From the American Scene: Colchester's Yankee Jews
The casual tourist, stopping for a moment as he drives through Colchester—halfway between Hartford and New London, halfway between Norwich and Middletown—sees a typical New England town. There is a spacious, well-kept central mall, with a wooden bandstand and a baseball diamond. A path sheltered by towering elms wends through the green toward the graceful white Congregationalist meeting house. Not far away stands the house which Nathaniel Foote, founder of Colchester, built in 1699 after buying the land from the Indians. The local DAR uses it now. A row of fine white houses lines one side of the mall. There are memorials for the Civil War and for World Wars I and II. But the tourist, looking at the two world war plaques, would not fail to be struck by the high proportion of Jewish names among those of old New England stock.
On the other side of the mall is a two-story, red brick business block. Here are two pharmacies; a barber and a beauty shop, above which are lawyers’ offices; two taverns, which are busiest between five and seven o’clock; a grocery store; a women’s clothing shop; and three liquor stores. The general store, modern and well stocked, is Jewish-owned. Its attractive soda fountain appears to have a breezy but nice teen-age clientele, among Whom one occasionally sees a Negro youngster or two. The drug store, efficient and immaculate, serves hot pastrami and corned beef sandwiches and hot stuffed kishke (not “derma”) at its busy lunch counter. The market has a sign in its window proclaiming “Kosher and Non-Kosher Meat Sold Here.” The mayor, the barber, the deputy sheriff, and the butcher are all Jewish.
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