’s Ballots.”
No evidence has been found that Granby ever had a box for women to vote on matters of education, even though the 1895 vote was a local election and included electing the Board of Education.
In 1898, the town voted on two question, along with electing town officials. First was for the town to take over the management of the schools instead of the individual school districts. The vote was 93 no and 35 yes. The other question was to determine whether any town residents would be licensed to sell “spirituous and intoxicating liquors.” This time the vote was 116 yes and 79 no.
Local candidates also had to report on how much money they spent during their campaigns. One man running for the state legislature listed cigars as his only expense. However, most of the sworn documents were similar to this one in 1900. “I hereby certify that my election expense as a candidate for Justice of the Peace at the Election Nov. 6, 1900 was nothing, (signed) Benton Holcomb.”
Quite a refreshing contrast to the millions spent on elections today.
By Ellen Meuser
When McLean Resident Michael Gorman heard about the wonderful work that Media Center Coordinator Stephen Root was doing in genealogy, he seized the opportunity to learn more about his family’s history. “It turned out to be even more interesting than we initially thought it would be,” said Michael, as he explained his project that spanned several months to complete.
Michael’s mother and father both grew up as a single child, so their family unit was small. He has three sisters, but said that since he didn’t have any first cousins, aunts or uncles, he has always wanted to learn more about his ancestors. His interest was further piqued when his grandmother mentioned that a family friend might actually be related.
He began this venture with the initial goal of completing four generations of his family tree, which he believed would also help him to learn if his friend was, in fact, related. He worked closely with Stephen in the media center, tracing his family back to their Irish roots. They met once a week for two-hour sessions,for several months. Stephen’s dedication carried through “after hours” work to further the research. Michael’s sisters volunteered the details they knew, which was helpful in confirming what information was correct.
They had great success with the online resources, which gave them access to detailed census information. Michael found that he could trace his name, Michael Patrick, back to his great-great grandfather, a shoemaker who had moved from Ireland to Manchester, England. He followed the migration of his great-grandfather Daniel to South Boston in 1887, and was excited to learn that Daniels’s son, George Sr., tried out for the Boston Red Sox and Boston Braves! Michael also discovered that he still has French Canadian relatives, and that an uncle who was drafted into WWII and ended up missing in action, was later found living in Atlanta. Finally, he uncovered the mystery of his friend’s association with his family—he simply shared a fairly common last name!
Michael completed his goal; he traced his family back to the 1790s. With Stephen’s assistance, they designed a comprehensive family tree in a beautiful poster format. Stephen was able to incorporate many of the pictures Michael’s sisters had in their possession. It is a true treasure to display.
Michael is proud that the work he has done will provide his family members with a foundation they can build upon, by adding new marriages and children.
Stephen Root is currently working with other residents, to retrace their ancestry with online resources, and is always happy to take on new projects.
1921 - 2016
Glidden Doman, a pioneer in the design of helicopters and wind turbines, passed away June 6.
Born in Syracuse, New York, in 1921, he came from a family of inventors and entrepreneurs. He majored in aeronautical engineering at the University of Michigan, and after hearing Igor Sikorsky speak at a Society of Automotive Engineers meeting he became interested in helicopter rotors. In 1943, Doman went to work for Sikorsky in Bridgeport where he participated in intensive experimentation and flight testing, making considerable improvements in the helicopters’ blade life. His contributions were so vital that Igor Sikorsky himself appealed to the draft board to keep him on the test program. In 1945 he left Sikorsky and founded his own firm, Doman Helicopters that he ran until 1969.
Soon after, Doman turned his rotor knowledge from flight to wind energy with breakthrough concepts in wind turbine design. For some 30-more years, he led the design evolution of wind turbines for major manufacturers on two continents, including United Technologies, Boeing and Aeritalia. In January 1978, he moved to Granby and became chief systems engineer of the wind energy program at Hamilton Standard. Drawing on his extensive knowledge of rotor dynamics for both helicopters and wind turbines, United Technologies/Hamilton Standard designed and built two of the largest wind turbines ever built up to that time.
In 2003, he formed a new company, Gamma Ventures Inc., to market production rights for the Gamma turbines he helped design in Italy. He held some two-dozen patents for helicopter and wind turbine-related technologies.
Doman remained active well into his 90s and was the last living founder of one of the original half-dozen companies in the American helicopter industry that included Igor I. Sikorsky, Frank Piasecki (Boeing), Arthur Young (Bell), Stanley Hiller and Charles Kaman.
By Virgil Paggen
Not long after I moved with my family to North Granby, I happened upon the Frederick H. Cossitt Library, a small outpost in comparison with the West Hartford library I previously frequented. It didn’t take long for Margaret Vastoff, librarian, to acquaint me with all that Cossitt offered; it quickly became a valued resource.
Among the 50 states, Connecticut ranks 48th in size; only Delaware and Rhode Island are smaller. However, with more than 260 public libraries, I found that Connecticut ranks among the highest in density of libraries per square mile. Nearly half of these libraries participated in this year’s Passport to Connecticut Libraries Program. The program, held during April this year, encouraged patrons to become better acquainted with Connecticut libraries and to explore the information and services they provide.
