LIME ROCK PARK ANNOUNCES POSTPONEMENT OF SEASON OPENER DUE TO COVID-19 CORONAVIRUS CRISIS

In lieu of the latest government and health official statements concerning the COVID-19 pandemic and after consultation with each circuit, SRO Motorsport America today announces the postponement of its races scheduled in May, including the Touring Car Festival at Lime Rock Park.

The TC America and Pirelli GT4 America races as part of the Touring Car Festival were originally scheduled for May 8-9 and will be rescheduled to a future date later in 2020. SRO Motorsports America officials plan on announcing the new date for the Touring Car Festival in the coming weeks.

The Lime Rock Park staff continues to place a priority on the health and safety of our staff, fans, spectators and competitors. We hope that you and your family remain safe and well during this COVID-19 crisis.

Please sign up to receive the latest news and information from Lime Rock Park by visiting http://www.limerock.com/jointhefanclub. Updated announcements will also be made on www.limerock.com and on our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/limerockpark. For additional questions, Lime Rock staff can be reached by emailing info@limerock.com or by calling (860) 435-5000 (Mon.-Fri. 9:00am – 5:00pm).

How to Download a Walking Tour of Torrington

The Torrington Historical Society has put together an interesting walking tour of downtown Torrington. In Colonial Times downtown Torrington was known as Mast Swamp. It was a low-lying, wet area covered with massive pines and hemlocks that were claimed as ship masts for England’s Royal Navy. The land in Mast Swamp was divided among Torrington’s early settlers and most of the trees were sawn into lumber at Wilson’s Sawmill (1751) on the upper end of Water Street. Few, if any, became ship masts. Torrington’s downtown was built here because the Naugatuck River supplied water power for mills and factories in an era before steam power and electricity. A woolen mill was built on lower Water Street by Frederick Wolcott in 1813. This mill brought workers to the river valley and a village of stores and homes sprang up around it. The village became known as Wolcottville and would continue to grow into the urban center that we now call downtown Torrington.

Immigration from Europe greatly expanded Torrington’s population between 1870 and 1900. During that time most of Wolcottville’s wooden buildings were replaced with more fire-resistant brick structures. In the decades that followed, buildings were built or remodeled in the popular Art Deco, Art Moderne, and Colonial Revival styles. Along the streets of downtown Torrington, you will see the work of architects, builders, and property owners who have created a unique sense of place. Today, many of these historic buildings are home to arts and cultural
organizations that are breathing new life into downtown Torrington. For your printable walking tour of Torrington visit https://www.torringtonhistoricalsociety.org/virtual-walking-tour.html

A few of the highlights include the following

1. HOTCHKISS-FYLER HOUSE, 1900 192 Main Street Built-in 1900, before the automobile arrived here, the Hotchkiss-Fyler House typifies an era when stately homes were built within walking distance of downtown. This house was built for Orsamus and Mary Fyler. Mr. Fyler was a Civil War veteran and had a notable business and political career. The house was designed in a Queen Anne, “chateauesque” style and was constructed by Hotchkiss Brothers Company of Torrington. In 1956, Fyler’s daughter, Gertrude Hotchkiss, donated the home to the Torrington
Historical Society for use as a museum. The home remains furnished as it was during Mrs. Hotchkiss’ lifetime.

2. The Brick Academy, 4 George Street – This is the oldest building in the downtown historic district. It is now a private residence and it is an excellent example of Greek Revival architecture. By 1835, downtown was expanding with new businesses and homes and this school was constructed to serve the growing school-age population. Typical of the Greek Revival style, the gable end with its triangular pediment faces the street. The Greek Revival style was popularized in America during the early nineteenth century when Americans looked beyond traditional English architecture and politics to the pure forms and ideals of ancient Greek democracy

3. ST. FRANCIS OF ASSISI CHURCH, 1887 168 Main Street. Irish immigrants began arriving in Torrington around 1845. Roman Catholic religious services were first held in Irish homes until a wooden church was built on this site in 1859. As Torrington’s Irish-Catholic population grew, so did the need for a larger church. The present Gothic-style church with its 151-foot steeple was built to replace the wooden church that once stood here. Shortly thereafter, the parish constructed a rectory, two brick school buildings behind the church and a convent.

4. CENTER CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH, 1867
155 Main Street
Although not the first church on this site, the present Center Congregational Church is one
of the older buildings in downtown Torrington. The Congregational Church built a wood-framed meeting house on this site in 1829. It was replaced with the present Gothic Revival
style church built of local granite in 1867. The parish house with its distinctive square tower
was added in 1899. Tragedy struck in 1979 when an arsonist set fire to the church and
destroyed all but the solid granite walls. Although the interior of the church is modern, the
building retains its historical appearance and significance.

