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PRESS OF KARL BROTHERS, LITCHFIELD, CONN.
P R E S I D E N T S
L I T C H F I E L D V I L L A G E IMPROVEMENT
C O M P A N Y
1875 - 1876 GEO. M. WOODRUFF
1876 - 1877 J. D E M I N G P E R K I NS
1877 - 1885 GEO. M. WOODRUFF
1885 - 1886 CHAS. H. COIT
1886 - 1888 A. E. FULLER
1888 - 1889 J. D E M I N G P E R K I NS
1889 - 1911 A. E. F U L L ER
1911 - 1913 SEYMOUR CUNNINGHAM
1913 - A. T. VAN LAER
PRESIDENT— A. T. VAN L A E R.
SECRETARY— CLARA K E N N EY
T R E A S U R E R — E S T H E R T H O M P S ON
LIST OF MEMBERS.
Adams, Miss Emma
Adenau, Mrs. Jules
Allen, W. B.
Allen, Miss G. Edith
Ambler, Mrs. D. G.
Barber, Charles P.
Bininger, Miss E. D.
Bishop, Miss Mabel
Bissell, W. J.
Bronson, J. H.
Bronson, Mrs. J. H.
Bulkley, Miss Alice
Bull, F. K.
Bull, L. S.
Bull, Miss Dorothy
Chase, Henry S.
Clark, B. S.
Clark, Mrs. B. S.
Coe, Miss Ella
Coit, Charles H.
Colvocoresses, G. P.
Colvocoresses, Mrs. G. P.
Crutch, Mrs. Aaron
Cunningham, Mrs. Seymour
Day, W. Beach
Day, Mrs. W. Beach
Deming, Miss Adelaide
Deming, Miss Elizabeth
Deming, Miss Julia
Deming, Mrs. Charles J.
Deming, Mrs. Frederick
Deming, N. L.
Denegar, L. R.
Dove, Mrs. John
Elton, John P.
Elton, Mrs. John P.
Frost, Miss Florence
Fuller, A' E.
G o d d a r d , Miss Annie
Godfrey, Mrs. W. H. K. «
Granniss, W. G
Harris, Thomas J.
Hickox, Miss Frances E.
Hinsdale, Charles W.
Hinsdale, Mrs. Charles W.
Hoppin, Mrs. J. Mason
H u b b a r d , John T.
Husted, Mrs. Seymour
Jackson, Mrs. Winthrop
Jones, Henry R.
Jones, Mrs. Henry R.
Jones, Miss Evelyn
Jones, Miss Louise
Kenney, Miss Clara B.
K i l b o u r n e , Mrs. Harriet
Kingsbury, Miss E d i t h D.
K n a p p , Shepard
L a n c a s t e r , John
Latimer, Miss C. P.
Latimer, Miss Julia
Latimer, Miss Mary
Lewis, Mrs. A n n a K.
Liggitt, R. H.
Liggitt, Mrs. R. H.
Lindley, Mrs. John
Lindiey, Miss Eleanor
Lockwood, J. F.
Lockwood, Mrs. J. F.
Lockwood, Miss Eleanor
Lockwood, Miss Priscilla
Marcy, J. H.
Marsh, W. T.
Marsh, Mrs. W. T.
McGuinness, J. L.
McLaughlin, Mrs. S. B.
McLean, Mrs. Allen
McNeal, C. R.
Mitchell, Miss Josephine
Monroe, H. S.
Moraghan, M. V.
Newcomb, F. U.
P a r k s , Mrs. M. P.
Payne, Charles T.
P h e l p s , E. L.
Piatt, Mrs. O. H.
Quincy, Miss Mary P.
Ray, Miss Clara B.
R i c h a r d s , Mrs. George
R i c h a r d s , Miss Harriet
Ripley, L. A.
Ripley, Mrs. L. A.
Sanford, Mrs. Harrison
Sanford, W. H.
Sanford, Mrs. W. H.
Sanford, Miss Margaret
Seymour, Mrs. E. W.
Seymour, Morris W.
Seymour, Mrs. Morris W.
Smith, Miss Cornelia B.
Schlecht, Charles F.
Shinn, Mrs. F. A.
T h o m a s , Mrs. A. J.
T h o m a s , Miss Kate J.
T h o m p s o n , Miss Sarah A.
T h o m p s o n , Miss Esther H,
T h u r s t o n , Miss A m y R.
T r o w b r i d g e , Mrs. Kate B.
T u r k i n g t o n , Charles
V a n d e r p o e l , Mrs. Emily N.
