Let Freedom Ring 2018

Readers of this blog know that I love Norwalk’s “Let Freedom Ring” program. I love its focus on the true origins of Independence Day, on Norwalk’s part in the American Revolution, and on bringing today’s community together. This year was no exception; in fact, we probably had our biggest crowd yet!

The program opened with Madeleine Eckert of the Norwalk Historical Society giving a talk called “Discovering 18th Century Norwalk Black History.” She and her husband Ed have done extensive research into Norwalk’s black population in the 1700s: from simple census counts to identifying names in probate records (either first, last, or both) to newspaper accounts. Mrs. Eckert then went into detail about Norwalk blacks who not only assisted the Patriot cause during the American Revolution, but also those who became loyalists.

NHS President Diane Jellerette introduces Madeleine Eckert. Author’s collection.

Information was coming at me so fast that it was hard to capture it all. Basically, there were some blacks who served as soldiers in integrated troops. Some slaves also helped save homes during the 1779 Burning of Norwalk. I did manage to capture the names of the black patriots:

  • Ned Negro
  • John Roger
  • Solomon Soutice
  • Onesimus Brown (there was a photo of him!)
  • Dover St. John

Those who supported the Loyalist cause probably did so under the promise of gaining freedom (in fact, they were included among those who received land grants in Nova Scotia). Some Norwalkers included:

  • Catherine
  • Moses
  • Pleasant Lockwood
  • David Raymond
  • Dorras Scudder
  • Cato Cannon

What an eye-opening talk it was!

After a short break, the “Let Freedom Ring” ceremony began. Mayor Harry Rilling spoke of his favorite passage in the Declaration of Independence (“we hold these truths to be self-evident…”). Senator Bob Duff emphasized that the Declaration was “not a love letter” but a list of grievances, and that we too should speak up and make our voices heard in government.

Mayor Rilling and Senator Duff. Author’s collection.

Town Clerk Rick McQuaid, in traditional Revolutionary garb, read many excerpts of the Declaration of Independence (I swear, he does it better every year!). The children present were then invited to help ring the bell as Mayor Rilling read off the names of the thirteen original states.

Rick McQuaid reads the Declaration; children help ring the bell. Author’s collection.

Zachary Anderson, Nathan Brenn and Richie Cordero, three graduates from Norwalk High School’s music program, performed a moving rendition of the National Anthem.

The National Anthem is performed. Author’s collection.

We were then introduced to our special guests, the Sable Soldiers. Ludger Balan told us that day they were representing Glover’s Marblehead regiment, of whom 40% were people of color, be it African-American, Native American, etc. He spoke of gratitude for knowing where we’ve been as a people, and how that has contributed to who we are today.

Ludger Balan (left) introduced us to the Sable Soldiers. Author’s collection.

Indeed the people re-enacting the Marblehead regiment had an intimate knowledge of the history of the regiment, from the motives behind the Marbleheaders joining the Revolutionary cause to the logistics of colonial warfare. When the crowd moved outside, stories were shared about the regiment and the battles it took part in (the most notable was the Battle of Trenton). Even the younger children were captivated by the stories!

Battlefield stories captured the crowd so well that the kids were more than willing to be a part of the cannon team demonstration. Author’s collection.

Finally, the soldiers gave us an unloaded demonstration of how some of their weapons worked. I won’t go into all the details here (please – see a demonstration of your local reenactors if you can), but I will share some of our modern expressions that stem from Revolutionary-era weaponry:

  • lock, stock and barrel
  • flash in the pan
  • half cocked
  • kick the bucket

In conclusion, I would say that my eyes have been opened about how all people have taken part in establishing our country. They may not have been in history books, but their names and roles are slowly being rediscovered by people like the Eckerts and the Sable Soldiers.

Encampment scenes. Author’s collection.

Encampment scenes. Author’s collection.

Encampment scenes. Author’s collection.

Encampment scenes. Author’s collection.

