100 Years Ago in Suffield

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

September 7

The public schools will open on Wednesday, September 12th.

Plantation melodies or Africa-American folk songs, will be a feature of the Hampton meeting at the First Congregational church of Suffield Sunday evening and, according to Walter Damrosch, is the only real American music we possess.

The organ at the Second Baptist church is being rebuilt and will not be ready for use for several weeks.

Editor of Journal:–
After numerous complaints have been received by the Town Authorities of the drunken rowdies that gather at the Saturday night dances at Congamond, it was hoped that three constables would be able to stop the bootleggers from openly selling to minors as well as majors, but they can be seen Saturday nights dispensing their stock of hootch by the pint or half-pint to anyone, with the price. Young men under twenty-one years of age can be seen fighting drunk and some of the language to be heard is revolting. One of the patrons of the bootleggers last Saturday evening was toting a revolver, but no arrests. As the season advances the bootlegger becomes bolder and the drunks more boisterous.

It is hoped by some of the property-owners in the neighborhood that these law-breakers will be sent to jail.

September 14

Margaret Biggerstaff, 16 years old, daughter of Mrs. Sarah Biggerstaff of South street, was injured Tuesday afternoon when she fell off a truck owned by the W. S. Pinney Tobacco Company and used to transport their help to and from the tobacco fields. The Biggerstaff girl was riding on one of the seats of the truck at the rear, and when the truck turned a curve in the road, near Bull Run Corners, Windsor Locks, lost her balance and was thrown into the road on her head and face.

In compliance with the request of a number of parents who wished to have their children assist in the harvesting of the tobacco crop, the opening of the public schools was postponed until Monday, September 17th, when the fall term will open.

September 21

It is said to be much harder to get a pint of moonshine in this town than it was a year ago, a condition that is due to the greater activity among the corps of officers and the stiffer fines and sentences handed out by the justice courts. If the illicit liquor traffic is allowed to go on without interference, conditions will gradually become worse and worse. The average sample of moonshine whiskey is said to contain 40 per cent. of fusel oil, which if taken in any quantity may cause insanity, or death. The effect of moonshine liquor on the people of the Kentucky mountains has been studied and the reports, if carefully studied, will prove that conditions in this town are a menace rather than a joke.

September 28

Plans and specifications are at the selectmen’s office for changes in the basement of the town building. The proposed changes provide for the removal of the storage vault and the three cells in the basement to the boiler room, which will make available a room 42 x 47 feet, 9 feet high, with kitchen and storage spaces for dishes, and lavatories and toilets for men.

There will be a number of new warehouses in town this year that will assort and pack tobacco for the Connecticut Valley Association. F. C. Stadtmueller will pack in the large barn of E. A. Pomroy in Boston Neck, which has been remodeled into a modern warehouse and Richard W. Loomis has leased the warehouse of A. A. Brown.

The Suffield Branch of the Red Cross has sent $450 from this town for the Japan relief fund.

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