Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Enjoy Something Simple Cafe!

Hello everyone,

I want to recognize another restaurant that has gained attention in Hebron, not only by its welcoming environment, but because of its rich history within our town.  Along Route 66, near the town green, there is a small cafe, Something Simple Cafe.  It's kind of hard to see from the main road as it's off to the side, though anyone local can point it out to you.  It's reachable by entering the Douglas Library parking lot over by the Old Town Hall building.

Something Simple Cafe is relatively new, as it was established four years ago with the goal of "providing a warm environment for people to talk and enjoy each other over a good warm cup of coffee (espresso or latte) along with good healthy food" (Jessica Dapsis, manager).

The restaurant focuses on local businesses, using Hosmer's Soda for soda, a local coffee roaster out of New London, and Deep River Chips (Jessica Dapsis). Personally, I think we have more to cherish when we have a cafe that is local and representative of our town, aside from the Subways and CVSes.  It's great to know that people in our town still want to protect our heritage, and I believe that's simply a core value of Something Simple Cafe.

What makes the restaurant even more interesting is its past history.  The building was built in 1750 and made into a store somewhere between 1816 and 1829.  A history of the building was provided to Alma and Clarence Porter in a letter dated December 26th, 1930 from Mr. F. C. Bissell, the Comptroller for the State of Connecticut.  The Porters, upon receiving the building, ran a store at the site for 25 to 30 years.  It was later purchased on May 17th, 1954 and operated by a man named Bishop for a short period of time, before Mr. and Mrs. Celio purchased the building on April 19th, 1958.  They later ran the store as Frank and Marion's from 1958 until 1972.

The first meeting to form the Hebron American Post Legion was held on the second floor of the building, which at that time was used for storing goods for the business.  Today, as you venture through the building, there are various artifacts such as the hand prints in the cement step in the back, and the Old Bob-Bet Bait box in the attic that a tell a story of Hebron on their own.  I suggest you may take a look at these when you visit the building yourself.

But the building has also been a cause for mysterious activity over the years.   The manager, Jess Dapsis mentions that "We have had employees experience being pushed (gently) on the stairs" and there have been several things "passing by an employees' heads that could not just have fallen down." Dapsis also mentions that "bagels came off shelves, coffee cups came off shelves." Employees have heard voices when no one else is there and lights randomly have turned on after being shut off.  Dapsis mentioned that the women who formerly owned the art/frame shop had also experienced similar paranormal activities (Schrayter, Geeta, "A Ghostly Night at Something Simple in Hebron").  The Connecticut Ghost Hunters came to Something Simple, and after three hours of investigation, their findings confirmed many of these strange paranormal occurrences, such as hearing footsteps, chairs moving, or having their jackets tugged.  Take a look at the videos below to see Chris Baricko's (member of Connecticut Ghost Hunters) findings while visiting Something Simple Cafe.

(These are only a few, there are more!)

Does it seem scary for you?  Well, don't fret, because Something Simple is a warm and inviting restaurant that anyone can enjoy.

Something Simple Cafe offers a wide variety of foods from its menu, including several different kinds of coffees, bagels, sandwiches, grinders, toasted panini's, soups, salads, and much more.

Not only does it have a wide variety of foods, the restaurant provides entertainment, specifically in the arts.  Oftentimes singers and guitarists will share their music, and the Something Simple staff provide events like a "Fused Glass Workshop" and "Art Lab Paint Parties" that may also include crafts and local artists.  I believe it's great that they don't only offer food, but they offer events to keep their company entertained.  There are also many seats both indoors and outdoors for when the spring and summer weather finally comes.

Looking out from the restaurant where people enjoy the seasonal seating

Something Simple is certainly a place I'd recommend anyone try, whether you are in town (and haven't been there yet), or if you're simply passing by. With a great selection of food, entertainment, and a rich history including the many wonders of our town of Hebron, you won't be disappointed.  In fact, I think you'll simply be amazed.

Something Simple Cafe is open 7 AM to 5 PM on weekdays, 8 AM to 5 PM on Saturdays, and 8 AM to 3 PM on Sundays.

