Barnett, William

Interviewer: Marion Haeberle
Place of Interview: Lakeview Avenue
Date of Interview:
File No: 92A Cycle:
Summary: life of Bill Barnett told by wife and daughters

Interview Audio

Interview Transcript

Oral History Cover Sheet

Narrator:Marion Haeberle


Place of Interview; Lakeview Avenue, Lakeville, Ct.

Interviewee:Cynthia Barnett Smith, Joan Barnett Wilson, and their mother Mary Tuttle Barnett

remembering their father and husband William Barnett.

Summary of talk: family background Barnetts & Bartles, education, Barnett’s store, Christmas toy land and train sets’ auction, Bill Raynsford as Santa Claus, description of location of store and surrounding shops and businesses, how Mary and Bill met and other memories, town and state offices, Sundays, location of town dumps, purchase of the Grove, the bike path, March of Dimes Minstrel Shows, retirement activities here and in Florida, victory gardens and old spring near Herrington’s, Academy Building/Court House, public notice posts, attempt at name change back to Furnace Village, watering kettle move and spring water, burning of Town Hall, contribution of desk and chair, pictures of first selectmen, map restoration, some general town changes over the years since Bill Barnett died.

Date: August, 12,1992

Property of the Oral History Project

Salisbury Association at the Scoville Memorial Library

Salisbury, Connecticut, 06068



Oral History Tape 92A William Barnett

MH:This is Marion Haeberle on August 12,1992, in the home of Cynthia Barnett Smith on Lakeview Avenue in Lakeville. Regrettably Mr. William Barnett passed away before the oral history project had an opportunity to interview him. His daughters and wife have graciously agreed to share their remembrances of their father and husband and his work as one of the leadings citizens in the town of Salisbury. Being interviewed today are Mary Tuttle Barnett, Cindy Barnett Smith, and her sister Joan Barnett Wilson.

I suppose first of all if you could give us a little background about where your father was born and his family and so on.

CS:Well, he was born September 28,1902 in Lakeville in the building that is currently April Fifty Six (now Shine Hair Salon) down in the center of Lakeville across from the Post Office. …in an apartment and in one of the back rooms with a bay window and a big compass that was on a piece of linoleum. He said that he used to have his baths there as a young child, young boy, a big tub placed right there on top of the compass. His father was Henry Barnett and mother was Jenny. She was born in England and moved here when they got married. He had a brother and a sister. The sister died when she was a very young child. She was 2. His brother lived a little bit longer. He died after dad died. He was a lifelong resident of Lakeville. His father was a lifelong resident of Lakeville. I guess my grandfather lived here a long time.

MH:Your father’s mother was a Bartle?

CS:Yes, she was Jenny Bartle. I guess her name was really Susan, but she hated the name Susan so went by Jenny, so I am told.

MH:She was one of that very large family that had come here…

CS:Yes. Right.

MH:When your father was in charge of the ore mines.

CS:Yes, she had many siblings in her family. There were several sets of twins. In fact, I think Grand…

MB:Not in the Bartle family, the twins were Barnett.

CS:OK mom knows more about that part than I do. What else…

MH:Where did he go to school?

CS:Oh, he went to schools locally. The high school was what is now the post office, the Lakeville Post Office. He went to Boston University for college and graduated with a bachelor’s, B.S. degree.

MB:BBA Bachelor of Business Administration



CS:He took up business administration, and shortly after I guess after getting out of college, he took over Barnett’s store. It was Heaton Barnett to begin with, and then he took it over for his father who was in it, and ran it until its …sold it and the business, you know, once and then finally it was torn down when it was no longer profitable. I can remember as a young girl working down there with him, putting marks on glasses and so on. Every Christmas he’d come home with cartons and cartons of Christmas cards which we had to clip on separate price tags on every single card. We got paid a nickel a box for how many boxes we did.

JW:We sat on the living room floor, but we didn’t get paid. We got lOUs.

CS:That’s right. We never got…

JW:No money changed hands.

CS:A piece of paper with an IOU, each one of us kids had an IOU. We could get our money whenever we wanted to, but it was crossed off the list.

JW:But we had to ask him for what the money was for, and he had to approve it before we got it.

MH:Sounds like a strict father.

CS:That’s how we got our allowance. We were never given an allowance; we were just given an IOU sheet. Seldom did we run into trouble trying to get our money.


