Archive for July, 2011

Deep River Ancient Muster-Fife and Drum Corps Galore

July 17, 2011

58th Annual Deep River Ancient Muster-Massed Fife and Drum Corps-July16, 2011

Everyone loves a parade and what can be more appropriate for a parade than a fife and drum corps marching smartly down the street, banners and flags  unfurled. Better yet, how about several hundred fifers and drummers in a mass parade through a sleepy Connecticut river town.

That is the scene on the third Saturday of every July when the annual Deep River Ancient Muster, a Connecticut tradition since 1885 convenes.  Of this massing of drum corps an excited  newspaper reporter, in a contemporary account, exclaimed;

“The noise shook green apples off the trees, moved a frog onto the railroad track, jolted nails out of the shingles in the roofs, and the hens in the poultry yards along the route laid premature eggs in fright.”

Read more of this interesting article from Time magazine: Time Aug 03, 1970

Video Credit: Footage by L.E. Agnelli/ haddam east haddam patch

The Middletown Press printed an article with video by Claire Michalewicz about the muster:

“DEEP RIVER – The sound of drums was hard to miss in Deep River on Saturday, as 60 fife and drum corps marched down Main Street to Devitt Field for the 58th Annual Deep River Ancient Muster. Once there, the corps performed one by one for hours into the evening…The festivities started with a “tattoo” on Friday night, with a smaller group of corps performing on the field. On Saturday morning, all the participating corps lined up on Main Street and marched down the street to Devitt Field. One by one, they participated in “jollification” – stepping out onto the baseball diamond and performing a few short pieces before the judges and audience…”

Video Credit: Claire Michalewicz, Middletown Press

Rocky Hill – Glastonbury Ferry Shuts Down (Forever?)

July 16, 2011

Connecticut River Ferry Rocky Hill a video by Steadyjohn on Flickr.

A short 2009 video of the Rocky Hill-Glastonbury Ferry in operation

Reposted from Rocky Hill Patch:

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s budget balancing plan confirmed what many people already knew that the ferry services would be cut to help balance the $1.6 billion deficit.

In Malloy’s plan, all eight employees of the Rocky Hill-Glastonbury and Hadlyme-Chester ferries would be laid off and services would be eliminated. The plan said the seasonal ferry service is a “convenience for residents in these areas” and there are year round alternatives available.

By eliminating the employees and the service, the state would save $377,634 in 2012 and $473,627 in 2013.

The Rocky Hill Ferry was closed Friday, due to staffing issues, Department of Transportation Spokesman Kevin Nursick said. However, people still came to Ferry Park to see if they could take a ride across the river.

Sara Weeden was hoping to take her daughter, Gwendlyn, on the ferry for only the second time in her life when she found out the news.

“I’m just surprised that they would do that,” Sara Weeden said. She added that her daughter enjoyed riding the ferry.

“It is a nice treat,” Sara Weeden said.

She added that on Wednesday, the last day the ferry was open, there was a line of cars backed up on Great Meadow Road.

The Rocky Hill Ferry was the nation’s oldest continuously operating ferry service. It traveled the Connecticut River from Rocky Hill to Glastonbury and back. The original ferry, just a small raft pushed across the river with the help of long poles, dates back to 1655. Privately operated for 260 years, it became a state facility in 1915 and had been operating until now by the State Department of Transportation.

Credit: Sean Conor,Rocky Hill Patch - Rocky Hill Ferry Landmark

Update July 17, Hartford Courant reporting: (also see AP report on CT CBS)
…John Serra, who works at the Rocky Hill Historical Society, said the ferry was once a financial lifeline for the town and has evolved into a social hub.”It was really the center of town,” Serra said.A stack of papers in a small library above the historical society includes a jumble of photos, newspaper clippings and historical documents chronicling the development of the ferry beginning in 1655, 121 years before the Declaration of Independence…


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