Index Pages in this issue: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Saxton Family Celebration Marks 55th Anniversary
First Selectman and Mrs. Wallace S. Saxton, of Carrington Road, celebrated the 55th Anniversary of their wedding on Monday of this week. A family party at the Saxtons' new house on Sunday evening brought together children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, as well as friends and other relatives, to mark the occasion.
Married in 1896
Mrs. Saxton was Ella Weeks before her marriage to Mr. Saxton, which took place at Farmingdale, Long Island, on January 29, 1896. They moved to Bethany in 1905 and have resided here continuously since. Until last year they lived in the house at the corner of Carrington and Hilldale Roads, moving recently to the home which they have built a few hundred feet north on Carrington Road.
Mr. and Mrs. Saxton have four daughters: Mrs. Henry Smith, of Beacon Falls, who has six children and three grandchildren; Mrs. Stanley Downs, of Bethany, who has four children; Mrs. William Wheeler, of Hamden, who has one child; and Mrs. Norman Peck, of Bethany, who has three. A son, Wallace W. Saxton, who died in 1949, had four children. The couple's descendants, therefore, include eighteen grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
Mr. Saxton has been First Selectman of the Town of Bethany since 1944 and a member of the Board of Assessors for many years.
Photo by Edmondson
First Selectman and Mr. Wallace S. Saxton are shown in a traditional "anniversary" pose, during the party at their home on Sunday evening. Another picture of the gathering appears on an inside page in this issue.
Mrs. Marie Preston has moved from Amity Road to Indian Neck, Branford. She has recently been elected to the Quota Club of New Haven under the classification of Home Demonstratoin Agent in the University of Connecticut Extension Service.
Merritt Russell is confined to his home by illness.
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Board Of Tax Review Will Explain New Assessments
The Assessors of the Town of Woodbridge have recently sent notices to the taxpayers of the Town informing them of changes, either increases or decreases, in the assessed valuation of their properties.
Voted at Town Meeting
These changes have resulted from a reassessment of the Town made by the George B. Horan Company of New Haven, in accordance with a vote passed at a Town Meeting last April.
Those taxpayers who wish to question their assessments, or who do not understand how the new figures have been arrived at, will have ample opportunity, within the next week, to present their protests or inquiries to the Board of Tax Review. Charles H. Costello, Chairman of the Board, has announced that it will be in session at the Town Hall on the following days: Saturday, February 3, from 10:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M.; Tuesday, February 6, from 7:00 P.M. to 9:00 P.M.; and Thursday, February 8, from 2:00 P.M. to 5:00 P.M.
Horan Co. Representative
A representative of the George B. Horan Company will be present at these meetings to explain assessments which may be questioned.
Luciani House, Over 200 Years Old, Being Razed
Courtesy of Ettore Luciani
Amity Star Photo
Work was begun last week on the razing of one of Woodbridge's oldest houses, the so-called Sperry House, between Litchfield Turnpike and Amity Road in the southern part of otwn. This hasa been the home of Mr. and Mrs. Ettore Luciani and their family for 29 years.
Although the house is believed to have been built in 1747, the Luciani boys, in tearing it down, have discovered dated timbers and other pieces which indicate that parts of the house, or some of the materials used in its construction, date from as early as 1733. There are several largel fireplaces and a secret cell or compartment under the cellar.
Mr. Luciani, who has lived in Woodbridge for 42 years, was born in Italy, while Mrs. Luciani is a native of the town. All of their twelve children were born in this house, which has now been replaced by a handsome modern dwelling erected a few feet north of the old house.
The views above show the house as it looked before (left) and during (right) demolition operations.
Interesting Article Discusses Present-Day Farming
(Editor's Note: The following is from a paper entitled "Present Day Farming in Woodbridge" which Miss Joyce A. Lockyer read at the Annual meeting of the Amity and Woodbridge Historical Society on December 6, 1950. The Star is grateful for permission to reprint it in these columns.)
Woodbridge is fast losing its opportunity to compete with Mrs. O'Leary's cow.
The proximity of Woodbridge to the city has cauased the Real Estate value to rise to such an extent that the present generation of farmers have been induced to sell portions of thier land for new home sites. Today it is primarily considered a suburban residential district and is zoned accordingly.
There are still several active farmers principally engaged in dairying, poultry and fruit raising.
The gift of a setting hen and baby chick fro m his grandmother when he was eight years old helped develop Vito Luciani's interest in chicken farming which has become his means of livelihood. Brookside Farms on Amity Road covers an area of five and one half acres.