CS:But I can remember those things, and then at Christmas time the whole second floor of Barnett’s store was a toy land. We worked up there on weekends and after school, waiting on customers. The big deal was a huge area, probably 20-foot square area that had two trains, one an electric and one a passenger and one a freight train that had every imaginable gadget on it. You could load logs, dump logs, loaded a coal car, dumped a coal car, and that was the big deal, working up there. We got to run the trains while all the other kids around stood and watched us envious that we could get in there and actually do what many of them wanted to do.

JW:And then they were auctioned off.

CS:People used to take chances on them. Whenever they would come into the shop, you’d take $5.00….

JW:It was $10. It was the sales sips that they had. They were all turned into a box and used from that.

CS:Same thing.

JW:People’s names were on the back of that.



CS:Sales slips and you put your name on and put into a box. Then a day or two before Christmas the names were drawn out of the boxes, and people whoever would win the trains; it came to be 2 separate people, except once. One man won both of them.

JW:He gave them to a needy family.

CS:He did indeed. He had some money, in fact money of his own, so he gave them to a family who would not have had much Christmas without it.

MH:You mean the whole set of trains?

CS:The entire set, the track and everything that went with it, the complete set. These were pretty elaborate set-ups which Dad set them up himself.

MH:He probably got a lot of pleasure that way.

CS:OH, I’m sure he did. As we got older and my brother’s twins got older, they took over the running of the trains, and we took overtaking care of the customers. But that was only open at Christmas time. It was a lot of fun.

JW:We used to be parked in the store at various places and made to look like we were cleaning or sweeping or stocking shelves so we could watch to make sure nobody stole any of the merchandise off the shelves.

MH:That’s a good way. This was a 2 floors?

JW:Three, well actually there was a basement and then the main floor, which was open all year round, and just during the Christmas holidays the second floor was open. But upstairs in the third floor was the attic. I remember mom and dad telling us about one time when they had a Halloween party. They ushered everybody in through the basement. They followed a string and they went through all kinds of different things in the store that they had set up…

MB:The elevator…

JW:There was an elevator that pulled on a rope, and they took them up to the third floor. They went through all these different…put your hand in spaghetti, and whatever you know, all type of things for a Halloween party that they had up on the third floor.

CS:The third floor was used at Christmas time for lay away for people, who would come in and buy presents, and they didn’t want to take them home, or they couldn’t pay for the whole thing right then. We’d lay them away up in the attic. Then they would come in a few days before Christmas and either pay it off or if it was paid off, take their gifts home. So, we were in charge of running up and down the stairs with various packages.



JW:I can remember a lady calling just about 6:00 to come, I don’t recall what her name was now, but Daddy and I stayed there because she had to come back. She couldn’t get out of work until about6:30 so we stayed there on Christmas Eve until she got there to pick up her lay away toys for herchildren.

CS:I remember that.

MH:I think in our interview with your mother and Betty Haas, they mentioned that Bill Raynsford was always the Santa Claus?

JW:Yes, it was.

CS:The most marvelous Santa Claus that anybody had ever seen.

JW:Those books are I believe on record up at the Sharon Historical Society, or they should be.

MH:What books?

CS & JW: He wrote down/Bill wrote

JW:Bill Raynsford wrote down every child’s name and everything that they wanted on that Christmas list, and there were books that were left in ledger books. He wrote it out every time and he gave everybody that came a popcorn ball.

CS:This was very handy for a lot of the parents who wanted to know what their kids wanted for Christmas. They, on the sly, asked Santa, and Santa had a written-out record.

MH:For everybody…

CS:Those were wonderful books.

MH:If they were given up to the library, then they are probably in the historical records somewhere.

MB:The family had them the last I knew. The man who bought the store (Darwin Miller) had them, and 1 don’t know what happened to them.

CS:They must be around somewhere.

MH:I’ll ask Ginny Moskowitz if she knows anything about them.

CS:They were marvelous records, very …the date, the kid’s full name, and just what they wanted.

JW:They must go back at least 50 years.

MH:Oh, really.

JW:Because he was doing it before we were around.



MH:About what time did your father, or maybe you mentioned this earlier, did your father sell the store?

CS:Oh, gee, I was in California then, I don’t even remember…

JW:It must have been in the 1950’s.

MB:It was later than that.

CS:Maybe it was more like the 60’s probably.

