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Local housing market: More activity spurs hope

Written by Rachel Kirkpatrick
Monday, 01 February 2010

Things are “picking up” in the local housing market, according to several Realtors, and the spring season may bring the needed proof.

“Everyone talks about spring — but traditionally, for Realtors, it starts three or four weeks into January,” said Redding resident Ira Stone, a Realtor with Coldwell Banker Previews. “We consider it the spring market now, and while it’s certainly not as robust as we’ve seen in some prior years, it’s definitely kicking off with much more momentum than it did last year at this time.”

Locally, the numbers show how much of a change the market has been through in just a couple of years. In 2007, 107 listings were sold in Redding. In 2008, there were 75 listings sold, and in 2009, 70.

The average list and sale prices have also dropped over the last two years. The average list price in 2007 was $889,768, with an average sale price of $843,994. In 2008, the average list price was $765,200, with an average sale price of $717,714. And in 2009, the average list price was $708,442, with an average sale price of $664,338.

Download the 2010 Redding Real Estate Report

Redding resident Randi Hutton, a Realtor with Hutton Edge of William Raveis, points to the lowest price of a home sold in 2009, which was $168,900; looking back to 2007, the lowest price of a home sold was $392,000 — both were for three-bedroom homes.

“Buyers are very savvy and very cautious now and they’re also not necessarily having the largest-is-the-best mentality,” Ms. Hutton said. “Their mindset is more conscious of the costs of running a home, maintenance and taxes.”

Full Story:

This past week I took Sal Lilienthal of the Bicycle Touring Company on a Tour de Sam. We visited all the sites and even followed the route of the British Troops during the 1777 Raid of Danbury, Connecticut.

I have posted some photos of the locations we visited in Westport below.

View all the .My Brother Sam is Dead Photos

Hauntings and Ghosts in Redding and Georgetown, Connecticut

West Redding:
Reports of orbs in a small field on the right of the train tracks before the overpass on Simpaug Turnpike usually at night. Orbs of light and a lit tent vanishing.

Why? Train worker killed in this location in early 1900’s. This is also an area that has Native American Indian connections and a re-burial of Indian remains recently. Other clues…this area had a colonial tavern.

Gallows Hill: Reports of orbs and voices, especially in winter months.

Why? They call it Gallows Hill for a reason.

General Putnam’s Orders, Feb. 4, 1779

Edward Jones was tried at a General Court Martial for going to and serving the enemy, and coming out as a spy. He was found guilty of each and every charge exhibited against him, and according to Law and the Usage’s of Nations was sentenced to suffer Death:

“The General approves the sentence and orders it to be put in execution between the hours of ten and eleven A.M. by hanging him by the neck till he be dead.”

General Putnam’s Orders, Feb. 6, 1779

John Smith of the 1st Connecticut Regiment, was tried at a General Court Martial for desertion and attempting to go to the enemy, found guilty, and further persisting in saying that he will go to the enemy if ever he has an opportunity.

“The General approves the sentence and orders that it be put in execution between the hours of ten and twelve A.M. for him to be shot to death”

Route 53: Just past John Read Middle School. Lot’s of strange activity…not easy to explain. Don’t even know why to be honest, could be native american indian related or an industrial accident, horse or car accident. Haven’t uncovered any clues yet.

Umpawaug Cemetery: Cold spots around the pines even in the heat of summer.

Why? not sure yet. Many untimely death victims buried there so that’s likely the cause.

Diamond Hill: Just below the Mark Twain Library there is a super hot area where three people drowned in two separate floods…a couple died in 1955 after their car was caught in the swollen river, and a man died in 1982 attempting to clear the falls in a raft.

At the Diamond Hill Road bridge, Edward Arthur Phoenix, 53, and his wife, Veronica, 47, of Fox Run Road lost their lives when their car was swept into the river below the bridge. Mr. and Mrs. Phoenix were coming home from dinner at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Matthew Blair of Great Pasture Road.

A three and one-half hour frantic and near successful attempt to rescue Mrs. Phoenix from a tree, after her husband had been swept to his death, made the tradegy even more horrifying. While volunteer firemen and neighbors tried vainly to reach her in the darkness she clung doggedly to the tree, aware of the efforts to save her. But at length her strength failed and she fell into the river and drowned. At one time the rescuers were within 20 feet of the tree but were turned aside by the tremendous force of the torrent.

