The New Town House at Danielson
From The Windham County Transcript, November 22, 1906
The special town meeting held Saturday, Nov. 17, at the Town House at Killingly Centre, was one of the largest gatherings of Killingly voters ever held in the town. At least 300 voters could not get into the old Town House, and many went home.
Wm. H. Barron, Jr., was chosen moderator. Town Clerk Preston read the warning of the meeting. At the conclusion of the reading of the warning, T. E. Hopkins offered the following resolution:
Resolved, that the vote passed at the annual town meeting of this town, held on the first Monday in October, 1906, authorizing the purchase of a lot and the erection of a Town House in the village of Dayville, appropriating money therefor, and appointing a committee to carry said vote into effect, be and the same is hereby rescinded.
It was then moved and voted that the vote on the above resolution be taken by ballot and check list. The result of the vote, as declared by the moderator, was as follows:
Whole number of votes cast, 691
Majority to rescind 43
A motion to adjourn was then offered by Wm. E. LaBelle. The vote on this motion was taken by ballot and check lost. The result of the ballot, as declared by the moderator, was as follows:
Whole number of votes cast, 396
Majority not to adjourn, 16
It was then voted that the second clause in the warning be taken up. T. E. Hopkins presented the following resolution:
Resolved, That the selectmen of the town of Killingly be and they are hereby authorized and directed to purchase of the Music Hall Co. their real estate known as Music Hall Block, situated on Main street, in the borough of Danielson, in said town, at a price not to exceed $20,000, and to take a deed thereof in the name of said town, and that the sum of $20,000, or so much thereof as may be necessary, be and is hereby appropriated to pay for the same, the treasurer of said town is hereby authorized and directed to borrow the whole or so much of said sum as he may find necessary to provide for said payment,--said property, when purchased, to be used for a town hall, town court room, town offices, and such other purposes said town may authorize and direct.
The vote on the above resolution was taken by ballot and check list. The result, as declared by the moderator, was
Whole number of votes cast,288
Majority to buy Music Hall, 36
It was then voted to adjourn.
On account of the smallness of the old Town House, the second vote was just 300 less than the first ballot. There are 1499 voters in the town of Killingly. Of this number 691 were present and voted on the first ballot. On the second ballot 396 voters voted and on the third ballot the total was 288. There were a good many voters who returned to their homes who did not vote at all, being unable to get into the old Town House. It was the most demonstrative and largely attended town meeting ever held in the town of Killingly, say the oldest residents of the town.
The meeting did not adjourn until 10 minutes of six. Kerosene lamps were brought in to make light for the checkers and counters; the rest of the house was in darkness.
On Saturday evening the Killingly board of selectmen met to execute the vote of the town to purchase Music Hall Block's Co.'s property at a price not to exceed $20,000. All of the members of the board were present with the exception of Patrick Riley. Before 9 o'clock Saturday evening the town's vote had been executed by the selectmen and Music Hall Block was the property of the town of Killingly.
Monday morning the Killingly board of selectmen had Officer George Pilling serve the following notice on D. Boulais, contractor and builder of the new Town House at Dayville:
Killingly, Nov. 19, 1906
To Damase Boulais,
Contractor and Builder,
You are hereby notified that the vote passed by the town of Killingly at its annual meeting held on the first Monday of Oct., 1906, authorizing the purchase of a lot and the erection of a Town House in the village of Dayville, appropriating money therefor, and appointing a committee to carry said vote into effect, was, on the 17thday of Nov., 1906, duly rescinded by said town.
By order of the Board of Selectmen of the town of Killingly.
John A. Gilbert
Clerk of said Board
State of Connecticut, ) s. Killingly, Nov. 19, 1906
County of Windham, )
Then and there by virtue hereof I left a true copy of the within notice with the the within named Damase Boulais.
George M. Pilling, Constable
The effect of this notice was to stop all further work on the new Town House at Dayville.
Music Hall Block's present rentals amount to over $1,400 a year, and there are still several rooms to be rented. The following relative to Music Hall Block is especially interesting at this time:
Music Hall was built in 1876 by a joint stock company, organized under the general state law. The first officers of the company were:
President – John Waldo.
Secretary – Oliver P. Jacobs
Treasurer – H. N. Clemons
Directors – John Waldo, Oliver P. Jacobs, Abner Young, Henry Wescott, George Leavens, George J. Clark, Henry N. Clemons, Loren Bates, Anthony Ames, Simon S. Waldo and Rienzi Robinson.
The building was erected at a cost of $38,000. The ground covered by the building is about 60x100 feet. It has a handsome front of pressed brick with iron facings, pillars, projections and ornaments. The audience room, which is on the ground floor, easy of access, has stage and gallery, and will seat 800 persons by using chairs in the aisles. When John B. Gough lectured in it there were 1,000 in it, by dint of crowding. It has moveable settees, so the floor can be easily cleared for any purpose that requires it. The spacious stage is furnished with excellent scenery and properties. The building is three stories high, with another story in the Mansard roof. The basement of the building in front is occupied by Burlingame's meat market on one side and Jordan's poolroom on the other. In the rear of the basement is the Town Court room and "lock-up" of the borough. The ground floor in front is occupied by the post office on one side and N. A. Jordan's hardware and sporting goods store, on the other side of the entrance hall. The second story is occupied by the Selectmen's offices, a boy's club and the manager of the hall, E. S. Carpenter. The third story is occupied by the Household of Ruth.
Written by the Transcript's Dayville Correspondent on the same date:
After being beaten fair and square upon the subject three times, Danielson has at last won the Town House by low down trickery and Dayville has again been crowded to the wall. When the first feeling of exaltation is over and the supporters of Music Hall Block seriously contemplate the question, will they think it has paid to increase the town's indebtedness to so large an extent and to create the feeling of hatred which now exists? It is not often that Dayville citizens have asked any favors of the town, but have generously supported any measurers for the good of the town, even if the location has been elsewhere, but we felt that Dayville was the place for the Town House and we had need of it to replace our unsightly ruins, and what would have been a village improvement should have been of benefit to the town. We would like to remind the citizens of Danielson and East Killingly that the Town Farm is located here, and inquire if a more suitable location for it cannot be found in Danielson where a five cent fare from Danielson or a ten cent fare from East Killingly would not be necessary to enjoy its hospitality and to aid some one who is overloaded with real estate a chance to dispose of it advantageously?