As mentioned earlier the focus of this paper is the community of Newhallville. My original intention was to record an oral history of the community. Even though the people interviewed would be contemporary folks the paper is intended to present, to the reader, an historical look at the community from its inception to the present. It is also hoped that the paper will give students a tool to use in their attempt to study their community, or any community for that fact. It should, with the help of the teacher, show students how to examine and analyze changes that occurred in a community that tended to shape and/or guide it in its course of development. However, since it was hard to find survivals, descendants of the original inhabitants of the community, that could actually talk about it from a historical, personal or technical perspective I was forced to change to a degree—the method. The paper, although in narrative form, is based on information from personal research and interviews combined. For the sake of brevity I will paraphrase in some instances to delineate the essence of the interview. Only three interviews will be used in quote form. For the time being I will refer to the three interviewees as Gerald, Delores and Bill.
Newhallville was founded as a community by and for blue-collar workers and homeowners. This trend started with the building of the Farmington Canal and continued right up to the present Olins Corporation (low-cost, affordable houses are being built all-around Science Park to insure that that characteristic of the community continues).
The first immigrant workers to come into the community were the Irish (along with a few Germans). (Next to enter the neighborhood were the Italians and finally African-Americans.)
We will examine, briefly, the community as it functioned and was perceived by the above mentioned groups. Students should find it interesting to see how the perception of the community changed from one generation to the next or from one ethnic group to the next. The three people quoted in this paper all saw the neighborhood in different, yet similar ways. Each moved into the neighborhood at different times. Gerald’s family lived in the neighborhood from 1933-1968. Delores moved into the area in 1959 and continues to live there. Bill moved there in 1970 and, like Delores, continues to live there.