Tag Archives: stamford ct

Lost Legends of Stamford

 

Halloween 2020 is upon us folks and this year has certainly proved to be an interesting one (so far!). However, even with all of the craziness of these past months, we still come together whether virtually or at home to celebrate the wonderful holiday that is…Halloween.

I’ve had a tradition here on WOTM of writing about the legends, lore and twisted tales of Stamford in hopes of getting more and more of you interested in our history so that we can help preserve what is left of it.

History doesn’t have to be boring, in fact, it can be downright creepy! So what a fun way to learn about our past, pique some interest and help keep the stories alive.

As I’ve said in past editions of this series, these are but snippets of time. While the research that goes into these pieces is extensive, (and the full writings will hopefully be coming in a different form one day), these passages are here to allow you the reader to get a peek into our past. All folklore comes from somewhere and I’ve taken it upon myself to find their origins…or at least…try my best to do so.

So let us get to it…Welcome to the Lost Legends of Stamford!

from my personal collection

The Addicted; The Insane; The Exhausted: Once upon a time, Lock City was home to several sanitariums. When I first started doing the research on this topic, I thought there were only two. But the more I dug into the subject, the more I found that there were at least 8 documented hospitals labeled sanitariums here in our fair city.

Not going to lie, there was so much information that my original write up for this post could easily have been its own entity. However, these facilities have a disturbing history. So whether you checked into the “elite” Dr. Givens Sanitarium with its tennis and croquet courts, views of Long Island and the Sound and (my personal favorite quote from their advertising), where the “climate is free from extreme heat in summer, and is exceptionally mild in winter” or were sent to the Stamford Town Farm aka Poor Farm/House or Alms House (depending on the writing)…these hospitals were not the luxury vacation spots that some tried to mask themselves to be.

In the case of the Dr. Barnes Sanitarium alone, there were reports of suicides and sudden deaths of some patients who were admitted for one ailment but died of something completely different. In a strange twist to this place, their head physician, Dr. Frances Lawless, passed away by taking a sleeping potion and then died at Grand Central Station. The facility had such a creepy vibe to the local residents that parents would sometimes use it as a threat to their kids by saying such things as, “shape up or I’ll send you to Dr. Barnes”. I dont’ know about you, but that would certainly have made me do MY homework!

The Stamford Town Farm was a notoriously sad place as it was a town run facility that housed the poor, the sick, the ‘crazy’ and those who were substance abusers. Patients were often referred to as ‘inmates’ and there were many, many deaths which unfortunately included several infants. There was even the murder of the superintendent Mr. James Parker of the House when in 1898, according to newspaper articles, after Mr. Parker went to break up a fight between two female patients, one took an iron bar and smashed him in the head killing him. This was not a place you would wish anyone to be in but was all that was available at the time for those who had nothing but were in need of ‘treatment”.

Remember too that in the late 1800’s-early 1900’s medicine was much different than it is today. Lobotomies, electric shocks and restraints as well as experimental drugs were often performed and used on those who were deemed “insane” and these inhuman treatments were unfortunately all too common. There were reports of escapes from Stamford Hall with a few making it all the way to New York City.

Oddly, these Stamford facilities also had a run of fires as well. Dr. Wiley’s on Palmer’s Hill was destroyed by a fire in 1911; Dr. Gray’s on Strawberry Hill was also destroyed by a fire in 1931 and in this case, there was the added tragedy of the death of patient Alice Emerson in the fire. Dr. Given’s place also had a couple of fires including one in 1900 and the other in 1910. No deaths were reported or massive damage done, just part of the history of the property.

This leads us to what was left behind. Some say that where there were tragedies or sudden deaths, spirits linger. Many who perished at the Poor House, were buried in the Potter’s Field nearby without proper markers but rather numbered markers stripping what was left of their dignity away even in death.

While I have previously written about the Potter’s Field location, where the Givens facility was, (lower Ridges area from Lord & Taylor, Long Ridge and up to Roxbury Rd), there are stories of strange happenings in the buildings from those who worked in the offices built on the land where the Santiarium once stood. Shadows, things being moved, noises and more have been reported. Same can be said for those who live near the former Dr. Barnes site. Also of note, Dr. Givens himself is buried on the former grounds of his namesake Sanitarium.

