BRISTOL BITS: The mystery of the WWII Honor Roll: A clue appears

Published on Tuesday, 5 December 2017 20:35
Written by Bob Montgomery

Some months ago, Ellie Wilson, a member of the board of directors at the Bristol Historical Society, asked if I knew what happened to the WWII Honor Roll that stood in front of Bristol Savings Bank on Main Street, now a Webster Bank, during and after the war. It kept an update of the number of men and women serving in the military during the war, as well as a count of those who made the supreme sacrifice. It was determined to have been taken down because it was in poor condition at some point in time around 1950.

While doing research on other topics the other day, I came across a Bristol Press brief from 1948 that said Daniel Donovan, a former Bristol mayor and the superintendent of Public Works, stated the monument, as it was referred to, would be removed and preserved at the Bristol Public Library. So, Ellie, I’ll leave the rest up to you.

Did you know? - Veeder Root Company

A conversation with Clay Simmons at the Bristol Public Library Monday evening led to this segment. We briefly talked about Veeder Root Company in Hartford and acknowledged that the Root half stems from Bristol.

Curtiss Veeder (1862-1943) opened Veeder Manufacturing Company in Hartford in 1895. In 1928, it merged with the Root Company of Bristol, which had been founded by Charles J. Root (1858-1907). The manufacturing firm remained for decades in making counting instruments for various purposes.

Bristol Press rewind - 1997 (20 years ago)

A half century ago, they called a sleepy Forestville intersection Ebb’s Corner. Now they just call it a nuisance. To clear away a jagged confluence of three Forestville roads, the city and state have plans to rip down the historic building occupied by Ivy’s Liquor House and a brick structure next door that sells carnival supplies. The junction touches corners on Stafford Avenue, Church Avenue and Washington Street.

“I’ll bet that’s one of the oldest buildings in Forestville,” said Gunner Ebb, whose father, Oscar, operated a grocery store there between 1928-1959.

It was also noted that the second story of the building was used by the first Swedish Lutheran congregation in Forestville sometime around 1874, before later building a new church on nearby Academy Street.

Pond Street

I recently mentioned here that Curtiss Street was once named Pond Street. Peter Forrest, retired City Hall employee, read this and stopped by to tell me, politely I must say because of the gentleman he is, that I was incorrect.

According to a street database sheet he gave me, which included a map of the area, Pond Street went from the north line of North Street (Rt. 6) northerly to the south line of Curtiss Street.

Alton P. Oakes

Al Oakes, who died on Nov. 29, 2017, at the Bristol Hospital, was well-known in car racing circles as a legend to many. I’m told that Jim Foote, who purchased Oake’s ‘39 Chevy, brought it to his funeral services Monday at Funk Funeral Home.

Jim has talked about the late racing enthusiast on occasion, a man who had been inducted into the New England Hot Rod Hall of Fame in 2014.


I was at a stop light on Tuesday in back of a white Monte Carlo Super Sport, one similar to the car I used to drive. The plate on it read: NVMY.SS, which I believe means: Envy my Super Sport. It’s a nice looking ride.

Write to Bob Montgomery, ℅ The Bristol Press, 188 Main St., Bristol, CT 06010. Call 860-973-1808 or email:

Posted in The Bristol Press, Bristol on Tuesday, 5 December 2017 20:35. Updated: Tuesday, 5 December 2017 20:37.