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November 1993

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1993_November (Click to view original)

FARMINGTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY NEWSLETTER

Vol.l, No.2 Journal November 1993

COME SAILING THROUGH THE CORNFIELDS NOV. 16

It operated for only 20 years, but it produced tales galore . Engineering marvels, superstitious ditch- diggers, a “shipwreck”, flooded fields and irate farmers, swimming holes and skating ponds, fortunes made and lost – even a rowdy little Farmington Canal Song . Our November 16 program (7 p.m. at the Library’s Community Room) features FHS Board member and history teacher George Guignino with stories, slides and song about the 80 mile man-made waterway that bore our town’s name .

DID YOU KNOW …

Strange as it may seem, there was a time in Farmington when the spirit of good cheer was uninvited and unwelcome on Christmas. In the December 1990 issue of The Farmington Magazine, Julius Gay recalled those early times ….
.
“Because of their wish to separate from all they had left behind, many customs were entirely changed by our Puritan ancestors. All that had to do with the masque and mummery of the English Christmas was abolished . Christmas carols …must not be sung, and the dear old Saint Niklaus was unknown.

“Thanksgiving early became the festal time when families gathered together and good cheer prevailed, and the children and grandchildren knew nothing of that other festival. In New York State, English customs were kept up and the story is told of some children from Albany who came to visit Connecticut cousins, not a century ago, and who hung up their stockings on Christmas Eve before the huge fireplace. The next morning the stockings still hung there empty, and the disappointed children wondered why Santa Claus did not come to Farmington.”
With Julius Gay, we can rejoice in the passing of that era !

HOLIDAY OPEN HOUSE ON DECEMBER 3
The Society’s festive Christmas parlor  will welcome members and friends on Friday evening, Dec. 3 when we hold our open house from 7 to 9 p.m. in conjunction with the Village Library’s Christmas party. Please plan to visit and see our exhibits.

CAN YOU CONTRIBUTE ?
FHS Board member Sal Presutti wants to develop a program to show how people of earlier Farmington housed and cared for older and disabled family members. He says, “I’m interested in architectural drawings, building plans, photographs, home movies, furniture and other accommodations, devices of any kind for eating, mobility and hygiene; diaries, books, transportation devices or vehicles, clothing, etc …also in interviews with anyone who can share personal stories.”
Sal can be reached at 677-1476.

A Thanksgiving Recipe from “Aunt Babette’s Cookbook” of 1891
Sweet Potato Pudding
Boil 1 lb. of sweet potatoes, let them get perfectly cold before grating them; in the meantime, cream a heaping tbsp. butter and 2 tbsp. sugar, add gradually the yolks of 4 eggs, the grated peel of a lemon, a tsp. cinnamon, a little
grated nutmeg and 1 cup sweet milk;
add the beaten whites last; then
grease a pudding dish, line with a
rich crust and fill with the custard;
to make it still richer, add a
wineglassful of brandy to the sweet potatoes. Eat cold, with or without sauce.
(And don’t give a single thought to calories !)