While I personally have no doubt that those who perished are hoping to be remembered in some way, the question is, just how far is their reach? Stone from the Dr. Barnes site was used to create such roads as Oaklawn and Belltown. Poor Farm stone was also used in the roads creation project in North Stamford…so it makes you wonder then doesn’t it? Did their already restless souls attach themselves to the very earth they once stood on which is now distributed around the city? Or by the scattering of these stones, were their spirits released and set free? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if it was the latter?

photo credit: national maritime historical society

A Pirate’s Life For Me: After travelling around the world, taking treasure, ships and even lives, the infamous pirate, Captain Kidd sailed the waters of Long Island Sound. Thinking he would be granted clemency, he was tricked into going up to Boston, where he was ultimately captured and arrested in 1699. Before he made it up to Massachussetts, he set sail from New York where he traveled the Sound burying treasure along the way so as not to have it all in one place for his enemies to find. The most famous of rumored spots is Charles Island in Milford. However, there are stories that he made a stop here in Stamford to bury some of his riches. 

There is also there is also a connection to Stamford involving Major Selleck and his warehouse along the water. The man received goods and treasure brought to him by “one Clarke of this town from Kidd’s sloop and lodged with Selleck,” which added even more to the Captain Kidd legend in our area.

While exact locations have not been found, who knows? Maybe the next time you venture out to one of our beaches or take your metal detector out for a spin, you may just come upon some extra special treasure that Kidd had hoped would be buried forever!


The Legend Laddins Rock: On the western edge of Stamford lies Laddins Rock. While Rosa Hartman Park and Laddin Rock Sanctuary are combined on Stamford/Old Greenwich land, it once was all Stamford property. Thankfully it survived a possible development proposal years ago, something not often done these days. This is a good thing as it is legendary for having a bit of a haunted reputation.

The legend behind the ghosts dates back to the 1640’s…not too long after Stamford’s founding in 1641.

The story goes that after the first round of Dutch settlers took over Manhattan, another group came up to this area to settle on the land. A man by the name of Cornelius Laddin brought his wife and daughter with him and moved into a little colony on what is now, the Waterside area of Stamford. The Native Americans who lived here were feeling very cheated by those who were now making this area their home. Often over bargaining, bartering and taking advantage of the Natives, these settlers created a hostile atmosphere while buying and taking away more land for their own.

According to the story, the Indians had enough and decided to “exterminate the little colony” where Laddin’s family lived. While Cornelius was working in the field, he saw smoke coming from the area where his home stood. Thinking of his family, he rode towards the colony and found many dwellings had been set ablaze. When he got to his own house and after securing his horse, he went inside where his wife and child were. He then barred all the windows and got his gun ready to protect his home and family from possible attack.

As the Natives approched his home with flaming torches, he picked them off one by one, shooting them as they got ever closer to his dwelling. Finally, the Indians teamed up and approached the home in a group. They used a log as a battering ram and broke the door down. His gun failing him now, he was at a great disadvantage. His extraordinary wife called to him and said, “fly husband fly! They will surely respect our sex” and with that, she begged for him to escape and out of the back of the house where his horse was waiting for him and she hoped he would bring help back with him.

Unfortunately, as soon as Cornelius was making his departure in the back, the battering of the front door commenced and with it, came the brutal killings of Laddin’s wife and daughter before his very eyes. The Natives were swift with their tomahawks and they were killed within seconds. Laddin had no time to mourn as the Indians instantly turned their attention to him and began the pursuit to kill the husband/father who had just lost his everything.

Cornelius Laddin, rode his horse to the top of the rocky cliff and realizing he had no other choice, had the animal charge to the edge and the two went over the side and plunged to their deaths.