JW:I don’t know.

CS:He probably sold it in the 60’s to Darwin Miller (Lakeville Variety) and it closed down in….

JW:It became a Ben Franklin franchise.

MH:I see.

JW:Darwin ran it for four or five years, I guess, and then finally sold the whole thing, and the building was demolished.

MB:I probably have the date written down somewhere, but I don’t where it is.

MH:When was, or how many buildings were there? Oh, describe the location of the store because many people if they have just come here as recently as I, aren’t aware of where they might have been.

CS:The store was where the current Mobile Gas station is (now Patco), right across from the Firehouse (on Rt. 41), and it was a whole block of stores. Barnett’s’ Store which was three stories and right next to it was the

JW:liquor store

CS:liquor store with an apartment above it and attached to that was an A & P grocery store and then a gas station.

JW:The gas station wasn’t attached. There was a driveway between the gas station and the A & P, but it was a Gulf Station and Barney Finkle ran it. He was a native of the town. He ran the Gulf Station.

CS:Then on the other side of the store was a parking area and the way down into the ball field which is still there. They gated it in the same place it was when we were growing up. But there was Bessie’s Diner in a 3-story thing, Western Union was on there, Paul Argali’s Barber shop, and apartment up above,






CS:Bessie’s Diner underneath Luncheonette and the Dufour’s Garage. They were the ones who made the buses, school buses for many, many years. In fact….

JW:That’s where they just tore down the building that Judi Gott bought. Thedown behind it. That was all part of it, the jewelry business Salis -Lake

MH:That had been the Dufour building.

JW:Yes, that was part of it, but it was called the Hub. There was an alleyway between Dufour’s Garage and that building because we used to run down through there.

MB:Judi Gott bought Don Barry’s jewelry store (Salis-Lake).

JW:Then there was Danny Loffredo’s shoe store which was no longer around either. We used to go there to get our shoes fixed and stand there and watch Danny resole them or reheel them or whatever. Used to buy our shoes there, way back one time our sneakers and things.

MH:Before we leave the store, the store was general, it’s like a department store; it had everything.

JW:Right. It had everything.

CS:It had everything. It had clothes…

JW:Like Woolworth’s Five and Dime…

CS:It had some paint, it had a….Community Service was down the road we didn’t have any lumber or anything like that, but we did have some paint, nails…

JW:Men’s overalls…

MB:They sold clothing, men’s clothing and furniture, and they accommodated the Hotchkiss School. They had furniture and stuff there. Rented it, I guess, to Hotchkiss School boys.

CS:There were all kinds of…

JW:Shades, we used to cut shades for people in different sizes. Daddy had a whole thing that he made himself to measure them and cut them and rewind the springs.

CS:We all learned how to do that.

JW:Right next to the linoleum. No, what do you call it those things that you put on a table?


JW:No, it was made that- slippery stuff,




JW:We used to have rolls of oilcloth that was on this thing you would have to pull it down, and people would buy it by the yard or whatever. We had a big thing of that there.

MH:Well, maybe you can tell us Mary when you met Bill Barnett and married him.

MB:Well, it goes way back when we were in high school. I was a freshman and he was a junior. We went to an athletic meeting in Litchfield. Part of the way it was planned was that we would stop in Winsted and having taken a picnic lunch, I think, I don’t know somewhere we had to get something to eat and I don’t remember that we went in any place, but any way we went to a movie which was going upstairs. I had started out with another boy, but he had picked up another girl, and left me sort of…So I had my money to go to the movies, and I went to give it to another boy to…. as a matter of fact, to get my ticket, and somebody said. “I’ll get you a ticket.” And that was Bill. He bought it then, and he bought my ticket from then on for well over 50 years.

JW:Tell her about the time he was going bald and he went to take you to the dance.

MB:He was getting bald, I mean his hair was very thin, and he wasn’t completely bald. Even though they were married he still had his hair, but it was so thin that he couldn’t…He didn’t want to lose his hair, so he did all sorts of things to preserve it, and he went to the hairdresser, she said well she thought, she shaved it all off and painted his head with iodine to make the hair grow. So, he went through it, and he came home with his head all painted with iodine. It was the night we were supposed to go Fellcrest Ball in Canaan, which was the big event of the year, a big dance. He came home with his head all painted with iodine. Needless to say, we did not go to the ball; I spent the night bawling instead.

