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The Way We Were

March 3, 1989

A fire heavily damaged a ranch house on Fox Run Lane South on February 28. Estimating damage at $75,000, Deputy Fire Marshal Joe Cavanaugh said he didn’t know whether the house could be repaired of if it would have to be demolished. Nobody was home when the fire was reported at 5:41 pm by a woman who was in the neighborhood. The fire started in a family room at the rear of the house. Firefighters had the fire under control in about 45 minutes. About 4,000 gallons of water were used.

 

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The United Fire Company of Botsford wants to keep paying its own way for its firehouse. If the Town of Newtown won’t help the company — by borrowing $80,000 for Botsford’s planned firehouse addition and having the money repaid by the company — then the company will borrow the money elsewhere. That’s what Company President Joseph Cavanaugh said this week, in asserting that, contrary to what the Board of Selectmen recently was told, his company doesn’t want the town to pay for the addition. Mr Cavanaugh figured the project would be less expensive if the town took out the loan.

 

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William D. Sutliff has resigned from the Business Search Committee. Mr Sutcliff who was committee chairman, said in a recent letter to First Selectman Rod Mac Kenzie that he remained convinced of the need for serious economic development planning for Newtown. But the “political climate” in town didn’t allow for proper attention to this priority, said Mr Sutcliff.

 

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The 1989 edition of the Sunshine Magic Circus is coming to Newtown, bringing circus stars from around the world. Acrobats, jugglers, and clowns will be part of the act when the circus comes to Newtown. The circus will be playing at Edmond Town Hall Theater on Sunday, March 19, with shows at 1 and 3 pm. This event is being sponsored as a fund raiser for Boy Scout Troop 770.

 

March 6, 1964

The 25th birthday of the Newtown Rotary Club was celebrated on Monday evening at the Yankee Drover Inn with a reunion of former and present members. The president-elect of Rotary International, Charles Pettengill of Greenwich, addressed the gathering. “What will the going men of today be doing during the next 25 years?” he asked, and he left no doubt that Rotary International will do its share, helping to shape a better future.

 

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The Newtown Historical Society is the richer for the gift of a most interesting old record book, the first kept by the Zoar Bridge Company. Mrs Alice Hanlon of Phil Curtis Road presented the volume to Town Clerk Jack Schwenck who in turn, has given it into the care of the Historical Society. The old book contains lists of stockholders, including many well-known Newtown names and continues entries until the fall of 1874.

 

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“Lack of interest on the part of local ball players as well as the apathy of Newtowners to sports in general and baseball in particular, has sounded the death knoll to the town baseball team,” according to Jack Rosenthal, the team’s manager. The heavy demands of raising funds, it takes $750 per year to run the club, attending the practice sessions twice per week, traveling to the games on Sundays, caring for the playing field, “coupled with public indifference” brought about the manager’s decision to recommend to the directors that they discontinue their franchise.

 

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A total of 158 youngsters registered Monday night to play Little League ball this season. One hundred and twenty nine youngsters were registered last year and 29 additional boys registered at Monday’s session. Tryouts will be held on April 11 at 10 am, at the Italian Community Center field for all boys nine years through 12 years of age, who did not play on a major team last year or who are new to the League.

 

 

March 3, 1939

Following one or two preliminary meetings, a Rotary Club was started in Newtown on Tuesday evening, at the Parker House, with 18 charter members. This club is the 24th in the 200th district, and is sponsored by the Bridgeport Rotary Club. George M. Stuart was elected president; Dr Clifford D. Moore, vice president; Joseph H. Ringers, treasurer; Edward W. Troy, Paul V. Cavanaugh, and Nelson Curtis, members of the Board of Directors. It is planned by the local organization to hold a supper meeting each Monday night at 6 o’clock, at the Parker House.

 

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Final preparations for the formal institution of Charles Howard Peck, Sr and Jr Post No 308, Veterans of Foreign Wars, were completed on Wednesday evening when the steering committee met with James E. Diamond at his home in Sandy Hook. The event will take place on this Friday evening at 8 o’clock, at the Edmond gymnasium. The guests of honor for the evening will be Mrs Charles H. Peck, widow of Dr Peck, and mother of Charles Howard peck, Jr, in whose memory the Post is named.

 

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It will be encouraging, particularly to the parents of the town, to learn that the matter of a sidewalk from Newtown Street to Sandy Hook, came up for serious discussion at last Thursday’s meeting of the Chamber of Commerce. An old chestnut, perhaps some will say, this matter of a sidewalk which has been talked about, and only talked about, for twenty-five years. There is no single item that is more sorely needed in Newtown today, than this piece of sidewalk. And the construction of this needed sidewalk is a simple matter, if only our town as a whole will bend to the job. Heed the call and tackle the job — lest we regret!

 

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Our beautiful Town Hall possesses everything but enough space for bowling. The two alleys are inadequate to provide for the number that wish to partake of the popular winter recreation. Many out-of-town people have decried the lack of space, stating their desires to bowl a few games after attending a show in the theater. This is almost an impossibility with the local bowling league occupying the alleys for a good share of each evening.

 

March 6, 1914

Work was begun, Monday, on the task of improving the auditorium at the Congregational church. Carpenters began work on the task of laying new hard-wood floors. The entire contract for the redecorating of the walls, new cushions, new carpets, etc, was awarded to the Barnett-Phillips Co. of New York City. It is hoped to have the work all completed so that church people can worship in the refitted auditorium on Easter Sunday.

 

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Charles G. Peck, the popular Borough Warden, was the center of attention at the rooms of the Hillside club, Monday night, creating a near riot and the possible calling out of the fire department. His fine Niagara Falls umbrella stood near the stove. The stove was booming and soon the quick eye of John W. Ray discovered puffs of smoke coming from near Peck’s umbrella. Pandemonium reigned for a few minutes but in less time than it takes to tell it, the umbrella was seized and thrust out of the window. It is painful to think what might have been, had the conflagration not been discovered.

 

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The heavy down-pour of rain, Sunday afternoon and evening, caused such a flood that the gutters and underground drain at Sandy Hook was unable to accommodate the water. It flooded the cellar at the store of Corbett & Crowe. The damage will go up into the dollars, possibly as much as $100. At times, Mr Corbett says, there was from three to four feet of water in the cellar. Even the big molasses barrel was sailing about in the bosom of the water, with ferkins (sic) of butter and boxes of cheese.

 

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It will be noted in our advertising column the large new ice house, erected about seven years ago by the Borden’s Condensed Milk Co, at the Newtown station, is offered for sale. Manager C.C. Rion is ready to sell it at a bargain counter price. The building is said to have cost the Borden’s people in the vicinity of $1,800.

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