1866: New Town of Middlefield


(From Our Regular Correspondent.)

August 18, 1866.

Thursday last was a great day for the new town of Middlefield, and at sunrise the immense hosts commenced assembling from every nook and corner. From every hill and valley, from highways and by-ways, from Meriden and Durham, from cellars and garrets, poured the living tide of humanity until the splendid streets of that ancient spot were crowded to their utmost capacity. The sweet strains of music floated upon the air and fell sweetly upon the ear. The cannon boomed out its thunder tones of joy; the bells run out their merry peals, while the chimes on the Congregational church chanted out many a gay and festive air. The throats of stalwart men and the puny voices of infants mingled in many a grand hurrah, and “all went merry as the marriage bell.”

You will doubtless wonder by this time what was the cause of all this great commotion. A few words will tell you. It was the crowning of King David and the consecration of Bishop George, and a great time it was, too. The exercises commenced by a national salute. The several military companies, together with the citizens, formed a procession and marched through the principal streets of the city, headed by the Wallingford brass band, to the grove near the conference house, where a bounteous repast had been prepared, and to which the hungry crowd fell at with a will. After the edibles had been dispatched, the ceremony of crowning and consecration commenced. A reverend gentleman offered up a solemn and impressive prayer, and then speeches were the order of the day. King David opened the ball, by reciting the wrongs and barbarities which the Middletowners had been heaping upon them; told how no roads to M. could be got; how they couldn’t fence the burying-ground where fathers’, mother’ and children’d bodies lay entombed, because the hard-hearted Middletowners would object to paying for it, and they should have to pay the expense themselves. In short, all the wrongs of ages had conspired to cause a deep feeling of disgust at the conduct of outside barbarians living in other portions of the town. He went on to say that they wished to keep it a “moral town,” as it always had been, but could not continue so unless they were separated from the corruptions of the city. He alluded feelingly to what the expense had been, and to the hundreds of wringers sent to various members of the legislature, attorneys and others. He closed with a grand peroration on the union of States, but particularly the union of Middlefield as ill-treated by the Republicans taking all the important offices but the second selectman, which was a sop offered to Bishop George.

Bishop George was the next speaker, or at least he essayed to be, and as far as he usually did when a small portion of this town, and that was Mr. President. At this juncture the vast crowd was visibly and audibly affected, and all were taken with a severe fit of coughing, during which the speaker subsided.

Some excellent remarks were made by our good-natured and genial friend, Dr. Hatch, of Meriden. He showed the importance of trading with Meriden and leaving this town out in the cold, and really made a sensible speech. Speeches were also made by a Mr. Davis and others. James Inglis recited a humorous poem which brought down the house by its wit and hits at men and things. Time will not permit me to say more. It was s day ever to be remembered in the annals of Middlefield–ye ancient town.

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