Tolland 300 Club


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Make History!

April 7th, 2014 | No Comments

300_club_pin Tolland residents and businesses can be a part of the 300th anniversary in 2015 by joining the Tolland 300 Club.

For a donation of $300 to the Tolland 300th Anniversary Committee, members receive a commemorative pin and will be listed on the anniversary website, tolland300.org, and in all promotional materials.

Some club members have created a legacy by donating in the name of a loved one.

Members also receive early and frequent updates on the anniversary events that will begin May 12, 2015. The donations will be used directly on anniversary events or projects.

Tax-deductible donations can be mailed to the Tolland 300th Anniversary Committee, 21 Tolland Green, Tolland, CT 06084. Checks should be made out to the Town of Tolland, with “300th anniversary” on the memo line.

For more information on the Tolland 300 Club, contact secretary Kate Farrish at 860-871-8089 or club founder Dave Joyce at 860-872-9765.

Last Call for Submissions

February 5th, 2014 | No Comments

The Tolland 300th Anniversary Committee is putting out its last call for submissions to its commemorative program, which will be published this May 12—one year ahead of the actual 300th anniversary.

Tolland civic groups are invited to send 1,000-word histories of their organization and one or two photos to editor Kate Farrish at kate@tolland300.org no later than February 15.

Groups may also send the date, time, place and a brief description of any 300th anniversary-themed events they will be holding in 2015 to kate@tolland300.org by February 15.

For more information, call Kate at 860-871-8089.

After this May 12, the program will be on sale in several locations around town, with all proceeds to benefit anniversary events planned for 2015.

Rockville Monuments is Latest Major Donor Supporting the Tolland 300th Anniversary Celebration

December 2nd, 2013 | No Comments

Rockville Monuments has donated $1,200 in in-kind services to the Tolland 300th Anniversary Celebration, becoming the latest major donor to help the town mark this important milestone in 2015.

Rockville Monuments is the first “Crandall” level sponsor of the anniversary. Donors are listed on the anniversary web site at tolland300.org.

bench2 The monument company at 144 Hartford Turnpike, owned by Florence “Sissy” Bernache, donated a portion of its services during production earlier this year of a memorial bench to honor Janice Pockett. The bench was dedicated on July 26, 2013, the 40th anniversary of the disappearance of seven-year-old Janice. The beautiful bench can be visited at the Cross Farms Recreation Complex on Rhodes Rd. Janice has never been found and the crime has not been solved.

“I felt that my monument should speak out as a voice for Janice Pockett, to continue to keep her legacy alive and to be remembered by those in Tolland County and the surrounding area,” Bernache said.

Rockville Monuments is also donating part of its services for construction of a Founders Monument, which will be dedicated June 13, 2015 at the corner of Dunn Hill and Old Stafford roads. The monument honors the 59 pioneers who, on May 9, 1713, first petitioned the Connecticut Colony to make the Tolland area its own town. The Colony finally granted requests from area residents on May 12, 1715 – the anniversary that will be marked in 2015.

Celeste Senechal, chairwoman of the anniversary committee, thanked Rockville Monuments for its donation. Bernache and her business will be honored by the town council, the anniversary committee, and the Tolland Historical Society on December 10 at 7:30 P.M. at town hall.

“The 300th anniversary committee is grateful to Florence Bernache and Rockville Monuments for donating a portion of their services for the Janice Pockett bench and the Founders Monument,” Senechal said. “These will be highly visible, lasting projects that the public will be able to visit for generations to come.”

The monument company has been in existence for more than 20 years, said Bernache, who described the business’s philosophy.

“It is our intent to assist families in their grief with not only marking a final resting place, but to express in a tangible way the warmth and affection that was felt for all loved ones,” Bernache said. “Our monuments speak the message that there was a life, not a death.”

The anniversary committee and the Historical Society are planning months of events in 2015 so that the milestone will be remembered as an inclusive, townwide celebration.