As always, post to the blog and/or email your stories, pictures, reviews, and thoughts to hebronmapleleaf@gmail.com.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

What it Takes to Become a Hebron Maple Leaf: How it all Started

The Hebron Maple Leaf brings joy to the Maple Festival each year.  It was always great to see a young boy or girl about three or four years old  give me (as the great Maple Leaf) a high-five or a big hug to show that they appreciated me.  It’s the greatest feeling, and it’s the reason why I felt like a superhero when I became the Hebron Maple Leaf.  I gave out high fives, hugs, and most importantly, I created smiles.  Lots of smiles.  I felt this strange sort of power like no other, but it was a friendly kind of power.  I wasn’t there for any other reason than to spread joy and make them happy.  That’s what superheroes do, only they spread joy by fighting crime rather than entertaining.  My role was a bit different, but it’s the same concept. 

In its twenty-six years, the Maple Festival has seen new venues come and go, and some completely changed.  I had remembered when I first attended the festival and it was widely accessible with lots of entertainment.  The entertainment was still there, but over the years, it had reached a low point.  Publicity dwindled down, there were fewer maple sugar houses to visit, and there were no longer buses transporting people back and forth.  One of the biggest shockers of all was that no one could find where to buy maple syrup.  Previously, the maple syrup had been sold on the village green, but it had now been limited to sugar houses, which were far off from the village green.  While in costume, I had multiple people ask me, “Where can we get Maple Syrup?”  People came from all over to the Hebron Maple Festival, and several were disappointed that it was difficult to find maple syrup at a festival that promoted maple syrup to begin with.  The festival was still widely acclaimed, but it just didn’t feel like the “golden years” when I first went to the Maple Festival.  I could only imagine that maybe Hebron was losing its passion for Maple Sugar making?
I wasn't entirely sure what I could change.  At this time, I had ideas, but nothing I could change all on my own.  But I had thought about making some kind of change, if I had the power to do it.  I wanted to make something much more memorable, much more passionate, and much more iconic of the Maple Festival.  I wanted to make children and people feel a lot more friendly and passionate.  I wanted to capture a “Maple Fest spirit” among the residents who came to the festival.  I wanted people to feel passionate about our town and our Maple Festival.

It took me some time to research, but I finally came across a Maple Leaf costume while searching online.  I immediately thought to myself, this is it.  This is the next big idea.  I knew this costume would be something big (and not just because of its size). Previously, there were other mascots at various times throughout the festival, but none of them brought the kind of passion that the festival really needed.  Until now. A giant red leaf, in the shape of a cylinder, with spikes protruding out of its head to make the arms of a leaf.  It was absolutely ridiculous, weird, and corny, but so perfect.  It was the symbol of the Maple Festival.  This costume will be the next greatest thing for the Maple Festival, I thought.  I never imagined how right I was at that very moment.
When I bought this costume, it did raise some plausible concerns.  I wasn’t sure if people wanted a random guy walking around town in a Maple Leaf costume.  The idea was ridiculous, and it was kind of creepy if you thought about it.  I mean, a person you don’t know can see everything through a mask, but no one can see him?  I didn’t technically have permission to become this “official” Maple Leaf mascot.  If I put on this costume, I would be doing it of my own free will.    I thought to myself, someone has to start it.  Bringing up the costume to the Maple Festival committee was kind of ridiculous, because it was so unnatural and unfamiliar that I was almost certain they would disregard it.  But I figured, what the heck, I’ll wear it anyway and blend in and draw the support of the community.  I knew I could make the case for a mascot at the Maple Festival.  I had the passion, and whether I was accepted or not, I was going to bring it to the festival.
So that began my venture into town, which became a yearly tradition.  You might think it’s easy to put on a costume and walk around town, but honestly, there’s a lot of prep work involved.  First of all, a mascot is never supposed to reveal his or her true identity.  While a lot of people know who I am, I generally don’t go around broadcasting it.  Many people still do not know who the real person is beneath the Maple Leaf costume, and I’d like to keep it that way.  I had a challenge ahead of me.  Where would I be able to put on and take off my costume without being noticed?  This was something I needed to figure out.  I had to find a spot where I was well hidden, and where I could leave a few of my belongings (car keys, shirts, the costume’s bag) without the fear of them being taken away.  I found my secret spot, some ways away from the town green, which wasn’t a distance I couldn’t tackle.  It was just one of the much smaller challenges I had to endure if I were to be the mascot.
Next, a great mascot needs endurance.  I have to be able to stay in the costume for a while, no matter how warm it gets.  I usually prepare myself by wearing shorts underneath the costume, bringing lots of water or Gatorade, and extra t-shirts, preferably white shirts that aren’t as hot.  Either way, I sweat.  Sometimes I’ve sweat through two or three shirts, so it gets very, very hot if you intend on ever being a mascot (especially an incognito one around town).  And then there’s the deal with shoes.  It was always the shoes everyone noticed.  The few who ratted me out for my true identity noticed my shoes.  They were the same shoes I had worn as a human.  Not very smart on my end, I guess, but children are observant.  Although the costume comes with its own shoe holders, they aren’t very supportive to wear when walking around town.  I used to spray paint my shoes red, which looked absolutely ridiculous and artificial, until I thought of the better idea of buying red shoes to complement my everyday shoes.  So, now I just wear red shoes that match the costume.  Took me awhile to figure it out, but I finally realized that rather than spray painting an old pair of shoes or trying to wear the complicated foot holders, matching red sneakers were the path of least resistance.  And with that, there’s a lot of walking and a lot of strain on the feet, so one must endure all these perks of being a mascot, even if it means getting blisters.  Trust me though, it's not that bad.