In total, 15 townsfolk lost their lives in the massacre that day while others were able to flee and escape with their lives. So who is it that haunts these woods? Is Cornelius Laddin still in mourning over the death of his heroic spouse and child? Are those who perished that day unaware that they have left this earth? And what of the horse? He too is a victim! I guess we will never know the answers to these questions, but we can honor their memory by remembering what happened that tragic day oh so long ago.

photo credit:  wikipedia

The Great Escape: Halloween and famed magician/escape artist Harry Houdini are synonymous together. Almost impossible to believe that it’s been so long since his passing, his death occured on Halloween 94 years ago today after attempting a new stunt while suffering from a ruptured appendix and peritinits. 

Becoming a master debunker of sham psychics who could only pretend to contact the lost and take money from those desperate to contact loved ones, he made it a mission in his life to expose those guilty of fraudulent activity. Even so, Harry had a famous ‘death pact’ with his wife Bess that after he passed, she would hold a seance every year for 10 years on the anniversary of his death to try and make contact with him. He even gave her a secret phrase that only she knew so she would know if anyone was trying to scam her. Since his death occured on Halloween, it was almost a perfect day to hold these seances for the next 10 years as it is the belief that the veil between the living and the dead is at its thinnest on that day. But alas, Bess did not get the phrase she had waited a decade for and never again tried to conjure up her husband’s spirit.

So where is the Stamford connection you are asking? It turns out that the Great Houdini had a house here in North Stamford! After being diagnosed with an illness a few years earlier, Harry had decided he wanted a place to ‘rest’ a bit and bought a large farm on Webbs Hill in 1904.

Houdini’s stay in Stamford was short-lived and he sold the farm a year later. He had hopes of using the home as a place of rest for himself, his wife and his mother. But “rest’ and ‘farm’ don’t necessarily go hand in hand and his plans for the land had him working quite hard. But why the sale? He was no stranger to hard work and even considered a job here in the city at the Yale and Towne Lock factory. (Who better to work on such locks as the master escape artist himself?!)

The original 1830 saltbox home that housed Houdini and his family had burned down in the 1960’s leaving only a fireplace, foundation and chimneys, but there are original structures that are still on the land that are supposed to have been there when Houdini lived on the hill. There is now a replica of the original home in its place.

According to an old Stamford Advocate article and Stamford historian Renee Kahn, his home was just down a bit from the resting place of Webbs Hill namesake Nathaniel Webb and his three wives, all named Esther. Could it be that the man of mystery and magic had some visits by those who came before him? Perhaps they were not happy when Webbs Hill was nicknamed “Weiss Hill” in honor of Houdini’s given name Erich Weiss, which he used to sign for the land.

While Houdini kept diaries, there is no documentation from his writings that any seances had been performed at the Stamford home during his time there but it is certainly fun to imagine him doing so! I for one am keeping the illusion alive…and Houdini was certainly all about illusions. 

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Thank you for helping me keep this tradition alive and more importantly, for helping to keep Stamford history alive! Let’s keep helping to preserve it as best we can!!

To read my previous Halloween posts here on WOTM:

Legends and Lore of Stamford (WOTM Halloween 2019)

Twisted Tales of Stamford (WOTM Halloween 2018)

The Stranger Side of Stamford (WOTM first in series 2015)

Featured in Ignacio Laguarda’s Halloween piece for CT Insider in 2019!

Bonus info: 

Houdini Museum — more information on the Stamford house.

Stamford History Center — Stamford roads project

Stamford Historical Sketches  — While months of research went into these pieces, as soon as I caught the Laddin’s Rock story in this 1922 book, I knew I had to share it. If you are interested in learning more about Stamford’s history, this is a great place to start. Full disclosure, this link is an Amazon affiliate link and helps to support this site. 

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#wotm #keepitlocal #stamfordhistory #stamfordct #learnwhereyoulive

#halloween #keepitspooky #stamfordhistorycenter

For Movies & More, Think Majestic!

The ribbon is cut, the drinks were served and the guests were fed…it was a great night at Stamford’s  Bow Tie Majestic 6 theater! 

The Majestic on Summer Street has upped its game recently with luxury renovations that have turned it into more than just a movie destination, they’ve turned it into a full night out venue and more.