I began by searching the internet to locate selected libraries and to plan a route between them. I packed a lunch, gathered my wife and set out to explore a number of these citadels of information. It became a mini-vacation as we discovered pleasant byways and scenic vistas on roads not previously traveled despite having lived in Connecticut for decades. We chose routes between in-land libraries on some days, on another we visited libraries bordering Long Island Sound, walked the beach at Hammonasset and savored a seafood dinner at Lenny and Joe’s.
We toured libraries of many sizes, ages and shapes and, like people, most libraries have expanded with age. The oldest libraries we visited were constructed in the late 1800s (Norfolk, North Granby), others were contemporary (Groton, Windsor Locks, Enfield). I was fascinated by the standout architecture of the Cragin Memorial Library in Colchester; I will visit it again.
In Ellington we discovered the Hall Memorial Library nestled against a quaint graveyard and equipped with antique stained glass windows. We found an interesting feature, the Maker Space Room, at the Farmington library; there I can scan 35mm slides or explore 3D solid modeling while my wife can learn computer-aided embroidery. I was pleased to find that every issue of Fine Woodworking is available at the Canton Library, a rarity since most libraries retain periodicals for only a year or two. We were impressed by the extensive genealogy resources housed in the Beardsley and Memorial Library in Winsted. I had to pause and enjoy the humor of an algebra textbook prominently displayed under the ‘Adult Non-Fiction’ classification at the Somers Library and the inspired response that the oldest item in another library was the Dewey Decimal system.
I was intrigued to learn from the March 1915 National Geographic Magazine at the Frederick H. Cossitt Library that James Smithson, a Brit who never set foot on American soil, bequeathed a half-million dollars to “create an institution for the increase and diffusion of knowledge.” His legacy is the Smithsonian Institution, which founded the science of meteorology, began the standard-time, signal transmission used in railroad operation, and fostered the science of aeronautics.
I found it universally true that librarians are outgoing, gladly answering questions and extolling attributes of their libraries. Each library has its own personality in its programs and offerings yet all satisfy the same purpose—sharing information. I found another trait common among libraries but especially true in the Granby libraries; our librarians and volunteers are responsive to patron needs, relentless in pursuit of a requested book and promote a congenial, professional atmosphere.
Our Passport travels confirmed that children and teens are also well served by all libraries. Their inviting spaces are filled with inspiring, artistic and creative works such as the full-size Star Wars R2-D2 model we noticed in the Farmington Library.
As we found each library to be unique, so also are the contents making the Passport adventure eminently rewarding. But a Passport program isn’t necessary to reap the rewards of a day or two spent exploring these bastions of knowledge and to revel in the scenic Connecticut byways connecting them. Happy reading!
Note from the Director of Libraries Granby issued 191 “library passports” and a total of 273 patrons participated in the month-long program. One hundred, twenty-four Connecticut libraries participated in this year’s Passport program as a way to celebrate National Library Week; this program was sponsored by the Public Libraries section of the Connecticut Library Association.
By Jean Potetz
The Salmon Brook Historical Society’s 2016 summer exhibit will focus on Granby children featuring photographs of them, the toys they played with and the clothing they wore. In addition, several quilts will be on display including an embroidered red-work quilt that would delight any child. Many of the quilts are from local Granby families.
The entry to the Weed-Enders House will feature a large wooden wagon from the Beman family with a framed photograph of its owner, three-year-old Joseph Beman taken in 1900. The Victorian Parlor will showcase a wicker bassinet from the Colton family and a christening gown made for Jonathon Brace Bunce in 1832. This gown was later worn in 1913 by Bunce’s granddaughter, Mary W. Edwards, who grew up to live at 239 Salmon Brook Street and who eventually gave the Granby Land Trust her beautiful 200 acre Mountain Property on Mountain Road. Her cotton and wool summer camp uniform worn when she was ten years old will also be on exhibit. A dress belonging to young Austria Holcomb, circa 1843, will be shown, as well as a number of other items too numerous to mention.
An amazing variety of colorful games will be on exhibit in the Preservation Barn, along with paper dolls, a cast iron Navy Zeppelin, ice skates and roller skates, dolls and doll clothes, tops, china doll furniture, trucks, doll dishes, marbles, tricycles, books and much more. The Granby children in the pictures on display grew up in a time when there was only one toy for Christmas and perhaps a book if they were fortunate. This is an exhibit you and your children or grandchildren will enjoy.
The permanent exhibits in the Preservation Barn include a Civil War exhibit, one on the West Granby Fife and Drum Corps and a unique Masonic display. There are also two sleighs (one with an authentic buffalo robe) and the glass-sided horse-drawn hearse from the Hayes Funeral Home.
The Salmon Brook Historical Society is located in Granby on Rte. 10/202 across from Salmon Brook Park. The society is open for tours on Sundays in June through September, from 2 to 4 p.m., except July 3 and Sept. 4. Admission is $5 for adults, $2 for children and seniors, family maximum $12 and members free. Come take a tour through Granby history!
