Lynn, Janet H.

Narrator: Janet H. Lynn
Place of Interview:  41 Chatfield Drive, Lakeville, Ct. 06039
Date:  April 24, 2024

Summary of talk: Work at Farnam Tavern, Lakeville Pony club, March of Dimes & Jeanette Axelby, and Republican Registrar of Voters.

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Interview Transcript

Janet Lynn Interview:

JMcM: This is Jean McMillen. I am interviewing Janet Lynn who is going to talk about the Farnam Tavern, Lakeville Pony club, Jeanette Axelby & the March of Dimes, and being Republican Registrar of Voters. Today is April 24, 2024. This is oral history #429.
JMcM: What is your full name?
JL: Janet Lynn
JMcM: What is your maiden name?
JL: Hoage
JMcM: What is your birthdate?
JL: November 22, 1941
JMcM: Where were you born?
JL: Sharon Hospital
JMcM: What are your parents’ names?
JL: Edith Hoage and Norman Hoage
JMcM: do you have siblings?
JL: Yes, one. That would be Larry or Lawrence.
JMcM: With a w?
JL: Yes Lawrence
JMcM: How did you get to meet the Duffys who owned Farnam Tavern? (Richard & Mary Duffy along with Richard’s aunt & uncle Tom & Marie Allan bought the inn in 1953. In 1958 the Duffys bought out the Allans. Ed.)
JL: I think I met them when my father and I were at the fireworks which the VFW used to do outside what used to be the Lakeville Food Center (now The Boathouse Ed.) The Duffys came down of course.
JMcM: Was it a 4th of July celebration?
JL: Yes it was near the 4th of July.
JMcM: OK they made conversation with you and your dad? How old were you?
JL: I’m not sure because you said they bought it in ’53. I was in grade school.
JMcM: So should we say you were in fourth or fifth grade? Something like that?
JL: 4th, 5th or 6th, something like that.
JMcM: You were 9, 10 or 11, something like that? What did you actually do?
JL: I cleaned their apartment. I did their ironing. I did my homework while I was there. I worked washing pots and pans in the kitchen at night. I did that a couple of days a week for about a year, probably until summer came.
JMcM: Do you remember anyone else who worked there?
JL: No I don’t. I was the only kid, the rest were all adults.
JMcM: Do you remember who the cook was?
JL: No
JMcM: Were you interested in Pony Club?
JL: Yes, I was in Pony Club.
JMcM: Tell me about Pony club.
JL: I was one of the first members when Lucy Drummond started it.
JMcM: Where were Lucy Drummond’s stables?
JL: Undermountain Road in Salisbury
JMcM: Where Linda Bushnell used to be? (See Linda Bushnell’s interview, also Geoff Brown’s interview #2)
JL: No it was up further. It was where Mr. Madsen is now. They put in a big barn and an outdoor ring and everything. He’s with Madsen shipping lines I believe.
JMcM: What did you have to do at Pony Club? What did you learn about?
JL: Oh we had to do everything, clean the stables, the horses and the equipment. Lucy Drummond taught us everything there was to learn about a horse and caring for it.
JMcM: You had to know about what it would eat and if there were symptoms of illness, how to take care of it.
JL: Yes, and also care of their feet, all of that.
JMcM: Did you have any book learning as well, or was it all practical?

JL: We had a little Pony Club book which the Pony Club of America put out. There were a couple of them: one on fox hunting and the other on care of horses. I wish I had those.
JMcM: Who was Pete Miner?
JL: Pete Miner was the other stables on route 112. She had no connection with Pony Club.
JMcM: Her name was not Pete was it?
JL: No it wasn’t, but we only knew her at Pete Miner.
JMcM: It took me years to figure that out. Her name was Charlotte: she was the wife of George Miner. Did she call her stables Holley Hill or was that Lucy Drummond?
JL: Holley hill was Lucy Drummond on Undermountain Road.
JMcM: Would you have known Chip Hines? (See Chip Hines interview)
JL: Oh certainly. Chip Hines and I were in school together. His father used to be on Wells Hill Road. He was a veterinarian. He lived in one of those three little houses out there. They lived in one and one was the veterinarian practice.
JMcM: The Belchers did something very nice for you when you were in Pony Club.
JL: Oh they always did. They took very good care of me. When the horse show came up, because my parents couldn’t afford it, they would tell me, ” You come with your riding clothes on for the horse show, and you can ride our horses so the entry fees will be paid for.”
JMcM: Oh that is wonderful!
JL: Yes it was wonderful. The belchers were really nice people. Did you know the older Belchers?
JMcM: No, not the older ones. I worked for Sara and I interviewed Ward. (See Ward Belcher interview) You brought me an article that Jeanette Axelby wrote about the March of Dimes. (It was founded in 1939 by Ed cantor to help polio victims. Ed.) Would you tell me a little bit about Jeanette herself and then tell the story about the March of Dimes?
JL: Jeanette was a single lady who probably taught every kid in the town of Salisbury how to swim. She as a child had polio and walked with a terrible limp. Because of that she was here Head of the March of Dimes. My parents had the first TV set in town so they invited my class to come and watch the Mickey Mouse Club and donate some money to the March of Dimes. Of course my mother made tons of cookies. Everybody came for the cookies. We gave the money to Jeanette. She was very grateful and it was very successful.
JMcM: Well it would be. It was a wonderful organization. Didn’t she used to swim across the lake?
JL: Oh yes. I did too. Most of us that she taught swam across the lake to Hotchkiss.
JMcM: How far is it across the lake?
JL: At least a mile. It was a long swim. They had row boats on either side in case we didn’t make it.
JMcM: Rhonda Rinnisland teaches swimming at the Grove now. (See Rhonda Rinnisland interview)
JMcM: You used to work at the Town Hall as deputy Republican Register of Voters. Who was the Registrar?
JL: Betty Angus was the Republican Registrar. She was a local lady.
JMcM: Who was the Democratic Registrar then? Was it Margie Vail or did she come later?
JL: No Margie was later.
JMcM What was your term of office?
JL: You got elected each 2 years.
JMcM: Elected?
JL: Yes, you are elected. You are on the ballot as registrar. The deputy is appointed by the registrar.
JMcM: You served as Republican Registrar from May 2008 to November 2016. Do you remember all your deputies or did you have only one?
JL: I had a couple of deputies. Heather Bartram, Brian’s wife. I had another whose name I can’t remember, but she left the area. I also had Maureen Dell.
JMcM: She became Registrar (See Maureen Dell interview)
JL: Yes, I recommended her for the job.
JMcM: Is there anything you would like to add before we close?
JL No I don’t think so at this time.
JMcM: Thank you very much.
JL: You are welcome.