Encampment scenes. Author’s collection.

Encampment scenes. Author’s collection.

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Honor Roll Project: Norwalk, CT – World War I (part 4)

In recognition of those who have served our country in the military, Heather Wilkinson Rojo of the Nutfield Genealogy blog started the Honor Roll Project. It’s an opportunity to publicly document the names on military memorials around the world, thus making them easily searchable on the internet for people who are looking for them!

WWI Memorial on the Norwalk Green. Author’s collection.

This is a continuation of the names on the World War I memorial on the green in Norwalk, CT (previous posts are here, here and here).  Below is the fourth panel and its transcription.

World War I Memorial. Norwalk, CT. Author’s collection.

1917 – THE WORLD WAR – 1919

FERGUSON LESTER R. FRIZZELL DUNCAN B. GOLDSTEIN FREDERICK HALLOREN JULIUS T. HICKEY WILLIAM T. JR.
FERGUSTON THEODORE FRIZZELL JOHN REEVES GORHAM WILLIAM N. HAMILTON ALBERT M. HIGHT FLETCHER
FERGUSON TREMONT H. FROST RUSSELL JR. GORHAM JOHN A. HAMILTON EDWARD W. HILL CHARLES L.
FERRINO LOUIS FUDGE HARRY C. GORMLEY LESTER F. HAMMOND BRADLEY B. HINCK NATHAN
FERRIS BENTLEY B. FULE JAMES GOTTLIEB LEO HANKS HAROLD S. HINES HUGH JR.
FERRIS VICTOR W. GOTTLIEB MORRIS HANKS WILLIAM J. HINSON HAROLD E.
FINCH RUSSELL W. GOULD EDGAR F. HANLON JOHN HIPSON CARYL B.
FINNEGAN EDWARD W. G GOULDEN ALLYN S. HANLON WILLIAM F. HIPSON HARRY H.
FIORE JAMES GABRIEL ANDREW GRACE FRANK J. HANNA HAROLD W. HOGOFIAN AVADIS
FISHER JOHN GAGE CLINTON H. GRAY ARTHUR S. HANNON JOHN PATRICK HOLLAND HENRY
FITCH HERBERT GAGER WARREN B. GRAY CHARLES LOUIS HARRIS ALFRED HOPSON CHARLES
FITELSON JACOB GALBO CALOGERO GRAY DONALD A. HARRIS ISRAEL HORAN EDWIN W.
FITZGERALD JOHN JAMES GALL DANIEL GRAY HORACE M. HARRIS LOUIS F. HORAN RICHARD J.
FITZGERALD JOSEPH M. GALLA FRANCESCON GRAY JOSEPH A. JR. HARRIS RICHARD T. HORAN THOMAS P.
FITZGERALD LEONARD GALLAGHER ANTHONY R. GRAY LOUIS S. HART PRESTON M. HORAN WILLIAM F.
FLAHERTY THOMAS F. GALLAGHER JAMES J. GREENBERG ARCHIE L. HARTY CHARLES A. HOTALING RAYMOND
