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Monroe, CT 06468
4th Annual Textile Sale
Our annual textile sale was held this year on September 22 and 23. We moved the date from spring to fall and opened on a Friday evening. These changes, plus a very good article in the Connecticut Post, made this our best sale ever. We made $3,000. This is almost three times as much as we've made in previous years. More publicity and more generous donors than every before helped us raise this amount of money. The weather on Friday was perfect and we had huge crowds the whole day. Saturday turned a little rainy, but with tents and the barn we were able to keep everything from getting wet and shoppers came despite the drizzle. Thank you to everyone who donated, who helped sort and price and who worked the days of the sale. It took an incredible amount of preparation, but it was well worth it.
We are now taking donations for next year's sale. Please call Judy, 268-5511 or Nancy, 261-8554 if you have items to donate. We will arrange to have them picked up or we will let you know where and when you can drop them off. We accept anything that has to do with fabrics, textiles, notions, vintage clothing, sewing and crafts. It would be difficult to say what the most popular items are - we sold a lot of everything. We had buttons, fabrics, patterns, books and magazines, needlework kits and materials, yarns, knitting needles, vintage textile items, sewing machines and more.
Christmas Fair Notes
The dates of the Christmas Fair this year will be Saturday, November 25, 10 -4, Friday, December 1, 12 -6, Saturday, December 2, 10 -4 and Saturday, December 9, 10 -3. We have new and vintage holiday and gift items for sale. Many people have been donating all year and we have two rooms filled with boxes of Christmas items to price. These items will be arranged in the schoolhouse on Wheeler Road where the sale will be held as usual.
We will be pricing Christmas items at the Beardsley House on Great Ring Road on Oct. 23 and 24, from 9 am -11 am, Oct 25 from noon to 2 pm, and October 29 from 1 - 4. Call Nancy, 261-8554 or Judy, 268-5511 to help with pricing or to donate items.
When you go by the schoolhouse notice the new sign put in by Ian Walker, our Eagle Scout. Look at the wonderful fence on the side and in back that he installed as well. Ian and his Scout mates also cleared the back of a ton of debris: old piles of leaves, branches, old fence posts. We appreciate all of their great work and service to our community.
The Farmers Voice
Recently, we presented a showing of the documentary movie, The Farmer 's Voice at the Monroe Town Hall. It was created by Beverly Corvino of Shelton to promote thoughtful discussion about finding ways to preserve and support the small family farms. Several local farmers were featured in the film including Society Member Philip Jones, his son Terry, and grandson, Jamie. Soon a DVD copy will be at the Monroe Public Library for the public to borrow. It will also be aired on Charter Cable Channel 21. Over 60 people turned out to see the movie.
We set up a display of the bounty of our local farmers for the event. Our special thanks to Monroe farmers: Kate Chase for her fresh cut flowers, Robert Kline's fresh eggs, Scott Mason 's super mums, Barney Orchards' bushel of apples, and Pulaski farm's raw milk and basket of vegetables.
The Burying Grounds of Ol' Monroe
By Nancy Zorena
There is much to learn from our town cemeteries: what are the names of Monroe's early citizens, what symbols were carved in the stones, who were the veterans? Historians and genealogists gather important family records and sometimes can even determine the cause of death from a tombstone. In the East Village Cemetery located on East Village Road, the following is carved into the headstone: William& Who was stabbed by his nearest neighbor - Sept. 30, 1845. From the stone we can also learn that William died four days after being stabbed. East Village Cemetery was organized in 1805 from land purchased by John Wilcoxson. The oldest headstone is for Deacon Peter Curtiss who died in 1766. Before many cemeteries were formally established, they began as private family burying grounds which came into use by the community. "The cemeteries of Monroe are among its art and literary treasures. These tombstones, sometimes cut by local craftsmen, have handsome and intricate symbols such as winged angels, skull and cross bones or a forlorn weeping willow," explains Edward Coffey, Town Historian. In his book, A Glimpse of Old Monroe, we learn that the first cemetery in Monroe was established in 1765 and abandoned about 1800. It was located on the north side of Old Tannery Road near Wheeler Road. According to Ed Coffey, records prove that it was the site for the resting place of Monroe's first settlers. By 1818, there were five cemeteries in town to take the place of the first burying ground. Monroe Center Cemetery, located on Route 110 was established in 1797 on land purchased from David Wells. The oldest headstone is for Andrew Scott who died on April 14, 1776 at the age of 51. Etched in an epitaph in that cemetery dated 1787 are the words: "Her blooming cheeks, her sparkling eyes, Her every comely feature lies, Defaced by death my friends come see, For soon your case will be like me."
