Wine Tasting!

Save the date: Twelfth Annual New Hartford Historical Society Wine Tasting!!!

September 9th, 2016

6 pm to 9 pm at Ski Sundown, New Hartford, CT

$25 per person, tickets available at the door.

The New Hartford Historical Society’s main fundraiser is truly becoming an historic event. As always we will have a wide selection of local food, with some new vendors, along with (of course) dozens of wines and beers. The wine is international, and there just might be anything from Moonshine to Tequila (there was Chocolate last year!) While the food ranges from Pizza to Thai, and maybe figs, or chocolate, or European cheese for desert.  It is a great evening: excellent food, excellent wine and beer, and excellent company at a beautiful location.

 

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Coming up

Twelfth Annual New Hartford Historical Society Wine Tasting!!!

It is truly becoming an historic event. As always we will have a wide selection of local food, with some new vendors, along with (of course) dozens of wines and beers. It is a great evening: excellent food, excellent wine and beer, and excellent company at a beautiful location.

Save the date: September 9th, 2016 from 6 to 9 pm at Ski Sundown, New Hartford. Tickets are $25 and are available at the door.

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Summer is coming

In the last few weeks there has been a notable increase in the activity in the town focused on the water.  The trout season is open, with fishermen on the Dugway wall, in the Farmington, and fishing by boat in Lake McDonough (Compensating Reservoir) and in West Hill Lake.  One really knows that summer is not far, despite the weather, when one sees the buses for the Farmington River Tubing staged down by the Satan’s Kingdom bridge.  That business only dates from the 1970s.  But, swimming and water sports have been popular for much longer.  Until 1936, the Greenwoods Pond on the Farmington was an ideal place for yacht races and other such sports: formed by the power dam, it backed up a long sheet of water nearly to Pleasant Valley in Barkhamsted.  Equally popular was West Hill Pond, which in the late 1800’s had the sense of romantic wilderness which made the Hudson River and the Adirondacks beloved summer places.  Only, West Hill was much easier to get to.

Here is a summer scene from the late 1800’s:

Women on West Hill shore watching men in boat

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Maxfield Brothers’ Garage

Maxfield Brothers Garage

Maxfield Brothers Garage

L to R: 1) Unknown. 2) Joseph Morin 3) Gene Roubillard 4) Henry Knight 5) Herb Maxfield 6) Monty Maxfield

Maxfield was one of the town’s earliest garages. They specialized in Ford, what else, and Studebaker.  They also carried parts for bicycles. In addition to repairs, one could purchase gasoline, kerosene, various supplies, and (figuring prominently in the photographs) Coco-Cola. The garage was active in the teens and twenties, and possibly later. It was known as the brick garage and occupied the same space as the current Torrington Savings Bank in the center of New Hartford.

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Dance Recital, New Hartford, c.1954

Dance Recital Pine Meadow School, circa 1954 L to R: Bev Hoffmann, Carol Chirico, Gladys Warner, unknown, Barbara Calder, Judy Wassick, unknown, (first name?) Carry Photo: Courtesy of Barbara Calder Krohner

Dance Recital Pine Meadow School, circa 1954
L to R: Bev Hoffmann, Carol Chirico, Gladys Warner, unknown, Barbara Calder, Judy Wassick, unknown, (first name?) Carry
Photo: Courtesy of Barbara Calder Krohner

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Coming work

Our intrepid volunteers are hard at work on the next newsletter, and perhaps a presentation. It has to do with another anniversary and another flood… March 18th, 1936 and the failure of the Greenwoods Dam.
Here is a little teaser from a newspaper account of the event:
“Gray skies pressed close to the nearby hills and from them a drizzling rain fell steadily on the town and on the Farmington River which divides it. It fell too on the great bulk of the Greenwoods dam which bulwarked a great reservoir of water above the city.
Mr. Langevin rubbed his eyes. He could almost have sworn the dam moved. Then while he watched the dam did move.
Slowly – almost carefully- a great crack spread across the downstream surface of the dam. Slowly a huge section bulged outward. A trickle of water filtered through and then the whole section eased out. Millions of gallons of water fought through the opening. In a moment they shouldered away remnants of the dam crashed to the river and fell forward. Mr. Langevin saw them take the first bridge and shoulder its steel girders from their path.’

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Wouldn’t happen this year

With today’s warm weather: well into the 70’s and dry, following a mild winter; it is with some amusement that I found this snippet from 1900: On January 3rd, the Greenwoods Ice Company began cutting ice.  They finished the yearly harvest on March 22nd.  Their total for the year was 27,000 Tons of ice.  Ice could be harvested once the ice was between 7 and half to 8 inches in thickness.  The Greenwoods company ‘owned’ the ice taken from Greenwoods pond, the 2 mile long stretch of water backed up on the West Branch of the Farmington above the center of town by the Greenwoods dam.

In addition to selling ice, they also used about 500 tons of it themselves.  This was probably sold to company employees, since their operations (textiles) would not have required ice.  The ice was shipped out of town by the railroad, headed for Hartford.

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