FLOOD HOWARD GALYAS JOHN GREENWALD THEODORE F. HASLIN JOSEPH E. HOWARD GEORGE H.
FLYNN HARRY J. GAMBLE MINER L. GREENWOOD HAROLD A. HATCH FRANK D. HOWLEY THOMAS E.
FLYNN WALTON W. GANUN HARRY H. GREENWOOD LE GRAND HAUGH HARRY M. HOYT ARTHUR C.
FODOR ANDREW J. GARFIELD ARTHUR F. GREGORY M. GLOVER HAUGH JOHN DENNIS HOYT ELTON M.
FORBUSH BELDEN C. GARFIELD EARL B. GREGORY PERCIVAL R. HAVILAND CHARLES B. HUBBELL CLINTON C.
FORCELLINO DOMINIC GARFIELD JAMES F. GRIALTIERI FRANK HAVLICEK CHARLES A. HUBBELL WILLIAM H.
FOREIT JACK GATES HARRY GRIFFIN LOUIS HAWKINS RUSSELL S. HUDSON THOMAS H.
FOREN ALFRED EUGENE GATES IRA E. GRIFFIN VERNON F. HAYES EDWARD HUGHES ALBERT C.
FORIZ JOHN GAVIN JAMES F. GROESCHNER WILLIAM R. HAYES EDWARD T. HUGHES EDWARD C.
FORSYTHE GEORGE W. GAY FRANK GRUMBLY PATRICK A. HAYES JAMES H. HUGHES ELLIS
FOSTER CHARLES GEFFINO FRANK GRUMMAN LEWIS HAZLETT ROBERT HUGHES LESTER W.
FOSTER LEONARD J. GEORGE FRANCIS W. GUARNIERI JOHN J. HEALY JOSEPH HUGHEY ROBERT H.
FOSTER WALTER H. GEORGE ROBERT H. GUIDER JOHN VINCENT HEITZ PAUL HULL WILLIAM HENRY JR.
FOX JESSE S. GIANGUZZO CALOGERO GUILES HAROLD HELLANT JACOB HUNT DAVID
FOX WILLIAM A. GILBERT FRANK W. GUMBART EDWARD HUGO HELLANT LOUIS HUNT JOHN WILLIAM
FRANCARILLA ORAZIO GILBERT JOHN CLIFFORD GUMBART WILLIAM E. HEMMONE WILBUR W. HUNTINGTON ARTHUR F.
FRANCES WILLIAM G. GILBERT LELAND F. GUNTHER JOHN L. HENDRICKS EDWARD E. HUSSEY EDWARD H.
FRATINO JOSEPH GILCHRIST JAMES C. GUTHRIE CHESTER J. HENNESSY FREDERICK T. HYATT ELMER
FRATINO PATRICK GILLETTE WILLIAM B. HENRY MARTIN L. HYATT HARRY TRACEY
FRATTO FRANK GILMORE WALTER T. HENSON FREDERICK T. HYDE JOHN C.
FREDERICKS JAMES GLADSTONE WILLIAM C. H HERMON ALBERT HYLER BENJAMIN W.
FREUDENTHAL WALTER GLASSER DAVID HAASE EDWARD E. HERRING HERBERT W. HYNAN WILLIAM F.
FRIEDLANDER ROBERT GLEASON DANIEL H. HAIN OTTO HERTZ BENJAMIN H.
FRIEND JOHN JOSEPH GLEASON PHILIP R. HALACY DANIEL S. HERTZ JOSEPH
FRIEND MATTHEW F. GOLDSCHMIDT CHARLES HALACY JOHN JOSEPH HEVESSEY MICHAEL I
FRIZZELL CHARLES R. GOLDSCHMIDT SAMUEL HALL RUSSELL HICKEY THOMAS J. IRELAND HENRY J.