MH:You were married at this time?

MB:Yes. Were we? I don’t know.

JW:They lived up which is no longer there now anyway on the third floor of the Holley Block.

MB:We lived there when we were first married, and then we…Well, when we were first married, we lived first with his parents and then with mine while we were waiting for an apartment to become empty at the Holley block, and then we lived on the top floor of the Holley Block.

JW:Wasn’t it the Bellinis that lived near there too?

MB:The Bellinis lived right across the hall from us. The Chieras, he was the Episcopal minister, they lived down…l don’t know why they were living there instead of the Episcopal

JW:They probably didn’t have one.



MB:I don’t know, but they lived there.

MH:You were married on…You were members of the Methodist Church.

MB:Yes, we were members, but we weren’t married in the church. We were married in my home, home, hottest day of the year 24th of July.

MH:Then your home at that time was another place that moved.

MB:Yes, the whole thing has moved.

JW:It’s now Dr. Gott’s office. (Dr. Kirber’s office now 2010)

MH:Yes, it was where the bank is Salisbury Bank & Trust, the expansion of the bank.

CS:Right next to the brook.

MH:When did your father become interested in town affairs and activities?

CS:I think he was interested in town affairs and activities most of his life.

MB:Even as a young man he was interested in town affairs. He got really into it though when he was made an assessor. He filled in for one of the assessors, for some reason. I guess he died. He was appointed assessor to fill his place. Then he held that until Abe Martin died. Then he ran for selectman.

JW:At which time they paid him $600 a year. That was the salary that went with the job.

MH:For assessor or…

JW:First selectman’s job was paid.

MB:I don’t think your father got paid.

JW:The first selectman was paid $600. I remember him saying that. Now they get $36,000 a year (in 1992).

MH:Really? When did we figure out that he was elected selectman first?

CS:He was elected selectman in 1946 and retired in 1973. He was first selectman for 27 years. My understanding is that the longest continuous reign of selectman in the state.

JW:He took over for Abe Martin who died to begin with, and then he was elected after that. He filled in the term for Abe.

CS:It was a one-year term he filled, and then he was elected the next year on his own. He ran pretty much unopposed most of that time. He was opposed a couple of time during that tenure, but not



seriously, I don’t think. I don’t know whether he was, he was six years the local representative in the legislature for six year. While there he was member of the state board of education. We didn’t think too much of it while we were growing up.

MH:I guess you didn’t.

CS:He was either at the store, or out in Hartford at the legislature, or doing something for the town. He was always busy.

JW:We used to see him Sundays.

CS:Yeah. He was home on Sundays. We’d go to church and Sunday school when we were kids, and then go to church. In the afternoon we, if it was a nice day especially, we’d take a drive around to see the countryside. Always managed to pull in a few of the town, checking out the town roads or town bridge to see what the men had done that week.

JW:Town dump

CS;The town dump


CS:Yeah, most of the time in the summertime we’d always end up in Egremont. There was this wonderful ice cream place; I think it was called Gaslight now, and they had homemade ice cream, and we’d go and get ice cream cones. Invariably we’d wind up at the town gravel bed which is up on Hammertown Road. It is still there, but not used any more as a gravel bed. That’s where all the sand and stuff came from. We always ended up there for some reason or other, I don’t know why, but that was our Sunday. Drive around town to check on the roads.

MH:Sounds as though he mixes business with pleasure. Where was the dump at that time?

JW:Where the new grammar school is, up on top of Lincoln City, over in back there, over behind it.

CS:Then it was at Erickson’s. When the school arrived, they moved the dump up to where Erickson’s live.

MH:OH, I see.

CS:It’s all landfill.

JW:That’s where daddy taught Cynthia and I to drive in an old Chevy pick-up stick shift, up there going to the dump. We’d go around a block here and go up across Lincoln City and then on to the dump road which was just a dirt road, a couple of ruts and tracks. Daddy would teach us to drive by going up through there.

MH:That was a good place to learn.




CS & JW:Yeah.

MH:Well, can you tell us some of his accomplishments as he was…. the things he was interested in.

CS:One of the biggest things as first selectman was, he was instrumental in buying the Grove for the town. Getting Mrs. Belcher to donate the money to buy the Grove for the town, and that was the biggest and best-known accomplishment in the town because everybody enjoys it now. He also…

MB:The plaque

CS:What? Yes, there is a plaque on the building at the Grove with his name on it honoring him. It was put up there when he had his retirement party which was in 1973.

