Fournier Bakery

The family run Fournier Bakery operated for 71 years in New Hartford and Winsted, between 1890 and 1961 by two generations of the Fournier family. When the younger generation, Frederick and George Fournier retired they closed the business.

At one time the bakery delivered by horse drawn wagon, complete with a gong to tell customers that they were coming.  In later years it operated out of several retail locations in both towns.  It also ran a coffee service for various local factories.  In a sense, this section of the business was replaced by vending machines and other automated machines.

Today, there are several bakeries in town, including Collinsville Bakery and the Delery (now the Better Half).  There are several other cafes as well.

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A bicycle path?

From a 1946 newspaper:

‘More and more matters of interest are coming to light relative to the old New Hartford Bicycle or Club (eds. note, I know of only Two clippings connected to them, more information would be lovely) We have just learned that at the town meeting held in October, 1898, the town made an appropriation of $100 for a cycle track or path leading from Satan’s Kingdom to the Barkhamsted town line, the wheelmen themselves giving $75 towards the project. This cycle path was evidently on the easterly side of the Farmington River, up along the ‘Niggertown Road’ (eds. note, the Farmington River Tpke) and perhaps was advocated for the express purpose of seeing the bicyclists and other wheel men safely through that region known as Satan’s Kingdom. We can find no record of the cycle path, as such, having been constructed, though the road was improved.”

An interesting story, this would have been one of the earliest bike paths to have been built.  Its exact purpose seems a little unclear, since that section of road is actually above Satan’s Kingdom.  And, at the time of the purposed route, the only flat ground in the Kingdom was already occupied with several rail tracks and a road.  It may have been designed more to route the bikers along a more scenic and quieter path through Pine Meadow and North Village, since that is the section of river actually under discussion.

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The first stoves in town

(or the oddments one doesn’t think about).  A man by the name of Mr. Sadd was the first person to bring cooking/heating stoves into town, in the early 1800′s.  He was a silversmith and ironmonger, working in the North Village with a small foundry on West (or Carter) brook.  He bought stoves in Canton and sold them in New Hartford at first, but then he quickly turned to making them himself.  Prior to his work, all cooking and heating was done at the fireplace.  In 1829, he and his family moved west towards Ohio, presumably continuing to bring the new innovations of cooking stoves to settlements out there.

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The Taxman Cometh

A newspaper clipping announcing a special Bridge tax for New Hartford in 1909 inadvertently recorded important meeting point’s in town as well:

“The Collector will be at Jones’ Blacksmith Shop in Bakersville on Saturday, Jan. 7th from 9 a.m. until 12 p.m.; at the church in Nepaug from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. the same day; at the Town Clerk’s office in Town Building on Friday, Jan. 13th, from 2 p.m. until 5 p.m.; at Haddad’s store in Pine Meadow on Saturday, Jan. 14th from 2 p.m. until 5 p.m. and at his home in Loveland House on Main Street, New Hartford Village, each evening from 7 to 9 o’clock during the month of January to receive taxes.”

We go to the taxman these days (or send our taxes to them); at that time the taxman did, indeed, come to us.

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Early American Economy

Through the early 1800′s most rural towns operated on a barter system whereby people did a variety of odd jobs as needed, hired people as needed, and bought/sold whatever was to hand.  Most farmers kept detailed account books to record who owed them ‘money’ and who they owed in turn.  Very little actual cash changed hands.  Here is an account from Ebenzer Brown of New Hartford in 1773.  He clearly had extra pasture to hand and was renting it for cattle, which were probably passing through on the way to a market.  He also seems to have had extra space in his house, putting up four men for a week.  He had a team of oxen that he hired out, presumably with himself as a drover.  Staves, perhaps for barrels, seems to have been a commodity as well at the time.

Ebenezer Brown 1773

 

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An old invoice

2012.1.48 E.H.Stone invoice

 

The invoice includes: 2 boxes, 2 bundles of spokes, one coffin box (so presumably no body included…), a turkey, buckwheat, catsup?, and two pigs.  One may note that the two pigs cost almost as much as the rest of the loads put together.  Somehow, this does not surprise me, but does suggest that the pigs were alive and unhappy!

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North vs South

The location of the town center has been the object of much discussion on this blog. I encountered this lovely little stanza in Sarah Jones book, ‘Sketches’ that relates the opinion of one person:

“The North End people make their brags

This town is just like saddle bags

The Center is the straps they say

We’ll cut them off some future day.”

It is a apparently a remnant of a much larger set of verses, one does wonder what was said about Nepaug (which tried to claim title) and Bakerville.  From this short clip, it does seem that the author probably was not sympathetic to the North Village’s claim.

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