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100 Years Ago [Local News], September 1917




100 Years Ago September 1917

In and Around The Haddams

Selected from the pages of the Penny Press and lightly annotated by Sally Haase [9/8/2017]


Haddam, Sept.4, 1917:  All schools in the town of Haddam open Wednesday, Sept. 5. All pupils wishing to attend High school should send their application to the secretary of the school board. Charles B. Carlson of Higganum. –adv.

Higganum, Sept.5, 1917:  Sunday and Monday proved to be a galla day in Haddam and Higganum, not alone as a holiday event, but from the fact that 44 automobilists were placed under arrest by Officer Gordon, a special deputy sheriff, on the charge of violating the present automobile law.  The cases were reported to Grand Juror George C. Russell, of Shailerville, and some of those arrested appeared before Judge Dickinson, of Haddam.

Haddam, Sept.5, 1917:  Mr. and Mrs. S. H. Baer and G.A. Dickinson and wife, have returned from an automobile trip to Pennsylvania. This was practically the same route taken by Mr. Dickinson in driving a pair of horses to Pennsylvania 48 years ago.

Penney Press ad

Niantic, Sept.6, 1917:  Suspicion that agents are working within the vicinity of the camp stationed here has aroused much excitement among the troops. Lights have been flashed mysteriously for the last three weeks on the banks of the Niantic river, opposite the camp. The flashes have been answered at all times by the flashing of a lantern from a tower in Pine Grove, which is next to the campsite. Lights have been flashed and answered as late as 3 a.m. The officers of the camp will not discuss the matter, but it is rumored that a pass has been taken from a person who has hereto fore been permitted to visit the camp.

Higganum, Sept.7, 1917: The Cutaway Harrow Company, of this place, headed the subscription list for funds to purchase shoes for the Home Guard company, with a handsome contribution of $125. This practical evidence of patriotism and concern for the welfare of the boys who are trying to so their bit, is indeed appreciated.

East Haddam, Sept.7, 1917:  Several from here went to Saybrook on Monday, to visit the Home Guard, who were camping there, and brought home reports highly complementary to “our boys.”

   Edwin Moore has secured a position as butter-maker on Fisher’s Island, and entered on his duties this week.

On Wednesday of this week, the Sunday school picnic of St. Stephen’s church was held at Bashan Lake. The children spent a good part of the day bathing and boating. Through the kindness of Harry Cross, the picnic was held in the beautiful grove near his cottage.  W.O. Peck carried many of the children in his farm wagon.

Middletown, Sept.10, 1917: With fitting ceremonies the monument to Henry Clark Work, a

native of this city, was turned over to the city this afternoon. Middletown citizens were present

to pay a belated tribute to the author of the famous Civil war song “Marching through Georgia.”

The guests were escorted to the triangular plot on Mill street, where the monument stands,

and close to the house where Henry Clark Work was born, by the four Middletown companies of the Home Guard. At the close of the exercises all present joined in singing ”Marching through


Haddam, Sept.10, 1917: Deputy Sheriff Gordon, of the state police, made another haul of autoists in Haddam Saturday and Sunday, and an additional on this morning on his way to court. The representative of the state police last evening was stationed at the foot of the hill in the village of Higganum, surrounded by a crowd equal to the gathering at the first public hanging in Middlesex county.

Old Lyme, Sept.12, 1917: President Wilson revisited familiar scenes and renewed old acquaintances here today when he stopped off to call on Miss Florence Griswold, who was host to the president and his family for many summer seasons. The yacht Mayflower dropped anchor off Fenwick, at the mouth of the Connecticut river. She was accompanied by a guard of two destroyers. A launch containing the president and Mrs. Wilson was put off from the Mayflower accompanied by a launch contain secret service men, went up the river and thence up the Lieutenant river to a point not far from the home of Miss Griswold, whose place is a mecca for the artist colony which gathers here each summer.

Haddam, Sept.12, 1917: While severe frost of Tuesday morning did damage into the hundreds

of thousands of dollars in this state alone, the frost this Wednesday morning is said to have put

the finishing touch to gardens and other crops. The frost of yesterday and today are said to have been equally as disastrous as any records show in that period of time. [September 12th!] 

Voting Lists

Moodus, Sept. 15, 1917: The annual meeting of the Equality league of East Haddam and Moodus will be held at the home of Mr. and Mrs. A. W. Chaffee. The subject for the evening will be “How the Suffrage Question Stands.”

Haddam Neck, Sept. 15, 1917: The Brooks Brothers expect to finish harvesting their tobacco crop this week. Owing to the heavy fog, it was not injured by recent frosts.

Moodus, Sept. 18, 1917: The banquet and reception given the Home Guard at “The Continental” was largely attended. The hall was decorated with flowers, flags and bunting. The tables groaned under the weight of viands for the inner man. Ten of our young men are to leave for training. They were presented with comfort bags by the Moodus branch of the Red Cross.

Higganum, Sept. 21, 1917: Dr. Lowe, who has received a commission in the medical officers’ reserve corps, will leave Saturday for Camp Devens, having been notified to appear at camp.

William O’Conner left yesterday for Camp Devens for military training.

Higganum, Sept. 22, 1917: All persons owing accounts to Dr. Loewe are requested to settle with Mrs. Loewe, as the doctor has gone to Camp Devens.—adv.

Middletown, Sept.7, 1917: Jack Williams, the “Human Fly”, a climber of tall buildings, scaled the Arrigoni hotel Monday. He dangled for several seconds from the coping near the roof, and then completed his stunt by climbing the flag staff on the top of the dome.  Several thousand thronged to witness the performance. William, prior to making the trip to the roof, informed the crowd that it was necessary to jingle a little coin in the hats passed around, both for himself and the boys at the front.


100 years ago, much has changed and, then again, nothing has changed.