MB:It was put up after he died.

CS:That’s right. It was put up after he died.

MH:From whom did they buy the property?

MB:Frances Cantine

CS:Frances Cantine, I don’t know anything…

MB:She was connected with the Rudds.


CS:I don’t know too much about him; those years I wasn’t living around here. I was in New Haven or California.

MH:So, he was instrumental in getting…

CS & MB:Getting the Kantines to sell it.

MH:To sell it and then to get the money to…

MB:It was the Belchers that contributed most of it.

CS:Dad and Ben Belcher were very good friends and they were sort of partners in the deal, I guess, from what I understand. Then Nort Miner was the architect who designed the layout of the Grove and the buildings and so forth, and continued to be the architect for all the additions and changes that have been made over there, including the latest change of a couple of years ago. Right up until he died, he was still a part of the Grove and its design and growth.

JW:You’re on the Grove Committee now.






JW:In lieu of Poppa not being around.

CS:So is Ward Belcher. He took his father’s place. The two of us are sort of co-chairing of it. Dad also while he was first selectman, when the railroad was taken away from the town. The bed it was laid on is now a bicycle trail, a walking trail whatever, and it goes from Lakeville to the center of Salisbury. He wanted it to go all the way up to Taconic, but I guess he couldn’t get the people that owned the property along it to donate it or let them use it as a path, so it only got to Salisbury. It is used all the time today.


CS:People use it a lot.

MH:And that is town property, given by the railroad.

CS:I think so.

MB &JW:Yeah.

CS-Yes, I think it is. Nobody privately owns any part of it. That just belongs to the town. Also, he was very active in the Rotary, all the years that he was here. I don’t know what year it was, but he was given the Paul Harris Award from the Rotary which is one of their higher honors they bestow on members that have done well.


CS:Probably 1970 maybe?

MB:About then.

MH:To them it is THE award.

JW:His son Peter just got that award.

MH:Your brother?

JW:My brother, Peter, down in New Jersey. That was this year, wasn’t it?

MB:Yeah, I think so.

MH:You have 4 brothers?


MH:oh, three.



CS:2 of them are twins, identical twins. One other interesting thing that dad did in his younger years was the March of Dimes used to put on a play or a show, a minstrel show for raising money for the March of Dimes. It was put on the Lower Building of Salisbury Central. The basement of that used to be the old gym and it had a stage. That’s where a lot of these productions were put on there. So, he was part of the minstrel show for a few years. One year he and Lila Nash, well known in the town, did a skit together. He sprayed her with whipped cream, and she threw a pie in his face to the hysterics to everybody there. It was a lot of fun. I remember one time somebody from the back of the audience hollered, “Well, here’s the moon coming up now. Oh no it’s only Bill Barnett’s head.” Dad was very bald by that time. I can remember he and Lila did skits for several years.

JW:I remember that.

CS:They did skits for the March of Dimes. A lot of them had a lot of other well-known people.

JW:Well, Jimmy DuBois and some fella were the end men; and they were the ones that were, “Look at that! Is it the moon rising?” “No, I don’t think so.” “Yes, it is, it’s bright. It’s coming up.” “No, that isn’t. That’s Bill Barnett’s head.”

CS:A lot of the well-known members of town participated in this; Harry Bellini was part of it, Star Harvey used to do a little blurb of her own, a funny kind of thing, a musical thing. We went to see it a lot of times, but I don’t think, I never participated in it. It was a lot of fun.

After he retired, he and mom went to Florida for the wintertime, in the winter months. They had a house down at Fort Myers Beach. He took great pride in growing white petunias. He had beautiful petunias. I can remember him picking bunches of them when we would go down to visit for a couple of weeks. He’d take bunches to various people in town in Florida. One place he always went was every three or four days, he’d take a bunch to the local library. They always had fresh petunias on their desk at the local library while he was there.

MH:Was he as interested in the garden here or…he probably didn’t have time.

MB:He really didn’t have the time.

JW:He grew strawberries one year. We worked very hard in that. Then he built the stone wall which is now what we call the putting green. But he built that all himself. He built, you told me last night, I don’t remember, he put the ditch down beside the road and layered stones so that it would be a stone ditch that ran off the water. He did that all be hand digging and poking stones and fitting them.

