Page 26 - Wallingford Magazine Holiday 2019
P. 26

     THE Three Notches
At Wallingford Magazine, we are pleased, once again to present some delightful work by Carol Crump Bryner. Carol was born and brought up on Whirlwind Hill Road and became a wonderful writer and artist. She has con- tributed her art to two of our publications. We are de- lighted to present a story from Carol’s life, including her brother, Kirt, among others. It is a great story of discov- ery of the world around us and the family histories that might exist where you would least expect them.
them hay and milk. I would ride my bicycle out there every Saturday just to get in the way and watch. That must be a satisfying way of life, farming I mean...There is a range of hills beyond the farm which we love to climb for a picnic lunch...Our favorite spot on the range is called “Three Notches,” and on the highest notch, Mother’s dad [my great-grandfather William E. Hall] has his name chipped into the rock. That’s the highest point of land in Wallingford and you can see for miles around, Long Island Sound on one side and Hartford, the capital, on the other.” –Austin Hart Norton
The Three Notches always seemed remote and mysterious to me, so after Austin’s daughter Margy shared his letter with me, I became interested in the area. My brother and I began looking at old maps and reading histories. We went to the library and the his- torical society
Wallingford Magazine – Holiday, 2019
William E. Hall
Tarn Granucci, Editor by Carol Crump Bryner
The southern Con- necticut towns of Wall- ingford and Durham are separated by the Toto- ket Mountains. My great- grandfather William E. Hall grew up on one side of these mountains, and my great-grandmother Lydia Jane Hart on the other. In 1863, Lydia crossed the Totokets by the old road to marry my great-grandfather William
to find out more about the routes taken across these mountains by George Wash- ington when
he rode from Wallingford to Durham in 1775
and 1789, and
by our grand- parents and great-grand- parents in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
and settle on the Hall farm on Whirlwind Hill in Wall- ingford.
My brother has the skin of a rattlesnake killed on one of those trips over the mountain. Riding in a horse and buggy must have been an arduous journey. These days, driving from Whirlwind Hill in Wallingford to Durham town center takes about 10 minutes.
The most distinctive section of this mountain range is the Three Notches. In a 1944 letter written to his future wife Betty, my uncle Austin Hart Norton tells her about his home and about the things he loves:
“When I was a kid I used to be crazy to go out to Mother’s home [Ellen Norton, my great-aunt] and help
Start of the climb
On a Saturday afternoon in April, 2015, my brother Kirt Crump, my cousin, Dean Hall, Dean’s wife, Jean Hall, and I, set out to climb the Three Notches. We wanted to follow the paths our ancestors used long ago, and we hoped to find the marks our great-grand- father left on a rock at the highest point of the ridge.

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