5. TORRINGTON SAVINGS BANK, 1938
129 Main Street
This bank building as well as the Torrington City Hall (1936) across the street
were designed by Torrington architect Carl Victor Johnson. Both buildings
show the influence of the Colonial Revival Movement. The bank also
incorporates classical influences such as the triangular pediment above the
second floor. The bank also shares several stylistic elements with the
Torrington National Bank which was built twenty years earlier on Prospect
Street. The Torrington Savings Bank was established in 1868. Until this
building was built, the bank was located in the Granite Block, which at one
time stood opposite the Warner Theatre.

6. CONLEY’S INN, 1891
93 Main Street
When Conley’s Inn opened in 1891, it was billed as “equal to
any in Connecticut.” Frank Conley had been a hotel keeper in
Philadelphia when he entertained a group of men from
Torrington. These businessmen saw a need for a first-class hotel
to boost Torrington’s image and convinced Conley to relocate
here. The original hotel had 52 rooms and was thoroughly
Victorian. During World War I, a large demand for surgical
needles prompted Torrington Company officials to recruit workers
from outside Torrington. A shortage of housing led the company
to purchase Conley’s Inn in 1918. Two years later, a large
three-story addition was constructed to serve as a boarding
house for female employees. A Tudor-style pub called the Yankee
Pedlar was added along Maiden Lane in 1940. In 1956, the name of the
hotel itself was changed to the Yankee Pedlar Inn.

MERTZ DEPARTMENT STORE, 1930
84-94 Main Street
The W.W. Mertz Company operated Torrington’s premier
department store in a period when locally-owned department
stores were the anchor and pride of America’s Main Streets.
This pride was reflected in both the quality of merchandise as
well as in the design of the building itself. The façade of the
Mertz building is a fine example of modernistic architecture
in Torrington. Designed by Torrington architect William E.
Hunt, the building displays intricate geometric details made
of cut Indiana limestone and a front entry surrounded by
smooth, dark green Vermont marble. The retail business was
established by Walter S. Lewis who built a Victorian-era
commercial building on the site. After the death of Lewis, the
business was taken over by his son-in-law, W. W. Mertz who greatly expanded
the floor space and built the modernistic façade. It is now owned by the
Warner Theatre.

CONLEY’S INN, 1891 (YANKEE PEDLAR INN)
93 Main Street
When Conley’s Inn opened in 1891, it was billed as “equal to
any in Connecticut.” Frank Conley had been a hotel keeper in
Philadelphia when he entertained a group of men from
Torrington. These businessmen saw a need for a first-class hotel
to boost Torrington’s image and convinced Conley to relocate
here. The original hotel had 52 rooms and was thoroughly
Victorian. During World War I, a large demand for surgical
needles prompted Torrington Company officials to recruit workers
from outside Torrington. A shortage of housing led the company
to purchase Conley’s Inn in 1918. Two years later, a large
three-story addition was constructed to serve as a boarding
house for female employees. A Tudor-style pub called the Yankee
Pedlar was added along Maiden Lane in 1940. In 1956, the name of the
hotel itself was changed to the Yankee Pedlar Inn.

WARNER THEATRE, 1931
68 Main Street
Built by Warner Brothers, the Warner Theatre replaced several Victorian-era, brick, commercial
blocks on the east side of Main Street. Construction began in 1930 and the theatre opened on
August 19, 1931. Designed by noted theatre architect Thomas Lamb, the Warner incorporates
many modernistic design concepts of the period both on the exterior façade and in the interior
finishing. Lamb’s aim was to create an atmosphere of “compelling abandon and relaxation” for
the spectator. The theatre operated primarily as a movie palace until 1981 when it closed. There
was talk of turning it into a parking lot when, in 1982, a group of preservationists and theatre
enthusiasts spearheaded a grassroots fundraising campaign to purchase this landmark and create
a performing arts center. The theatre is operated by the Northwest Connecticut Association for the
Arts which has completed the theatre’s exterior and interior restoration.

CHAMBER OF COMMERCE BUILDING, 1916
56-66 Main Street
The original Neo-Classical architecture of this building and its recent restoration and
rehabilitation represent the aspirations of two successful organizations in two separate
centuries. The original three-story brick building was built by James Mallette, who came to
Torrington as a stable boy and became Torrington’s leading real estate developer and financier.
His strong support for the Chamber of Commerce led him to construct this substantial building,
in part, as a home for their operations. The building is now the headquarters of the Nutmeg
Conservatory and the Nutmeg Ballet, who have rehabilitated the original structure, adding a
new first-floor façade and a soaring glass-and-steel dance studio to the rear of the building.