By Todd Vibert
The Salmon Brook Historical Society is holding its annual Spring Flea Market on Saturday, May 14, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Salmon Brook Historical Society. Forty to 50 vendors will show and sell their wares. Admission and parking is free to the public. Concession offerings include coffee, soda, water, hot dogs, chips and Mrs. Murphy’s donuts. Come and enjoy the festivities at the historical society.
Anyone interested in being a vendor and having a 20x20-ft. space for $30 ($40 after May 8) can contact Dave Laun at 860-653-3965 or Todd Vibert at 860-653-9506.
To donate items for the society to sell, drop them off at the historical society on Tuesday and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to noon starting in April (no plastic toys or children clothing).
To volunteer, please call Todd Vibert. This is a good opportunity for high school students to earn community service hours. The Historical Society is located at 208 Salmon Brook Street, beside the Lost Acres Firehouse.
Come and see what’s selling and see your friends at one of Granby’s best annual traditions.
70 years strong
American Legion Post 182 honored Leroy B. Seaton of Granby with the presentation of his 70-year membership certificate. Seaton joined the organization in 1945 at the end of WII.
Edited by Carol Laun
James Lee Loomis has been telling us about Granby boys. It is time to let the girls of Granby speak. Following is information and quotes from interviews I did in the 1970s and 80s. The girls are: Louise Cooley (1881-1983) Edna Spring (1887-1977) Annie Hayes (1888-1973) Lena Clark (1890-1984) Agnes Petersen (1891-1980) Helen Cotton (1892-1986) Helen Clark (1893-1986) and Emelia Dauner (1902-1995).
Edna Spring: “Thanksgiving we had a big dinner with all the relatives over. We always had chicken pie and roast pork, baked Indian pudding, cranberry sauce and pumpkin and mince pies. Once Aunt Cornelia made a huge chicken pie in her old brick fireplace oven, it was delicious. She used to make chicken pie with the bones, heart, gizzard etc. still in it. She said it made the crust flakier because the bones held the crust up.”
Agnes Petersen: “We usually had chicken and roast pork, but had turkey after Dad started raising them. Holidays were a time for the whole family to get together.”
Annie Hayes: “I didn’t have to do too much work around the house because of hired help. I had a few chores—one was cleaning the oil or kerosene lamps. You had to clean the dirty chimneys, fill the lamps and trim the wicks just so—they had to be even or the flame would not burn evenly.”
Lena Clark: “There were seven children in our family. We all had to work on the farm—help hay, pull weeds, pick potatoes.” The summer she was ten, Lena stayed at a Newgate Road farm doing housework for her board and clothes.
Helen Clark: “I was the youngest and didn’t have to work too much.”
Helen Cotton: “My brother and I helped pick apples and fruit and rake the hay when we were older. I used to go to the creamery and help wrap a few pounds of butter, just to say I did something.” (Her father was Superintendent of the Granby Creamery.)
Emelia Dauner: “I worked on the family farm, sold milk from a horse and wagon and helped in my father’s cider mill. I didn’t like it because the cider dyed my hands. Business was especially good during Prohibition. Every farmer had to have a barrel of hard cider in the cellar or he couldn’t get any hired hands to work for him.”
Edna Spring: “We all used to help on the farm. I used to string tobacco. The men would pick it and let it wilt before stringing so it wouldn’t break.”
Agnes Petersen: “We used get five cents a hundred for picking potato bugs and if you lost count, you had to dump them out and start all over counting again. We used to raise a lot of carrots and could sell some of them to make a little money. I had to help around the house or mostly care for the little ones so mother could work. I learned to knit at age five or six. I remember knitting long stockings and I have been knitting ever since.”
Annie Hayes: “First Congregational Church had an annual picnic. We all piled into wagons and went to Southwick Ponds (Congomond Lakes), it was a big event.”
“I started subbing as an organist at First Church at 15. The first time I played, I pumped so hard that I pushed the bench back from the organ and ended up playing at arms length. After that, one of the tenors kept his foot against the bench leg when I played.”
Helen Cotton: “I remember a Christmas party we had at school once with a tree lit with candles and 25 children in the room. Now I realize what a danger it was, but then it was just a wondrous and beautiful sight. Christmas at our home was happy. We had few gifts, but perhaps appreciated them more. Books were always a choice gift. We always had a tree and would go back on the mountain to cut it.”
Edna Spring: “We never had a tree at home. There was a big tree at the Copper Hill Methodist Church for all the church families. On Christmas Eve we would go to church in the sled. First we had the entertainment with children reciting appropriate pieces. All the families brought their presents and hung them on the Christmas tree. There was no fancy wrapping paper in those days, so all the packages were wrapped in brown paper. They were the only decoration on the tree. All the families gathered around while the older men called off the names on the gifts. There was sort of a contest to see whose name was called the most times. We received sleds, skates, clothes, games and always an orange and a bag of candy.”