When they first saw me, they thought I was a red sun or a giant burning sausage.  It never occurred to the civilians what I truly was.  Then I got smarter, and I put a logo on the costume.  Only then they knew to refer to me as the name etched upon the logo: “Mr. Maple Leaf.”  There’s still much debate to this day as to whether this mascot is truly a maple leaf or a giant burning sausage, but the identity of the mascot is left for interpretation.
A couple times I’ve been asked, “How much do they pay you to be the mascot?”  Of course, I never answer them in costume.  Most people probably thought I was part of the Maple Festival committee.  They probably thought I was a mascot because someone from the town had asked me and forced me to be one, not because I wanted to be the mascot.  This was my own purpose from the beginning.  No one told me I had to do this.  And I don’t do it for money.  What makes being the mascot so much fun is that I know I’m passionate about what I do.  I don’t think about what holds me back, I only strive to make it work for everyone.

And I was respected.  When I was across the street, the Girl Scouts would yell, “Maple Leaf, over here.”  They were waving to me, reaching out to me, wanting me to see them.  I took pictures with senators, the local Republicans, the local Democrats, and the local news people who spotted me out.  It was like I was some king walking through my own kingdom.  I truly was a superhero, as was announced on Facebook:
“My day is made! I always get a pic of the Maple Leaf every Maple Fest!”
“All the girl scouts LOVE you!!! We all do... you Are the symbol of Hebron maple fest!!!”
            “You were awesome yesterday, Maple Leaf. You were the ‘Maple’ in Maple Fest.”
             (Facebook comments)
Just when everything goes well, and people appreciate what I’ve done, someone is always there to protest.  I had one lady there that claimed she was part of the festival committee who yelled at me and was trying to kick me out, “You’ve done your time here already.  You don’t have permission to be here,” she yelled at me.  “Now it’s time to go home.  C’mon, leave already.”
             There were people waiting in lines to see me, and now they were kicking me out.  This lady had no idea what she was trying to get rid of.  The people were the ones who wanted me here, and now this lady was trying to take it all away from me.
            As furious as I was, I had support.  Residents were willing to boycott the event if I didn’t show up next year. 
“My daughter will be mortified if there is no maple leaf.  He was so amazing he took the book from the kids and carried it around with him all day.  You are amazing maple leaf. These 3 loved you.”
“Poor Hebron Maple Leaf - the ubiquitous They are trying to get rid of him! Leaf needs our support, fellow Hebronians!!!”
“We got your back Hebron Maple Leaf!! You bring joy to this event and solely do it for the people. Love having you there and will not attend if you aren't allowed.”
 (Facebook comments)
It was amazing how I could spread so much joy and so much controversy just from wearing a Maple Leaf costume around town.  I was only doing the event a favor, and doing it free of cost.  But like a superhero, there’s always that idea of not knowing the unknown (which scares a lot of people).  But honestly, I think they were just jealous that I became the festival.

