Berthold Field  
Thursday, April 25, 2002
THURSDAY, APRIL 25 TELEGRAM & GAZETTE 2002
So I've Heard Column


Fire Chief Gordon Dean Wentworth was exiting a Webster Town Hall office, Edward Koziak was turning from the rotunda, and I was on the bottom step to the west stairwell.
Mr. Koziak raised a hand as we converged. "Aha," he stopped. "A couple of guys who might answer a question for me." Mr. Koziak and friends were discussing the names of town fields and playgrounds, he said.
"We couldn't figure how Berthold Field got its name." The municipally owned diamond is at the dead end to Westwood Road, on a level overlooking the town wastewater treatment plant.
"I lived on High Street as a kid," said Chief Wentworth. "We used to play at the Ledge Lot, but I don't know about Berthold." Ledge Lot was the unofficial name for a privately held area between School and High Streets. It is now a condominiums complex known as Highcrest Park.
There were a-half dozen farms at the south end of School Street, from about Houghton Street to the Connecticut line, judging from a 1910 census. Charles W. Berthold owned one of them. A comparison of known occupants, then and now, indicates the Berthold farm was on School Street at Westwood Road.
The town purchased Berthold Field, with five acres, July 2, 1935 from the executors of Bertha Berthold's estate for $600, according to Town Surveyor Stanley Duszlak. Bertha (Ring) Berthold, the widow of farmer Berthold, died Dec. 12, 1934.
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Weighing in on the ongoing Bastolla's Beer Garden question, was it a restaurant or just a bar, Beverly Mayotte-Blanchard of North Grosvenordale agrees with Florence Lucas' review: "The best spaghetti and meatballs you ever tasted."
Ms. Blanchard lived fairly close to Pleasant Street as a young person and has an uncle, Bernie Mayotte, now of Corona, Calif., who loved Bastolla's food. He was a Navy career man. "We'd go there as a family whenever he came home on leave," she remembered.
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L. Roland Choiniere's recollections about ice skating on Elm Street Pond in Webster continues to draw comments from people who grew up during the 1920s to well into the 1940s.
Bradford J. Kemp lived nearby as a child. "I used to skate there with my friends," he recalled. "Not only that, we'd go sledding on Maple Street." Once a driver skidded over the front of his sled when he was on it, Mr. Kemp said. "A good thing it was a long sled."
If the flow to Fountain Field didn't freeze early enough, Alfred Nowicki and his Dresser Street friends headed to Elm Street in the years before World War II, he remembered. The lake was just as close but Elm Street was safer. Located behind Dresser Street, with ingress and egress off Robinson and Ray Streets, Fountain Field has long been Pepka Drive, with 15 homes, according to the current census.
Steve Ozaniak, who still lives on nearby Mount Pleasant Street, says, "We'd go there at first ice and cut off the (growth) with shovels. Then the Fire Department would come and flood it over. It would be nice and smooth." Roasting potatoes in a corner bonfire while skating is another "great memory," he added.
"We all learned to skate there," says Helen Dwyer-Groblewski, mentioning her siblings. I remembered when her family lived on or near Hall Road in Dudley. "We lived first on Myrtle Avenue in Webster," said Mrs. Groblewski. We kids didn't want to move because we were close to (St. Louis) school."
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Andrew Paul Stefanik seemed happy last Saturday when his parents, Christopher and Kathy Stefanik, made a third generation introduction. This followed because little Andrew Paul's paternal grandparents, Barbara A. and John T. Stefanik, are my contemporaries.
Born 2-2-02, the newest arrival in the Stefanik household is named for his paternal great-grandfathers, the late Andrew Stefanik, who was the Andy behind the long time Andy's Restaurant, and the late Paul Madura. He's blessed with the names of two good men
-Courtesy Of
Telegram & Gazette

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