100 Years Ago in Suffield

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Selected from the pages of the Windsor Locks Journal and lightly annotated by Wendy Taylor of Kent Memorial Library.

January 14

Willis Seaver Adams, aged 77 years died at his home in Greenfield, Mass.… after a short illness. The deceased was born in this place, a son of Stephen and Susan Adams. When a boy at school he showed a talent for drawing, but was unable to take lessons. He obtained a position in a store in this town and later went to work in a store in Springfield, where his talent attracted the attention of some of the customers… He went to Belgium to study at the Royal Academy in 1868. He soon took high rank as a colorist, but at the end of a year, his patron died and he was obliged to return to this country. In 1878, he returned to Europe and spent some time in Paris, but later returned to the Royal Academy at Antwerp. From there he went to Venice, where he occupied quarters in the palace on the Grand Canal…

About thirty years ago, he returned to this town and opened the old homestead, which stands on the corner of East Street and the Enfield bridge road, where he opened a studio and spent a number of years putting on canvas some the landscapes around the river and canal. A few years ago, he removed to Greenfield, Mass.

January 28

The Third Baptist church has started a campaign to raise $500 to pay off the mortgage on the parsonage Easter Sunday. The members of the church have been arranged in five divisions, each division representing a state. The Virginia division will give a chicken supper…and hope to get a good start on their apportionment.

February 4

Mr. and Mrs. Servillus A. Griswold celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of their marriage at their home near the Thompsonville Bridge Wednesday… Mrs. Griswold before her marriage was Miss Augusta West of Renssaelerville, N. Y. She is 72 years old. Mr. Griswold was born in this place 71 years ago and has always lived here.

For twenty-five years, Mr. Griswold operated the ferry across the Connecticut River between Suffield and Thompsonville, but discontinued this in 1892, when the Suffield-Thompsonville Bridge supplanted the ferry. Since then he has been employed at the state fish hatchery in Windsor Locks.

February 11

A Polish wedding breakfast caused considerable excitement on South Street Monday evening. Some members of the party evidently absorbed some of the moonshine during the evening and some of the residents thought that Barnum’s circus had moved its winter quarters from Bridgeport to this place. Ephriam Dunston, returning from his day’s work, was chased by some of the guests and had to seek shelter. A special town meeting will be held at the Town Hall…to see if the Town will appoint a committee to investigate congested conditions at the Center school on Bridge Street, to make recommendations at a later meeting.

February 18

The weather for the past week has been very springlike and it looks as though nature had become confused by the controversy over daylight saving and turned its clock ahead…Bluebirds were seen …and song sparrows were singing as though they believed that spring had come. The icemen have gathered their harvest and the need for winter has passed.

February 25

Joe Mazinincki wishes to have it stated in these columns that the Polish people that chased one of our prominent colored citizens up and down Main street and afterwards drove through Austin’s nurseries the evening of his niece’s wedding, were not guests at the wedding nor had they been near the house.

Bernard R. Perkins, a cook of Boston, Mass., and Mary Bodine, a waitress of Newburg, N. Y., both colored, were married Wednesday at the Second Baptist church. 

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