Archive for the ‘Veterans’ Category

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

Memorial Day 2011 State Soldiers’ Home in Rocky Hill

May 30, 2011

This article is republished from Connecticut Monuments web site featuring Connecticut History in Granite and Bronze. The original post is here. (Click on all photos to enlgarge)

Returned Soldier Monument- Rocky Hill Veterans’ Home

Returned Soldier Monument, Rocky Hill

An 1867 marble statue depicting a Civil War cavalry officer being greeted by a young girl stands outside Connecticut’s home for veterans in Rocky Hill.

The statue was originally located in Darien at the state’s first veterans’ facility, Fitch’s Home for Soldiers and Orphans. That facility was founded by Benjamin Fitch, a wealthy dry goods merchant, who helped raise a regiment and promised its members he would care for wounded veterans and their orphaned children.

Fitch’s home became a state facility, and the population ebbed and flowed between the Civil War and the World War I before peaking at more than 1,000 soldiers during the Great Depression.

Recognizing the need for a bigger facility, the state opened the Rocky Hill home for veterans. The vets who moved to Rocky Hill included a 97-year-old Civil War veteran.

Returned Soldier Monument, Rocky Hill

In 1950, the Returned Soldier statue was moved from the former Fitch Home site to Spring Grove Cemetery, the site of a memorial flagpole we visited in March. More than 2,100 vets are buried at Spring Grove, the first veterans’ cemetery in the state.

In 1985, the statue was moved to Rocky Hill, restored and placed on its granite base.

The statue was sculpted by Larkin Goldsmith Mead, a New Hampshire native who moved to Italy. Some of his other public works include the statues on Abraham Lincoln’s tomb in Springfield, Ill.

On Veterans Day, we thank the men and women (and their families) who have  served our country.

Returned Soldier Monument, Rocky Hill

Returned Soldier Monument, Rocky Hill

Sources: Connecticut Historical Society: Civil War Monuments of Connecticut

History of Connecticut Veterans’ Home

Statewide “Honor Roll of Heroes” to be Established in Rocky Hill

May 16, 2011

“…Currently, there is no place in Connecticut where all of the names of state vets are located in one place. That is soon to change, and you can help it happen. A private foundation known as the Connecticut State Veterans Memorial Inc. has been established to raise money for the memorial. The estimated cost is $1.2 million. Half of the funds have already been raised. The other half will be raised through public appeal and a nominating process. For a $1 donation, you may nominate a friend or loved one who has served in the military to be included on the memorial. The so-called “Honor Roll of Heroes” will be located in Rocky Hill, across from the State Veterans Home…

Reposted from Middletown Patch. Read the whole article here.

The memorial will be constructed on a grassy meadow, adjacent to the Col. Raymond Gates State Veterans Cemetery, across the street from the State Veterans' Home on West Street in Rocky Hill, CT. Credit Michael Hayes


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