“WE HONOR THOSE WHO DO US HONOR”

Honor Roll Project: Norwalk, CT – World War I (part 3)

In recognition of those who have served our country in the military, Heather Wilkinson Rojo of the Nutfield Genealogy blog started the Honor Roll Project. It’s an opportunity to publicly document the names on military memorials around the world, thus making them easily searchable on the internet for people who are looking for them!

WWI Memorial on the Norwalk Green. Author’s collection.

This is a continuation of the names on the World War I memorial on the green in Norwalk, CT (previous posts are here and here). Below is the third panel and its transcription.

World War I Memorial, Norwalk, CT. Author’s collection.

1917 – THE WORLD WAR – 1919

CALLAHAN WILLIAM J. CIFATTE LOUIS CORTRIGHT RUSSELL C. DECKER WALTER I. DWYER LEWIS A.
CAMPBELL DAVID P. CINQUE OSCAR COUCH WILLIAM N. DE DONATO ANTHONY
CAMPBELL FRED DONALD CIOPPA VITO D. COURT CHARLES H. DEEGAN WILLIAM H.
CAMPBELL HUGH P. JR. CIZARNOWSKI DEMETHRI COVINO HARRY

DEERING CHRISTOPHER

E

CAMPBELL IRVING F. CLAPP ARTHUR COWING WALTER C. DE FOREST C. ELLIOTT EADE WILLIAM M.
CAMPBELL RALPH V. CLARK ARTHUR W. COYLE HARRY O. DEILUS ROBERG EARLE HARRY W.
CANEVARI ALPHONSO CLARK THEODORE H. CRAIG ISHAM JR. DE LEAS JOHN EASON WALTER F.
CANFIELD CHARLES R. CLARKE CHARLES LYON CRAM GEORGE E. M.D. DE MARCO ANGELO EDMOND EARLE L.
CANFIELD SAMUEL D. CLARKIN JOHN CRAMPTON BERNARD L. DE MARTINO JOSEPH EISERMANN EMIL O.
CANFIELD WILLIAM K. CLAYTON WILLIAM CRAWFORD BERTRAM A. DEMPSEY JOHN J. EISERMANN PAUL O.
CANTONI ANTHONY CLEVERLY JOHN B. CREAGH JAMES M. DENGLER FREDERICK L. ELLIOTT STEWART H.
CANTONI ANTONIO CLOSE LELAND M. CREAGH JOHN T. DENICOLA JOHN F. ELY CLIFFORD S.
CAPONE BENJAMIN CLOUGH FREDERICK C. CREAMER LEONARD C. DENNIS CHARLE E. EMERSON ARTHUR C.
CARIER FRED C. COBURN HARRIE C. CREIGHTON GEORGE W. DENTON GEORG R. EMRO BURTON E.
CARIONE ANTONIO COFFIN FLOYD W. CROAL RAYMOND DE SANZA CHARLES A. ENGLISH JOSEPH R.
CARRELL CHARLES E. COGSWELL CHARLES B. CROAL WILLIAM F. DEVINE CHARLES E. ETHERIDGE HOWARD M.
CARROLL GEORGE E. COHEN ABRAHAM D. CRONIN JERRY W. DEVINE ROBERT EULA MARTE A.
CARROLL JAMES J. COHEN HARRY CROZIER JAMES R. DIBBLE HORTON EUVARD WILLIAM C.
CARROLL WILLIAM J. COLE LESTER G. CUDDY CORNELIUS DIKEMAN ROBERT G. EVANSWALTER OWEN
CASE RALPH COLE WILLIAM H. CULLEN FREDERICK M. DILWORTH GEORGE W. EVANSKI HARRY
CASTAGNIA LUIGI COLEBURN ARTHUR M.D. DURATELLA ORAZIO DISBROW JOHN O. EVERETT WILLIAM W.
CASTLEDINE JOHN COLEBURN KENNETH M. CUTBILL ALFRED B. DISBROW LIVINGSTON
CATTERALL ELMER A. COLEMAN EARLE J. CUTLER FRED B. DI SESA JOHN J.
CATTERALL THOMAS COLEMAN EDWARD DIXON THOMAS