An Army helicopter spotted the women’s body Monday Morning, 1,500 feet from the Diamond Hill Bridge. Mr. Phoenix’s body was recovered early Tuesday about 50 feet further downstream.

Mark Twain Lane: Black Cat appears on Halloween.

Why? not sure yet. But every year it appears.

Many older homes is this area, my favorite ghost story is…

Couple and their 2 year old move into old homestead, prior to move 2 year old sleeps through the night no-matter-what. For the whole first week, 2 year old is wired- plays and laughs all night long. Figuring the child needs the home to somewhat resemble their former home to return to a normal routine, the mother takes the child to her mother’s so the husband has time to decorate and fix up the child’s room. While at the mother’s house the 2 year old points to a painting on the wall and asks: “what’s she doing here?!” Mother responses: “what’s WHO doing here?!” 2 year old says: “Nadajiah”. Mother, doing her best not to freak as she looks at a portrait of a child circa 1800’s on the wall, asks the child to explain…2 year old says “the girl from new house in Redding….we play together, she comes out at night, we have fun.”

Putnam Park: Many believe to have experienced something back by Philip’s Cave. Little to no research to-date by experts.

Redding Ridge: Lots of activity up on the Ridge. The Spinning Wheel Inn has had sightings and investigations for decades.

Why? I suspect the former owner is involved. I know she never wanted alcohol to be served and it has been since she left the business.

Meeker Hill: There is also some activity on the corner of Meeker Hill and Route 58. The spirits appear to be slaves or indians. Could be either given the history of that location.

Redding Ridge Cemetery: Back in middle school a schoolmate connected with something via a “walkman” when she touched a stone. I know she was in need of attention but I’ve experienced “cold spots” there too…in August.

Thoughts? Redding historian Charles Burr Todd is buried in Redding Ridge Cemetery and he does not have a stone, in fact, he is not even noted above ground!! This man in the only man or woman to publish the complete history of Redding in book format and he is buried…period, no stone, no marker, nada. Tell me you would not haunt if that were you.

Sunset Hill: Senator Peck’s estate. A woman who used to live there told me of ball room music playing and the sounds of “guests” partying late at night.

Georgetown: In the Rock Lot, an open space/trail area off Peaceable Street is the cave of the “Leatherman”. It has some activity, especially in October and November. The Leatherman has been recently been made famous again by Pearl Jam.

Many more houses and areas are haunted in Redding. Some stories are just too spooky to share online.

Painting in Redding CT is the top search term at the present. Not Redding Real Estate, not Redding History or Famous Redding Residents…nope! Painting in Redding CT.

If I had to plug a Redding CT Painter it would be Susan Boone Durkee. Susan is the best Portrait Painter in Redding, CT if not Connecticut as a whole.

So…if you need a:

painter in redding connecticut
painter in redding ct

or a

painting in redding connecticut
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Call Susan B. Durkee- (203) 938-2760

If you need someone to paint your house? Call Advance Painting (203) 938-7063. Please mention they need a website. 🙂

In an effort to raise awareness of Mark Twain’s time in Redding, Connecticut I have put together a slideshow presentation that highlights his final home, Stormfield, and the library he founded for the people of Redding.

The Credits:

A special Thank You to all those that made this PowerPoint Presentation possible.

Thank you to Barbara Schmidt and her amazing Twain resource site.

Thank you to David Thompson and his collection of Twain photos and montages. &

Thank you to Kevin Mac Donnell for his knowledge, insights, rare photos and books.

Thank you to Susan Boone Durkee for her knowledge, photos, artwork and parties. Two of Susan’s portraits appear in the slideshow- Jean and Sam in his Oxford Gown.

Thank you to The Mark Twain House, for their truly amazing museum, and priceless photos. Thank you to Patti Phillippon for access and usage.

Thank you to Heather Morgan and her staff at the Mark Twain Library for access and usage. The MTL is a treasure trove of new information on Twain’s Final years.

Thank you to The Mark Twain Forum and all its members for sharing their knowledge and bringing Twainiacs together.

Thank you to The Mark Twain Journal, for promoting Stormfield and Redding in Volume 44.

Thank you to The Mark Twain Project, for access to Sam’s letters. Your work has allowed for the research that fuels us all to keep searching and sharing.