1975, Mrs. Phyllis Kroll had a dream...4 years later it was
accomlished. 45 students (7th & 8th graders) achieved
the goal of recording the first town history booklet since
Todd's History of Redding second edition of 1906. Redding
Remembered is a record of people and events- and the oral
history students that cared enough to capture the past, the
present, the famous and not-so-famous. 25 years later this
amazing body of work enters the "cyber-world" and
I hope all of you enjoy it as much as I do. Submit your ideas
or articles to firstname.lastname@example.org
and please consider donating
to the History of Redding so I can continue to provide
updates to this web site.
are Articles Relating to Georgetown, Connecticut.
is calculated to be 190 miles from Boston, Massachusetts.
How then did the geographical designation "Little Boston"
come into being? Harold Iles, a knowledgeable man, who has
lived in Redding most of his life, provided us with an answer.
Boston is really quite famous and Redding people don't realize
it. The Boston Post Road went thru Redding, upto Danbury and
on to Boston. The reason the Boston Post Road went this far
inland was that there were not any bridges along the coast.
When the stagecoaches went over the road carrying the mail
from New York City to Boston they passed thru what is now
Georgetown. It was quite a joke among the drivers to say 'We're
coming into Boston' to the passengers, long before they actually
were coming into Boston. Passengers had been shaken up so
much by the trip from New York that they figured it was about
time for them to be coming into Boston. So, Mr. Iles concluded,
they started calling that corner 'Little Boston'.
where Peaceable St. and Umpawaug Rd. meet in Georgetown, there
is an area still called 'Little Boston'. And all because of
a stagecoach driver's little joke there is even a road which
is called Little Boston Lane.
today look forward to getting a new pair of sneakers but when
Harry Colley was young new sneakers was a much more significant
event. "I think one of my most memorable experiences
as I was growing up was getting new sneakers. I was allowed
one pair of sneakers a year. I knew I was going to get the
sneakers but at least four weeks before I'd start asking my
mother for them. She'd always say, "Next week, next week,"
because they had to last me all summer and into the fall.
But in Connery's Store (Corner of Rt. 57 & Old Mill Rd.)
back then, they used to give a bat to everyone who purchased
a pair of sneakers. Can you imagine that? This was just fantastic!
And the bats always used to come in early. Every day I would
go down to Connery's and swing a bat to see if it was the
right weight, the right size, and the right color. I even
looked at the grain in those days though I didn't know much
about it...and when I found one that was just my size and
everything, I would ask them to put my name on it and they
would put it in the back room. Other children did the same,
I wasn't the only one who did this. And then my day came to
get my sneakers and to claim my bat at the same time. Let
me tell you it was a great experience.
Anderson is a true native Yankee- she is also one of Redding's
most knowledgeable historians. Involved in town affairs for
many years, she has just recently retired from her post as
Assistant Town Clerk. This remarkable woman who presently
lives in the same home she was born in, knows many stories
of Redding's past, and the "Peanut Lady" is one
asked if she might remember the "Peanut Lady" a
warm happy glow flashed for an instant across Ebba Anderson's
face as she told us "Oh, do I ever! Mamma Joe was her
name, Mamma Joe. She would walk up from Georgetown, with bags
of peanuts; intent on selling, she would continue walking
all the way to the Ridge."
Joe was the wife of the proprietor of the peanut-roasting
machine. This machine stood in a little fruit and vegetable
store on the Main St. of Georgetown. The father and mother
who ran the store were typical old-world Italians. They were
the nicest people you would ever meet."
people had wonderful vegetables and lovely roasted peanuts.
The Peanut Lady would come up to our house on a horse and
rap on the windows yelling, 'Eh, Peanuts! Peanuts!' Then mother
would come to the door and buy some!"
Anderson went on to tell us, "People thought she was
sort of crazy, absent in the head and the like, Maybe she
wasn't playing 'It's a Beautiful Day,' but Mamma Joe was a
harmless, lovely old lady; she really was, and I liked her
Peanut Lady was awful nice to us kids, when we came home from
school. She'd give us an apple that perhaps we didn't have
to pay for. But if you laughed at her or made sport of her,
I don't think she'd give you an apple. Yet, wouldn't that
be true of you?"
with this, her story ended. With a warm, radiant smile spreading
across her face, she left us feeling quite good about ourselves,
this remarkable woman, and the stories of Redding's past.
St. John's "Home Remedies"
St. John is a true "old timer," probably one of
Redding's oldest residents. A very active person, Mr. St.
John is a man of many talents.
the interview, he had a special knack for sharing the unique
knowledge gained during his long lifetime. He was delighted
when he got a chance to speak of the "home remedies"
he had picked up while fishing with an old doctor.
confessed that in not smoking, not drinking alcohol, going
to bed at 10:00pm every night and drinking a lot of milk,
his home remedies had helped to carry him through his ninety-three
years. He explained that he was not a doctor, but he could
cure many ailments.
above the Georgetown Saloon, Mr. St. John gets many opportunites
to "prescribe" his remedies to the saloon's customers
and employees. When asked if he could tell about some of his
remedies, a smile came across his face.
"A fellow next door to me had high blood pressure,"
he recalled, "and called me in so I went and looked at
him. I came right back here to my room, went to the ice box,
chopped up some ice and put it in a thin towel (a heavy one's
no good). I put the ice around his neck- it's got a cord there.
You take the cord and push on it just a little, and in five
minutes his high blood pressure was gone."
and Steel Keys
"I sat down not too long ago," Mr. St. John went
on. "A girl had a hiccupping spell. She sat at a table
and I asked her, 'You want me to stop it?' She says, 'How
you gonna stop it?' 'Do what I tell you,' I said. 'Take your
two hands and put them about ten inches apart- no more. Make
a fist with your thumbs up and focus one eye on the right
thumb, and one eye on the left tumb, and gradually bring'em
together- not too fast. When you get 'em together work them
slowly outwards. I guarantee your hiccups will be gone.'
night I was down there and another woman had a coughin' spell.
So I took two keys (they've got to be steel) and I took those
keys and put one on the right side of her neck and another
on the left side of her neck and I just pressed them- not
too hard- and it stopped her coughin'. If you have a nose
bleed the steel keys will stop that too."
Redding Remembered Articles will be added soon. Check back
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