Helen Cotton: “It was Christmas Eve about 1898 when my family went to Granby’s Universalist Church to attend a Christmas service for children and parents. The church seemed filled with children who rendered Christmas stories, verses and songs. Following this, the children lingered around the Christmas tree to receive oranges while parents visited.”
Agnes Petersen: “We used to cut a tree from the woods and string popcorn to decorate it. I remember the time we worked so hard stringing the popcorn and the dog ate it. We would string cranberries too, they grew nearby in the swamp. We had candles in tin holders on the tree but we had a bucket of water handy and they only could be lit with Dad there watching.
Edited by Carol Laun
For the next few months I am going to share a paper that James Lee Loomis presented to the Hartford Monday Evening Club in 1968. He was born in 1878, the only son of Chester Peck Loomis and Eliza Harger. Chester P. was co-owner of the Loomis Bros. Store that once dominated Granby Center. James Lee Loomis married Helen Bruce and was well known as an insurance executive, banker and author. He lived in the lovely family home built by his grandfather, Harrison Loomis, at 245 Salmon Brook Street. Despite his career in Hartford, his roots were always firmly planted in Granby. He died in 1971 at the age of 92.
It is a brief period of which I write, from 1888 to 1895, when I went away to boarding school. A few lines about our town and village before the turn of the century. The losses and tragedies of the Civil War, after 25 years, had passed into history. Peace for the indefinite future seemed assured. The United States was not entirely isolated, but nearly so.
Granby was a typical agricultural town with a few craftsmen and professional men. The Village of Salmon Brook Street was the busiest part of town. Contentment and comfort is mostly a feeling of security in home and surroundings, and that, in this period, the people of Granby had in marked degree.
The metropolitan center of Hartford with a population of some 50,000 felt like it was farther away than New York City is now. The telephone, electric lights, food in tin cans and the auto were still to come. It was in truth a reconstruction period.
Four years after the close of the Civil War, a soldier’s monument was erected. An open space at the head of the street had been filled in as the site for the standard style of a war memorial. When completed and erected, the old soldiers observed the man on top at parade rest, had his right foot forward instead of his left and the rifle was turned the wrong way around. I have been told it was finally accepted at half the contract price. The gun has long since entirely eroded. Maybe this seemingly good omen will some day bring peace.
Note: The half price story may or may not be true, but several articles about our monument have agreed with Loomis about the correct position for parade rest. However, there is an identical statue in Deerfield, Mass. Granby’s monument was restored in 2002 through the efforts of Shannon-Shattuck Post 182 of the American Legion and the Salmon Brook Historical Society.
In 1872 the South Congregational Church was organized at the center of Salmon Brook Street, making three active churches in the three centers of town. An attempt was made to found a Seventh Day Adventist Church in the village by a smart salesman, or drummer as they were then called, by the name of Sam Benjamin. Father remarked one evening at supper that Loomis Bros. had been so pestered that they had promised to furnish the carpet and the bell. Mother, it seemed, was much perturbed by this extravagant support but regained her composure when Father assured her Sam would never get that far with the Church. And such was the case. When the building right in the center of the village was about 2/3 finished, the funds ran out and the builder foreclosed a mechanics lien, converting the building into a suitable two family house. So the village was saved the embarrassment of having two Sabbaths during the week.
Note: The unfinished church that had two oddly angled doors (possibly for men’s and women’s entrances) is now a part of Windmill Springs at 234 Salmon Brook Street. In the early 1900s it had a Phillip’s Grocery store in the south half and a barber shop in the north. In 1943 it was remodeled into two small apartments and a furnace was added to the building. When the condos were built in 1982, the building was converted again. During renovation, the shape of the original arched church windows and larger doors were very obvious
As farmers had difficulty in finding markets for their produce, sufficient capital was raised to start a first-class creamery in 1882. This was a real boon to the town. The cattle population steadily increased. There was a firm market for this preferred product of creamery butter in the city centers of the state. The by-product of producing cream is the raising of hogs. The use of the skim milk, ordinarily mixed with bran and buttermilk, sold at the creamery for $1 a barrel or less.
In those days there was no occasion for a town dump. If a family kept pigs, they were the garbage disposal. If you kept no pigs, a Swedish fellow a mile from the village was glad to come and get your refuse. I said to this fellow, Mike, one day, “Have you seen Mr. Brigham who has just come into the village?” His reply, “I already have. He sure has swell swill!”
About this time, tobacco as a good money crop began to flourish with experimental acres to begin with. Father once told me that the first piece in town was perhaps a half-acre in what is now our north lawn. The woods were full of what were called chestnut sprouts, then in great demand for telephone poles and railroad ties. This brought a lot of French Canadians into the town in lumber camps.
Loomis Bros. opened their new store in 1891. The credit of the townspeople, as a rule, was of the highest order. Mortgaging ones home and land was avoided if possible. As one neighbor stopped to gossip with another, he said to him, “Henry, I believe that corner of your house is sagging.” To this Henry replied, “If you had as heavy a mortgage on you as this house has, I guess you’d sag!”
Credit is in part a matter in inheritance. It took the Pilgrims eight years to pay in beaver skins for their passage. This may have been the first notable case of “Sail now and pay later.” Although diluted by ten generations, the determination to pay still appears in the bloodstreams of New England.
