Simsbury Free Library Quarterly

A Boyhood in Simsbury #2

Volume 23 Issue 1 Spring 2017

Memoirs of Joseph Toy Curtiss, Part II

In 1911 the Joseph Toy Curtiss family moved from the Weatogue district to the center of Simsbury. The next couple of years must have been difficult ones. The father, Joseph Toy Curtiss Sr., died in 1912 in a car crash, and the family moved several times before settling down. Still, Joseph Toy Curtiss Jr. seemed to remember these year fondly.


A Boyhood in Simsbury #1

Volume 22 Issue 4 Winter 2016-2017

Memoirs of Joseph Toy Curtiss, Part II

In 1970, Simsbury observed its three-hundredth birthday with a series of parades, plays, speeches and concerts. The schools held special assemblies commemorating the past and men sprouted long whiskers as they competed in a beard-growing contest. It was a town-wide affair spanning many months, and it seemed nearly everyone had a role to play.


The Wicked Life of James Poisson

Volume 22 Issue 3, Summer 2016

An Eighteenth-Century Scoundrel in Simsbury

James Poisson was not a nice man. Nor was he an honest man. He was a doctor, a merchant, a shopkeeper, an investor in mills and factories, a land speculator, a financial wheeler-dealer, frequently involved in lawsuits, a defaulter of loans, a liar, a con-man, a wife beater and a counterfeiter. He was also a French Huguenot.

The Poisson name is French – meaning fish. However, in various Connecticut records, it is spelled, Payson, Pyson, Poyson, Pison and frequently, Poison. New England Yankees had problems with French names.

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Bushy Hill Neighborhood House and Society

Volume 22 Issue 2 Spring 2016

A Community Club Run by Member from 1911 to 1955

At the turn of the twentieth century, the Bushy Hill district in the southwest of Simsbury was fairly isolated from other parts of town. That area of small farms and unpaved roads had one public building, the elementary school, but no post office, church, or social gathering place like the Casino in the town center. When the Neighborhood House in the Weatogue district opened in 1906, the people of Bushy Hill took notice and by 1910 many were determined to have a Neighborhood House of their own.


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