V a n d e r p o e l , Floyd L.
V a n Lear, A. T.
V a n Lear, Mrs. A. T.
V a n Winkle, E. B.
V a n Winkle, Mrs. E- B.
V a n Winkle, Miss Mary S.
V a n Winkle, Miss E. M.
V a n Winkle, Miss Grace L.
V a n Winkle, Miss Mary D.
V o n d e r m u h l l , Mrs. George
W e s t e r v e l t , Marvin Z.
White, Alain C.
White, Miss May W.
Wolcott, Miss Alice
W o o d r u f f , George M.
W o o d r u f f , George C.
W o o d r u f f , Mrs. G e o r g e C.
W o o d r u f f , James P.
W o o d r u f f , Mrs. James P.
ARTICLES OF ASSOCIATION.
BE IT KNOWN, t h a t we the subscribers do hereby
associate ourselves, as a body politic and corporation,
pursuant to the provisions of the Statutes of Connect-icut,
regulating the formation and organization of Cor-porations,
where no Capital Stock is created; and the
following are the Articles of our Association and
The name of this Corporation shall be " The Litch-field
Village Improvement Company."
The purpose for which such Corporation if formed
To make improvements in the Village of Litchfield,
its streets, parks, public grounds and public buildings;
and to purchase, erect and maintain new ones; and to
do all things incidental to said business, and to the
proper management thereof.
The S t a t u t e Laws of this State, relating to Corpor-ations
where no stock is created, are hereby particu-larly
referred to, and this Corporation is hereby
organized under said laws, shall have t h e powers, and
proceed according to t h e regulations, specified therein.
Every person subscribing these articles, and paying
i n to the treasury of this Corporation the sum of One
6 ARTICLES OF ASSOCIATION.
Dollar, shall thereby become a member of this Cor-poration,
and entitled to vote and hold office therein;
and shall pay f u r t h e r such annual sum as t h e By- Laws
of this Corporation shall require; and shall forfeit his
membership on non- compliance therewith.
The said Corporation is established and located in
t h e Town and Village of Litchfield, in said State.
The first meeting of said Corporation shall be held
at the residence of George M. Woodruff, in said
Litchfield, on the 24th day of April, at eight o'clock
in the evening.
Dated at Litchfield, the 24th day of April. A. D.
BY - LAWS.
1st— The Officers of this Company shall consist of
a President, a Vice- President, a Secretary, and a Treas-urer,
who shall be chosen by ballot at each annual
meeting and hold office till their successors are
appointed, and who shall perform the duties usually
required of such officers.
2d— The property and affairs of this Company shall
be under the management of an Executive Commit-tee
of twelve members, to be chosen annually at the
annual meeting of the Company. The President, Vice-
President, Secretary and Treasurer shall be ex officio
members of this Committee; and the Chairman at any
meeting shall be the highest ranking officer present in
the order named.
3d— It shall be the duty of the Treasurer to keep
books showing all moneys received and disbursed, and
he or she shall only pay out moneys on order of the
President and two other members of the Executive
Committee, and shall make a written report of his or
her doings to the annual meeting of the Company.
4th— The annual meeting of this Company shall be
held on the third Wednesday of October in each year;
special meetings may be called at any time by the
President, and he shall call a special meeting at any
time that not less than ten members request him to
do so; notice of the time and place of all meetings to
be given by the President, by publication in the
Village papers at least two days before the time
5th— Regular meetings of the Executive Committee
shall be held on the second Monday of April, May,
8 BY - LAWS
June, July, August, September and October. Five
members present at any such meeting of the Commit-tee
shall constitute a quorum.
6th— The annual dues of each member shall be
One Dollar, payable on the 1st of August in each
year, and the name of any member failing to pay said
sum within t h i r t y days thereafter may be, at any time
before payment thereof, stricken f r om the roll of mem-bers
on vote of the Company.
7th— These By- Laws may be altered or repealed at
any legal meeting of the Company, by a two- thirds
vote of the members present.
A HISTORICAL SKETCH
LITCHFIELD VILLAGE IMPROVEMENT
A historical sketch of The Litchfield Village
Improvement Company ( locally known as the V. I. S.)
might either be general in its character or give an
account of the work of the Company in detail. The
latter would probably be most interesting to the act-ive
members of the Company, but not to the public
for whom this sketch is intended.
