Chatham History Festival

Featuring Paul and Sandy's Too

Celebrate East Hampton History this Sunday October 14th, 2018  from 12-4 pm as The Chatham Historical Society (CHS) kicks off  its 6th Annual “Chatham History Festival”  at the CHS Museum complex on 6 Bevin Blvd, East Hampton featuring Paul and Sandy’s Too Garden Center.

Honoring Paul and Sandy’s Too

This year the festival will honor Paul and Sandy’s Garden Center that was founded by Paul and Sandy Peszynski 48 years ago. Their three children, Jill, Karen, and Dan, continue serving our community. Paul started selling vegetables at a stand that he and his father converted from an old chicken coop on Rt. 66. At that time his main customers were people from New York City who came and rented cottages or stayed at one of the seven hotels that were on Lake Pocotopaug.

Years later Paul married Sandy Flemke and they had four children: Mark, Jill, Daniel, and Karen. Then Paul & Sandy opened a toy and sporting goods store with a sprinkling of home and garden supplies and named it Paul’s Home Supply, the same property where  Paul sold fresh fruits and vegetables during his summers to pay for his college tuition as a young man.  As the years passed, Paul and Sandy found that the demand for toys and sporting goods declined, but the need for home and gardening supplies soared, and the transition to green goods and hardware was natural. Then in 1984 Paul and Sandy decided to incorporate the business, so along with that, a name change was due. There were always customer questions as to why Sandy’s name wasn’t included in the name of the business, and Paul’s and Sandy’s Too Inc. was born.

Pumpkin Town USA

In 1991 during one of the road trips to Vermont, Paul and Sandy came across these pumpkin-headed scarecrows along the side of the road. It stopped them in their tracks. They took pictures and their wheels started turning. What a fantastic way to drive some business in the fall, a time generally slow in the garden center business. In 1992 the creation of what is now known as Pumpkin Town USA was started. First came a few pumpkin-headed people, then the town we all know and love. Most recently added, the Ride at Pumpkin Town that features a mile-long hayride through the woods with over 30 additional pumpkin- heads and their dwellings. This local attraction hosts over 20,000 people during the short seven weeks it is open from the middle of September through Halloween.

When Sandy’s breast cancer returned in 1993, they decided it was time to fully pass the torch to the children, so they could enjoy retirement together. Jill, Dan, and Karen took the reins and ran with them finding strengths in all aspects of the business and working together to increase sales and their customer following. They took the values instilled in them by their parents, Paul and Sandy, about superior customer service, and how important it is to give back to the community that supports them.

Sandy Peszynski Breast Cancer Foundation

When Sandy’s breast cancer returned in 1993, they decided it was time to fully pass the torch to the children, so they could enjoy retirement together. Jill, Dan, and Karen took the reins and ran with them finding strengths in all aspects of the business and working together to increase sales and their customer following. They took the values instilled in them by their parents, Paul and Sandy, about superior customer service, and how important it is to give back to the community that supports them.

In May 2007 Sandy lost her long battle with breast cancer and although the family was devastated, they decided to create a fund in her name. The Sandy Peszynski Breast Cancer Foundation was created and today has raised over $325,000. This foundation differs from others as 100% of what is donated goes directly to the hospitals cancer programs to help women.

Event Location

The CHS Museum Complex will be open to the public free of charge. The two museum buildings have a large display of artifacts illustrating East Hampton’s history. There is a large display of bells produced at the Bevin Bell Factory and a huge array of toys made at the Gong Bell Co. and the N. N. Hill Brass Co. There is also a beautiful display of the witch hazel industry donated by the American Distilling Co.

Outside under the large Lion’s Club tent will be bands providing music throughout the afternoon.  One of the bands featured will be Kevin Day’s “Gigglejuice.” Another musician will be guitarist Dave Downs  who will sing songs of the 40s and 50s. There will be old time crafts and farm demonstrations.  There will also be old time farm demonstrations and Kathy and George Reinholtz will have goats from their Dream Away Farms and goat soap will be for sale. Fiber artisans Vivienne McGarry who raises goats and sheep will give spinning demonstrations. Lynn Krug of Gales Ferry will demonstrate her blacksmith skills.

The Chatham Historical Society will provide free doughnuts and apple cider. The Dublin Beef & Seafood Co. will be serving food provided by the Lucky Goat Butcher Shop.

            Come and join us for a fun filled afternoon.

If you have any questions about The Chatham Historical Society’s 2018 “Fall History Festival” contact Marty Podskoch 

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Chatham Historical Society
6 Bevin Blvd
East Hampton, CT 06424

The Chatham Historical Society was established in 1963 and today operates a complex
which includes an 1840 one-room school house and a museum, opened in 2006.
The present museum houses artifacts and memorabilia
that tell the stories of East Hampton, Middle Haddam and Cobalt history.

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