Monday, January 25, 2010

Happy Birthday, New England Bloggers!

A year ago I began the New England Bloggers, a loosely-knit group of bloggers from the six New England States of Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. Our membership has grown to over 120 members with active blogs, and we have had a few carnivals and blog games among ourselves. To celebrate our one year birthday we are having a carnival of posts that relate to our interesting region.
LITTLE EAST GRANBY

Although I currently live in a Boston suburb, I grew up in the extremely small town of East Granby, CT, population 3,500. There were 53 people in my graduating class, 1 of whom is now my BIL. The thing that puts East Granby on the map is Old Newgate Prison, the oldest State Prison in the United States.

Originally a copper mine, the tunnels were first used to house dangerous prisoners in 1773, and during the Revolutionary War it held Tories and other Loyalists.
In 1827 it was no longer used as a prison and was once again exclusively a mine. It was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1972.

As a child, field trips with the Girl Scouts and class groups brought me down into the dark and damp tunnels, where even short adults have to bend over to walk around.

Imagining being held down there for years could still terrify me, and I'm not even claustrophobic!

East Granby was a great place to grow up. At the time we had no stop lights, the volunteer firehouse horn blew at noon every day to tell the time, and we could always ride our bikes to A.C. Petersen Farms for ice cream.  The Dunkin Donuts that opened in the late 1980s was just allowed to install a drive-thru last year! Until the early 1960s East Granby was mostly agrarian, but has slowly become suburban as farms have given way to subdivisions. There are many beautiful historic homes, a volunteer library and a Congregational Church.



I hope you'll visit some of the other posts and see why New England is so special to us!

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24 comments:

Tinky said...

Happy anniversary, Elizabeth, and thank you for organizing us.....

Tinky said...

P.S. What's a BIL?

Kitten said...

You grew up in East Granby?!?!?! I grew up in Granby proper!!! And I remember when that Dunkin' Donuts came to town--it was a HUGE brouhaha, if I remember correctly.

And I still miss AC Petersen's! Best place for ice cream EVER!!!!

Diane said...

What a lovely post Elizabeth; I enjoyed it a lot, and know quite a bit about East Granby, CT too.

Thanks for coordinating this event. I just posted mine.

Molly said...

I was directed to your lovely blog from Diane's Bibliophile by the Sea. I used to live in Weston, CT from 1970-1990 - and then I was transplanted to the midwestern plains of Kansas.

I look forward to reading all the posts this week - and recall some fond memories.

bermudaonion said...

I don't think I could stand going down that mine shaft!

Anonymous said...

That is really interesting, Elizabeth... who knew!? I'm looking forward to reading some of the other posts! ~Kari

What A Card said...

Happy Anniversary and thanks for organizing! As I wrote in my post, I'm a transplant to the area. I've not spent much time in CT...your post sounds like maybe I need to plan a weekend trip!

Dorte H said...

What an excellent post, and I just love your pictures!

Congratulations; I remember when you posted about the idea a year ago :D

Justine said...

Oh wow, this was so interesting, Elizabeth! I wonder if the prison/mine is haunted? Someone should get TAPS to investigate!

Justine :o )

Alyson (New England Living) said...

I know that prison very, very well! I actually live in a town that is mere miles from east granby. Though I won't say publicly through a blog comment what town I live in, I'll give you a hint - old newgate prison actually used to be part of my town before the town lines were divided in, I believe, the 1800's (though it could have been earlier). I bet you know what town I'm talking about! :)

~Kristen~ said...

GREAT post Elizabeth!!! Thank you soooo much for starting New England Bloggers!!! I have so enjoyed "meeting" other New Englanders! Happy Birthday to us!!! :-)

Alyson (New England Living) said...

Yes, you are correct! ;)

Don Newbury, said...

This is a great idea. I think everybody who is a "New England Blogger" should add links to all the other NE Bloggers on their respective sites. It would help get the word out so other outside people can check them out. I plan on doing it on mine.

Mae Rae said...

i loved this, came over from Masshole mommy and am a ne blogger myself. still fairly new and trying not to use electronics for a week. I am going to follow and hopefully remember to post once i do.

Mattenylou said...

Elizabeth- great reminder about visiting Newgate Prison, I haven't been there for awhile, time to go back. I live close to it, just over the line in MA.

Thanks for setting up this celebration, it's been nice visiting all these blogs this week.

jeanne said...

Hello Elizabeth, your wandering friend is home again and I hope to stay a while. I just scrolled down to see what posts I have missed. I am just now trying to catch up with my friends who visited me on Saturday. Thank you for visiting and for your kind comments. I have missed you.

Your New England event is awesome. I have always been interested in the history of New England. Certainly a very big part of America's history. I will try to visit as many as I can.

Your town sounds like a town like I grew up in until I was 10. A small farming community where you know
everyone and see everyone at Church on Sunday. A Congregational Church.
The church where my parents were married. A four room school house for 12 grades. Not historical like New England though. I loved reading about your town as well as it's historical value.

I read about the the One World One Heart giveaway event and it is such a fun event to have. Crafted art is the best. I will go to your post and enter. Thanks for the opportunity to win your lovely gift.

Take care, hugs, Jeanne

Worldvacation said...

These are all such cute ideas! I love them!
So many wonderful ideas!
Thanks for posting such awesome stuff.

Holyoke Home said...

Thanks so much for adding Holyoke Home to the New England Bloggers list!!!!! I'm so excited to connect with others!

bettyl said...

What a cool idea! And thanks for the history--I love it, a little at a time!

Louise said...

What a cool idea - and takes a lot of work, I know. Happy anniversary to all those New England bloggers.

hummer said...

Wonderful Post. I had no idea about the prison. Love learning about the areas my ancestor's lived in.
Congratulations on the anniversary.

concretenprimroses said...

What an interesting history! I wish I'd remembered to participate.
I'm going to work my way throught the other posts over the next few days.
Kathy

ArtMuse Dog and Carol said...

Yes, happy anniversary & thanks for organizing NE bloggers ~ Great! hugs and namaste, to you ^_^