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Letter to the Editor: The Ballad of Vinnie Forte

To the Editor:

We have lived in the wonderful town of Canton since 2009. My son Vincent, now 10, was just 2 years old. The town features great schools, neighbors, services, community and easy commute to my office in West Hartford. What a country.

Quickly Vinnie made friends. In fact, from 2009 to 2016 emerged a core group of buddies we started calling the “wolf pack.”

Sadly, over the last 14 months, five members of the “pack” are gone.

No, it’s nothing tragic. They all moved – three to Florida, one to Texas and, most recently, Pennsylvania. This is where I could rip into the sad economic reality of Connecticut, but that is not my point. … Continue Reading

Canton Historical Museum Participating in Open House Day

June 6, 2017 Community, History No Comments

Submitted Release 

The Canton Historical Museum at 11 Front St. in Collinsville is participating in the Connecticut Open House Day from 1 to 4 p.m.  June 10. Admission will be free.

Visitors can view Collins Axe Company tools and history; Civil and Victorian Era items; recreations of a barbershop, general store and bridal parlor as well as an antique fire engine and train diorama. Several Farmington Valley Railway Society members will be present to answer questions about the latter. 

The museum also has some new exhibits featuring cameras, men’s and ladies’ hats, and additional bridal gowns ranging from 1850 to 1940. 

Images of Canton: Class of 2017 Pre-Prom Gathering

June 2, 2017 Community, Photos No Comments


As is tradition in Canton, participants in the 2017 Canton High School Senior Prom gathered at a private home for photos prior to the big event. Following the gathering, participants made their way to the Farmington Club the evening of June 2 to enjoy the prom.

Canton Land Conservation Trust to Celebrate CT Trails Day this Weekend

June 2, 2017 Community No Comments

 

A clear-cut at the Canton Land Trust’s Sun, Wind and Woodlands Preserve is part of the New England Cottontail Restoration Project.

Submitted Release

The Canton Land Conservation Trust invites non-members and members alike to celebrate Connecticut Trails Day on Sun. June 4 with a 2 p.m. hike followed by a 4 p.m. picnic. Those who can’t attend both are welcome to join just the hike or picnic!

Meet at 2 p.m. at the Sun, Wind and Woodlands Preserve for an educational hike around the new bunny cut. We’ll examine the recent clear-cut, discuss the use of slash for rabbits and other species, and consider forest re-growth patterns. We’ll look for birds, bunnies and other wildlife as we hike this beautiful forest management area that is part of the New England Cottontail Restoration Project.

Land Trust Co-President and Roaring Brook Nature Center Director Jay Kaplan and Land Trust Co-President Phil Philbrick will lead this 1 mile, 1.5 hour hike. Dress for tick protection and with appropriate shoes, and bring binoculars. Please leave dogs at home.

Directions: Follow Indian Hill Road to Breezy Hill Read. Parking is on the left at the top of the hill. See detailed directions on this Canton Land Trust map. … Continue Reading

Your Silent Neighbors: Albert E. Johnson, WWI Hero

June 1, 2017 Community, History No Comments

By David K. Leff 
Canton Town Historian 

Albert E. Johnson (1892-1918) was wounded in action on April 20, 1918, climbing out of a trench and “going over the top,” as one newspaper put it, at the battle of Seicheprey, a small village in northeastern France. He died in a Red Cross hospital on May 8 at age 25.  It was a brutal battle involving inexperienced American troops surprised by seasoned Germans.  It is said that by the time the fighting was over the next day, not a single building or tree in Seicheprey was left intact.  Although the Americans had held their ground, it was at great cost.

Johnson was born in Collinsville on August 7, 1892 and graduated with honors from Collinsville High School in 1911 where he was salutatorian of his class. He got a degree from Yale in 1914.  After college, he worked as an engineer for the Connecticut Company, the principal trolley operator in the state. He began his military service in 1916 with the New Haven Grays, a guard unit, and was assigned for a time to the Mexican border. He was discharged from the guard and joined the federal service to accept a commission as a first lieutenant on August 5, 1917. … Continue Reading

Images of Canton: Town Honors Those Who Sacrificed Everything

May 31, 2017 Community No Comments

While Canton canceled its Memorial Day Parade due to inclement weather, it still honored American’s veterans, especially those who paid the ultimate sacrifice, during a program at Canton High School.

At the beginning of the program, David Gilchrist, due to be parade grand marshal, placed a wreath at the front of the auditorium and Canton resident and veteran Keith August served as emcee for the program.

“We are assembled here to honor all the men and women who have given their lives in the service of our country,” August said. “These services have been conducted continuously for more than 70 years. This is our humble tribute to those men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. They will never be forgotten.” … Continue Reading

Baseball field to be renamed in honor of the late Willem van Gemeren

May 25, 2017 Community, Sports No Comments

The late Willem van Gemeren

By John Fitts

Soon, the field used by Canton Little League will be renamed to honor both the life of a young player who died tragically at age 11 and his family, which has given so much to carry his legacy forward.

