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New Board

After a number of years, we finally have a full board for the historical society once more. We would like to thank the long serving board members, in particular the Caseys, for all of their hard work and years of service. As always, we are open on Wednesdays between 7 and 9 p.m. We don’t bite and would love to talk to you!

Pat Casey: President

Chris Sihpol: Vice President

Natalie Sihpol: Treasurer

Anne Hall: Secretary

Tammy Casey

Heather Rankin

David Krimmel

Ginny Worrest

Bob Worrest

David Cravanzola

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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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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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Ice skating in New Hartford

On my way to the historical society tonight, I noticed that the Pine Meadow ice rink, located on the green, was full and frozen. This rink generally appears in January and depending on the weather can last through February or even into March. It is an ideal place for that first time trying out skates or a hockey stick.
Years ago, there were a number of options. Before 1936, the Greenwoods pond above the center of town provided excellent skating, though it was also used for ice manufacture which tend to limit some areas. But at over two miles long, this was hardly a serious issue. This was a mill pond with a consistent flow.

It is not recorded, but it is possible that the power canal for the Chapin Company, which ran through Pine Meadow behind Wickett Street, was also used for skating. Certainly, the numerous other small mill ponds located in town also provided good spots to skate. The mill ponds located on the Nepaug and other tributaries tended to freeze fairly consistently, since they lacked springs. This, of course, was the problem with West Hill Pond, which is spring fed and therefore can have odd patches or, worse, holes in the ice.

The Farmington River below Pine Meadow could also have some decent skating locations on it, especially in the area just before the Canton line. Upstream, on the East Branch, the Compensating Reservoir was also used for skating at times, after the completion of the dam in 1919. However, it too had springs and, as a major source of water power (hence the local name of Compensating) was prone to abrupt draw downs that led to cracked or buckled ice.

Home made rinks could also be created when the weather cooperated. Ben Warner recalled in his book ‘Pike Place’ that if the weather conditions were right and the ground froze solid before a heavy rain, their old orchard would flood and freeze. Hockey pucks could be manufactured from frozen cow-flops; the real article being hard to come by.

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Puzzles answered

One of the minor questions that came up quite some time ago was the question of where Yadack road was in town.  When even the town clerk isn’t very sure of it, you know it is a mystery. Yet one would think that a road would be easy.  Yadack not so much, until now.

Yadack road, which I first encountered on the list of roads formally abandoned by the town in the 1960’s, was not mentioned anywhere in anything.  Or so it seemed.

I finally hit it tonight, looking through a book for something.  It turns out that Yadack road is now a jeep track heading off from Ratlum road. Now the question is, which jeep track is it? There are several options.  The hunt continues!

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Happy New Year!

2016 already?

We have at least one presentation planned for the spring, by David Krimmel, whose specialty is the early history of New Hartford. Hopefully, we will also have a presentation on some 20th century history as well.  Details to follow.

We have a variety of new donations or items we are scanning ranging from a child’s scrapbook from the mid twentieth century to some early nineteenth century letters from a New Hartford resident to relatives in the southern United States.

As always, we are here in New Hartford opposite the Town Hall on Wednesday nights from 7 to 9 pm.

Hope to see you!

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