Now you can not only grab some popcorn and a soda to go watch the latest Dwayne Johnson movie in the newly added recliner seats, but you can also grab some food and drinks at the in house Majestic Bar and restaurant area as well!

The menu is a nice variation of small bites and appetizers like the usual sliders, nachos and chicken tenders you find in most bars…but then they kicked it up a notch. This menu has a great and unusual mix of food that will have everyone in your group feeling full and happy (including the kids).

The night of the grand opening, we got to sample quite a bit of goodies and before I continue with that, I’d like to first give a shout-out to the wonderful servers they had that night. Every one of them was so nice and really went out of their way to make sure we all had a chance to try everything. And if we happened to mention we liked something in particular? The next round they’d make sure to come and see you first. So thank you to all of them!

Back to the food…I had the opportunity to sample a good mix and my personal favorites were the fried pickles, NY style pizza with pepperoni and sausage and the chicken and waffles. Although my only suggestion for that dish would be to ask for the honey syrup on the side as there were many of us with sticky hands. However, the one thing you heard from those who had it was how good it was. (It really was.)

They have a nice selection to choose from including breakfast items served all day,  to hot sandwiches like chicken parm, burgers and dogs, artisan pizzas and flatbreads and vegetarian/plant based options like Korean BBQ veggie meatball steamed buns, Beyond burgers and buffalo cauliflower (which was another favorite of mine.) 

Aside from the food, they have a nice bar setup with fantastic signature drinks, large screen TVs where they will be varying the programming from sports to movies and more. They also plan to meld into the downtown bar scene with karaoke and trivia nights, happy hours and even a Sunday brunch! 

So let me paint you a picture…imagine a Sunday funday where you go and have a nice Sunday brunch while enjoying a mimosa and a Belgium waffle. Head over to the bar and have a beer and some pretzel bites while watching your favorite team on one of the TVs. Then when the game is over, grab a ticket, some gourmet popcorn or candy and an Icee and go watch a great movie in a cushy recliner, then come out for dinner and music all without leaving the building!

I would also like to add (from their press release so I don’t get it wrong): In addition, Bow Tie Cinemas has added a brand new BTX – BOW TIE XTREME® large format auditorium with giant screen presentation and DOLBY ATMOS® 13.1 digital surround sound. (Think IMAX-esque for size comparison.)

In an era of ever changing storefronts in the downtown area, it was so nice to see a venue that has become a staple, not only remain, but upgrade into something special as well. For those who live downtown, this will be a perfect spot within walking distance where you’ll have the opportunity to do so much all in one space.

I’d like to thank the Bow Tie Cinemas group and MaxEx PR for hosting such a great night and already looking forward to visiting the new Majestic again soon!

#wotm #keepitlocal #knowwheretogo

#stamfordct #bowtiecinemas #maxexpr

Legends and Lore of Stamford

Stamford, CT. Founded in 1641 this city is worthy of the legends that came from its historic past. Like most stories, they were born out of fact and have only grown into folklore as the years have rolled by. Whether they lead to hauntings or spooktacular events is clearly beside the point. It’s the story that gets me interested in learning the history behind the legend and I hope that it will for you as well!

I’ve done two of these “twisted tales” pieces in the past and have had so much fun with them, I wanted to do more! This year proved to be difficult in that I had accumulated so many different stories that I had a hard time trying to narrow down what I would actually post here and what I would save for another time. I wanted to not only tell the stories, but try to add some life back into them as well. We need to remember our past so we can preserve what’s left of it and this is one way I’m hoping, we can do just that.

Just as I’ve said in previous posts, these are but snippets. Edited down from a tremendous amount of hours of research that will hopefully get you excited to Learn Where You Live!

So let’s get to it…Happy Halloween Stamford!!!

-Thomas Reed-

1776 – Age 78

Though Death be potent as a king

And wounds with his envenomed sting

Yet Faith fresh vigor will impart

To rob the tyrant of his dart.

