Friday, August 24, 2012

Unexpected CDP Du Jour

This could be a fire lane within a rambling old building in which I illegally stopped to take pictures anywhere. But it's not. It's a fire lane within a rambling old building in which I illegally stopped to take pictures in Plantsville.

A few months ago I would have said, "What's a Plantsville?" But after finding it accidentally a short time ago, I know it's a neighborhood and Census Designated Pace in Southington. (Other sections of Southington include Milldale and Marion. Because it wouldn't be Connecticut if it wasn't just a bit more confusing than necessary.) Plantsville was named not for an abundance of greenery as one might wish, but for brothers A.H. and E.M. Plant, who in 1842 built a carriage bolt factory along the Quinnipiac. Prior to that, this crossroads between Farmington, Waterbury, Bristol and New Haven was called simply "the corners." Before the Plant brothers turned it into an industrial center, it had a horn comb factory, a dry goods store, and a tavern.

Today Southington Center is a busier, more polished place than Plantsville, which has become a little rough around the edges since the decline, in the early 20th century, of its Qunnipiac-powered industries. Well, for all I know it was pretty rough-edged then too. Today, though, despite several streets full of very pretty houses, and an intriguing little collection of restaurants and businesses, it's clearly more of a place that once was than a place that is.

Which means it's a place with metal stars bolted on its brick walls. And therefore a place I'm really glad I found.

1 comment:

  1. My Grandparents lived in Southington and I spent many summers there (but not enough) while in grade school. It was like being in heaven. My Grandparents had a small home but they also had a small travel trailer which was my "home" while visiting. There is absolutely nothing greater than being 8 years old and having my own "home". I remember the absolute best meals my "Nanny" would cook ( on what she would call her "Spider", which was a large and heave frying pan on a wood burning kitchen stove) and "Gramp" trying to teach me all he could about being a carpenter. There were also many boys and girls around my age and we would play baseball practically every day I believe. There was also a small General Store, which I believe (but not positive) the store's name was "FRANK'S". I would ride a bike my grandparents got someplace for me to FRANK'S store and would buy comic books for 5 cents each. The reason they were so inexpensive was Frank would remove the covers and send them back to some company under the guise they have not been sold and he would be paid whatever it was he paid for them originally (this is the story I was told and have no idea if it is true or not). The kids there were simply wonderful although I have to admit today that I have forgotten their names. I found the area where my Grandparents home once was (torn down under the ruse of "improvement" throughout the country) and was able to find the home of some of my best friends from our baseball days. Amazingly the same family still lived there and they basically remembered me, although the boys were at work and I was on a strict timetable and didn't get to meet them, such a shame when we allow time to dictate me not meeting someone who I haven't seen in over 35 years. These kids must have left an impression on me since I still remember them (I will remember their names within a day or so, this is what happens when one reaches the "Golden Years"). Aside from meeting and making great friends during my summers spent in Southington, Ct., I have one other wonderful memory, or one partial wonderful memory anyway. Once a week or so, I was given a couple dollars from Nanny and would ride my bike to FRANK'S store and would buy the absolute best hot dogs (frankfurters, which I have not been able to find any since my last visit to Southington which would even come close to matching the most delicious flavor these 'dogs had!) Of course I can't remember the name of these 'dogs even though I have been trying to for many years.

    I came across this article with several pictures of Southington and I must thank the author as it allowed me to follow my memory, or what's left of it anyway, to those most wonderful summers I had the privalege of spending with my grandparents in Southington. Oh yes, one more memory was Lake Compounce. What a great place.
    Before ending this boring self-indulging account of some of my summers of many years ago, I must say that even though my memory has "gone to hell", the summers spent in Southington had to be pretty good since many memories of those times stayed with me through the numerous years since then............ Thanks for allowing me to relive some days of my youth,

    Frank B. Holcomb, Bradenton, Fl.



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