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A description of the ideas and events that took place and shaped the Tankerhoosen Valley.

Blizzard of 1888

After the January of 2011 and our record snows it might help us put things in perspective by looking back at the Blizzard of 1888. That nor'easter lasted for three days in mid March bringing up to 50 inches of snow and 60 mile per hour winds which created enormous drifts. On the first day of the blizzard the train from Boston reached Vernon Depot, but could go no further. The 53 passengers were stranded here for three nights until Wednesday morning. So they did what many would do in 2011 - they partied!

» Go to The Blizzard of 1888

The Great Forest Fire of 1892

What the local newspaper called the 'Greatest Forest Fire Ever Known In This Section' began on Tuesday, April 28, 1892 and burned 600 acres near Walker's Reservoir.

» Go to the Great Forest Fire of 1892

Company Towns

When we hear of Company Towns we think of isolated rural mining communities in such far away places as West Virginia, where a huge corporation owns everything and controls its employees. Yet at one time it was considered a modern concept that would improve the lives of workers. Talcottville in the middle of the 19th Century was a near perfect model, even though it existed side by side with a larger community.

» Go to Talcottville As A Company Town

Double Murder In Vernon

Of the 126 people executed for crimes in Connecticut only one was from Vernon and his crime took place on the Dockeral Farm in the Tankerhoosen Valley. On the morning of August 4, 1908, farmer JOHN ZETT killed his wife with a sledge hammer, 4 year old granddaughter with a knife and attempted to kill his adult son who successfully defended himself. The murders, September trial and December execution were the talk of the region. The press coverage and short 4 month period from crime to hanging show how our judicial system has evolved over the past hundred years. (See article in Meriden Morning.)

JEAN LUDDY, from the Vernon Historical Society, researched this event for an article in the Society's newsletter. It describes and analyzes the events that took place around the murders.

» Read Vernon Historical Society article

Thomas Hooker & The Old Connecticut Path

Reverend Thomas Hooker and his congregation set out on a journey from Cambridge, MA to Hartford, CT in May 1636 along what came to be known as the Old Connecticut Path. The project to rediscover the Old Connecticut Path began for Jason Newton as a family history project to find the route taken by his ancestors. Although controversial he feels the route may pass through Tolland and Vernon.

» Go to Thomas Hooker & The Old Connecticut Path

Vernon Highway Bypass

In the 1960's the Connecticut Department Of Transportation explored building beltways that would take traffic around Hartford. One design considered putting a beltway similar to I-291 right through the middle of Vernon, including the Tankerhoosen Valley.

» Go to Vernon Highway Bypass

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