From giving a spit about Greenwich sidewalks to a pearl of a local industry, and from dogging it to evicting movie stars, here's this week in Greenwich history from the archives of Greenwich Time. -- Barbara Perry Bind
100 years ago
Feb. 13, 1914 --We have a plumbing inspector, sewerage inspector, health inspector, backyard inspector and possibly others. Now should we not have a sidewalk inspector? There is need of one to prevent the unsanitary and filthy practice of spitting on the sidewalk. In Stamford and Port Chester, where they do not have so many inspectors, they prohibit spitting on the sidewalk and arrest and fine anyone caught doing so. And in this connection, the Borough should prohibit the littering of the walks with dangerous orange and banana peelings, and the practice of some Greenwich Ave. storekeepers of brushing the paper and dirt from their store floors into the street. While we are at this health reform movement, let us take up some of the minor evils, which are really not so small, as well as the larger.
Feb. 13, 1914 -- Most newcomers to Greenwich, if they give the subject any thought, get the idea that before the days of the suburban residential development it was only an old-time agricultural community. But there was one industry carried on very extensively, little less if not fully as important as farming, that annually in the matter of financial return was far more remunerative, through carried on at considerable risk of loss from several causes.
It was growing of oysters in the Sound off Greenwich, in which there were a not a small number of men engaged, and at one time a half a million dollars invested, where now there is probably not fifty thousand. The Greenwich oysters with others taken from the Sound waters were famous under the name of East River. Large, white, fat and succulent, they were the favorites of eaters of these bivalves. So popular were the East Rivers in New York that every restaurant and market where they were sold conspicuously displayed the sign, "East River Oysters."
In the season, which is from September to about May, the sloops were loaded from the several beds of Greenwich harbor and the cargoes delivered at the Broom street docks, where they were sold by the count, price varying according to size and quality, but the average would be from $2 to $2.50 a barrel. Dorian Bros., who kept a chop-house and restaurant in Fulton Market, famous in its day, were among the larger buyers of Greenwich oysters.
In the summer, the oysterman would start for the natural beds and dredge, replanting their "catch" on their own grounds, which would be ready to market the following season. Among the large growers were the Lyon brothers of Byram.
In the days of gold fever, several of the brothers went to California searching for gold while the others remained in the oyster business at Byram.Read Full Article
50 years ago
Feb. 10, 1954 -- Greenwich may rank tenth in population in Connecticut, but we are the second "doggiest" community in the state, out-ranked only by Hartford which boasts only 664 more dogs, despite a population spread of 177,073 for Hartford to our 42,900.
Greenwich's standing in dogdom was brought to the attention of the selectmen yesterday by C.B. Ganung of the Sate Department of Agriculture. He wrote about inspection the Greenwich dog pound, lauded Dog Warden Dr. Earle F. Schofield and said the cages, runs and equipment are all "kept in a clean sanitary manner."
As a result of complaints about dog pound operations, Mr. Ganung on Jan. 29 inspected the pound.
Yesterday, he disclosed that we have 3,404 dogs, the second highest in the state. Hartford has 4,068, Bridgeport, with a population of 159,352 has 3,268 dogs, and Stamford, with a population of 73,584, has 2,475 dogs.
Feb. 16, 1954 -- The Joseph Kraelers today were in possession of their home on Fox Run Lane, Rita (Hayworth) and Dick Haymes, the movie queen and the crooner, quit the premises yesterday in accordance with an eviction judgment obtained in town court last month, Archibald H. Tunick, counsel for Mr. Kraeler, said today.
Dick and Rita had not paid back rent of $675, nor alleged damages to property and premises, Mr. Kraeler claims amounts to $4,000.
They were allowed to have certain of their personal possessions moved by a Scarsdale moving and storage firm, while other belongings, crated and boxed, remained under attachment.
Mrs. Kraeler is having an inventory made of all her possessions. The Haymes' belongings will remain impounded in Scarsdale until the inventory is completed.
The attached goods are now under the custody of Deputy Sheriff Patrick J. Moruka.
Feb. 16, 1954 -- The North St. School will be ready to open within the next month, possibly the third week in March, it was learned today.
The entire one-story will be occupied at once, rather than just the primary wing with the classrooms from the first through third grades.
Construction began on the $1,100,000 building in March 1953. The building was planned to handle central district students living north of the Post Rd., because of congestion at overcrowded Julian Curtiss School.
Julian Curtiss School has been operating on double sessions for the kindergarten through third grades to meet the situation. Half the children attend school four hours in the afternoon.
At the same time, he announced that his firm had been awarded an honorable mention citation for their design of the building in the annual school competition at the national convention of the American Association of School Administrators in Atlantic City.
25 years ago
A little over a year ago, Greif and personnel agency founder Beth Anrig broke the gender barrier in service clubs in Greenwich when they joined Kiwanis. As women continue to move into what once was considered the male domain -- the town inducted its first paid woman firefighter last week -- they sometimes find good-natured ribbing but rarely, if ever, run into difficulties, they report.
"We tease and kid about it," Greif said. "It makes it more fun."
At the town highway division, the only female road crew member says she had no trouble being accepted by her co-workers. Among the tasks of the crews are plowing snow and sanding, leaf collection and weed cutting.
"I think they were a little nervous at first, because they didn't know what I was like, but they got right over that," said Georgianna DeAngelis, who joined the department in July 1986.
She said that, within reason, she does the same work as her male counterparts.
"I may not be able to pick up a 150-pound rock -- some of these guys can -- but I try," she said.
Ruth Sims, who from 1977-81 was the town's first woman first selectman, said it did not take long for her to feel comfortable at the job.
"I think that once you're able to demonstrate your competence, people get used to the idea," said Sims, a Democrat. "(Today), a woman who won an election on the basis of her qualifications for the job would have no problem."
Sims was succeeded in office the second woman first selectman, Republican Rebecca Breed.