In this modern age of technology, everybody has some sort of camera on them – always ready to snap a photo of something they found interesting or silly or outrageous. I am no exception. I have a billion photos of my kids and my pets that I find pretty awesome but, alas, the awesome factor is not shared by the masses.
So in my travels, I take photos around Connecticut that everyone (or many) may find interesting. I thought I’d do this about once a month and also get you, dear reader, involved. Send me a photo and a little description of things around our state that you find interesting and I’ll incorporate them into the article with full credit.
I’m here for you: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Let’s start off with a couple of interesting things.
How about a restaurant that’s a throwback to the 50’s? Just take a drive to Bethel to 282 Greenwood Avenue and you’ll find The Sycamore Drive-In Restaurant. The place has been in operation since 1948 and, according to some, is truly a landmark. What can you get there? What is recommended by the locals is the French Style Steak Burger which is fresh ground steak with mustard, ketchup, pickle and onion for under three bucks!. The perfect thing to wash it down is their Root Beer Float (voted Best of CT by Connecticut Magazine) created with their homemade root beer.
Every Saturday in the summer is Cruise Night when oglers can view all the classic cars sitting in the parking lot. That’s cool, Daddio!
What makes this place even more of a 50s classic is the curb service. Yessir – blink your headlights and a waitress will come to your car to take your order. Now, that’s service!
When people across the country think of our state, they probably picture in their heads one of the most photographed area in the northwest corner. Sitting over the Housatonic River is the beautiful historic West Cornwall Bridge. This long covered bridge is 15 feet wide and 172 feet long and is thought to have been built in 1864 – almost 150 years ago. It has gone through lots of refurbishing and was going to be replaced in 1968 by a newer bridge. A committee was formed to save the bridge and they convinced the state who undertook the award-winning restoration project. The Department of Transportation raised the bridge and put a steel support beneath to support the roadway.
The bridge survived floods, hurricanes in 1938, 1955 and Irene in 2011, fire when a hay truck caught fire and almost ignited the whole structure, an ice jam in 1961 and tons and tons of heavy vehicles crossing. In fact, in 1945, a 20 ton oil truck crashed through the floor!
They changed the flat roof to the gable one in 1946 and in 1957, the gray bridge was painted red.
Let’s travel south now to Goshen and visit the fair. Labor Day weekend marked the 99th year of The Goshen Fair and, naturally, the centennial anniversary promises to be a doozey!
The take from the admission fees goes into a fund that provides scholarships to the graduating seniors of Litchfield’s Wamogo Regional High School. The Goshen Agricultural Society awards two $1500 scholarships to assist with tuition at an accredited college or university – one to a senior who is pursuing study in Agriculture, Environmental Science or Home Economics and the other to a Goshen resident following any field.
Thankfully, this year was a success because some of the money may have to go to rebuilding the beef barns on the fairgrounds as well as possibly adding some gravel roads to the lower parts of the property.
Apart from the midway and the rides, there was the food. It’s difficult to choose what to eat as you walk past all the booths as the aromas of the deep-frying, the barbecuing and, well, just the existing of some of these treats make the decision harder and harder. There are the classics, of course – the fried dough, burgers, dogs, soups in a bread bowl and fried Oreos. It’s too hard to resist the grilled corn on the cob, the super long freshly battered corn dogs, the fried vegetables with the dipping sauces or the chili cheese crinkle-cuts (which I sampled along with the “Cajun Burger” topped with pepper jack cheese and slice of capicola!). And before leaving, I ate almost a whole bag of fresh, cinnamon coated apple fritters.
There were 700 pound pumpkins and award winning vegetables and livestock – fancy chickens, rabbits, sheep, goats, dairy and beef cows and enormous horses. There were plenty of events including tractor pulls, woodcutting, live music and handcrafting demonstrations.
Next up, the weekend of September 9-11, is the enormous Bethlehem Fair. If you didn’t go, let me know. I’ll tell you who won the $1000 prize in the fried dough contest!