            Eventually, I was allowed back to the Maple Festival.  I had fought the town, and new management came to run the festival this year- new management which allowed the Maple Leaf to spread joy around town during the Maple Festival.  There were always new challenges to face this year, and there will be more in the future.  But this won't stop me from doing what I love.  I became a celebrity, and I keep trying to spread my joy in all new kinds of ways, whether it be riding on the tractor parade with Miss Connecticut Teen, taking the bus back and forth, or starting dance parties with citizens at the event.  I hope to continue the reign of the great Maple Leaf for years to come as it brings passion and joy to the town during one of its annual events.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

The Legend of the Eagle Rock

         For twenty-seven years, the Hebron Eagle Rock, positioned along route 66 heading towards Marlborough, has been iconic.  It’s been mentioned in several newspapers multiple times over the years, it’s been used as a symbol throughout the town including the town website, and the eagle has become the Hebron Elementary School mascot.  The Eagle Rock has become a Hebron legend, and one of the top fifty landmarks throughout all of Connecticut.  It certainly has “made its mark” says the Eagle Rock creator himself, Jason Sawyer.

It wasn’t until 1989 that Jason Sawyer, a former Hebron resident, and now a Senior Art Director for AetherQuest Solutions in Virginia, painted the rock into an eagle.  Jason claimed he was a bored teenager looking for something to do in the summer before his senior year at RHAM High School.  He remembers the seniors painting the senior rock at RHAM High School (a tradition still held today), which at that time included many references to the first Batman movie that had just come out.  This piqued Sawyer’s interest as a teenager looking for something to do in a small New England town.
            Sawyer had noticed the rock as a landmark along route 66 since first moving to the town when he was five or six.  Before it was an eagle, urban legend claims that the rock had been painted into a variety of different things, from a monster to a frog, though it never stayed long enough as a single entity.  Sawyer only remembers seeing the remnants of paint wearing out atop the rock.
            But the rock was apparently an important landmark, having been painted before, and positioned along route 66 as drivers headed into Hebron.  Sawyer claims that whenever he drove from Marlborough into Hebron, he saw the rock, and through his artist’s eyes, he noticed that it had a large beak.  “I’m not sure exactly what made me choose that rock,” said Sawyer.  “It could have been that it had been painted before, not sure.  The eagle is what I had seen when driving by, and the vision was the deciding factor.”
            Sawyer contacted the state and got approval to paint the rock into the image of the eagle he had seen driving by.  Since painting the eagle back in 1989, Sawyer has been back to Hebron at least four to five times to repaint.  He hasn’t been alone.  He’s had individuals help him repaint the rock, along with various families within the town who have helped to “color in the lines” and maintain the trees and shrubbery around the area of the rock. Together they have helped to uphold the historic site of the great Eagle Rock of Hebron, Connecticut.
            According to Sawyer, the “greatest part was that I did it, and didn’t think much about it.”  Yet, the rock has become a legend, storied in several newspapers over the years, as well as the Channel 3 News.  The rock wasn’t just the artwork of a teenager looking for something to do.  Rather, it had become a phenomenon, a “beakon” into Hebron for those entering eastward along route 66. 
“Pride grew around Hebron from it,” said Sawyer.  “People still talk about it and share it with their kids.”
Today, the rock still sits as a landmark along route 66.  It has been repainted over the years, and has had some minor changes by various residents within the town who intend to hold the eagle’s composure.  The Bordick family, who are local residents of Hebron, cleaned and repainted the rock back in 2011 after it had been vandalized shortly after Independence Day.  Not only did Andy Bordick clean up the vandalism, he refurnished the Eagle Rock.  He added some minor renditions to the eagle’s eyes, depth, and 3D structure, so as to enhance the foundation and the composure of the rock for years to come. 

Vandalism at the Eagle Rock in 2011.  Image credits to https://steadyhabits.wordpress.com/2011/07/06/america-haters-or-drunk-teens-or-both/

