Saturday, July 11, 2015

A Visit to a Historic House-Samuel Parsons House part 1

This is a piece I wrote for another blog a few years ago on the Samuel Parsons House.  It comes in two parts. The second part will be in tomorrow's post.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

A Visit to a Historic House-Samuel Parsons House part 1

Hello there!

How excited I am to sharing more of my visit to the Samuel Parsons House in Wallingford, Connecticut!  Check here for more information on the  architecture and some historical aspects of the house that are beyond my scope of explaining. First of all, before entering the house, here are some things you will notice outside....
Stone mile marker with Roman numerals telling you it is 11 mile to New Haven, CT.

Bullseye Glass in the Windows in windows of the front doors

Pink Granite Stone Steps to step in and out of a horse-drawn carriage.
 Bullseye Glass was actually a waste product from the process of how window glass was made in those days. Since yankee ingenuity kept people from letting anything go to waste, it was used decoratively, such as in the front doors here. It still let the light through. Now, bullseye glass is quite sought after for it's decorative looks and because of how the glass was made. You can read this link to learn more about how that glass was made.

The granite set of steps to get in and out of a carriage was something that impressed me. Back when those were made, there may or may not have been sidewalks in town, but the roads were made of dirt. Especially for ladies in their long dresses and skirts with shoes that weren't made with any practicality in mind for the conditions of dust, dirt, rain, this set of steps must have been a godsend!

Inside View of Bullseye Glass

Upon entering the house you can see how the bullseye glass looks from the inside. It helped bring extra light into the house.  You walk into a hallway with a central staircase. If you take a right into the first room, you can see the house as it may have looked when it was a tavern.  People would take in borders or have food available to serve travelers and provide lodging to bring in extra money. The room may have also served as a tearoom. The colors the room is painted is based on some research at Olde Sturbridge Village and also from layers of paint found during the restoration process to be historically accurate.

Notice the glass in the mirror is not smooth, giving a wavy reflection.
 The windows are large to let in lots of light and are made of many small panes holding together smaller pieces of glass.  They didn't use larger pieces of glasses due to how easily the glass in colonial days would break and couldn't be made as large as modern day. Wood panes made it much stronger.

Women would keep their work with them handy. One couldn't just run to the store for clothing.  In early America, linens such as napkins, tablecloths, bed linens and the like were much more valuable in worth than the furniture of the house. This is due to everything had to be made by hand-the thread from spinning, the cloth from weaving, the clothes from hand sewing.

A Small spinning wheel to spin flax for linen

How a table may have looked to serve the food for lodgers and travelers. It is in the room just adjacent to the kitchen.

 Something I find interesting is that tea cups didn't always have handles in Western civilization!  If this was explained to me correctly, the tea was poured from cup while it was very hot into the saucer.  It would be cooler to drink from the saucer. 
Teacup made before they had handlesI will research this and correct this if it's inaccurate.

I will continue with this in my next edition (link to part 2) of this!  I do try to research things to be accurate. If you find discrepancies or have any other thoughts or comments, please share in the comments section! I am very open to hear what you have to say. I also will correct inaccuracies, if any, as I find them out.

I do thank you for joining me and allowing me to share this with you. Please comment. Also, if you liked this, please share it with others!
Thanks! I hope you have a wonderful day!

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Friday, July 10, 2015

Where in Downtown Wallingford Is This? (#2)

So here is a tougher one to guess since last week's picture (link).  So if you think you know where this is downtown, tell below in the comments section! Thanks!

Where in Downtown Wallingford Is This? 

The answer will be posted next Friday, July 17th, 2015!  Again, please share answers in the comment section below!! Thanks. Have fun!

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Answer to: Where in Downtown Wallingford Is This? (#1)

As many of you guessed the answer to this week's "Where in Downtown Wallingford Is This? (#1)" (link) is the WPAA TV and Community Media Center building.  The mural is painted on the left side (see second photo) of the building.

WPAA TV and Community Media Center is open for business for the community and YOU!

 Did you know that WPAA works with the community to provide opportunity for the citizens of Wallingford to create their own shows, assist you in filming and using their equipment in the studio or on your own?  They will show your creations (within their guidelines) on the air.  One of their biggest philosophies is promoting free speech!

I went in one day last year and was shown how to edit and film.  They showed how they loan out equipment. On another occasion, I was also interviewed in studio for one of the great local shows done here in Wallingford by a Wallingford resident.

I also hope to do a much more in depth piece on WPAA in the near future.  I do highly encourage you to explore there yourself.  There is much there to benefit you and the community.  We are very lucky to be able to have such a resource in our community. I highly encourage you to use it!

You can see and find out much more about WPAA at the following links:
Facebook:                                 wpaa page                 Mascot Freeman P. Quinn page

Website:                                                                         website

Contact info:                             WPAA-TV, 28 So. Orchard St., Wallingford, CT 06492
                                                      Phone: (203) 294-9722

The incredible tiger mural is on the side of the building!

There is a story to the mural, which I also hope to do a more in-depth post on also.

