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.

October 5

It was voted to increase the salary of the first selectman to $1,500, the chairman of the board of finance explaining that if the vote was passed, that the increased salary covered the expense of an automobile and other personal expenses of the selectman while on town business.

The trolley company has made complaint to the town officers that boys have been placing the heavy lawn settees that are on the park on the tracks in front of the cars. Monday night one of the settees was struck by a car and smashed.

Special features at the annual bazaar of the Ladies’ Aid Society of the Second Baptist church…will include a white elephant booth and a doll booth. There will be the usual sale of fancy and domestic articles. Patrons of the fair will find a booth given over to the popular Lilla Peckham candies. The usual fish pond will provide interest and excitement, particularly for the children.

October 12

A special meeting of the Village of Suffield will be held at Union hall next Monday evening… to see if the village will…improve the present lighting system; also to see if the village will vote to extend the water mains on Kent avenue to the residence of Joseph Johnson, and install and maintain two new fire hydrants.

Since its installation the town’s system of street lighting has been on what is called a “moonlight schedule” run by the calendar rather than by the necessities of the travelers. No matter how dark and stormy the night, if the almanac said the moon would appear, the lights were turned off. The lights are also operated on a midnight schedule and are turned off at 12 a. m., irrespective of the condition of the moon, tides or weather. This is no fault of the electric light company, as the lights are run according to contract. It is the contract that is wrong.

An effort is being made to put the town on a basis with neighboring towns and to have lights all night. Even if Suffield people do go to bed early there are people travelling through after midnight who need the light or need to be lighted.

Owing to the increasing number of automobiles the main street in front of the town building becomes congested at certain times of the day and the traffic going through the town must be kept at a reasonable rate of speed or there is sure to be accidents. Nearly every day some one’s car gets bumped into or scratched, and it is only a matter of time before a serious accident may result through the carelessness of a passing driver…With automobiles parked on both sides of the street, and with cars going north and south and coming in around the Depot street corner, there is plenty of opportunity for something serious to happen unless every precaution against accident is taken.

A number of the dairy farmers in the north part of the town are having their cows tested for tuberculosis under the state law. Most of the herds have had one or two animals that have shown reaction from the test.

October 19

A warm rain Monday gave the tobacco growers an opportunity to take down tobacco and a large proportion of the early harvested was taken down. A rain Thursday and Thursday night also furnished another “damp.” Growers report good weight this year and one of the best crops in ten years.

October 26

The town officials are determined to stop the destruction of property and rowdyism that has been indulged in Hallowe’en the past few years under the guise of fun. There is no objection to good wholesome fun, but breaking fences and windows is not in that class.

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