To be continued.
Remembering Our Granby Soldiers
By Karen Phillips Miller
I returned to my hometown of Granby, after being away for 39 years. Funny, it didn’t seem possible that I could have been gone that long, but I felt a yearning, a swell of homesickness that wouldn’t go away for months on end. So one day last year, I cancelled all my appointments, cleared my schedule completely, and got on an airplane in Jacksonville, Florida. Within a few hours, I was home again, in the town where I spent the first 18 years of my life.
In the center of Granby there is a park, which we referred to as the Granby Green when I was growing up. In the center of the park is a Civil War memorial, the heart of our community. As I pulled my rental car into a parking place, I was immediately drawn to the monument, a landmark I recall so well. I was awash with memories as I stood at its base; I remember eating ice cream cones there when I was a little girl, and flirting with boys there after curfew when I was a teenager. But I never knew anything about the monument itself, not even its name, nor how it came to be there.
I suppose I would consider myself a patriot. I played trumpet in the Granby Memorial High School marching band on Memorial Day, even performing “Taps” at the cemetery, just once, when another, better trumpet player became ill. I placed my hand over my heart when I said the Pledge of Allegiance, and I could recite the Gettysburg Address without faltering. But what did I know about the Civil War, other than the dates and battlefields we were forced to memorize in high school history class? What did I know about these soldiers whose names are on this monument? These Granby boys and men, who left their families and our safe little township to march into battle to preserve our Union? I knew nothing. If I had convinced myself that this monument was exactly as I had remembered, it’s because I had never really seen it before. Until that day, when I looked up into the sorrowful eyes of a Civil War soldier and felt ashamed.
The brownstone Granby Soldier’s Monument was the first figural Civil War monument erected in Connecticut. It was contracted with James G. Batterson, head of the New England Granite Works in Hartford. The base was designed by George Keller, the soldier figure by Charles Conrad. It was dedicated on July 4, 1868, and shortly thereafter a park was built around the monument, creating the town center. The unique features of the Soldier’s Monument are its impressive size and the contemplative, bearded soldier holding a rifle, his overcoat draped across his shoulder. He is exhausted, and looks down at visitors with the weariness of war.
There are nearly 50 names on the monument, and many of those surnames I’ve heard before—Holcomb, Messenger and Barlow; all recognizable Granby names. Also on the monument are the places where these men served or lost their lives—Sharpsburg, Cold Harbor, and Andersonville, the Confederate prisoner of war camp in South Georgia, which is located only a few short hours from my home in Florida. As I walked around the monument that day, reading the names and the engravings, “They shall hunger no more, neither thirst no more,” and “Death is swallowed up in victory,” I realized that I needed to do something to honor these soldiers. To find out who they were, and to tell others about them.
I chose the eight Granby soldiers from the Connecticut 16th Regiment. For some reason their names spoke to me as I stood at the base of that statue that day: Roswell Allen, Leland Barlow, Franklin Clark, Ebeneezer Emerson, Asher Holcomb, Lewis Holcomb, Alden Messenger, Robert Morgan. I wrote their names in my notebook, and started my search.
I began by using the Internet—blindly typing in names and battles, getting nowhere. Since I didn’t know much about the Civil War, I realized that I needed to read and study the war itself before I could learn anything about these soldiers. So I started at my public library in Florida, carrying armloads of books home every few days, holed up in my office for weeks on end, reading everything I could get my hands on about the Civil War. In particular, three of my Kindle acquisitions proved to be the most interesting in helping me understand the plight of a Union soldier Civil War in The Sixteenth Connecticut Volunteers, by B.F. Blakeslee, Connecticut Yankees at Antietam, by John Banks, and Andersonville: A Story of Rebel Military Prisons, by John McElroy. I also visited the Salmon Brook Historical Society in Granby, Andersonville National Historic Site near Americus, Georgia and watched numerous documentaries and films about the War Between the States.
Eight Granby Soldiers of the 16th Regiment
The 16th Connecticut Infantry Regiment organized in Hartford on August 24, 1862. They were considered a “green” unit because most of the soldiers did not have any military experience, nor did they have much chance to train as they moved to Washington, DC, to join with the 2nd Brigade, 3rd Division, 9th Army Corps, and the Army of the Potomac. On September 17, commanded by Colonel Francis Beach, they marched into the battle of Antietam, in Sharpsburg, Maryland, the bloodiest battle of the Civil War. The 16th fought at John Otto’s farm, in his 40-acre cornfield—out of the 779 of the 16th engaged, 43 were killed, 161 wounded, and 204 were captured or missing.
Robert Morgan was mortally wounded at Antietam, and later died of his wounds on September 24. Morgan died at the hospital that had been erected beneath the stone bridge at the battle site. He was married; his wife’s name was Marie, and he left behind two young children. Morgan is buried at Antietam National Cemetery, and a family memorial with his name can be found at Granby Cemetery, near the center of town.