Last year he hatched one hundred thirty thousand baby chicks, thirty thousanad turks and raised ten thousand broilers. Some of the more distant places to which Vito has sent turkeys and eggs are: The Palace of the King of Egypt, the Egyptian Department of Agriculture, Venezuela and also Bermuda which receives three or four shipments per month. They are sent express to La Guardia Airfield and then flown to their destinations. Once in Egypt they are dispatched by oxcart. Of course the largest volume of business is done between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Two hundred and forty nine turkeys were stolen last year by sly foxes with two as well as four feet despite electric fences. Guinea hens are kept more because of tradition than as watch dogs as they will screech at anything they hear or see.
After high school, Mac Baldwin of Race Brook Road ran for three years, his father's farm which was started twenty years ago, then studied agriculture for two years at Storrs. He has eighteen cows whose milk is wholesaled to dairies. Twenty five of the one hundred sixty acres are now used for raising scientific varieties of seed corn. One, purple cross, which has purple stalks and orange silk, is picked in September and October, and put in special wire drying bins through which hot air is forced to bring the moisture content below eighteen per cent so it won't freeze.
The Shepherd Farm, on the Litchfield Turnpike opposite Lake Dawson was purchased from Irving Doolittle in 1887. The retail milk business, now run by Frederick Shepherd II, was established in 1887 by John F. Shepherd and, upon his retirement many years later, was taken over by his son, the late Frederick T. Shepherd. It is no[w in t]he third generation of th[e family.]
T[he farm] is approximately seventy acres in size and at present supports fifty five head of pedigreed Jersey cattle. The quantity of milk sold is thirteen hundred quarts daily, three hundred twenty of which are produced on the farm.
Twenty five years ago Mr. Zwick began farming with tow cows and a few heifers. He has gradually built it up through the years to the extent of forty yearlings and calves and approximately eighty acres. Primarily he is a wholesale producer of milk but he lives off the products of the farm. Milking is still being done by hand and horses are used for ploughing as they are able to accomplish more on hills and rough land than our modern machinery. The average work day of ten to twelve hours is spread out doing such chores as milking, care of animals -- pigs, chickens, cows and horses -- raising their food for the year, hay and eight to nine acres of ensilage.
Carl Clark's apple orchard on Newton Road was originally pasture land gone to brush. Three men, Mr. Newton, Mr. Downey and Mr. Clark incorporated in 1911 and cleared and stoned the land. Since then ownership has reverted to Mr. Clark.
An average of six thousand bushels is produced annually from twenty eight acres, some years attaining as high as eleven thousand, depending upon the climatic conditions.
Mr. Clark has one steady man and employs fifteen to twenty pickers in the summer months. Four principal varieties are raised: the MacIntosh, Delici-
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Men's Club Plans Sunday Walk In Memorial Park
Last week the Executive Committee of the Woodbridge Men's Club met with representatives of the Alice Newton Street Memorial Park Association to discuss ways in which the Club mighit assist the Association in developing and promoting greater interest in the Park.
Club Sponsors Walk
In accordance with plans made at that meeting, the Men's Club will sponsor a walk through the Park on Sunday afternoon, February 4. Newton H. Street, donor of the natural wooded area which has been set aside for park puposes, will act as guide. All who are interested are welcome to join the group, which will meet at the Church in Woodbridge Center at 1:45. If the weather is unfavorable, the walk will be postponed to a later date.
Meeting Monday Evening
The Men's Club will hold its monthly meeting on Monday, February 5, in the Social Rooms of the First Church of Christ, at 8:00 P.M. H. Allen Brooks of Woodbridge will give an illustrated talk based on his recent European bicycle trip. The Executive Committee will report on its meeting with the Park Association and on the Sunday walk, and will discuss prossible Park promotion material prepared by Gerard E. Langeler. All men who are interested are invited to attend.
Amity Star Photo
Two of the bottles from the Small Beer and Soda Water Factory. Blown into the glass are the words: "Premium Soda" and "U. and I. D. Clinton, Woodbridge, Conn." These specimens were loaned by Mrs. Stanley Parker and Mrs. Clifford Stoddard.
The St. Anne Society will hold its annual card party at the home of Mrs. Andrew Cretella on Litchfield Turnpike on February 19 at 8:00 P.M. The committee in charge of the arrangements is composed of Mrs. John Perrotti, Mrs. John Testa, and Mrs. Frank Marcucci.
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