F

CAVALLIARO FRANCESCO COLEY ARTHUR E. DOKUS SEPHEN FAHAN JOHN EDWARD
CAVANAUGH JAMES A. COLLINGS HERBERT

D

DOMINICK MICHAEL FAHAN WILLIAM JOSEPH
CAVANAUGH JOSPEH A. COLLINS GEORGE DAGGY RICHARD S. DONNELY THOMAS FALCONE ANTHONY
CHAMBERS HAROLD COLLINS GEORGE V. DAGON JAMES E. DORSEY JOHN J. FALLO PASQUALE
CHANTOS ANDREW COLLINS LEO M. CALTON BENJAMIN W. DORSO NICOLO FANT LESLIE L.
CHANTOS ARTHUR COLLINS LEROY A. DAMATO FRANK DOULENS HOMER E. FARRELL DANIEL J.
CHANTOS STEPHEN COLLINS THOMAS DANIELS WILLIAM E. JR. DOWNES LEROY DONNELLY FARRELL FRANK E.
CHAPPA HAMES COMSTOCK HAMILTON L. DANN RALPH E. DRINKWATER THOMAS FARRELL JOHN J.
CHARIOTT RALPH COMSTOCK RALPH DANN VICTOR H. DUESBURG FRED FARRELL LESTER J.
CHASE MODESTO CONNOLLY JAMES E. DARDEN NATHANIEL DUFFY JAMES W. FARRELL WILLIAM L.
CHATTERTON FRANK JR. COOK EDWARD J. DARLING EDWARD G. DUFFY JOHN H. FARRINGTON EDWARD
CHICHESTER HARRY M. COOKE HUGH J. DATTALO WILLIAM DUFFY WILLIAM F. FARRINGTON FREDERICK M.
CHOMOTINSKY LOUIS COOKE WILLIAM A. DAVIS HARRY B. DUGAN ANTHONY J. FARRINGTON NEDMAN G.
CHRISTIANO NICHOLAS COOMBS WILLIAM H. DAVIS SAMUEL L. DUGAN FREDERICK FATIVO JOSEPH
CHRISTIANO PETRO COPLEY CHARLES J. DAY C. RUSSELL DUGAN WILLIAM M. FAY FRANK
CHURCH WILLIAM HOYT CORCORAN EDWARD J. DE BOER SETH DUNBAR JESSE T. FELTER ALFRED W.
CIACCIA GUISEPPE CORCORAN FRANCIS W. DECKER J. DELANO DUNLOP HERBERT J. FENNELL WILLIAM H.
CICALA MICHAEL CORCORAN JOSEPH M. DECKER LEWIS H. DWYER JOHN T. FERENTIQUE RAFELLO

“WE HONOR THOSE WHO DO US HONOR”

Samuel Grumman: Revolutionary and Genealogy Hero

As I’ve written about before, I love to attend Norwalk’s “Let Freedom Ring” program on Independence Day. This past 4th of July, the program included a special wreath-laying ceremony at the grave of Samuel Grumman, who was in the militia during the Revolutionary War.

After being led across the Mill Hill cemetery by Boy Scout Troop 222 color guard, we opened with the Pledge of Allegiance and listened as historian Madeleine Eckert told us the story of Samuel Grumman.

Following the Color Guard down the Norwalk River Valley Trail. Author’s collection.

The following are some of the highlights:

  • Samuel was born in 1725 at the site of 93 East Avenue in Norwalk.
  • He married Elizabeth Keeler and they lived where 74 East Avenue is today.
  • He owned a mill located on the Norwalk River, where 40 Cross Street is today (right around the corner from me!).
  • He was the Town Clerk in Norwalk during the Revolution until the time of his death in 1804.
  • In 1776, he enlisted in the 9th Regiment of the Connecticut militia under Jabez Gregory (who is also buried at Mill Hill), but never saw any military action.

Jabez Gregory’s grave. Author’s collection.

  • Samuel served on various Revolutionary War committees during 1778-1779.
  • In 1779, when Norwalk found out that General Tryon would be attacking them, Samuel had the foresight to hide the town records in a safe place, protecting them from the Burning of Norwalk. Descendants of colonial Norwalkers owe a debt of gratitude to him.
  • He died in 1804. Both he and his wife are buried at Mill Hill Cemetery. Elizabeth’s stone is broken in half, but is still legible. Samuel’s original stone has deteriorated with age.

Appropriately, current Town Clerk Richard McQuaid had the honor of laying a wreath at Samuel’s grave. Behind the decayed stone is a new marble marker for future generations to enjoy. “Taps” was played by Norwalk High School trumpeter Victoria Russo.