Roswell Allen was just 17 years old when he fought at Antietam. His father, Dr. Francis Allen of Granby, succeeded in having his son discharged because of illness, but Roswell died in a hospital in Washington, DC on December 28. He is buried in Granby Cemetery and was the youngest of the eight soldiers I researched.
Regarding illness and the Civil War, in addition to mortal wounds, soldiers were destined to perish from numerous diseases, including dysentery, measles, small pox, viruses and bacterial infections, along with starvation and hypothermia. In the Federal Army three-fifths of the soldiers’ deaths were due to disease; for the Confederates, it was two-thirds.
The other soldiers I researched were captured by the Confederates on April 20, 1864. The battle of Plymouth in North Carolina, April 17 - 20, was the last major Confederate victory of the Civil War and the third largest battle fought in North Carolina. Most of the Union troops captured here were sent to the notorious Confederate prison in Andersonville, Georgia. Upon their arrival in prison they were dubbed “The Plymouth Pilgrims” and that’s where our other 16th Regiment Granby soldiers ended up.
The prison was opened in February of 1864, the largest of its kind. Over 45,000 federal prisoners of war entered its gates in its 14 months of operation, and over 13,000 of those prisoners never made it out, dying of diseases like scurvy and dysentery. In his book John McElroy wrote about his experience arriving at Andersonville: “Five hundred men moved silently toward the gates that would shut out life and hope for most of them forever. Quarter of a mile from the railroad we came into a massive palisade with great squared logs standing upright in the ground. Fires blazed up and showed us a section of these and two massive wooden gates with heavy iron hinges and bolts. They swung open as we stood there and we passed through into the space beyond. We were at Andersonville.”
I took several days late last year to visit the Andersonville National Historic Site; it has a comprehensive data base and also files on many of the soldiers who went through its gates. Today the prison site is dotted with monuments honoring soldiers from various states. Within the stockade there is an area that demonstrates the soldiers’ poor living conditions, featuring lean-tos, rustic tents and makeshift cook pots. But for many of the prisoners who lived at Andersonville, there was very little or no shelter from the elements. Prisoners dug trenches to protect themselves from the bitter cold and rain during the winter and the searing heat in the summer. Food was scarce and the water source was contaminated, which caused the deaths of many of the soldiers housed within the prison.
Within the National Historic Site, a national cemetery was established to provide a permanent place of honor for those who died in military service to our country. The initial interments, beginning in February 1864, were trench burials of the prisoners who died in the nearby military prison. In 14 months, nearly 13,000 soldiers were buried here. Today the cemetery contains nearly 20,000 graves. I was able to look up the Granby soldiers on the park’s data base and discovered that three were buried here: Leland Barlow, Alden Messenger and Asher Holcomb. Using a park map I drove through the cemetery, located their graves and photographed each one. All three had died of disease.
I was not able to find out very much information about Franklin Clark. I know that he enlisted in the 16th Connecticut Regiment on July 19, 1862 and died on March 29, 1865 at Camp Barry in Washington, DC, according to records I found at the Salmon Brook Historical Society, with the help of historian Carol Laun. I don’t know if he stayed with the 16th or was captured, or how he died. Because of his date of death he must have been to Andersonville along with the others, but I could not find any record of that. I don’t know where his grave site is at the time that I am writing this.
Ebeneezer Emerson, who was captured at the battle of Plymouth, died in Florence, South Carolina, on February 10, 1865, but I’m not sure about the cause of his death. Lewis M. Holcomb was a prisoner at Andersonville, but was paroled on February 28, 1865, and sent home to Granby. He was very ill at the time, but after his recovery he went back to join his unit. He died just a few months later at a camp in Alexandria, Virginia and is buried in the military cemetery there.
In 1998 Carol Laun wrote a book called The Holcomb Collection, in which she brings to light much of what of Granby soldiers went through during their time in the Civil War. Adelaide Holcomb, or “Addie,” was a young woman in Granby who kept a diary of events as they unfolded during the war. She also corresponded with her cousins Lewis and Henry Holcomb, and mentioned her friend Leland Barlow in her diary. On April 23, 1864, Addie writes, “We hear by the papers that the rebel ram has been smashing up the boats at Plymouth and the town is in rebel hands. All are anxious to hear who survives, but of course we cannot expect to know, as they are prisoners. All must endure this terrible suspense. Hope Henry and Lewis will come out all right, and the rest of the Granby boys.” Laun’s book is a fascinating read, and is available at the Salmon Brook Historical Society in Granby.
Our Granby boys taught us about “the good death,” a phrase I found again and again while reading about the Civil War, and refers to the honor in dying for your country. Those who made it through the war moved on to raise families, start businesses and begin anew after four years of bloodshed. We are all descendants of the Civil War and its aftermath resonates throughout the nation, especially in the South.
This year marks the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. From 1861 to 1865, brothers from the North and South fought against each other in the bloodiest conflict our country has ever endured. From the battlefields to those at home, the consequences of this war, including the continuing struggle for Americans’ civil rights, resound to this day. The last nine months of learning about the Civil War has brought me closer to the soldiers who left their little towns and their families and never came home. We need to recognize what they gave this country in order to preserve our Union. Can you imagine if things had turned out differently?