2011 was not the first time the rock had been vandalized, however.  Sawyer mentioned that the rock had first been vandalized in 1991.  People had vandalized the rock with political statements and symbols relating to the United States invasion of Iraq.  The vandalism didn’t cause a setback to the Eagle Rock, however.  Residents of Hebron stepped up and chipped in to uphold one of the town’s greatest traditions.  Sawyer mentioned that vandalism will always occur at one time or another, though having a town of supportive residents who care will mend our town’s tradition and heritage.
Jason Sawyer doesn’t always get the time to go back to Hebron to see his Eagle Rock, but he knows it’s still standing, and in very supportive hands.  Living in Virginia, Sawyer admits that it “gets harder and harder to come back to Hebron,” but he hasn’t passed up the opportunity when he gets the chance. 
“Growing up in a small town, it feels very personable going back and seeing the people you know,” says Sawyer, “I like the memories, and creating the rock was my way of saying thanks to the town.”
Although he is now living in Virginia, Sawyer mentions that he intends to plan a trip back to Hebron to paint his Eagle Rock once again, as it needs another face lift.  After twenty-seven years, Sawyer admits that “he never thought the rock would last this long.”  But indeed, the eagle rock still stands, and it has become a phenomenon greater than just a work of art.  We, as residents of Hebron, must share in the pride of Hebron by helping to maintain and sustain the great Eagle Rock that is so representative of our town.

For more info on the Bordick restoration of the Eagle Rock, check out this article here: http://www.norwichbulletin.com/article/20110610/News/306109922

And, as always, post to the blog and/or email your stories, pictures, reviews, and thoughts to hebronmapleleaf@gmail.com

Sunday, March 13, 2016

The Hebron Maple Festival

       Twice a year, Hebron has two very significant events that put the small town on the map.  The first is the Hebron Harvest Fair, which attracts visitors from all over the state to come to our town.  The second event, the Hebron Maple Festival, may not be as widely attended as the big Hebron Harvest Fair, but it is still a very special and important Hebron event taking place each year, six months after the Hebron Harvest Fair.
            The twenty-sixth annual Hebron Maple Festival is coming this March.  While the event originally promoted twenty-six years of maple sugar making, it eventually developed into a town phenomenon representing many maple products, supporting local business vendors, and offering entertainment for children.  The event comes at the perfect time betwixt seasons- the Maple season is best when the days are warm and the nights are cold, so the event being held in mid-March marks the end of winter and the beginning of spring for local Hebronians.
            The event started twenty-six years ago when Selden Wells, a sugarhouse owner in town, went to the library with gallons and gallons of surplus syrup, suggesting a “Sugar on Snow” fundraiser.  The fundraiser had become such a success that next year Wells asked all the local sugar makers to open their sugar houses. 
            Throughout the years, there have been a number of sugar-making houses in Hebron, including Wenzel’s Sugar House on East Street, Winding Brooks Sugar House on Skinner Lane, Well’s Sugar House on Cone Road, Dad’s Sugar House on Wall Street, and the Hope Valley Sugar House on Hope Valley Road.  Not all of these sugar houses partake in the event each year, but they have participated in the past to share in Hebron’s New England tradition of maple sugar making.  It is these sugar houses that really brought to life what the Hebron Maple Festival has become today.  Several are still active sugar houses, including Wenzel's Sugar House, and Woodyacres Sugar House, both of which will be accessible in this upcoming Maple Festival.
          Soon, however, the festival has become something bigger, something larger, something more Hebron.  One walk through Main Street on the Maple Festival weekend and you will see possibly snow and lots of mud, people walking through the town, on sidewalks, up and down Main Street.  On each side of the road are several groups and businesses supporting the town’s event: Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts selling cookies and snacks, a quilt show, maple milk, and a teacup auction from the Hebron Historical Society, as well as maple icecream from a local Farmer’s Cow farm, and cotton candy from Hebron Volunteer Fire Department.  Aside from these various town-supported vendors, there’s also many activities at the event for children, including a moonwalk, face painting, ice-cream eating contests, and a visit from the Hebron Mapleleaf himself.  The list goes on and on… 
Aside from all the greatness that the event offers, much of it is imbued in Hebron’s history as well.  Previously during the event, the Historical Society have presented many of Hebron’s historical buildings, such as the Burrows Hill and Gull Schoolhouses, including the Boy Scout renovations throughout the years.  The Maple Festival is a great way for the whole town to come together, share their love for the town and its history, and put Hebron in the limelight.  People who come to the event from different parts of the state are amazed at how wonderful the town has come together to present such a family-friendly event.  The Hebron Maple Festival has become an event representing the heart of Hebron, Connecticut.  There are many dedicated local businesses who come together to represent how great it is to be a part of the small New England farm town.
This year, the Hebron Maple Festival will be taking place on March 19th and 20th.  The Windham Chamber of Commerce has decided to run the event this year and expand the "Hebron Maple Festival" to a "Maple Madness" event, which features a variety of sugar houses all throughout eastern Connecticut.  Hebron, still is, of course, the main attraction of the event, but we can see the event has come a long way to expand outward into other parts of Connecticut.  I would only assume this would help bring more publicity into Hebron, the main attraction of the event.
As you venture through the Maple Festival this year, feel free to send your photos to hebronmapleleaf@gmail.com and I can post them here (especially if they are Maple Leaf mascot photos).  To learn more about the Hebron Maple Festival, check out http://www.hebronmaplefest.com/.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

