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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Connecticut Grange #1, Stafford

A quiet country drive through Stafford, Connecticut will bring you past this wood frame building which, with typical New England economy, serves a dual purpose.

The Post Office is a daily stop for some folks, and the Grange meets once a month. The modest setting hardly tells us, beyond the sign that says “Grange No. 1” that Stafford’s Grange was actually among the first established in Connecticut, back in 1874.

Route 190 (route usually pronounced like “root” and not to rhyme with “ow” in New England, for all our friends west of Lake Champlain and south of Greenwich), looks deceiving. You’d never know from this traffic-free moment that the Stafford Motor Speedway was a little ways away, where traffic on the track can be intense to be sure.

But not always. There was time, only a few years before the Grange was founded, that Stafford featured a different kind of horsepower in its racing, the Trotters and the Pacers. After World War II, car racing found a home here, at a much faster pace. The Stafford Motor Speedway has just opened again this month for the 2009 summer season.

On Route (remember, that’s “root”) 190, the pace here is still a wee bit slower than at the Speedway. For more on the Stafford Grange, have a look at this website. For more on the Stafford Motor Speedway, have a look here.


John Hayes said...

I remember being startled by the "root"/"rout" thing when I moved to Virginia (also "roof"/"ruff"). It's still a bit jarring, but common parlance out in Idaho-- where the word "creek" isn't "creak" but "crick."

Jacqueline T Lynch said...

Not to member the ever popular inSURance vs. INSurance. Then there's aunt (awwnt in New England and "ant" everyplace else). A little variety makes like interesting, I guess.

sojourner said...

As a NY native, I smiled when I read the root/rout distinction. Also the roof/ruff thing.After living here for 2/3 of my life, I still get teased about my NY pronunciation of "coffee" here in MA.

Jacqueline T Lynch said...

Oh, yeah, "cawfey" instead of "cahfey". You hear it in the word "call", too. Of course, these are the same words we're using for the same meanings, just pronouncing them a little differently. (Even within New England we don't all use the same vowel sounds.) The fun really begins when we use completely different words for the same thing. Most people in the US don't walk into a sandwich shop and order a "grinder." We do in western Mass.

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