Karen Phillips Miller is a travel, food, and lifestyle writer living on Amelia Island, Florida. Her book, "Succotash Dreams...and Other Fond Food Memories" is available at Amazon.com.
Gravestones of here of Granby's soldiers buried at Andersonville National Historical Site.
Photos by Karen Phillips Miller
The wicked life of James Poisson
By Carol Laun
The wedding of James Poisson, about 69 years old, took place in Stratford, Connecticut on August 14, 1739, when “Revd. Mr. Samuel Johnson joined James Poisson of Simsbury in marriage to Sarah Pengilley of Suffield.” Sarah was only 22 years old. She was the daughter of John and Mary Pengilley, born Feb. 22, 1717 in Suffield. Her new husband was older than her father.
There is no indication in the records as to how they met, why they got married in Stratford or what possessed Sarah to marry this elderly man. Perhaps it was all about money. Poisson may have been thought to be very wealthy because of all of his financial deals.
Poisson continued to buy and sell property in Connecticut. He bought a house with four acres near the Hop Brook gristmill in Simsbury. He also bought the gristmill. He bought a half share in a sawmill in Salmon Brook (the early name for Granby). He owned an iron works on the Scantic River in Somers. Huge profits were made when Poisson sold these properties. He sold a three quarter interest in a sawmill and gristmill in the Scotland area of Simsbury, for 807 pounds.
His name also appeared on a list of the original proprietors of the township of Winchester in Hartford Coounty, Connecticut, in 1744. He was granted land in that town.
Poisson was involved in more lawsuits in 1745 and 1747. In many of these cases, he would tell the defendants that he was dropping the suit, so they would not bother to appear in court. But he would not drop the suit and would win the judgment by default.
In the 1747 suit against Samuel Beamond (probably Beman) of Simsbury, Poisson lied to Beamond, saying he would not proceed with the case. Since Beamond was not present, Poisson obtained a judgment of 500 pounds plus costs. Fortunately for Beamond, the judgment was set aside.
During these years, little is known about Poisson’s wife Sarah, until her father gave her some land in February 1748. John Pengilley bought three acres of land from John Slater, west of the river, and gave it to his daughter. This indicated that there was something very wrong with the marriage. Parents only gave property to a married daughter to make sure she had some security and a place to live.
In early April 1748, James Poisson deserted his wife. They had been married for nine years. Sarah was now 31 years old and James was probably close to 80.
The Simsbury Vital Records provide the next chapter in this saga, “John Poisson the Son of James Poisson and Sarah his wife was born the 4th of January 1749.” John was born nine months after James deserted Sarah.
Later that year, Sarah’s sister, Mary Pengilley, was staying with her. She was caring for her, because Sarah was lame and “not able to help herself.” Poisson showed up to tell Sarah he was “selling her clothes and linens and what she had for her necessary support” to Mr. Jacob Pettibone who had provided security for money Poisson borrowed from the Colony.
Sarah objected to this and according to Mary, “Poisson immediately fell into a violent passion with her and in this great rage did bend his fists at her and come up to her as if he would strike her and cursed and damned her at a dreadful rate and said he would strip her of everything. He would not leave her so much as a rag to wind about her finger.”
When Poisson left, Mary asked Sarah if he had ever acted like that before and Sarah said many times. Mary said she would be afraid for her life and wondered how Sarah could have lived with him. Sarah replied that she “was afraid of him and had shut herself up for fear of her life.”
In 1750, in the last land record found for him, Poisson sold land in Turkey Hills (now East Granby). Then, as he had threatened, he sold the contents of his Simsbury home, where Sarah and the baby were living. He sold “bedding, pewter, brass, ironware and all other particulars that are now in said house” to settle the forfeited bond to Jacob Pettibone. In 1751, Sarah filed for divorce.
Sarah testified in her petition that James had deserted her in early April 1748 and since that time “totally neglected all and every said duty of his marriage covenant.” He told her he had no intention of caring for her or being a husband to her again. Therefore Sarah asked for a divorce “to be freed from all the obligations she is under in virtue of her marriage.”
Many witnesses gave depositions in this divorce case. Joseph Smith, a Simsbury blacksmith, said that for the past three years he worked for Poisson at the mills and sometimes lived in the Poisson home. “To the best of my observation and from what I have often heard Mr. James Poisson say, he has lived in total neglect of duty toward his wife Sarah for more than three years. I know that there always has been two beds in the house and when I lived there, James Poisson used to lodge in one of them and his wife in another. He never provided food or clothing for his wife. Once I saw him take his staff and hold it over her head when she was lame and said to her ‘you are a cursed damned eternal whore, begone out of the house.’ He was daily quarreling with her and using such language to her and speaking all manner of evil of her.”
Poisson was living in Enfield at this time, and a deputy sheriff read the divorce petition to him. Poisson responded, “I acknowledge that I am not able to perform my marriage covenant with the petitioner and therefore it is very reasonable that her petition should be granted.”