The History of the Burrows Hill Schoolhouse and Hebron's Efforts to Maintain its Historical Heritage

On the corner of School House Road lies a small red one room building.  Inside, in the front of the room, stood a teacher’s desk, on which was placed a few old pencils.  The blackboard was, amazingly, still intact.  On the floor, near the doorway, was a bright red piece of wood which was used to cover the “tobacco hole,” the place where colonial students disposed their tobacco before coming to class.  These are the descriptions of the Burrows Hill Schoolhouse from a 1993 article, “It was moving day for Burrows Hill School” written in The Chronicle

The Burrows Hill Schoolhouse is one of nine one-room schoolhouses in Hebron, Connecticut that remains standing, and the oldest one to date.  The original Burrows Hill Schoolhouse was built around 1730, when some of the earliest families in the Burrows Hill area, such as the Porters, Macks, Skinners, and Tillotsons realized that a school was necessary for the education of the increasing number of children in town.

The school operated from its start until between the years of 1834 through 1860, because of the decline in the number of children in the Burrows Hill area.  Desks were removed from the inside the schoolhouse and transferred to the Hope Valley section where, at the time, the population was greater.  Later, around the 1860’s, the Burrows Hill Schoolhouse reopened when Hope Valley experienced a decline in population.  The Burrows Hill Schoolhouse flourished into the 1870’s, until the population gradually declined in the early 1900’s.  Around 1911, the Burrows Hill Schoolhouse offered its last school session to the town of Hebron, before closing its doors. Students were then transferred to Hebron Center School.  While no longer in use, the Burrows Schoolhouse is one of the oldest buildings within our town (some argue it is the oldest existing building to date), and now a historical monument.  The Hebron Historical Society is responsible for maintaining the foundation of the building.

Since its founding, which is believed to be somewhere around 1725 through 1735, the Burrows Schoolhouse has been through several refurbishings and restoration projects.  In the past year and into 2016, Ron Vitarelli from Hebron Boy Scouts Troop 28 has repaired the outhouse at the Burrows Hill Schoolhouse as part of his Eagle Scout Project.  Ron began by taking down and cutting up the maple that was overhanging the outhouse and then began repairing various parts of the outhouse from replacing boards, painting the entire building, installing the stone for better drainage beneath, and moving the outhouse back to its original foundation.  Ron and his fellow Eagle Scouts have refurbished and restored the outhouse for the public eye.  While Ron’s renovation is the most recent renovation on the historical building, it is certainly not the first.  The Burrows Hill Schoolhouse has a long list of renovations just in the past twenty five years.

In 1993, the Burrows Hill Schoolhouse was moved from the corner of Burrows Hill and Schoolhouse Roads and placed on a foundation forty feet from its original location, away from any oncoming traffic.   Since then, there have been several occasions for up keeping and maintaining the schoolhouses’ historical heritage.  The original article about the Burrows Hill Schoolhouse 1993 move can be read on the Historical Society's website, at this link: http://www.hebronhistoricalsociety.org/images/files/BHSMovingDayChron122193.pdf

Ben Staba and his son-in-law, John Hoban, originally supplied and installed the Burrows Hill Schoolhouse eighteen years ago (see below).