Richard McQuaid lays the wreath. Author’s collection.

Samuel Grumman’s new grave marker. Author’s collection.

The program continued indoors at the old meeting house, where Mayor Harry Rilling remarked how much we owe to the patriots who fought back in the Revolution, right up through present times. Connecticut Senator Bob Duff pointed out how interesting it was to hear the stories behind the names of our current streets. He also marveled at the sacrifices our forefathers made, all due to following their passion to be free. Because they followed their passions then, we are able to follow our own passions today.

Richard McQuaid, in period dress, read excerpts from the Declaration of Independence, followed by the thirteen rings of the bell by Senator Duff as Mayor Rilling read off the names of each of the thirteen original states. Catherine Robinson, of the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, then sang the National Anthem in a beautiful contralto voice.

Mayor Rilling and Senator Duff let freedom ring! Author’s collection.

If you’re ever in Norwalk, take some time to pay respects to some patriots here! The Norwalk River Valley Trail now runs through the Mill Hill historical site, and the path goes right past Samuel Grumman’s grave.

The meeting house at Mill Hill. Author’s collection.

Honor Roll Project: Norwalk, CT – World War I (part 2)

In recognition of those who have served our country in the military, Heather Wilkinson Rojo of the Nutfield Genealogy blog started the Honor Roll Project. It’s an opportunity to publicly document the names on military memorials around the world, thus making them easily searchable on the internet for people who are looking for them!

WWI Memorial on the Norwalk Green. Author’s collection.

This is a continuation of the names on the World War I memorial on the green in Norwalk, CT. Below is the second panel and its transcription. You’ll note that the first group of names are women!

Second panel of WWI memorial. Author’s collection.

1917 – THE WORLD WAR – 1919

 

BALL HAZEL J. ANDERSON EINAR BARRETT FRANCIS J. BETTS DANIEL ALLEN BROWN ROBERT E.
BETTS MARY BISSELL ANDERSON FRED BARRY JOHN J. BISHOP W. FRANKLIN JR. BROWNE GORDON W.
CALLAHAN MARY G. ANDERSON HAROLD E. BARRY THOMAS E. BLACKMAN J. WILBUR BRUNDAGE EVERETT W.
CAVANAUGH MAE E. ANDERSON HOWARD S. BARRY WILLIAM J. BLAKE GUY F. BRUNDAGE RALPH W.
COLLINS MARY J. ANDRESSINI FRANCESCO BARTLIFF FREDERICK L. BLASCK BENJAMIN BRUNJES GEORGE R.
CROCKETT MARION ANDREWS WILLIAM H. BARTO EARL B. BLAUVELT WALTER BUCKLEY CLIFFORD H.
DOWNES EDITH ANDRULICS GEORGE BATES GORDON BLOOM HAROLD A. BUCKLEY FRED W.
GRAY ETHEL LOUISE ARENA ANTHONY BATES HARVEY R. BLUNT JOSEPH BUCKLEY JAY S.
HAND MOLLY ARMATO FRANK BATES PERCY W. BOBROWSKY JOSEPH BUCKLEY JOHN
HIPSON ANNA TRANT ARNOLD CHARLES BATES RALPH BOOTH ARTHUR JOSEPH BUNDONIS JOHN
MACKENZIE ALICE ARNOLD JOHN BATTERSON ALBERT H. BOOTH RUBEN THOMAS BUONO LAWRENCE
MILLER ANNA ARTELL SAMUEL BAYLISS WILLIAM BORST ELBRIDGE L. BURGESS WILLIAM E.
MILLS GLADYS ASHBEY FRED P. BEACH ROWLAND M. BORST HENRY J. BURNES FRANCIS J.
ROBERTS GRACE ASHE A. ALEXANDER BEATTY JOHN T. BOSSING THEODORE L. BURNES MATTHEW E.
RUMMLER JOSEPHINE ALICE ASHWELL JOSEPH A. BECKER ARTHUR H. BOTTONE LORENZO BURNS SARSFIELD
VAN COVERING JEANNETTE ASHWORTH CHARLES BECKER FREDERICK V. JR. BOUTON ARTHUR I. BURNS WILLIAM JOHN
WELD MARGARET M. AUMACK HARRY BECKETT HARRY BOUTON CHARLES A. BURR HORACE G.
A AXON ERNEST BEDELL CLARENCE L. BOWKER JOHN POWELL JR. BURR JOHN GOULD
ABBOTT CHARLES E. JR. B BEDIENT CHARLES E. BOWMAN WILLIAM E. BURT CHARLES W.
ACKERLY WALLACE C. BABIN PROVOST BEEBE WILLIAM

