Community Gems All Around Us

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I think Suffield is pretty lucky to have a volunteer nonprofit newspaper in town.

I remember thinking this when my husband and I moved here with our children more than five years ago. Volunteers at the Observer do a great job writing about local news and town events and reading the paper helped us become acclimated to Suffield. I know that sentiment is shared by other newcomers to this historic town. Today I’m a member of the newspaper’s Board of Directors, and we encourage all residents to contribute to the Observer.

People often remark how special Suffield is so I wanted to note some of the places and people that I believe make our town unique. One of these gems is the Phelps- Hatheway House and Garden on Main Street. The property is part of Connecticut Landmarks, a network of eleven historic sites in our state.

If you haven’t met the site administrator, Lynn Mervosh, do introduce yourself! She was one of the first town residents our family got to know, and her dedication to this town and its history is appreciated.

Just up the street from the Phelps-Hatheway House is Kent Memorial Library where a very small staff does a wonderful job connecting with families and other residents. I signed up for several virtual library programs over the last nineteen months hosted by Pinki Shah and co-worker Sabine Schneider. It was such a joy to connect this way, especially during the height of the pandemic.

I believe libraries are really community centers and the staff deserves full support and resources from our town. Philanthropist Andrew Carnegie said it best, “A library outranks any other one thing a community can do to benefit its people. It is a never-failing spring in the desert.”

Speaking of community gems, do you know Mary Watters? An immigrant from Ireland, she and her husband moved to Suffield and built their home on Mapleton Avenue where they raised four children. When we moved next door to Mary in 2016, she delighted us with stories about her family and Suffield’s history.

She recently downsized her living space, finding a lovely apartment at Suffield Commons on Main Street. We may not be neighbors anymore, but as far as our family is concerned, she’s the unofficial Ambassador of Suffield. Thank you, Mary!

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