Events will include a Charter Day celebration on May 12, 2015 and a gala on May 16, 2015. The three Historical Society museums will hold unique exhibits and historical programs that summer, and the anniversary committee will put on a large regional parade and townwide picnic, combined with the Celebrate Tolland festival, on September 19, 2015.

More donations are being sought from businesses and residents who want to be a part of the celebration. Opportunities include being a member of the “Tolland 300 Club” by making a $300 donation.

Checks should be made out to the Town of Tolland, with “300th Anniversary Committee” in the memo line. Donations may be mailed to the Tolland 300th Anniversary Committee, Town Hall, 21 Tolland Green, Tolland, CT 06084.

For more information on the fundraising levels or to arrange a visit from committee volunteers, call Mary-Pat Soucy at 860-875-3794.

For more information on the celebration, visit Tolland300.org, “like” the 300th Anniversary Celebration on Facebook, or follow its blog on Tolland Patch.

Town Council Approves Location for Founders Monument

October 24th, 2013 | No Comments

We’re happy to report that the town council, at their October 22 meeting, unanimously approved placing the Tolland 300th Anniversary Committee’s Founders Monument on town-owned land at Dunn Hill and Old Stafford Roads.

founders1 The monument will honor the 59 original landowners of the area who in May 1713 first asked the state to make Tolland its own town.

More than $10,000 has been raised for the monument, which will not require any town funds. The committee is still seeking donations to pay for its installation and dedication ceremony on June 13, 2015.

To make a tax-deductible donation, send a check made out to “Town of Tolland” with “300th Anniversary Committee” on the memo line, to Tolland 300th Anniversary Committee, 21 Tolland Green, Tolland, CT 06084.

Anniversary Committee Hopes to Place Founders Monument on Town-Owned Land

October 17th, 2013 | No Comments

DunnHillproperty To honor the 59 original landowners who in May 1713 first asked the state to make Tolland its own town, the 300th Anniversary Committee is seeking to place a founders monument on town-owned land at the corner of Dunn Hill and Old Stafford roads.

The gray granite monument, which would be about six feet tall, would include the names of all 59 founders.

On Tuesday, Oct. 22, the town council will consider the anniversary’s request when it meets at 7:30 P.M. at town hall.

About $10,000 in private funds has already been raised for the monument, which will be produced and installed without any town or state funding.

DunnHillmap Anyone wishing to donate toward the remaining cost of installing the monument can send tax-deductible donations to the Tolland 300th Anniversary Committee, 21 Tolland Green, Tolland, CT 06084. Checks should be made out to the Town of Tolland with “300th Anniversary” on the memo line.

A donation of $300 will entitle the donor to membership in the Tolland 300 Club. Members receive a commemorative pin and their names will be listed on our website at tolland300.org and all promotional materials. They will also receive early and frequent updates on our plans for the anniversary in 2015.

Have Your Historic Tolland Photos Copied

September 23rd, 2013 | No Comments

Woodcut-Green Do you have historic photos of Tolland scenes and people that you would like to share with the Tolland 300th Anniversary Committee and the Tolland Historical Society?

Here’s your chance: anyone with old photos from town events and scenes is invited to contact either group, who will scan and catalogue the photos and immediately return them to you. If possible, anyone sharing photos should include the date the photo was taken, where it was taken, and the names of the people pictured.

To avoid delays in the process, please bring the photos loose, rather than in albums or frames.

The photos will be used in 300th Anniversary and Historical Society publications, exhibits, and web sites as both groups get ready for the milestone celebration in 2015.

For more information about the process, contact Kate Farrish at kate@tolland300.org or 860-871-8089.

For more information on the anniversary, visit www.tolland300.org or “like” the Tolland 300th Anniversary Celebration on Facebook. For more information on the Historical Society’s museums and events, visit www.tollandhistorical.org or “like” the Tolland Historical Society on Facebook.

New Volunteers Invited to a Tolland 300th Anniversary Meeting

September 3rd, 2013 | No Comments

Want to help put on Tolland’s largest party ever?

