BRISTOL BITS: City had makeshift hospital during 1918 flu epidemic

Published on Wednesday, 25 March 2020 18:26
Written by Bob Montgomery

Odds and ends comprise today’s column. If you have any pertaining to Bristol to share with readers please let me know.

Edgewood LL coach

I mentioned Mr. Teffs recently as the coach of the Edgewood Little League Red Sox three decades or so ago. With this, Joyce Duquette wrote in to inform me that it was Steve Tuffs, not Teffs. Joyce’s husband, John, was one of the league’s key volunteers for three-plus decades.

Makeshift hospital in 1918

The photo with today’s column was taken during the flu epidemic in 1918. This was a makeshift hospital at the meeting house of the First Congregational Church on Federal Hill. The flu at the time brought about a need for Bristol Hospital to be built.

David N. White

I wrote about Korean War casualty David White two weeks ago. His death took place nearly 70 years ago, so I wasn’t sure if I’d hear from someone who knew him.

I didn’t, but heard from a former sister-in-law of his who hadn’t met him, but knew of him.

This was Mildred Kelly White Rutledge who was married to Bob White, David’s brother who died in 1956. She confirmed that David’s remains were never found after his aircraft went down during the war. She also has additional information on him that she will share with me in time.

Signs of spring

I took a ride up to Hill Street to get out of the house this weekend, and saw what appears to be some fellows playing the second hole at Chippanee Golf Club.

Monday’s snow wasn’t a sign of spring, but over the weekend I saw Phil Caron, former owner of Phil’s Hot Dogs, at the site of what has been the Baggott Family Farm on Route 6 getting things ready for flower and plant sales. Phil’s daughter, Julia, has been running the farm here for some years.

My youngest daughter, Jessica Colangelo, who is employed by attorney Stephen Allaire, had a big old mama bear pass through her yard on lower Dino Road a few days ago. A neighbor took a photo of the bear when it crossed Jessie and my son-in-law, Paul’s, outdoor shed. This Bristol occupant, whether year-round or splitting time in this area of the state, has also been captured by camera by others in this area of Forestville.

Graham Street

I went up and then down Graham Street over the weekend, a road less traveled by most here. It’s hidden across the street from St. Stanislaus Church and I found it short and interesting, off the beaten path. According to Bob Adamczyk’s pamphlet, “StreetScape,” it’s named after the Graham family that once lived in the area.

Idle time

Do you have any tips for those who are bored at home? How about a ride to an airport or to a hill nearby one to watch the planes going to and fro?

Back to Phil Caron’s hot dog wagon

Phil was the fellow on Pine Street a few years ago by the car wash. He was always pleasant to customers and I enjoyed stopping by from time-to-time for lunch. He is a Vietnam veteran, so I thank him for his service.

Michelle Theriault

I know very little about her, but know that Michelle is a race car driver from Bristol. Born in 1986, she’s the daughter of Dave and Denise Theriault who moved down to Atlanta from Bristol with her to pursue a career in racing. Michelle’s goal was to be the first female NASCAR champion.

As far as I know, she is still racing and the most recent news bit I found on her was dated January of last year. She was among eight women, which included Danica Patrick, who were to do an ARCA test run at Daytona, which is Greek to me. Does anyone here follow her career or know about her?

Carlyle Fuller “Hap” Barnes

“Hap” died at age 87 in 2012 and I never got to know him, but I wish I had. Every once in a while I come across a great man from Bristol that I didn’t know and wished I had gone out of my way to meet him. A member of the 10th generation of the Barnes clan, he certainly left a legacy here. He was generally concerned for others and his contributions of money and time have benefited so many, both here and outside of town.

Contact Bob Montgomery at or by calling 860-973-1808.

Posted in The Bristol Press, Bristol on Wednesday, 25 March 2020 18:26. Updated: Wednesday, 25 March 2020 18:28.