ALLEN BUILDING, 1930, 1935
42 Main Street
This building is another fine example of modernistic architecture by Torrington architect
William E. Hunt (see also Mertz Building). The northernmost part of the building was built
in 1930 adjacent to a nineteenth-century wood-frame hotel on the corner. The hotel,
known as the Allen House, was severely damaged by fire in 1934 and demolished to
make way for the rest of this building (1935) that wraps around the corner. As a whole,
the building is a significant modernistic statement in an important commercial location.

LILLEY BLOCK #2, 1896
11-21 Main Street
This building is an elegant example of a type of commercial block built in American cities at the turn of the century. These mixed-use buildings often contained first floor stores with apartments above which gave cities a resident population to support a variety of businesses. The third story arched windows and arched
brickwork of the cornice identify this building as Victorian Romanesque
Revival. Waterbury developer George Lilley built this commercial block in
1896, 13 years before becoming governor of Connecticut. Lilley purchased
most of the property between Water Street and the river after an 1894 fire
destroyed the Turner and Seymour Manufacturing Company buildings on
this site. Between 1896 and 1912, Lilley built four commercial buildings
along Main and Water Streets.

VENETIAN RESTAURANT, 1844, 1901
50-52 East Main Street
The Venetian building showcases several architectural styles
as well as the history of two prominent immigrant groups,
Germans and Italians. The rear portion of the Venetian is a
wood frame building constructed in 1844 as a store and
dwelling. It is probably the oldest structure in the commercial
district. The neo-classical masonry addition on the front of
the building was built around 1898 by German immigrants
William Witzke and Oscar Stoeckert who operated a saloon.
At this time, many of the businesses on East Main Street
were owned and operated by people of German descent.
Meanwhile, Torrington’s Italian population was growing and,
in 1925, the building was purchased by Charles Giampaolo
who opened an Italian restaurant and named it the Venetian.
In 1930, the façade and interior were remodeled with the
addition of art deco glass block, a classic neon sign, and
interior murals of Venice.

Online with Litchfield Historical Society

On March 31 the Litchfield Historical Society is offering a live session on Facebook at 10:30 a.m. called, “Coffee with a Curator.” The Litchfield Historical Society is excited to bring the museum into your home with Coffee with a Curator. Sit down with a cup of coffee and have one of our curators share items from our artifact collections and archives.

The Series continues on Friday, April 3 at 1 p.m. with a session called What is That – A History Museum! This program will uncover a history mystery! From unusual objects to strange stories, participants will be taking a close look at the weird and wonderful things in the Society’s collection to see if you can solve the history mystery!

On April 7 at 10:30 a.m. get ready to once again sit with the Society’s Curator with a cuppa! On Tuesday, April 7th at 10:30, Archivist Linda Hocking will be teaching viewers how to read historical documents. Participants will learn about trends and changes in penmanship, the process of transcribing documents, and tips on how to decipher hard to read handwriting.

If you miss these sessions, feel free to explore the Litchfield Historical Society’s online interactive exhibit that connects them to the Bauhaus School in their latest online exhibit! Directly embedded to the website, click on the icons to read object labels, see more images, and follow links to additional information. Click here for the link.

The Institute for American Indian Studies is Bringing Native American Stories and History To You!

Since you can’t come to the Institute for Native American Studies, so the Institute is bringing the Museum to you, virtually! Although we’re not able to welcome you on-site, our staff is doing everything we can to stay connected to you and to our community. While we’re closed, we’re using technology to keep us together. You can keep in touch with us on Facebook, Instagram, and through updates on our website, https://www.iaismuseum.org or you can email us at general@iaismuseum.org. We will be providing stories and learning experiences for you until we can be together again.

In the spirit of enjoying our museum from home we are inviting everyone to join us Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/IAISMuseum at 2 pm for the month of March for a new video series we are calling “Inside with IAIS.” On Wednesday, March 25, at 2 p.m. there will be a lesson in archaeology with the research staff that will reveal the finer points of this fascinating discipline. On Friday, March 27, join Darlene Kascak, Native American Storyteller as she weaves a tale of how the animals as we know and love today came to be. To finish off the month of March, on the 30th kids are invited to explore the world of nature journaling by learning how to set up a journal that will help them record all their outdoors discoveries. Two videos have already appeared and can be found https://www.facebook.com/IAISMuseum.