BEERS AUGUSTUS H.

BOYLE CLARENCE E. BUSCH WILLIAM J.
ACQUINO FREDERICK J. BAILWITZ EARL G. BEERS JAMES LLOYD BRACKEN LYMAN G. BUTLER FRANK J.
ADAMS LEWIS H. JR. BAKER EARLE E. BEERS MILTON C. BRADLEY JOHN E. BUTTERY CHESTER W.
AHEARN WILLIAM JAMES BAKER HOWARD D. BEESKOW ALBERT F. BRAMLEY FRED HAROLD BUZZARD ARTHUR R.
AIKEN GEORGE E. BALDWIN HERBERT E. BEESKOW ALFRED BREDICE MICHAEL H. BUZZARD CHARLES
AIKEN JOHN H. BALDWIN STANLEY H. BEESLEY JAMES H. BREISLER ALFRED J. BYINGTON CHARLES
AKOS JOHN BALESTRIERE GLACOMO BELL CLAYTON M. BRENNAN ALBERT D. BYINGTON FLOYD I.
AKOS WILLIAM BALLARD ISAAC BELT A. PARKER BRENNAN EDWARD J. BYINGTON RUSSELL I.
AKSTIN ANTHONY BANINGOSA JOSEPH BENEDICT ELMER R. BRENNAN ERNEST J. BYRNES JOHN T.
ALEXANDER SAMUEL BANKS LESLIE J. BENEDICT HOWARD M. BRENNAN EUGENE I. BYRNES THOMAS FRANCIS
ALGARA FRANCIS A. BANKS WILLIAM J. BENEDICT SEELEY L. BRITTO ALBERT F. BYXBEE ALFRED A.
ALLEN JOHN L. BANYAI STEPHEN BENELISHA ARCHIBALD BRITTO HAROLD F. BYXBEE EDWARD R.
ALLEN VINCENT BANYARD JOSEPH BENELISHA WALLACE BRITTO HARRY BYXBEE MORRIS F.
ALLINGTON WILLIAM H. JR. BARBOUR GEORGE W. BENJAMIN WILLIAM E. BRITTO VINCENT A. C
AMBLER ARTHUR W. BARDOS DANIEL BENNETT CHARLES H. BROADWAY ELWOOD CAHILL JOHN A.
AMBLER TRACEY B. BARDOS JOSEPH BENNEWITZ CHARLES BROPHY EDWARD CALLAHAN JAMES F.
AMUNDSEN CHARLES J. BARDOS STEPHEN BENNEWITZ CHRISTIAN BROTHERTON JOSEPH F. CALLAHAN JEREMIAH J.
AMUNDSEN CLIFFORD A. BARHAM JOSEPH T. BENTON HARRY STACEY BROTHERTON THEODORE I. CALLAHAN JOHN
AMUNDSEN GUSTAVE A. BARKER ANDREW BERNARD EDMUND J. BROWER WILLIAM E. CALLAHAN JOHN J.
AMUNDSEN OSCAR L. BARKER HARRY DELVIN BERNARD PRESTON N. BROWN GEORGE E. CALLAHAN LAWRENCE
ANDERSON ALFRED L. BARNARY GEORGE BETTS ARTHUR S. BROWN GEORGE W. CALLAHAN WILLIAM C.