Stamford Harbor Ledge Lighthouse: There is something about this lighthouse that just speaks to me. It has an air of mystery and solitude to it that is quite different from other lighthouses. While Stamford Harbor has seen a great deal pass over its waters through the years, from Privateers in the Revolutionary War to ships built for military use in our now lost boatyard, it wasn’t until February 10, 1882 that our Harbor was graced with its own lighthouse. The Stamford Harbor Ledge Lighthouse was commissioned for $30,000 in 1881…put into service on Chatham Rocks in 1882…and decommissioned in 1985 just over 100 years later. In its time there were 22 light keepers and two assistants. 

One of the 22, Keeper John J Cook (k.1907-1909) loved spending Christmas at the light saying, “what more soul-stirring music could there be than that of wind and wave as they whistle and roar or moan and swish past our little home?”

As is almost a tradition of old lighthouses, the Stamford Ledge is said to be haunted by one of the old keepers. Which exact one is a mystery, but I would like to offer my  own theory. There are stories of Keeper Raymond F Bliven (k.1930-31) who never made it back to the lighthouse one night after having dinner with a friend on shore. Though separated from his wife, the keeper left the mainland for the lighthouse on August 13, 1931 to go back on duty and was found two days later by the crew of The Spruce about ¼ mile away from the lighthouse but ½ mile away from where his boat was found. His body was badly bruised including a major head injury. 

There are two versions of this story that I was able to find: 1) that it was ruled an accidental drowning after slipping off the ladder to the lighthouse and back into the boat which then capsized or 2) that it was foul play as speculated by the head trauma. Bliven was an accomplished swimmer so it was never thought that his swimming abilities could be at fault for his drowning.

However he passed, it makes it all the more curious if he is in fact the lost soul who haunts the house now? That he felt so compelled to make sure he finished his duty that he never left the area? If it is Keeper Bliven, I’m sure he, like many of us are hoping that the lighthouse gets a much needed face lift and is saved for all to see it light up our harbor once again!

-Thankful Weed-

1757-Age 15

Her blooming youth and lovely form

Could not impede the fateful storm.

The Forgotten: Deep in a wooded area of North a Stamford there lies a place, approximately 225ft by 225ft that is thought to house HUNDREDS of former Stamford residents. Known by several names in the town’s death records: Town Farm Cemetery, Town Poor Farm, Sunset Home Cemetery and Sunset Farm. But to many who live in the city, it is simply…Potter’s Field.

While the dedication stone stated it dates from 1870-1970, that is the only marker that indicates just what lies behind it, or rather, who lies behind it. 

Having stumbled upon this sacred place with a friend a number of years ago, I had no idea it was there. It lies in the woods at the edge of Bartlett Arboretum and when we were there it was overgrown with brush, trees and the like. Deciding to look further, it wasn’t until I tripped on one of the numbered marker stones that it truly hit us what this place was. Sure dedication plaques are everywhere, but when you begin to see the markers and then more, and then take note of their rising numbers well, it is both eerie and incredibly sad at the same time. The woods suddenly took on a heavy air quality, there was incredible stillness and yet you could hear every leaf that fell around us. We tried to clear as many markers we could of debris but had no idea just how large the area was and much of it (again at the time) was inaccessible.

I was so moved by this place I wanted to learn more. I wanted to know their names and give them some dignity and what I’ve learned is tragic. While there are records with some named individuals, right now, there are no complete records of all of the burials in this lot. It is also believed that some were piled on top of one another and just wrapped in a cloth or blanket as was the case with many infant deaths of the times.

When going through the causes of death of those recorded, you will find victims of accidents, “exhaustion” (perhaps an early name for heart ailments?), influenza and even a murder or two. Some were folks who had no family to care for them and no money for a proper burial and so would end up in the Field. And of course the saddest of them all, the little ones. So many babies and children now lost under the numbers.

An unsolved murder from 1976 also plagues the land adding to its mystery and unsettled feeling in those deeply rooted vines. And most unfortunate, many of the markers are now lost due to those looking for souvenirs found in the woods by those not understanding what it was that they took.