MH:That’s a hard job.

CS:This was a dirt driveway, now blacktopped, so the water didn’t wash out the driveway. I can remember him hammering all different kinds of small stones into a groove for the water to run through.

MH:Is this at the house where you live now?




CS:Yes, right.

JW:That’s where we all grew up.

CS:He did do a go…

JW:We were born and raised in that house, and never moved until we got married. (33 Lakeview Avenue)

MB:You weren’t born in the house, but at Sharon Hospital.

CS:Oh, yes. We grew up right here in the house that mom still lives in. When we were little, they had Victory gardens. We had Victory gardens for several years during the war.

JW:Down towards the, it was sited toward the walking path.

CS:Yeah, the spring is still there, probably well overgrown now. There’s a nice spring down in that area.

JW:It used to have watercress in it, but I don’t know if it still does.

CS:There used to be a stick there with an old metal cup hanging on it so you could go over and get a drink when. A lot of people had victory gardens down there, as did we. People would go in there, get a drink of water from the well, from the spring.

MH:This is the property that was probably goes down toward the old railroad bed.

CS&JW:Yeah, the other side of it.

CS:The other side of it. In fact, over where …


CS:Right, yeah.

MB:By the Community Service property

CS:Oh, down in back of Community Service (Herrington’s), down in that area there. It is built up now. Also it was the same with the barber shop group. He really loved that. He enjoyed that. He looked forward to the shows they put on, and he loved singing. He loved to sing. So as a…. he was a member of the barbershop group.

MH:That isn’t the same group as the Housatonics?


JW:No this was just in Florida.




MH:Oh, I see, down in Florida.

JW:Just in Florida, yeah.

CS:The Housatonics weren’t in action when he was doing that.

MB:They’re recent.

CS:Yeah, they are recent. If he was still around, he probably would be a member I am sure. He loved singing.

MH:Tell us what you remember of his dealings about the Court House. This is the Court House opposite the Town Hall.

JW:That’s correct.

MH:It had been a school much earlier.

JW:That I don’t know.

MB:That was called the old Academy Building.


MB:That was a school.

JW:Then as you told me which I didn’t know, it was an American Legion building. They wanted to tear the place down, and I understand from somebody when I was working up at the Town Hall that daddy was the one who was instrumental in keeping them from tearing it down and having them renovate the interior to restore it back to its original pristine condition, as it is now. It is beautiful inside. Have you been in there?

MH:Oh yes.

JW:It is beautiful. The upstairs court room they had to sand all the chairs and the original benches that were there. I think he had them all redone so that they would be the authentic pieces that were there way back when the building was used as a courthouse or school or whatever. Cause they were just stacked up there as I recall in the attic portion. I just learned this about two or three weeks ago, when somebody was talking about it that they had it restored to its original condition. In fact I think right in front of it, if I am not mistaken, there is a white post that he had put up, daddy had one put there and down by the post office for public notices to be stuck to, and I can remember he had one put in Salisbury and one in Lakeville.

MB:I think they are still here in Lakeville.

CS:Yes, it is.




JW:Salisbury is still there as well, I believe.

MH:Oh, that was his doing.

JW:They used to…Evidently way back when this courthouse was in business as a courthouse, they had where you could stick your public notices and so daddy had them reproduce these posts to do that.

MH:People still use them because there are current notices on them, I’ve noticed.

CS:I also remember dad saying years ago, I guess he was still first selectman that he would like to try to get the town’s name of Lakeville changed back to its original Furnace Village. That was the original name of the town Furnace Village. He was never able to accomplish that, but that’s what he always tried to do. One day when they moved the kettle from the center of the road, the watering kettle in Salisbury, over to the side where it is now. He had them, the water comes from a spring up on the mountain, he had the water piped from there into the Town Hall, the old Town hall before it burned down, so the water fountain inside was the spring water.

JW:It isn’t now.

CS:But when the Town Hall burnt down, and the new building went up, they never got the water connected from the spring into the bubbler again, the drinking fountain. But he had that done.

MH:That’s a very popular place over there; people getting water all the time.

JW:A lot of people from Sharon that have Sharon water come up there to get bottled water cause it’s much better. I live in Sharon, but my water comes from our own well, so I don’t bother with it. There’s a lot of people say the Sharon water is god-awful.

