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Goshen History

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The American Legion and Goshen Takes Care of Its Own
Barb Harnett

Lamson-O’Donnell American Legion Post 46, Established April,1922

It was on April 18,1922 that the Lamson-O’Donnell Post 46 of the American Legion held its first organizational meeting at Academy Hall, here in Goshen.  Charter members attending were Raymond H. Perregaux, Walter Richards, Herman Walther, Charles Siddell,Jr. and Harry Greene.  The next year Cornwall  veterans were welcomed into Post 46 membership.

Post 46 was so named in memory of Irving H. Lamson of Goshen who died in 1917 after being wounded while serving in France, and William O’Donnell, of Cornwall who died in 1918 at Fort Devens. 1929 saw the building of the American Legion Hall, on an acre of land donated by Harrison Ives. Members fronted personal funds to construct the hall which was later sold.  Proceeds were invested in the building fund.  Property near the Post Office has since been purchased, and still owned today.

Ref. Quadrimillennium Editorial Committee, Goshen Connecticut, A Town Above  All Others (W.Kennebunk, Me.: Phoenix Publishing, 1990)


Goshen Takes Care of Its Own

As far back as 1896, provisions in our town budget were made for the poor and needy. Records show that initially 3% of our town budget provided for groceries, clothing, firewood, medical and personal  care,  hospital stays and burial. By 1923 the town budget was increased to 6%. In 1932, during the Depression our town helped 11 families.  Men from several additional families were hired for the development , repairs, maintenance and snow clearance.

Our first paved roads, the segment of Rte. 63, running  from Litchfield to Goshen Center and the Sharon Turnpike, Rte. 4 running up from Torrington, crosstown to West Goshen and to the Cornwall town line had been completed before 1930.  State funding from the statewide Grange effort to “Get Connecticut out of the mud,” provided road work for many throughout the Depression as Rte. 63 North was completed.

Additionally, farm families offered food and board for some individuals in exchange for seasonal labor.  Local merchants often provided food and personal necessities.  Extra garden produce, tools, and outgrown clothing were handed down or exchanged between neighbors, schools, churches, and civic organizations.  Only the infirm and elderly who had no local family, depended on town assistance.

Ref. Quadrimillennium Editorial Committee,  Goshen Connecticut,  A Town Above  All Others (W. Kennebunk, Me.: Phoenix Publishing, 1990) Pp. 53-54, 86.