At the end of March on our Museum Facebook Page, we will ask a series of questions related to our live Facebook Page Video Sessions. Answer all the questions correctly and be entered into a contest to win an amazing prize!

One way you can help the Institute for American Indian Studies during this time is to become a member. Our mission is to educate and preserve Native American history and culture and we need your help to accomplish this. Please click the link here https://www.iaismuseum.org/support/membershipbenefits/and become a member today. As an IAIS Member, your benefits include Unlimited free admission to the museum, reduced or free admission for special events, discounted workshop and summer camp fees, discounts in the IAIS Museum Shop, quarterly calendar of IAIS activities and workshops, invitations to exhibit openings and special events, and your choice of one of four books as a welcoming gift.


Located on 15 acres of woodland acres the Institute For American Indian Studies preserves and educates through archeology, research, exhibitions, and programs. They have the 16th c. Algonquian Village, Award-Winning Wigwam Escape, and a museum with temporary and permanent displays of authentic artifacts from prehistory to the present that allows visitors to foster a new understanding of the world and the history and culture of Native Americans. The Institute for American Indian Studies is located on 38 Curtis Road, Washington, CT.

Update from White Hart Inn – Salisbury

The White Hart Inn located in Salisbury has just announced new hours and take out details for their restaurant. The details are as follows

Provisions Hours
Starting Tuesday, March 24th Provisions will be open from 11am-5pm every day. Orders are for takeout only and must be called in ahead of time, to limit all face-to-face interactions (we miss seeing you, but we want to keep it brief!). Click here for our new takeout menu, filled with options that will keep you happy and satisfied in the comfort of your home.

Tap Room
We continue to offer takeout from our Tap Room Menu every night from 5pm-8pm. We are now accepting online orders. Don’t forget to add a bottle of wine to your order—we’re pretty sure you have earned a big glass of something delicious!

Our rooms
Because we are what the Connecticut government deems an “essential” business, our Inn is still available to staying guests. Several of our rooms and suites have private entrances that don’t require passage through the lobby or any other public spaces. As usual, we are keeping all areas clear and immaculately clean, following the most up-to-date guidelines from the CDC and the WHO. And we have great room service, too!

Medicinal Monday – Sacred Smoke – The Art of Smudging

These days health is on everyone’s mind with the spread of the coronavirus. Native Americans believe that natural herbs and plants affect the spirit and the soul of a person. This type of healing combines many elements such as spirituality, preparation, ceremonies, and rituals using natural preparations. Burning sage, for example, is a powerful ritual that has its roots in some Native American traditions. Today, many people burn sage to cleanse a space or environment of negative energy, to encourage wisdom and clarity, and to promote healing.

About Smudging

Smudging traditions vary depending on the location of a particular Native American community. One factor is constant, smudging must be done carefully and with a positive frame of mind because you are communicating with the powers of the plants and the spirits of this ritual. Smudging must be completed with respect and honor if it is to work.

Smudging can be thought of as a purification ceremony – it is like bathing in sacred smoke, and the way to remove negative energy and to restore balance. According to the teachings of the Medicine Wheel, the four medicines are tobacco, sweetgrass, sage, and cedar. Tobacco comes from the east and represents balance. Sweetgrass comes from the south and represents kindness and attracts positive energy. Cedar is the western direction and represents harmony and wards off sickness. Sage is the northern direction and represents protection from negative energy and brings spiritual blessings.

Sage and Smudging

Many people use sage in the smudging ceremony because it purifies your life from negativity. When smudging, use an abalone shell and light the herbs. Fan the smoke with a feather, many use the feather of an eagle to keep the smoke active. The use of a feather is symbolic of our connection to the Creator.

Traditionally, when lighting the smudge, face east, the traditional direction of the beginning and of birth. After lighting the smudge, wash your hands in the smoke then bring the smoke to your eyes to see good things, your nose to smell good things, your mouth to say good things, and your ears to hear good things. You can also wash the smoke over your head, down your arms, past your heart to feel good things, down your legs, and behind your back. You may want to offer thanks for all that is good in your life as this is time for reflection and connection to a higher power, your spiritual self, or whatever you are comfortable in believing in a positive way.

It is important to set the proper stage and attitude for your smudging ceremony. Set a time when you won’t be distracted and use this ceremony to take away bad energy and to bring good energy to you. For a traditional healing video on smudging see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=db-Dxzf0CJw

The Gift Shop at the Institute for American Indian Studies on 38 Curtis Road in Washington, CT has a supply of sage for smudging available for sale!