CS:I’ve seen a lot of New York City people there with their half a dozen jugs filling them up to go back to the city on a Sunday afternoon.

MH:Yes, yes. I’ve seen that. When the kettle was in the center of the street, was that just a trough or did that have water piped from the…

JW:It was piped into that.

MH:It was piped into that, even when it was in the center.


MH:I didn’t realize that it had been moved so recently with your father’s tenure.

MB:Was it moved?

CS:It was in the center of the road at the end of the road there. They moved it over to the side, so you didn’t have to drive around it anymore.



MB:I don’t remember it in the middle of what road.

CS:In the middle of the road that goes up the mountain.

MB:OK. As far as I know it has always been where it is.

JW:No, they moved it. It was right there, and they moved it over, so you didn’t have to go around it. It doesn’t matter anyway.

MH:Fortunately for traffic it was moved.

CS:Yes, yes.

MH:I understand when they moved …Town Hall was finished that you contributed the desk for the first selectman’s office.

CS:Desk and chair.

MB:We gave the chair.

MH:In his memory.

CS:Right, yeah.

JW:The three pictures that are on, there’s three pictures behind Buddy (Trotta) Abe Martin, Daddy, and Charlotte (Reid), I believe.


CS:I think it’s Lila (Nash).

JW:Yes, I think you’re right. It’s Lila.

MB:There should be one of Charlotte there, too.

JW:She’s not in the selectman’s office. I don’t know where her picture is.

MB:Before dad started getting the pictures, we had a deal of trouble about getting but he finally did get one of Dan Morgan who was the first selectman years ago.

JW:But that burned with the building.

MB:Did it?

JW-Burned up. But he had also; daddy had all those maps restored that are up in the Town Hall now. They did save them from the fire, thank goodness. But he had them all framed by the Fidalis down here in Lakeville. Mrs. What’s her name there…





JW:Balgaren she restored all the maps so that they would look like they do now. Some of them are a little tinged with the smoke and the black on them that didn’t, from the fire, but they are back on the walls now. Daddy had them all framed by Fidali so that they would be preserved that way. Sarah did all the restoration of them so that they would be, you know, able to see them.

MH:They are very effective and very interesting.

JW:Yes, they are.


CS:I don’t think

MH:She restored them recently since the fire.

JW&CS:No, they haven’t been restored since the fire.

JW:This was back when daddy was still alive.

MH:She had done that before he had them framed.

JW:Right. She worked with the Fidalis.

MH:I see.

JW:She did the restoration, and he did the framing. Cause they did one for us of Sharon that we had brought over here.

MH:It’s good that you have those maps. There a lot of them.

JW:Dad had one done at mom’s house that is of the town of Salisbury that they did also. They restored that one, and that’s when he had the ones from the Town Hall done for the town. He had conned Ralph and I into getting the one done of Sharon that we had by the same people so ours is restored as well.

MH:Do you have any other things that you would like to add about…

CS:He liked to keep things; he liked to keep old thinks looking good.

MB:He didn’t want to have all the roads paved; he liked the old dirt roads. He kept some of those. I don’t think he would have had the back roads paved. He liked them.



CS:He saw some of the natural beauty of the town around rather than making everything city-like, pristine and clean. He liked to keep the old country look.

MH:I think that is commendable.

MB:He liked progress, but he also liked to keep things…

JW:If he came back now, he wouldn’t know the way the town was because it is no more.

CS:It has changed a great deal in the eleven years he’s been gone.

MH:Oh really.

JW:The Town Hall’s burned; the whole Main Street in Lakeville has changed, except for the Post Office. It’s either changed hands or changed buildings or moved them or they’re gone.

MB:That’s right.

MH:Well, even the population has increased a bit.

CS:Just a bit. There were 3,500 I think, and we’re about 4,000 now. So, it hasn’t increased that much.

MH:But I think it’s the make-up of the population that has changed.

JW:A lot of weekend people.


CS:Not as many local people are staying around. Kids can’t find jobs. They can’t afford to live here so they are all moving away, unfortunately.

MH:That is the sad part. Not much you can do.

CS:Fortunately, we were able to stay here and get jobs and build our own home and you know afford to live here. We are thankful for that.


CS:Many kids aren’t as lucky.

MH:I appreciate all of your contributions to this. We are just about at the end of the tape.

JW:I appreciate your interest in it as well.

CS:And asking us to do this.