Susan Fenn McClen
My grandfather had
bought the farm I grew up on in the very early 1900's.
Frederick Fenn's farm was called "Clearview Farm"
and "Fenn Hill Farm" was farther up Woodchuck
Lane. That had been bought in 1836 by Joseph Fenn. The
farm had passed from Joseph, to his son Ambrose and
then to a daughter Fannie who was married to William
Getting back to Fred's farm,
that land was originally owned apparently by Daniel
Messenger and a later owner was Orange Hubbell. Orange's
had a daughter Cornelia who married Lewis "Lute"
Fenn. They lived in the house across from the airport.
Lewis was the son of Lewis and Dianthia Fenn and I believe
they lived at Bree Gurin's, or at least around the area.
Lewis, the father, was another son of Jospeh Fenn. (Lewis
and Ambrose were half brothers.)
Getting back to Fred's farm -
when he bought the property, he lived in a building
that had been Orange Hubbell's store, later used as
the hired man's house and that was Merton Plaskett.
This building later became the home of Aunt Ethel Lindblom.
Apparently, there was nothing across the road, so Fred
at some point built the barn (which is now falling down)
and then dragged down part of Ethel's house to build
into his new house. The "new" house was the
first on Woodchuck Lane to have electricity. I'm very
glad my grandfather was this progressive as his brother
Seeley had a house just over the New Hartford border
that did not have electricity and Lute's house was passed
to Fred's sister Miss Libbie Fenn (I had two generations
of "Aunt Libbie" - one was Ambrose's siter
Libbie Fenn Catlin, wife of Sheldon, and the other was
Ambrose's daughter Miss Libbie Fenn.) and Aunt Libbie's
had no electricity. I remember well being at both Seeley's
and Libbie's in the mid 1960's and they had no electricity.
My grandfather used horses on
his farm to do the labor and was going to switch over
to machine, but WWII came along and as he was elderly,
the farm went to his last child Everett (who bought
out his siblings) and he was more than happy to switch
over to machine.
Back in the 1960's, we had a
party line for telephone usage. The one I remember was
between Grandma Fenn's, our house and Aunt Ethel's.
A party line meant that when you got a phone call, everyone
knew about it and could pick up and listen in. Which
can be a bad thing. If you had a "talker"
that was on the phone all day, you could not get a call
thru because the line was busy. I think we got out of
the party line first. This is the party line membership
that I remember; it could have had more members at an
Newspapers - we had no home delivery
when I was little, so someone went to Haas's store (the
current Citgo station) and picked up the newspapers
for themselves and neighbors. Most families had only
Dear - hunting. At a HHS meeting
years ago, Alva Reynolds said that when she started
teaching in Harwinton, Lewis Mills told her "no
deer hunting." She didn't know what that meant.
I knew what it meant.
The Four corner's School house was where Seeley and
Fred went looking for wives. When Mabel Hall taught
there, Fred was on his way there when he found out Seeley
was already there. Seeley eventually married her. Fred
dated another teacher, and almost married her - Spencer
Reynolds's mother. The last teacher he dated, was Bessie
Newbury whom he married. According to Aunt Ethel, Fred's
mother had also been a teacher, but I have not been
able to research it yet.
Tornado - Back in June of 1962,
a tornado went thru Harwinton. My mother had a dentist
appointment and took me to her mother's in Torrington.
Meanwhile, my mother's father was up in Harwinton working
on his garden near Dad's barn. The TV was on at my grandmother's
and the warning of a tornado came over. Being about
4, the only thing I know about tornados was from the
movie "The Wizard of Oz," so my grandmother
had a panicing child on her hands. Nothing happened
in Torrington, but back on the farm the sky had darkened
and things had gotten, weather wise like something was
going to happen, but my father and grandfather did not
know what. So they went into the cement-block built
milk house and got behind the bulk milk tank and the
tornado when thru. The silo attached to the barn was
knocked down. My grandfather's garden by the road, looked
like a lawnmower had gone thru it. At the house, a window
had been left up at the top of the stairs. My doll carriage
was by it and was full of water, for that matter, water
(rain) had flowed down the stairs. Nearby in Burlington,
Morris Hogan had the lawnmower thing happen to his strawberries
and there was damage at the airport.