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History as Told by Those Who Lived It

Longtime residents tell their stories of life in town and out

Anita Ballek: Family, Town and the Environment Were Passions

Anita Ballek

Anita Ballek (1930-2023) leveraged her gardening and farming expertise when she pivoted from her family's unprofitable dairy business lo start Ballek's Garden Center in 1969 on land her ancestors had farmed since 1662. She was a tireless champion for agriculture, smart land use, town history, and the environment.

Sophie Blaschik

Sophie Blaschik: Working Hard, Being Kind

Sophie Blaschik (1922-2023) was born in Moodus, the youngest of eight kids in a millworker family. She recalls that life was hard, with the family garden and animals supplying nearly all their food. After working at a number of corporate clerical jobs, she opened Sophie's Beauty Salon in 1965. 

Dick Everett: Forging a Singular Life

Dick Everett

Master machinist and restoration blacksmith Dick Everett is an individualist with a strong point-of-view on many things. He and his wife Mary discovered East Haddam while competing in 1950s road rallies and moved here after finding a rundown 1704 house to rehab.

Walt Golec
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Walt Golec

Walt Golec knows a lot about East Haddam history and loves to share stories of its past. He recalls how farming, cotton mills, old Moodus center, and the resorts gave the town its sense of place.

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Karl Stofko

Retired town dentist Karl Stofko has been East Haddam's municipal historian since 1985. He's unearthed countless stories of town history, presenting them with wit and passion.

Coming Soon
Karl Stofko

Photo of Everett Homestead by Ken Simon

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