A short visit to New Hartford, Connecticut – Immaculate Conception Church

According to Historic Buildings of Connecticut:

The first Catholic Mass in New Hartford was celebrated in 1849 in a private home. Masses continued to be offered in various residences and rented halls, as well as the Brick Machine Shop, for the next two decades. During that time, the Catholic population of New Hartford grew as Irish and French–Canadians immigrants came to work in local cotton mills. Immaculate Conception Church, designed by noted architect Patrick C. Keely of New York, was dedicated on March 27, 1870. Immaculate Conception became a parish in 1881. Recently, Immaculate Conception Church, at 3 Church Street in New Hartford, was merged with Immaculate Heart of Mary Church, at 78 Litchfield Road in Harwinton, to form Our Lady of Hope Parish.

Taken with a Sony RX-100 M3.

A short visit to New Hartford, Connecticut – Ski Sundown

According to NewEnglandSkiHistory.com:

Located northwest of Hartford, Ski Sundown is a popular regional facility for skiers of all abilities.

Ski Sundown’s lift…likely dates back to the 1963-64 season, when Satan’s Ridge ski area opened by Russell Smith and Frank Linnell. While it is possible that the area had a soft start on surface lifts in December or early January, the double chairlift to the summit did not open until Saturday, January 11, 1964. Night skiing and snowmaking were also installed for the debut season.

Over $100,000 was invested into the area for its second season, including trail improvements, more night skiing, and expanded snowmaking.

While additional improvements were made to a top to bottom trail for the 1966-67 season, Satan’s Ridge was running into trouble. The area closed after the 1967-68 season. The area, including the Mueller chairlift, Doppelmayr T-Bar, and a rope tow, headed to the auction block that August.

Butternut to the Rescue

After sitting idle for a season, Satan’s Ridge was brought back to life in 1969, when Channing Murdock of nearby Butternut Basin and his brother Robert Murdock purchased the 61 acre ski area from Harold Law, Russell Smith, and Frank Linnell. Shedding the Satanic name, the new ownership renamed the area Ski Sundown and quickly went to work on the snowmaking, lighting, and lifts for its reopening. In September of 1969, Richard Carter was named General Manager and Ski Sundown, Inc. was incorporated.

Operations were expanded to 7 days and 6 nights per week. To further enhance beginner offerings, a Pomalift was installed for the 1971-72 season. Two years later, Murdock made Carter part owner of the ski area.

Triple Chairlifts

The area’s first triple chairlift was installed in 1977, running next to the original double. Soon thereafter, Murdock transferred ownership of the area to Carter.

A second triple chairlift was installed in 1980, serving the new Sunnyside area. Seven years later, the original double chairlift was replaced with a new CTEC triple.

The Sunnyside complex was overhauled in 1994, when the Pomalift was replaced by the refurbished double chairlift. Two years later, an 8,000 square foot base lodge addition was constructed.

New Ownership

After owning Ski Sundown for nearly quarter of century, Richard Carter sold the area to General Manager and long time employee Robert Switzgable in 2002.

The Sunnyside complex was once again overhauled in 2013, when the Little Joe Double was replaced with a conveyor lift.

Taken with a Sony RX-100 M3.

A short visit to New Hartford, Connecticut – Overview

For some reason when we go out we tend to go either North in New York State (e.g to Dutchess County and points farther North) or South in New York State (e.g. to Westchester County and New York City). From time to time we go West (e.g. to Rockland, Orange Counties etc.). What we don’t generally do is go East i.e. into Connecticut. This is a little strange as there are lots of great places to visit in Connecticut (CT) and they’re often closer than some of the places we go in New York. And it’s not as if we need a passport to go to CT.

The time, however, we ventured East as my wife wanted to pick up something she’d found on Facebook Marketplace. So off to New Hartford, CT we went.

What she wanted can be seen in the picture above: it’s the pyramidal structure (now in our garden). Apparently it’s called a “tuteur” and stuff (e.g. clematis, roses etc. grow up and around it).

While we were there we took a look at New Harford, which has a ski area, some interesting old buildings, outdoor sculpture and picturesque views of the Farmington River.

According to Connecticuthistory.org:

The town of New Hartford is located in eastern Litchfield County, in the northwest corner of the state. Settled in 1733 and incorporated in 1738, the town was part of the “Western Grant” given in 1686 to the proprietors of Hartford and Windsor. Early industry included farms and mills on the abundant waterways. The town is home to a portion of the Farmington River known as Satan’s Kingdom. In 1963 the Satan’s Ridge Ski Area opened and was later renamed Ski Sundown. The ski area is still in operation. New Hartford remains a quiet town, and the rural community consists of mostly homes and farms.

Taken with a Sony RX100 M3.