With selectmen approval Wednesday, the facility at 88 Simonds Ave., now Millennium Field, will soon be known as “Willem van Gemeren Memorial Field.” Dedication is tentatively set for June 10 and Canton Little League is funding the new sign.

In August of 2005 a plane crash in Lyme, New Hampshire took the lives of Niels Willem van Gemeren II, 11, along with his father, Niels Willem van Gemeren, 46.

Just days before his death, Willem, a star baseball player and Red Sox fan, had returned from the RBI Academy’s Trot Nixon summer baseball camp in Massachusetts. After his death, Willem’s mother Betsy began sending other Canton Little League players to the camp, which is now named after Dustin Pedroia. To date, Betsy van Gemeren has paved the way for 56 boys to enjoy the experience. The family has also provided temporary lighting for an annual night tournament and new scoreboards for the baseball field, as well as the softball field on Dyer Avenue.

Canton Little League Vice President Christopher LaPointe estimates the family donations for Little League efforts total more than $93,000. But more than dollars, are the joy and spirit they spread, he told selectmen.

“It’s not even about the money; It’s what they are doing for the community and the children (and Willem’s legacy),” he said. “There’s no better way to thank them and name the field after Willem.”

See more in next week’s Valley Press. 

Farmington Valley Stage Presents an American Classic

Submitted Release 

The Farmington Valley Stage Company in Collinsville concludes its season with the American classic, Morning’s at Seven by Paul Osborn (On Borrowed Time, A Bell for Adano, and The World of Suzie Wong).

Morning’s at Seven, is that rare thing – a gentle comedy about ordinary folks. The story, set in a small town in the early 1940s, revolves around four sisters, two of whom shake things up when they decide to change their lives while they still have time.

Written in 1939, Morning’s at Seven continues to be performed these many decades later, not only because it remains entertaining, but because the family relationships it portrays still have the ring of truth. Though the life style depicted may be gone, the fears and despair that accompany aging and the binding ties of family connections are timeless. … Continue Reading

Images of Canton: Jamboree Fun

May 18, 2017 Community No Comments

Emre Nebioglu, 7, of Canton shows off his basketball skills at the Collinsville Fire Department Inc.’s Jamboree Thursday. Behind him is dad Ahmet. At left, working for Tufano Amusements is Patrick McKay. The event continues Friday and Saturday, 6-10 p.m., at Jamboree Field, 91 Powder Mill Road, Collinsville. Every night is Bracelet Night, $25 each night, from 6-10 p.m. There will be fireworks Friday night starting at approximately 9:30 p.m. Activities will include a beer and wine garden, the dime pitch and dunk tank, comfort food, and new this year will be a larger Ferris wheel. The Collinsville Volunteer Fire Department Inc. and the Canton Memorial Ambulance is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit agency that promotes, enhances and supports community involvement and awareness for emergency services and youth groups.

Cherry Brook Primary School to Hold 56th Annual Children’s Fair

May 18, 2017 Community, Schools No Comments

Submitted Release 

On Friday, June 2, 2017 the grounds of Cherry Brook Primary School will be alive with the sounds of children and families as they host their Annual Children’s Fair.

According to Cherry Brook Primary Principal Andy Robbin, “The CBPS Children’s fair is a time honored event that our entire community looks forward to.  It’s wonderful to watch the joyful exuberance of the children and their families.”

New this year the Fair will be featuring the HydroBlaster! Fairgoers will have the chance to HydroBlast each other and teachers and administration who do their part to support the Cherry Brook Primary School PTO.  Another exciting new feature are an obstacle course and an America Ninja Warrior course. … Continue Reading

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Upcoming Events

Sep
25
Mon
1:30 pm Wii Bowling @ Canton Community Center
Wii Bowling @ Canton Community Center
Sep 25 @ 1:30 pm
Have you ever wished you could continue to bowl without putting on bowling shoes or lugging a heavy ball?  You’re in LUCK!!  Join the Canton Senior Center Wii Bowling Team, The Canton Rollers.  Show off your bowling skills or learn new ones at the Senior Center.  Mondays at 1:30pm, Wednesdays ...
Sep
26
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7:30 am Canton Food Bank @ Trinity Episcopal Church
Canton Food Bank @ Trinity Episcopal Church
Sep 26 @ 7:30 am – 9:30 am
The Canton Food Bank is accepting fresh produce (as well as non-perishables of course!) every Tuesday from 7:30am-9:30am. Please keep them, and those less fortunate in our community, in mind as your backyard gardens begin to bloom and produce a bountiful harvest!  
8:30 am Daily Mass @ St. Patrick Church
Daily Mass @ St. Patrick Church
Sep 26 @ 8:30 am