More recently in 2005, Matthew Siok, a Hebron resident, led a team of volunteers to repair and refurbish the Burrows Hill Schoolhouse as part of his Eagle Scout project for Troop 28.  He and his team of volunteers scraped and painted the exterior of the Burrows Hill Schoolhouse, as well as painted and repaired the windows.  If you'd like more info on Matthew's renovations on the Burrows Hill Schoolhouse, please check here for more details: http://www.hebronhistoricalsociety.org/restoration-projects/101-matthew-sioks-eagle-scout-project-on-burrows-hill-school-house.html

Matthew Siok in front of the Burrows Hill Outhouse

And now, Ron Vitarelli has followed up these repairs for the outhouse at the Burrows Hill Schoolhouse as part of his Eagle Scout Project.  The Hebron Historical Society is very thankful for Ron Vitarelli’s assistance, as well as Ben Staba, John Hoban, and Matt Siok for preserving our town’s heritage and history. 

Check out the Burrows Hill Schoolhouse on School House Road.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Hebron New Year's Resolutions (Let's Make Hebron Even Greater in 2016!)

1. Fix the RHAM High School Nature Trail

RHAM High School used to have an amazing nature trail with a small brook running through it.  I remember going down there during science classes to do some research back when I was in high school.  Students even put up a sign and pointed out where the various plants and animals were located.

If you were to go there today, you'd notice that the previous trail isn't even noticeable.  It's got a ton of weeds and bushes growing where it used to be and trash is all over the place.  It's time we clean this up and give the high school and our community a respectable nature trail where we can learn and explore our town's forestry areas.  We shouldn't take away learning just because we haven't maintained our town nature trails (It's actually better than I thought, but let's take it a step further).

2. Bring a Business into the Old Gas Station

It's about time we actually put something here, rather than drive by everyday seeing a roped off area with weeds growing out of concrete.  I know it's a small little area, but c'mon, we have to put something in it's place.  It's been about three or four years, I can't even count how many... I just drive by and see the empty building looking old and decrepit.

3. Fill in the Village Green Area

You know that large green area across from Ted's that's called the "Village Area" or something like that?  I'm not sure people even know what it is, or what's moving into the area, but it's about time we put something there besides just a walking path.  A long road goes up through the area, now we just need some scenery (or businesses) to go alongside it.  Please bring something here to fill our town's gaps.

The road to... nowhere.

4. Buses at the Maple Festival

Remember four or five years ago when the Maple Festival was at its peak?  Maple syrup was sold at the center of town, and they had buses that went all around town, delivering people to the various sugar houses and events.  What happened to the buses?  The festival feels so disconnected without the buses transporting people from the center of town to the sugar houses.  Let's bring it all together again.  I challenge the Windham Chamber of Commerce who is taking over the event this year to bring back buses and unite this wonderful event!

5. Recreational Center

Sure, we have the Teen Center (if that's even in use anymore), and there are gyms, schools, and golf courses throughout town, but we don't have a generic recreational center.  You know, somewhere where bands can play, or maybe there's an arcade, or just some place for people (young people) to hang out on a Friday night that isn't a bar.  Maybe a coffee house or something of the sort. We need to make this town have more events and more places that will keep our youth active.  If we don't bring in a Recreational Center then we need to make our preexisting ones more active.

Enjoy all our nature trails while you're at it.

Yeah, I'm probably missing something... no worries, I will update!  What are your Hebron New Year's resolutions?  Send them to hebronmapleleaf@gmail.com and I will post them here!

Saturday, December 26, 2015

2015 in Review

Well, 2015 is almost over, and that means we'll be going into 2016 expecting to see more from our beloved town of Hebron, Connecticut.

As 2015 comes closer to an end, let's remember some moments from the year.  As far as I know, there wasn't a complete change in the town in 2015.  We hosted many of the same events we've hosted in the past, like the Hebron Harvest Fair, the Maple Festival, and the second annual Hebron Day.  These are events we've hosted this year and should be back for 2016.

As for new businesses, I noticed that the old Hebron Pharmacy building is getting a new business (Physical Therapy?).  We will have to wait and see, but the building will be used for some kind of therapy.

As for attractions, I noticed many more nature paths throughout the town.  I'm not sure if these were constructed in 2015 or not, but I had not known about them prior.  One of the trails goes from Veteran's Park to Ted's Supermarket, which is a nice walk through some wooded areas and behind new construction.  Secondly are the trails behind Burnt Hill Park which extend to roads around the park.  Maybe these were here before?  I had not known of them before.

In any case, there wasn't too much change overall, but 2016 is coming and we can bring more change to our town in the coming year.  What would you like to see?  What would you expect from Hebron?  Where will we be this time next year?