West Haven’s ‘Hubbard Farms’ exhibit features Civil War encampment

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Written by Michael P. Walsh

WEST HAVEN, CT – A West Haven Centennial Exhibit will celebrate the legacy of the Hubbard family and farm with a Civil War encampment, children’s activities, food and live music.

The “Hubbard Farms” exhibit will take place Saturday from 11 am to 4 pm in Hubbard Farms Park, a 7.6 acre park with walking trails in the Hubbard Road area of ​​the West Shore. The rainy date is Sunday.

Parking is available at Pagels Elementary School, 26 Benham Hill Road. People can access the park through a gate behind the school next to the playground.

Parking is also available on side streets and part of Hubbard Road. Police will be closing Hubbard Road from Honeypot to Jones Hill for the duration of the event.

The exhibit, presented by Hubbard family member Steven Johnstone, is part of the West Haven Centennial Celebration, a series of free six-month events commemorating the birth of the community in 1921 and its incorporation by the Assembly general as the youngest municipality in Connecticut.

Classical rock band The Navels will kick off the festivities from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., followed by Top 40 music by guitarist John Ciambriello from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Activities for the kids, sponsored by the City of West Haven’s Centennial Celebration Committee, will include balloon making and face painting by Picasso Parties of West Haven.

The camp will feature an exhibit of Civil War relics collected by volunteers from the 8th Connecticut Regiment, Company A, a reenactment and living history organization of the Union Civil War in Greater Connecticut.

Johnstone said members of the regiment would replicate an authentic Civil War-era campsite in the woodland park and take questions and photos. At 3:30 p.m., the regiment will perform a musket salute – the final of the event, he said.

According to Johnstone, the park property was a dairy and hay farm from the late 1700s until 1973, when his family sold the land to a local builder, who failed to develop the property – the last part of the farm that has not been sold. and developed. In the late 1970s, the property was sold to the city, which turned it into a natural hub in the mid-1990s, he said.

The Hubbard exhibit will feature farm antiques and heirlooms passed down from generation to generation, as well as photos with descriptions relating to the family farm and the ice skating pond.

With Hubbards in the military, the exhibit will feature reunions, including photos from the 150th annual family reunion in 2006, and extensive park restoration from last year.

After a five-month cleanup led by Johnstone, the park, formerly Hubbard Nature and Education Center, was officially renamed Hubbard Farms Park and reopened on September 29, 2020.

“A lot of people are going to be surprised when they show up this weekend,” said Johnstone, president of the Hubbard Family Association. “During the whole revitalization of the park, dozens of people approached me to tell me how they grew up here skating on the pond. It’s not exactly the same thing that people grew up with, but it’s is a big improvement over what has happened here over the past 20+ years.

“It will be a throwback for many between the amount of park cleared and the story itself on display. The other thing I look forward to is that this will be the first event for the West Coast as a as far back as I can remember. It’s a chance for Districts 9 and 10 to really come together and celebrate the rich history of the land that many ignore. “

All the work and materials to reestablish the park’s trails, clean up brush and debris, add new fences and renovate existing fences and beautify the main entrance were provided by sponsors at no cost to the city, Johnstone said. , owner of Hubbard Farm’s Wood and Snow LLC of West Haven.

In addition to sponsorship support, over $ 11,000 in cash and in-kind contributions were donated by more than a dozen companies.

Johnstone noted that the restoration was also made possible by three dozen volunteers who contributed over 350 hours to the park’s rehabilitation.

Mayor Nancy R. Rossi, honorary chair of the centennial committee, said the exhibit will join a long list of special events observing the secession of West Haven from Orange a century ago, including the Centennial Boat Parade in June, the Centennial Savin Rock Festival in July and the Centennial Fireworks on September 3. The rural and residential sections of Orange split in 1921 when the residential section, West Haven, became the youngest city in the state.

Johnstone and Executive Chef Dana Loehn, a West Haven resident who owns Creative Kitchen & Catering of Shelton, created a centennial and farm-themed menu featuring a variety of made-to-order items including The Hub, a hot – giant dog filled with pepper relish, spicy brown mustard, chili, cheese and onion chips for $ 8.

Other items prepared by Loehn will include District 10 – a hand-formed beef patty over lettuce, tomatoes, onions and pickles and topped with American cheese, mustard, mayonnaise, ketchup and crisps. garlic for $ 10 – and The Centennial, Creative’s slowly braised brown sugar pork crammed over mashed potatoes, topped with coleslaw and topped with corn muffin for $ 8.

Creative will be offering a $ 5 kids’ meal – a hot dog, hamburger or cheeseburger with fries and a box of juice – as well as an all-beef hot dog for $ 4 and a hand-formed burger smash with American cheese, lettuce and tomato for $ 6.

Creative will also have $ 4 desserts – The Strawberry Patch, a strawberry parfait and The Brown Cow, a chocolate parfait – as well as soda, bottled water, and candy for $ 1.

The exhibit and catering tents are sponsored by Yale University West Campus.

In the spirit of West Haven’s birthday, committee chair Beth A. Sabo will be selling centennial coins, pins and WestHavenOpoly, the centennial version of the Monopoly board game.

All merchandise proceeds generated by the committee will offset the expense and support the city council’s approved $ 50,000 centennial budget, said Sabo, the city’s human resources commissioner.

For other centennial products, visit the official online store here.

The store, hosted by West Haven vendor West Shore Associates, sells century-old branded merchandise such as long and short sleeve t-shirts, hoodies, stainless steel tumblers, wine glasses without foot, insulated drink bottles, ceramic mugs, retro sunglasses, canvas and cotton tote bags, eco-performance masks and pigment dyed twill and mesh trucker caps.

A portion of the proceeds from the seller’s merchandise will support the centennial account, Sabo said.

For a full list of centennial events, check out the schedule here.


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