Archive for the ‘Parades’ Category

A New History of Rocky Hill by Rafaele Fierro

July 3, 2012

Just published on the Wethersfield Historical Society website:

Rocky Hill: A History by Rafaele Fierro

It was only a matter of time. Rocky Hill citizens since the 1820s had been petitioning the Connecticut General Assembly to become a separate town. Now in 1843 the residents of Wethersfield’s “Lower Community,” known since 1722 as Stepney Parish, took up the issue anew but with more vigor and in more numbers. Town leader Elias W. Robbins led this local independence movement, which succeeded by June of 1843. Rocky Hill would be the new town’s official name and henceforth would become known as the “political daughter of Wethersfield” to its north. Rocky Hill was not unique in its quest for and success in separation. Two other towns–Glastonbury and Newington–also emerged from Wethersfield.

And today, out of the 169 incorporated towns in Connecticut, more than half were created when they split from their “mothers.” Indeed, between 1820 and 1850, the state’s General Assembly incorporated 13 new towns, including Rocky Hill, one steeped in tradition and history, and created as much by nature’s fury as by the power of Connecticut’s legislative body…(left Philip Goffe House)

Men like Goffe found the land appealing because it stood high above the river whose flood plains narrowed down, just south of the long hill for which the town would be named ultimately. And because it seemed logical to these early settlers to cross the river along this tapered stretch, they helped establish a transport service in 1655. Later known as the Rocky Hill-Glastonbury ferry service, it remains the oldest ferry service in the United States. The settlers also realized that the land could be used for building ships and farming. A classic riverport was about to be born.

(read the rest of this interesting history on the “Rafaele Fierro..” Page in sidebar at the right)

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


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