Turning Back the Pages

100 years ago — March 1922

It is reported that Mr. W.H. Kenyon of New York has purchased the Banner place at Sharon.


The frost appears to be coming out in many places and as a result some highways are in bad condition and difficult for auto travel.


SALISBURY — Miss Marguerite Marston of New York is recuperating at the home of her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Fred Marston. She has been quite ill, caused by a nervous breakdown, her doctor ordering a complete rest for her.


LAKEVILLE — John H. Garrity is building a new garage and barn at his residence.




50 years ago — March 1972

A raging fire in zero weather gutted the West Cornwall home and almost took the lives of Mrs. Doris Siena, 67, her grandson Christopher Goddard, and their tenants, Mr. and Mrs. Nate Strong Jr. and their baby, last Saturday morning. The fire, which broke out in the kitchen of the house, was discovered at 4:55 a.m. by Chris Goddard who immediately awakened his grandmother.

Blocked by flames from leaving the building, Mrs. Siena pounded on the walls of her tenants’ apartment and awakened Mr. Strong, his wife Mary and their 11-month-old baby girl. He immediately sounded the fire alarm and located a ladder which he placed against the building, enabling Mrs. Siena and Chris to escape with the flames closing in on them.

While descending the ladder, Mrs. Siena, who had already suffered severe burns on the arms and chest, fell from the ladder, injuring her back. She was taken to the home of a neighbor, where Cliff TenBroeck and Fred Bate III administered first aid before rushing her to Sharon Hospital.


Stage and screen actor Robert Montgomery and his wife have purchased an estate of 195 acres along the Whiting River in East Canaan from Jack Boyd Ward for an undisclosed amount. The transaction was handled by Lakeville Realtor Albert Borden. The house, a stately 11-room edifice of mellow pink brick, lies at the end of a tree-shaded lane, surrounded by broad lawns. The property includes a guest cottage, superintendent’s cottage, garage, barn and other outbuildings. It is understood that Mr. Montgomery purchased the estate for less than the asking price of $425,000, but the exact figure will not be revealed until the deed is transferred, probably at the end of this month.


KENT — The town seems to have “lost” about 1,000 acres, according to the Grand List of 1971. Last year’s total acreage amounted to over 25,000 acres, while the just-completed abstract shows considerably less. Assessor Albert Edwards believes the fault lies with a misplaced decimal point, rather than any failure to assess the land involved.


Penn Central Transportation Company real estate officers have accepted a $6,600 bid for the Cornwall Bridge Depot from Dave Williams of Ontherun, a design, planning and media group.


Tom Zetterstrom of Canaan, Mr. Williams’ associate, said this week that the firm will preserve the depot, built in 1888, and put up for bid by Penn Central last month. The railroad has also disclosed that it expects to dispose soon of the West Cornwall station, recently cited by Town Sanitarian George Senseney as a source of pollution of the Housatonic River. Waste from a shop there by the Little Guild of St. Francis is discharged into the river.


Harlan Tracy retired from the Canaan National Bank last Wednesday after working for 44 years in local banks. Mr. Tracy started his career in the Falls Village National Iron Bank in 1928 as a bookkeeper. At the time, the Falls Village bank was one of the last banks to use the old Boston Ledgers, in which all accounts were posted by hand and the balance was carried forward daily.


25 years ago — March 1997

CANAAN — A plan to build a 195-foot communications tower in town will go to a public hearing soon. When the Planning Commission meets again March 12, members will set a date for the formal hearing on a subdivision application now before them. Approval of the plan would give Litchfield County Dispatch the go-ahead to erect the tower on Church Hill near downtown Canaan. Tom Foley is seeking to separate four acres at the rear of the 105-acre Foley Farm property on Lower Road so he can sell the land to LCD as a tower site.


An employee of National Iron Bank on John Curtiss Road in Norfolk discovered March 1 that the bank had been forcibly entered, and a large amount of money was taken from the Automated Teller Machine.

The FFA chapter at Housatonic Valley Regional High School has been selected from 18 FFA chapters statewide to participate in “Agriscience Careers for the 21st Century.” The program will appear on Channel One, a subscription-based service for nationwide schools, on March 14 at 2 p.m. HVRHS does not subscribe to Channel One, but will be able to participate in the program via a satellite uplink.


These items were taken from The Lakeville Journal archives at Salisbury’s Scoville Memorial Library, keeping the original wording intact as possible.

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