Are these lands haunted by those looking for recognition? Are their souls resting or waiting for their time to sleep in peace? All I can say is that while I was there, there was an uneasiness to the air, a silent scream of many underneath my feet that seemed to pierce the quiet air with “please don’t forget us.”

During my research for this piece I was so happy to find that this year, some folks began a project to bring closure to the lost and discarded souls. To clean up the area and give them proper stones and put names to all the numbers…as much as is humanly possible. How wonderful it is that after all these years there are those who still care to help those they never even knew?

Maybe when it has been completed, those ‘forgotten’ can finally rest easy knowing that they are now being remembered.

Personal Photo

-Sarah M. Bishop – William H. Bishop-

1853 – Ages 33 & 42

Wrapt in the shades of death

No more that friendly face I see

Empty, ah empty every place

Once filled so well by thee

The Clawman of Stamford: On August 28, 1933, Army Air Corps Pilot Captain Ernest Emery Harmon took off from Washington D.C. headed for Long Island. Due to heavy fog in the area, he was set off course and wound up in coastal Connecticut over Stamford. He was last seen circling low over Turn of River area before the aircraft went down in a group of trees. Captain Harmon was thought to have been thrown from the plane as his body was found ⅛ of a mile from the wreck which was about 300 ft from Long Ridge Road. Captain Harmon was 40 years old.

A seemingly straightforward obituary of a soldier, yes? An accomplished pilot who passed away too young due to the weather and instruments of the time. But the story takes on a stranger turn…

Just like in the movies, urban legends live and breathe and become great tales to tell at sleepover and around fire pits. And this one is no exception! Hooked yet? You will be!

For out of this plane crash was born the legend of…The Clawman. This story made its way to Stamford decades ago and from what I understand, the crash aspect was thought to be fiction. The story goes that a plane had crashed in the 1930’s and a possible survivor was never found. However there were rumors of sightings of a man walking along the streets in the area who had a makeshift hook for a hand who would go around and claw at doors at night. This story has a second version in that if young couples went up to the reservoir to make out, they were targets for the clawman. There were reports of the sound of scratching on car doors during make out sessions and one couple took off so quickly after hearing it that when they got home, they found a claw stuck in the door handle having ripped off the offending arm in their haste!

Being me, I had to look this up and that was when I found the actual crash story. The true urban legend born out of a factual story is itself part of the folklore that makes us who we are.

Now I’m not saying there is or isn’t a Clawman…who am I to judge? But maybe, just maybe the next time you decide to go up towards the reservoir or the dark North Stamford roads at night for a drive with your best girl, you stop. Turn around. And  maybe hit a movie at the Avon or show at the Palace instead. Because they are not spooky places…or ARE they???

1950’s Postcard

Those are stories for another time kids! Thank you so much for reading and please see the links below for some extras you might be interested in.

Special note: The epitaphs I’ve included between stories are genuine poems taken off of the stones of those buried here in a few of Stamford’s 47 cemeteries!

My thanks especially to the residents of Stamford who once again gave me enough story ideas to last through the next decade and to Ignacio Laguarda for including WOTM in his own Halloween piece for CT Insider!

Until next year…Keep it Spooky Stamford! 

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Bonus Story Links for you:

Twisted Tales of Stamford (WOTM Halloween 2018)

The Stranger Side of Stamford (WOTM first in series 2015)

Unearthing the Mysteries at the Hoyt-Barnum House  (WOTM archaeological dig of the oldest house in Stamford 2016)

Want to learn more? Need a gift idea? Help support WOTM?

Clark’s Hill Cat

Stamford Sports (Images of Sports)

Stamford ’76: A True Story of Murder, Corruption, Race, and Feminism in the 1970s (referred to in Potter’s Field segment above)

A Maritime History of the Stamford Waterfront: Cove Island, Shippan Point and the Stamford Harbor Shoreline (American Chronicles)

Story of the Early Settlers of Stamford, Connecticut, 1641-1700, including Genealogies of Principal Families

#wotm #keepitlocal #learnwhereyoulive #halloween2019

#stamfordct #stamfordlighthouse #pottersfield #clawman

Hauntings and History at Hoyt-Barnum is Back!