In the mean time, here is a video from the Freeman P. Quinn channel on Youtube about the mural:

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Tell us your stories...We might put it here!

Do you have an upbeat story or funny (but upbeat) about downtown Wallingford, CT that you would like to share?  We would like to hear from you!  If you have memories from long ago, recent past or just the other day, we would love to hear from you. If you have photos to go along, that's even better!
We are looking for stories in your own words, that are well written and upbeat.  Did you meet your spouse somewhere, for example? My husband tells the story of how his mother dropped him and his brother off at the movie theatre downtown for an all day marathon of all the "Planet of the Apes" movies.  

Do you have a story about one of the shops or businesses that are presently downtown

 We do reserve the right to edit for clarity and length, but you will receive full credit as a guest writer for what we post.  Stories should be no more than a few paragraphs, well-written, without swear words and without degrading or defaming anyone. Anything otherwise will not be printed. There is no reward, except for bragging rights of being printed, and sharing your story with others!

Please send any questions or stories to .  We look forward to hearing from you.   This is an ongoing thing unless we say otherwise.

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Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Top 10 Reasons to Support Locally Owned Businesses

The following comes from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, a national nonprofit organization working to strengthen independent businesses and local economies, and is reprinted here with permission.

1.  Local Character and Prosperity

In an increasingly homogenized world, communities that preserve their one-of-a-kind businesses and distinctive character have an economic advantage.

2.  Community Well-Being

Locally owned businesses build strong communities by sustaining vibrant town centers, linking neighbors in a web of economic and social relationships, and contributing to local causes.

3. Local Decision-Making

Local ownership ensures that important decisions are made locally by people who live in the community and who will feel the impacts of those decisions.

4.  Keeping Dollars in the Local Economy

Compared to chain stores, locally owned businesses recycle a much larger share of their revenue back into the local economy, enriching the whole community.

5.  Job and Wages

Locally owned businesses create more jobs locally and, in some sectors, provide better wages and benefits than chains do.

6.  Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship fuels America’s economic innovation and prosperity, and serves as a key means for families to move out of low-wage jobs and into the middle class.

7.  Public Benefits and Costs

Local stores in town centers require comparatively little infrastructure and make more efficient use of public services relative to big box stores and strip shopping malls.

8.  Environmental Sustainability

Local stores help to sustain vibrant, compact, walkable town centers-which in turn are essential to reducing sprawl, automobile use, habitat loss, and air and water pollution.

9.  Competition

A marketplace of tens of thousands of small businesses is the best way to ensure innovation and low prices over the long-term.

10.  Product Diversity

A multitude of small businesses, each selecting products based, not on a national sales plan, but on their own interests and the needs of their local customers, guarantees a much broader range of product choices.
© Institute for Local Self-Reliance.

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Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Part 2: A Summer Afternoon Stroll through Downtown Wallingford

At the intersection of Colony Road (Rt. 5) and Center Street, I started on a shorter stroll through the beginnings of North Colony Rd.  I turned off Center Street to see more of what is here. 
I caught a glimpse of Redscroll Records, a rare treasure trove for the music lover.
In the same building you will find other treasures, whether it be a salon to treat yourself wonderfully, a unique chocolate shop to tantalize your senses, or a place to find something you can use, decorate with or treat yourself with!

Across the street you can find some beverages in an architecturally interesting building!

One landmark place is Rosa's Deli, with subs to go or many great Italian and American foods.  When I was bed bound for six weeks after a major surgery, the people I worked with thought of sending me flowers. Instead, one practical person had the idea to order all kinds of food from there for me. My husband picked it up and heated up the food for me.  It was a super treat!  My recovery went very well!

I love looking in the window of the Hot Rod Parts place- with all the unique cars from all different days and types.

Across the street is Holy Trinity Church and Rectory. As I was passing Rosa's Deli, I caught glimpse of a priest who crossed my path going into Rosa's Deli.  It couldn't be more convenient for him, could it?

As I pass the convenience store, I noticed Los Mariachis, a popular Mexican Restaurant.

Across the street are Fazzino Napa Auto Parts and a real Hardware Store (True Value), making things available where we don't have to go to a big box store.

At this point I am turning around and you can see the parking lot of Fazzinos and the True Value on the right and local neighborhood houses on the left.
You get a sense of the small town feel and convenience of everything.

I love this old car in the parking lot of the Hot Rod Parts place.
As we pass by the Record shop, Chocolate Shop, Salon and Unique Shop, we can see the gazebo at Fishbein Park on the right.

After crossing the street towards the right, we see Healing Hands chiropractic,

Flowers by Amelia,
Massage by Kimberly,
Don's Barber Shop,
and some other views while looking in different directions. The train station,
Holy Trinity Church in the distance, are great landmarks to easily have a sense of direction.

If you cross over toward the train station, you will find it convenient to see where passengers get off and on-either having convenient access to travel off somewhere or to greet Wallingford- perhaps coming home!

A simple walk brings one right into town from the train station.

Thanks for joining me on this enjoyable brief stroll.  We will come back again, making visits to many places here.

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