It is nearly forty years since, at the suggestion of
the late F. Ratchford Starr, " a few earnest and hope-ful
citizens" met at the house of Geo. M. Woodruff
and organized the Company, of which from that time
until his death, the late J. Deming Perkins was the
inspiration and chief worker, and which changed our
Village from its former appearance of neglect and
carelessness ( which it shared in common with most of
the villages of that day) to its present beauty, in
which it is excelled by none.
Some thirty thousand dollars, provided by annual
dues, special gifts, fairs, lectures, dramatic entertain-ments
and the like, enjoyed by our citizens and
visitors, have been expended in this work of improve-ment.
A small matter as regards cost, but one mat-erially
affecting the comfort of residents and visitors,
has been that of street lighting. For some time pre-vious
to the organization of our Company there was
no systematic lighting. Two individuals first hung
kerosene lanterns on the elm trees in front of their
residences and this example was gradually followed
until our principal streets were fairly well lighted at
night. Then came our Company and took up the
work and maintained lights in the central part of the
10 A HISTORICAL SKETCH
village and along the walks in the parks, until the
reorganized borough assumed this duty.
The sidewalks of the village varied f r om good to
bad according to the interest taken by the adjoining
proprietors. The first asphalt walks were on the
Mansion House ( now Phelps') corner and in front of
t h e residence of the late John H. Hubbard; then a
house- holder here and there- would have a like pave-ment
laid, but the intervening spaces were still muddy
in wet weather and dusty in dry, until the Improve-ment
Company by urgent solicitation and by payment
of a portion of the cost brought about the paving of a
considerable part of the streets, which work the bor-ough
brought to completion.
In addition to the main roadways on North and
South streets, there were well used paths between the
sidewalks and the roadways, where people drove at
their pleasure and which in t h e spring of the year were
deeply plowed by the wheel tracks. Our Company
succeeded in doing away with these and in having the
space between roadways and sidewalks smoothly
graded, sown to grass and the grass cut with lawn-mowers.
The roadway on East Hill was considerably
n o r t h of the middle of the highway, with unsightly
gullies and rough banks on each side. We removed
t h e roadway to its present location and had the sides
evenly graded and grassed. On West street the road-ways
on each side of the Park continued nearly to the
foot of the hill. These we brought together and grad-ed
the sides, making such an improvement as to cause
t h e late John G. Holland, who was spending the sum-mer
here, to write a magazine article in commendation
of the work of the Company.
There were no cross walks for passing f r om one side
of the street to the other, except an occasional one
12 A HISTORICAL SKETCH 11
maintained by individuals. That from the Court
House to the Jail corner was so especially bad t h a t in
t h e spring of the year the mud was ankle deep. The
Improvement Company caused stone crossings with
stone bridges over the ditches to be laid with asphalt
approaches at convenient distances. All the ground
between the East and West parks had been given up
to driveways in every direction, f r om which in summer
clouds of dust were always drifting. The town had
permitted the enclosure of a small space in the center,
this however interfered so much with the play grounds
of the boys t h a t the fence was twice torn down and
burned. But under the influence of our Company
public sentiment was so changed as to permit the ex-tension
of the former East and West parks and the
enclosing of a still larger space in the center which
now has been made into a beautiful park, with a low
curbing around it, which prevents its being driven over
but does not in any way interfere with the outlook.
For a long time the Company assumed the expense
of street sprinkling and of having the crosswalks clean-ed
every Sunday morning and on other necessary
occasions, until relieved of this burden by the Town
When the triangle between the roads at the foot of
South street was about to be used for purposes injuri-ous
to the surroundings, it was secured for the
Improvement Company through the exertions of the
late Geo. P. Thompson and maintained as a Park un-til
sold with such restrictions as would insure its re-maining
an a t t r a c t i v e spot.
Formerly empty cans and broken crockery were
thrown into the ditches by the side of the roads with
little regard for appearances. The Company pur-chased
a t r a c t of about seven acres suitably located
12 A HISTORICAL SKETCH 11
for a " dump ground" free to the use of t h e village and
to which it causes the rubbish collected from public
places and private residences to be removed. The
town clock which few would now wish to be silenced,
was procured by the Company, the quarter- hour
a t t a c h m e n t being the gift of the late Robbins Battell
Besides the work actually performed by the
Improvement Company, it has by its influence and
example helped to educate our people in a love for
cleanliness and beauty as seen in the present attract-iveness
of our streets and residences.
There is a b u n d a n t opportunity for t h e work of the
Company in maintaining and increasing this beauty
and cleanliness, and the enthusiasm of its present
officers and members is a n assurance t h a t this will not
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