However, the court continued to take depositions, including one from Moses Estey, an Enfield friend of Dr. Poisson. He said he had been to the Poisson home many times and the Doctor and his wife always lodged in separate rooms. “I have heard the Doctor call her a bitch and cursed creature and many other bad names and that she should never have one penny of his estate.”
A few days later, James Poisson sent another message to the Court in Hartford. “I hereby inform your honors that I have not lay with my wife Sarah for the space of three years past and do not intend to use her as my wife for the future.”
To be continued.
The flag that inspired Francis Scott Key
Ginny Wutka of Lost Acres Orchard will speak about the original Star Spangled Banner at the Granby Civic Club meeting on Thursday, March 19, at the Senior Center at 1 p.m. Come and learn the history behind the flag that inspired Francis Scott Key to write the poem that would become our national anthem, The Star Spangled Banner. Learn about the maker of the flag that flew over Fort McHenry in the War of 1812, and the circumstances under which Key wrote the words to the anthem. Your patriotism is sure to be heightened when you learn about Mary Pickersgill, the flag maker, and what she accomplished after the war ended. This flag is among the most treasured artifacts in the collections of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. Wutka, a Granby resident who has sponsored many Quilt Happenings in the past 27 years, will help attendees to feel that they are a part of the project that Pickersgill was asked to undertake. All women of Granby are invited to Civic Club meetings.
CTVV: Jewish Historical Society seeks to expand visibility
The Jewish Historical Society is a well-established and firmly entrenched organization in the West Hartford community with a current membership of approximately 500 people with the majority comprised of family participants.
Susan Regan, host of CT Valley Views interviewed Estelle Kafer, the Society’s executive director to explore the organization's objectives, program offerings and the opportunity for state residents to become more educated about to the rich heritage of early Connecticut Jewish settlers in numerous industries including farming, entertainment, education, business and entrepreneurial pursuits.
The JHS offices, located on the Zachs Campus in the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Community Services Building at 333 Bloomfield Avenue, offers comprehensive archive files, multiple exhibits, bus and international tour opportunities all designed to help current generations to better understand the historical contributions made by the early Jewish pioneers.
To contact JHS regarding membership or volunteer positions visit www.jhsgh.org or call 860-727-6171. CTVV will post two videos "The History of the Jewish Historical Society of Greater Hartford" and "An Early History of Hartford's Jewish Community" on its website: www.ctvalleyviews.com. An entire review of this interview will also be available on its new on-line publication at www.ctvveb.com.
Watch this informative CTVV segment on Cox/Enfield Channel 15 and Frontier Digital TV Channel 99 Friday January 30 and February 6 at 6 PM.
This and all CTVV programs are available at www.ctvalleyviews.com.
State leaders, local officials and lawmakers gathered to unlock a piece of history hidden away for the past 63 years: a time capsule uncovered in Bradley International Airport’s Terminal B.
State Senator Kevin Witkos (R-Canton) joined fellow legislators, surrounding town officials, Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman, Connecticut Airport Authority (CAA) Executive Director Kevin Dillon and CAA Board Chair Mary Ellen Jones to open the time capsule that was placed behind the cornerstone of “Murphy Terminal” in 1951. State leaders discussed changing times at the airport as Terminal B is being demolished in anticipation for a new ground transportation center and updated terminal.
“This is an important time for advancing transportation in Connecticut,” said Witkos. “New construction plans at Bradley mean big changes for the way we travel in Connecticut. The project aims to make travel to and from the airport easier for thousands of people. Demolishing the old terminal is an important step in the process and a sign of noteworthy and commendable change. As we close one chapter in history, another one opens.” Inside the time capsule various pieces of memorabilia were discovered including a Hartford Times newspaper dated Nov. 29, 1951, black and white photographs of what the terminal looked like during construction, official records from nearby towns, copies of laws and regulations in place at the time, and a map of the airport.
Also present to help open the time capsule was Loretta Dyson, niece of the late Francis S. Murphy—the editor and publisher of the Hartford Times, chair of the Connecticut Aeronautics Commission, and the namesake for the terminal.
Plans for the new transportation center include consolidated rental car facilities, hundreds of new public parking spaces, and a station for buses to connect to the Windsor Locks train station. Plans for a new terminal are also in the works.
SBHS Seeks Gardens for 2014 Garden Tour By Bill Ross
Attention all gardeners, plant and flower enthusiasts and green
The Salmon Brook Historical Society is planning its 2014 Spring Garden Tour on June 21-22, and is in need of several additional gardens to be included on the tour. Last year’s tour was very successful with over 180 people touring seven private home gardens all over Granby, Lost Acres Orchard, O’Brien Nursery and Lost Acres Vineyard.
It is a terrific town-wide event and really showcases Granby’s homes and gardens in a very positive way. Would you like to participate? The hours will be 10 a.m.–4 p.m. on Saturday, June 21 and Noon–3 p.m. on Sunday, June 22. The SBHS will handle everything from tickets to tour guides. You just have to have the garden. For more information or questions, please call Bill Ross 860-999-3743 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. See you in June and happy gardening!
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