Residents interested in volunteering for the 300th anniversary celebration in 2015 are invited to attend a meeting Sept. 16 at 7:30 P.M. at the Tolland Recreation Center (formerly Parker Memorial School).

Through merchandise sales and business sponsorships, the committee has been successfully raising money for a series of events to be held between May 12, 2015—Tolland’s actual anniversary—and Sept. 19 of that year, when a large regional parade and townwide picnic will be held.

Volunteers are needed for the parade and picnic committees, but residents of all interests are welcome to help out.

For more information, call secretary Kate Farrish at 860-871-8089 or e-mail her at kate@tolland300.org.

Bench Dedicated in a Moving Ceremony at Cross Farms Park

July 27th, 2013 | No Comments

benchMore than 300 people gathered at Cross Farms Park on July 26 to remember 7-year-old Janice Pockett on the 40th anniversary of her disappearance.

The Tolland 300th Anniversary Committee, led by Sharon Hiller and Celeste Senechal, dedicated the bench, which was purchased entirely with private donations.

maryThe ceremony started with a blessing from Pastor Weston Brooks. Speakers included Mary Engelbrecht, Janice’s sister; Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman; Lt. Paul Vance from the Connecticut State Police; Richard Field, vice-chairman of the town council; and M. William Phelps, who has featured the case on his "Dark Minds" show on the Discovery Channel.

Aftyn Bartholomay and Will Pratt provided music written for the occasion, followed by a release of Monarch butterflies.


Bench to be Dedicated July 26 to Honor Janice Pockett

July 17th, 2013 | No Comments

On the 40th anniversary of her disappearance on Rhodes Road, 7-year-old Janice Pockett will be remembered when the Tolland 300th Anniversary Committee dedicates a bench in her honor during a solemn ceremony on July 26.

JanicePockett The event, set for 7 P.M. at Cross Farms Recreation Complex, will feature a blessing from Pastor Weston Brooks from the River of Life Christian Fellowship in Tolland, and remarks from Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman; Janice’s sister, Mary Engelbrecht; and M. William Phelps, star and creator of the Discovery channel’s “Dark Minds” program. Richard Field, vice chairman of the Tolland town council, and State Sen. Anthony Guglielmo will also take part in the ceremony.

The public is invited to attend the event, which will also feature music by Aftyn Bartholomay and Will Pratt and a release of butterflies. Janice was last seen riding her bike from her Anthony Road home to retrieve a butterfly that she had placed under a rock a few days before. It was the first time her mother had let her ride her bike alone.

Her disappearance on July 26, 1973 shocked the small town and led Tolland parents to keep their children closer to home.

Sharon Hiller, chairwoman of the anniversary committee’s religious subcommittee, led the fundraising drive to purchase the memorial bench. Many Tolland residents and businesses made the bench possible, including Gardner & Peterson Associates, which donated $1,500 for its purchase.

“We did not want this anniversary to pass without acknowledging that it was an important event in our town’s history,’’ Hiller said. “Janice will always be remembered by Tolland residents.”

For days after Janice’s disappearance on July 26, 1973, police and as many as 800 volunteers combed the area south of the highway on foot and horseback, looking for her. The FBI investigated the case in 1974.

Though suspects have been questioned over the years and a carnival worker confessed to killing Janice, the case has never been solved.

Phelps recently featured the case on his show.

For more information on the event, call Sharon Hiller at 860-870-9687.

Own a Piece of Tolland History!

July 1st, 2013 | No Comments

throw Commemorative Tolland 300th anniversary throws, featuring several historic landmarks, are on sale now for $55.

All proceeds will support the Charter Day celebration, large regional parade, townwide picnic, founders memorial, or other events and projects planned to mark the anniversary in 2015.

The throws can be ordered at the Farmers’ Market on the green most Saturdays or by calling Mary-Pat Soucy at 860-875-3794. The throws will be delivered this fall.