Get in the Halloween Spirit and “Learn Where You Live” Stamford by heading to the Hoyt-Barnum House for the annual  Hauntings and History event!

Tonight and tomorrow with three opportunities each evening, you can learn more about the house, Stamford’s past and the former residence who may still linger within its walls. (Man I love this stuff!)

Space is limited, so head to the Stamford History Center’s site for tickets and info: http://stamfordhistory.org/event/hauntings-and-history-at-hoyt-barnum/

Keep it Spooky a Stamford!

#wotm #keepitlocal #learnwhereyoulive

#stamfordct #stamfordhistory #hauntings

 

Let’s Get Spooky Stamford!

It’s that glorious time of the year again Stamford when ones thoughts go to ghosts, goblins and things that go bump in the night. Oh and Pumpkin Spice Lattes too!

No? Just me? I didn’t think so! Now, let me get to it…

If you follow WOTM, especially on social, you know that I have a deep love for the history of this city. I’ve written pieces on it here for the site and have posted MANY Stamford history trivia bits as well as worked with the Stamford History Center on occasion. (Check out: Unearthing the Mysteries of the Hoyt-Barnum House)

A few years ago I wrote a story for WOTM called, The Stranger Side of Stamford. I collected some stories that links the history of the city and those who came before us with tales of the strange, the creepy and the ones who still haunt us now.

So what’s with the post here? Well I’m here to put out a call to Stamford folks far and wide for stories of the paranormal around our fair city. What have you heard? Are there legends you know of that can be told around firepits? Do you have an experience you’d like to share???

I’d like to do a compilation story or two that do another tie in with the history. I already have a few more lined up for a new piece, but let’s face it, personal stories make the paranormal that much more interesting.

Email me your stories at: onthemenuct@yahoo.com Subject: “Stamford Ghosts” by Monday 10/22 and I may add your story to the future piece(s). Make sure to let me know if you’d like to remain anonymous;I was planning to just post initials to hide identities but I can certainly keep them off the stories if you would like.

Something of note: if you are looking to get in the Halloween spirit, the Stamford History Center is once again doing their Hauntings & History at Hoyt-Barnum nights on Oct. 25th & 26th. (Click link for info)

So what do you Say Stamford? We have a whole lot of history here and as New England author Jeff Belanger once said: Ghosts are history demanding to be remembered.

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#wotm #keepitlocal #knowwheretogo #learnwhereyoulive

Fall Festival + Pop-Up Shop Bonus!!!

Hi guys, long time no post, eh? Well I’m here with something special to tell you today…there’s a new pop-up shop coming to Stamford and it’s coming just in time for holiday shopping!!

Coinciding with the annual Fall Festival at Designs by Lee, the new shop, Handmade at Designs by Lee will be opening up on Sunday, October 14th and running weekends through the holidays.

The Festival is a great family friendly event taking place two Sundays  October 14th & 21st and runs from 12pm-4pm. There will be hayrides to the pumpkin patch, pumpkin painting, face painting, bounce house, entertainment, food trucks and more! (See link below article for more info.)

(The stage is set!)

The shop is the vision of Drinkable Arts Connecticut (and semi-newbie to Stamford), Heather Patterson.

An artist herself, Heather has a history of gathering creative types together to form such ideas as the music and crafts festival that ran at the Playland boardwalk. When she came here to our fair city, she realized (as many of us living here do) that there really is not a lot of options for local crafters and artists to sell their wares.

The two local crafts fests we have here: Arts and Crafts on Bedford and the Harbor Point Crafts Festival, while excellent, are only a weekend a piece out of a whole year and frankly from the crafter point of view, pretty pricey to get into unless you do your work on a larger scale. There are a couple of galleries of course, but the competition is fierce. For others, we end up looking for smaller shows at schools, churches, wherever we can to sell our handcrafted items. Of course the other alternative is online, but especially at this time of the year, we like to get our pieces out there for folks to see in person.

