Turning Back the Pages

100 years ago – May 1924

Mrs. Annie K. Pulver has sold her house on the road to Lime Rock, just beyond the Catholic church. The title now stands in the name of J. Cox Howell, but Harry C. Judd is the real buyer.

The Conn. Power Co. has extended its service to Lincoln City, having finished the work of setting the poles and wiring. A number of homes are already using the juice.

President Coolidge went to see Ringling’s circus. Wouldn’t you think our beloved president would have had enough of circus after his dealings with the bunch of wild men who make the membership of congress.

Capt. H.B. Hamlin and family arrived home recently after spending the winter in Florida. Capt. Hamlin says he had a good winter, but there was more or less cold weather in the south. While enroute north both his children caught the measles, but came through without any serious results.

50 years ago – May 1974

Peter A. Reilly, 19, will go back to Litchfield Superior Court Tuesday, May 21, for sentencing in his first-degree manslaughter conviction for the death of his mother Barbara Gibbons last September. Reilly and his defense attorneys went to Hartford Tuesday afternoon before Superior Court Judge John A. Speziale, the trial judge in the eight-week-long trial, to argue a defense motion to set aside the verdict. The entire court proceeding took only 45 minutes, with Judge Speziale denying the defense motion without explanation.

Sharon’s newly merged Conservation and Inland Wetlands Commission faced one of its first controversies this week, as a dozen residents turned out Monday to protest the draining of Gager’s Swamp by its owner, William S. Kelsey Sr. Commission Chairman Donald T. Warner and fellow members listened to residents say they feared the wildlife of the swamp would be harmed and that there was a possibility Mr. Kelsey was draining the swamp in preparation for eventual development. When questioned by The Lakeville Journal Tuesday, Mr. Kelsey declined to comment, explaining he had just returned from a hospital stay and was recuperating.

Someday in the near future, two students at the North Canaan Elementary School will distribute the last edition of a school paper they have produced throughout the school year. Michelle Ohler and Carol Arrigoni, with the occasional help of their fellow students, have produced three school papers this year under the title “The New Edition.” Michelle told the Journal last week that she first presented the idea of a school paper to her teacher Donald Severance because she was interested in the project. The first paper was produced with the cooperation of many of her classmates, but general interest soon tapered off, leaving just Michelle and her friend Carol to carry on the work. The last edition of “The New Edition” will feature interviews with members of the spring concert program and a poll of the eighth graders as to who the most successful member of the class will be and the like.

A rehabilitation center for persons suffering from alcoholism will open in the former Chinchilla Farm on Route 7 in Canaan. The center, which will be known as Serenity Hill Farm, Inc., will be privately operated, but will have affiliations with Alcoholics Anonymous.

The Canaan Boy Scouts were “really amazed” when they received a check for $377.70 for their first truck load of paper for recycling. The boys have taken responsibility for the paper recycling trailer at the Canaan Landfill site. A second load of paper is now beginning to pile up in the trailer, and the older Scouts will add to it this Saturday by picking up paper at a residence in Lakeville.

Mr. and Mrs. Edwin Bailey of Falls Village celebrated their golden wedding anniversary last Saturday, May 11. The party was given by their daughter, Sharon Bailey. Eighty guests joined the celebration, coming from New York, Vermont, Massachusetts and from all parts of Connecticut.

Everyone in the area is invited to participate in a day of tag sales in Warren on June 8 to benefit the fund raising drive for Warren Woods. The sale will be at Warren Woods. The Park and Recreation Committee is sponsoring the event at which anyone who wishes may set up a table of tag sale items and keep his profits. The committee asks a $10 donation from each participant. Dealers are not allowed.

KENT – The Planning and Zoning Commission granted Milton Greenbaum a conditional temporary permit last week to open 153 sites at his Smiling Forest campground. The permit, which is contingent upon verification of water and sewer hook-ups, among other things, was approved by unanimous vote following a report of an on-site inspection by the zoning inspector.

25 years ago – May 1999

Anyone who thinks a nickel doesn’t amount to much these days has never met Kent Center School Principal Edward Epstein. For the past five years, Mr. Epstein has been collecting bottles and cans and saving the return money in the hopes of transferring it to the school’s scholarship fund. To date, he, along with Mary Van Valkenburg who works part time in the school kitchen, have collected more than $23,000 including interest. “Some people think I’m really crazy, but the vast majority of people think it’s really great even if they wouldn’t do it themselves.” Sometimes he gets strange looks while standing at a machine making returns, he said. “Many people can’t believe I’m the principal of the school.”

In the Northwest Corner, an insect the size of a finger nail is inadvertently at war with a tree the size of a multi-story building. And the bug is winning. Elm trees, once the staple of Main Street U.S.A. and rich in symbolism for many communities, have fallen prey to a particular fungus that is carried by the elm bark beetle. The result is that more than 90 percent of the elm trees that were in the area 50 years ago are gone, according to nature photographer Tom Zetterstrom. “There are three street elms in the center of Canaan,” Mr. Zetterstrom said. “There are also a small number in Lakeville and Salisbury. Of the stock that were here 50 years ago, probably 2 to 5 percent remain. That is why every tree is so important now. Losing one tree means 10 to 15 percent of the elms in the community are gone.”

KENT – At Friday’s budget hearing, much of the discussion centered on the Cemetery Association’s request for additional funds for maintenance. Marge McAvoy, a member of the association, pointed out that this is one organization where the users should not be required to pay fees. When association chairman Bill Tobin got up to make his plea, he remarked he was speaking on behalf of “the silent majority.”

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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