The Cutler's Farm and Elm Street Cemetery is located on Cross Hill Road. Emma Johnson, the Treasurer of this cemetery's association said that they recently had the iron fence repaired and painted, removed large bushes that obscured some of the tombstones, and had the stone wall restacked. Her son, Gary Johnson is the Sexton of the Cemetery and Ned Steinmetz from Brown's Monuments in Stepney installs new grave stones. Established in 1804 on land purchased from Nathan Booth, the oldest headstone is for Anne Booth who died on July 20, 1760. She was the daughter of Zechariah and Elizabeth Booth. When Dick Orr led a Brownie Troop from St. Jude School through the cemetery with Cemetery Association member, Emma Johnson, the girls were so surprised to see that a Revolutionary Soldier was buried there. From his stone we learn that Nathaniel Sherman was born in 1729 and died at the age of 68 in 1797. American flags are placed by the tombstones of all of the Veterans on Memorial Day. There are 10 Revolutionary War soldiers, 11 from the War of 1812, and 10 who fought for the north in the Civil War. This makes it easy to spot the stones of those who fought in the service of our country. The Brownies were impressed with the engravings - the angels, the "Tree of Life" and the hands and fingers pointing to heaven. There are many stones for infants and children. James and Carolyn Burr lost two infant sons. Each of their stones has a lamb carved into it. One son lived less than a month; his tombstone has the word "infant" engraved into it. Another son, David Wesley lived seven months. The Burrs also lost a daughter, Elnora at age 28 but their daughters Fannie and Jennie lived on the family farm on Elm Street well into their 80's. Many mothers died in childbirth. Amelia Jane, the wife of WB Lamphear, died when she was 31 years old in 1877. Her epitaph reads, "Be ye also ready for in such an hour as ye think not the son of God cometh."
Stepney Cemetery, once known as Birdsey's Plain is located next to the Stepney Green. It was established in 1794 by donors Noah and James Burr, Jr. The oldest headstone is for Nathaniel W. Knapp who died in 1797. Civil War hero Ira Penfield and his wife Sarah Beard are buried there. Another notable person buried in Stepney Cemetery is Hanford Hull who built many houses along Main Street in Stepney. A captain in the local militia, he died at 86 years of age in 1892.
The Walker's Farm Cemetery, located on Hammertown Road was established in 1818 by donor Edmond Lewis. The oldest headstone is for Sarah Lewis who died in 1792 at the age of 82. The town historian believes that the iron fence at Walker's Farm Cemetery was once located around the Monroe Center Green.
Three other small cemeteries include Bradley Cemetery located off Route 34 on Bradley Lane, just over the Monroe/Newtown line. Almost everyone buried there is a Bradley or related to the Bradley Family. The Riverside Cemetery is located off Route 34 in Oxford. Although both of these cemeteries are out of town, some of the people buried in them lived in Monroe. Those buried in Riverside Cemetery were once buried in the small village of Pleasant Vale which existed where Lake Zoar is today.
Gregory's Four Corners Burying Ground, located on Spring Hill Road in Trumbull, is the resting place of Monroe's legendary witch, Hanna Cranna. She lived in the Bug Hill - Cutler's Farm area of town in mid 1800s. She was perhaps more shrewd than most and seldom lacked for firewood and food. Hannah knew that area folk were partial to superstitions and by threatening them with dire misfortunes she tricked them into accommodating her.
Further information is available about the burying grounds of old Monroe in the Monroe Public Library.
Credits: A Glimpse of Old Monroe by Edward Coffey, Leaving No Stone Unturned by Michele Oltra, Monroe Historical Society ArchivesBR>
New signs are in at all three of our buildings ..
. We purchased the signs in the photos several years ago and have finally installed them. Members Phil Jones and Bob Tranzillo put in the one at Beardsley House on Great Ring Road. Last year Eagle Scout Josh Smith and his Troop members put in the sign at East Village Meetinghouse. Below you see Eagle Scout, Ian Walker and Scouts Joey and Justin Greco from Troop 163 preparing to install the schoolhouse sign. We are so grateful when the community reaches out to help us with our many projects. Other projects we are working on include: conversion of oil heat to propane in the Meetinghouse, restoring the front staircase to Beardsley House, moving are archives into the Monroe History Room at our new public library in the new year, copying all of our early photographs of old Monroe onto CD's, and the restoration of the David Merrill Mural thanks to a very generous award by the Monroe Women's Club.