(Wood, glass, fabric…great mix of handcrafted goodies!)

Heather and I met through WOTM. I was promoting her Drinkable Arts (DA) gigs around Stamford (link will be below for you to check out) and she was helping spread the word about WOTM for me. Needless to say, we were a good fit and soon became online friends. That’s when she found out that I also create jewelry on the side. I’d been upping the game on it lately as Itook a hiatus from WOTM and she helped me spread the word about that as well.

Then one day she messaged me and said that inspiration struck after doing a DA gig at Designs by Lee. She was going to go and ask if they would be interested in a pop-up shop for local crafts artists to run for the holiday season. In less than 24 hours, it went from an idea to a reality!

We now have a designated space, the artwork has been hung and there is a great variety of artists selling our one of a kind pieces for you to come and buy as gifts for family, friends or to just treat yourself.

There are plans being discussed to bring in some music on some days and getting ideas for more as the weeks go on and we get closer to the holidays so be sure to like the FB page below to keep up with updates and happenings.

 (Some of my own work available)

A few things to note:

  1. Remember, one of a kind MEANS one of a kind. What you see one day may not be there the next time you come to visit, so be sure to visit often!
  2. If you have kids with you, they are of course welcome, just be aware of the glass works that are out on the tables please.

I’m personally hoping that this becomes a stepping stone for more of these to open up in our area. It would also be great if folks from local shops, salons, etc come and see what we have to offer and maybe put some of our work in their retail establishments.

I’d also like to thank Heather for coming up with this idea and putting all the work into it that she has and will continue to do. It’s because of her this is all happening and I’m both grateful and excited to be a part of it!

Local work by local artists…isn’t that a great way to Keep it Local Stamford?!

~~~

Related links:

Our FB page, be sure to ‘like’ it for updates on happenings at the shop and more: Handmade at Designs by Lee

Designs by Lee Fall Festival Info

Happylife Studio & Drinkable Arts CT

Goblet Designs Jewelry (that’s me!)

 

Special Post from WOTM…

Hello WOTM followers, this is going to be a rather unusual post…

This week, due to health reasons, I’m going to be taking a little break from the weekly, weekend and nightly happenings. (note: some random posts may still pop up on social, but the big lists will be on hiatus) I understand the timing of this is strange after having such an amazing few weeks of gaining even more followers, but this is something that I need to do to heal up a bit.
When I started WOTM in 2011, I never dreamed it would become as big as it has and for that I am truly grateful. The past few weeks you may have noticed that I’ve been putting even more time into the site and social posts. There’s been a whole lot going on! (YAY!) But many do not know is that two years ago (next week) I became very ill and it has been life altering. No worries, I’m still here and still fighting, but every now and then, it takes a toll and sometimes I need to step back a bit. So this week will be a ‘pull back’ week. It will help as well as Fall/Winter time there is a whole lot going on, so taking this break will be a good time to regroup.
While I do this, I’ll also be reevaluating some of how WOTM is done. Currently we do not have any advertisers. This needs to end. Frankly, doing a site for almost 8 years without any revenue gets old and when it becomes an almost full-time venture, it’s really time to think things over. I’d love to keep this site up as a resource for Stamford folks to continue to come and find out all the exciting things that go on in our city, but it’s getting tougher to do this without ads. It’s especially tough now that I’m unable to attend any of the events that I’m helping to promote, so I hope you’ll understand my going public about this.
It’s a deep love of Stamford that started this site and we support it fully…it’s why we’re still here, and why we’d like to continue on. We hope you would like us to continue on as well!
I personally would like to thank all of you. For your support, your follows, your shares and your messages over the years. I keep saying how we wouldn’t be here without our followers and it really is the truth! It seems unreal to me that we’ve been doing this site for as long as we have and I thank each and every one of you.
If you are interested in advertising here on WOTM, please drop me a line at: onthemenuct@yahoo.com
One more thing…we will be adding product to our online WOTM shop so be on the lookout for the links! 🙂
Thanks for Keeping it Local Stamford!
#wotm #keeptilocal #knowwheretogo