“WE HONOR THOSE WHO DO US HONOR”

Stanislaus Markoski: 9 Olive and Beyond

The Markoskis, their unmarried children and Doris and husband John returned to Holyoke, Hampden country, MA in 1936. This time they are listed with Americanized names: Stanley and Joan. They rented a house in a more residential part of Holyoke: 9 Olive Street, yet it wasn’t too far from the old neighborhood and their church.

In addition to Max and Doris, the other Markoski children began marrying and starting their own families. Stephen, who remained behind in Springfield when the family moved to Brooklyn, married Josephine L. Paneled by 1933. Robert, having graduated Williams College, married Ingrid Benson and started his teaching career under the new surname Marr at Vermont Academy by 1935. I suspect that Anita, like her younger brothers, met her future husband while in Riverhead, Suffolk County, NY; she married Stephen Hornyak in Manhattan, NY on November 14, 1936. Just a month later, Charles married his high school sweetheart Janet M. Benjamin on December 22 in Manhattan as well. (I assume that Charles must have been on winter break from Williams College.). Last (and definitely not least!), my grandfather Bruno married my grandmother Viola Alice Biliunas in Riverhead on November 27, 1937.

Viola Biliunas + Bruno Markoski, flanked by their wedding party (no other Markoski’s here). Author’s collection.

Despite the new households being set up, Stanislaus and Johanna kept their doors open to their family. Bruno and Viola spent 1939 and 1940 at 9 Olive. From 1936 to 1941, Doris and John were in and out of that home, together and Doris separately (for some reason, but not permanently). (I have to note here that in 9137, Doris and John had moved to Norwalk, Fairfield County, CT – where I’m living now! What a surprise that was to me!)

Being in the midst of the Great Depression, Stanislaus’ employment at this time was uneven. In 1936, he worked for the WPA. (I wish I knew in what capacity!). Once 1939 rolled around, employment was more steady. The city directories until 1942 listed him as an “inspector” in Chicopee Falls. Since the 1940 Census listed him as a sweeper in a rubber factory, I suspect that he was back at Fisk Tire.

From 1943 until 1945, Stanislaus was an inspector then a janitor at “WP&M Corp”, which was back in Holyoke. I haven’t found out what WP&M stood for or what the company was; I’ll have to ask about that on Facebook.

The 1946 city directory shows “Stanley” and “Joan” as “removed to New Jersey”. To me, this is an even bigger mystery than Brooklyn. If they did in fact move to New Jersey, it would have to be in connection with Doris or Anita, but I cannot confirm it one way or another. One thing I can confirm is that they eventually lived with Doris in Riverhead. Stanislaus somehow became bedridden, and it was at this bedside that my mother visited with him.

In 1949, Stanislaus passed away and was laid to rest in Mater Dolorosa Cemetery in South Hadley, Hampshire County, MA. Johanna was not to join him for another two decades, and we’ll look at her story next time.

Holiday Break

Yes, I’m breaking a little earlier than usual; but who knows? I could be back earlier than usual!

Despite the longer holiday season, my schedule seems to be more packed than ever. However, I still enjoy it, especially since I take care to focus on the things that are most important to me.

One of my favorite activities before Christmas is attending Norwalk High School’s “Candlelight” concert. This is a tradition for the high school for over 75 years – since the mid-1930’s. There were only a couple of times during World War II that Candlelight was not held. Since then, it has been going strong.

Candlelight concert program.  Author's collection.

Candlelight concert program. Author’s collection.

Over the years, hundreds of students in the music department have performed instrumental and vocal music, along with humorous skits and sometimes even dancing. The music ranges from secular to sacred and spans the common December holidays. What I particularly love, however, is the quality of performance every year, and the spirit of the season that the concert embodies.

Does your community have any unique holiday traditions?