350th Anniversary Suffield Trivia

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1. Greg Butler, son of Ellie Binns and former Suffield resident, won a 2020 Academy Award for best visual effects for what film? This was Greg’s second Academy Award nomination and first win.

a. Parasite

b. Harriet

c. 1917

2. What was the test that the State of Connecticut conducted in 1928 in Windsor Locks and Suffield?

a. Trapping, identifying and testing mosquitoes for encephalitis viruses

b. Identifying costs and maintenance of 12 different types of pavement on a stretch of road

c. Mind control through the use of drugs, radiation and isolation

3. Inventor Horace N. Prout, a well-known man in Suffield and the owner of the old stage line running between Suffield and Windsor Locks, died in late fall of 1883. What was his invention?

a. A hoe

b. A screen door

c. A folded carton

4. Was Connecticut one of the states to ratify the 19th Amendment which allowed women to vote?

5. In December 1905, large explosions were heard in Suffield. What was the cause?

a. Uncontrolled New Year’s Eve fireworks

b. A gaslight explosion which rocked the center of town and destroyed a South Main Street house

c. A bank robbery at the Suffield Savings Bank

6. Which of the following court cases was Hugh Alcorn, Hartford County’s State’s Attorney involved in?

a. In 1917, Gertrude Garity from Suffield received $50,000, the highest personal damages awarded at that time in Connecticut. She sued the Northern Connecticut Light and Power Company and the New England Telephone Company for burns to her arms from an electric shock when she pulled the toilet chain at the same time that she turned on the electric light.

b. In 1924, Gerald Chapman, the first “Public Enemy Number 1,” also known as “The Gentleman Bandit” was tried for the murder of James Skelly, a New Britain police officer, for which he was ultimately executed.

c. In 1957, the case of Joseph “Mad Dog” Taborsky who committed a brutal string of robberies and murders in Connecticut. He was the last person executed in Connecticut.

7. Love in Suffield. Which of these romances actually occurred in Suffield?

a. In September 1931, Ryan Sikes proposed to Amanda Norton, on the same day Amanda discovered that Ryan had invited 100 people composed of family and friends to witness their wedding that day.

b. September 1896, Edward Kelly, a Suffield farmhand and Sarah Lyons, a good-looking blonde, who was running a photograph gallery at the Suffield country fair, were smitten with love at first sight and were married the next day in Thompsonville

c. In 2014, Jamie Otis from Long Beach, California and Doug Hehner from Suffield were married in the first season of the tv series, “Marriage at First Sight.”

8. The completion of a debt was secured in the spring of 1913. Whose debt was erased?

a. The Connecticut Literary Institution

b. Suffield tobacco farmers replacing the loan provided by the State for devastating damages to their crops and buildings from a storm in 1911

c. Delinquent tax payment for the Suffield and East Granby railroad loop

9. In March 1930, Suffield citizens learned that the town government was doing something illegal. What was it?

a. Taxpayer funds were used for political advertising

b. Selectmen had to be under the age of 65

c. In annual town meetings, Suffield residents voted for a tax abatement of a specified percentage which could be applied when residents paid taxes before April 15

10. United States officials swooped into Suffield in December 1887 for a huge haul. What was it?

a. $50,000 of counterfeit money which was being printed in Suffield

b. A cache of guns stockpiled for a raid against local banks

c. 800 gallons of unstamped cider brandy


1. c. 1917

2. b. Identifying costs and maintenance of 12 different types of pavement on a stretch of East Street, determined a good site for its long straightaway. 

3. a. Prout’s hoe was used to till tobacco. It was an adaptation of the 18th century Jethro Tull horse-drawn hoe.

4. Yes. However, Connecticut’s vote was not needed. The Connecticut legislature’s vote on September 14, 1920 in favor of the amendment was only symbolic as three weeks before, Tennessee became the 36th state to ratify the 19th Amendment. Thirty-six votes were all that was needed to ensure the amendment’s insertion into the U.S. Constitution, rendering any subsequent state votes — like Connecticut’s — moot.

5. c. On December 17, 1905, six robbers stole $50,000 in bonds and stock from the Suffield Savings Bank, after tying up a watchman and his son at the railroad depot

6. a. and b.

7. b. Edward Kelly and Sarah Lyons

8. a. Connecticut Literary Institutution. Not only was the debt paid off with money given as donations, the trustees were able to finish the fourth floor of the middle building and provide accommodations for 20 more students. 

9. c. In annual town meetings, Suffield residents could vote for a tax abatement of a specified percentage which could be applied when residents paid taxes before April 15. The State said this was illegal. 

10. The revenuers discovered that Halsey J. Wright was in the habit of shipping his Suffield bootleg brandy covertly from Farmington to Waterbury and New Britain. No record of his fine was found. Around 1888, Halsey was caught selling unlicensed gin and fined $6,500. In 1890, he was caught selling milk which consisted of mostly water, for which he was fined $50 and costs. Perhaps all of his chicanery was due to the loss of his new and extensive tobacco shed which was blown down in a May 1880 hurricane. He must have needed to recoup some money!

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