02-08-14 News

The Upper Falls News is an email newsletter about what's going on in our village.  The Upper Falls News is brought to you by the Upper Falls Area Council but it's intended to cover any and all news in the village. 

Upper Falls Trivia - Where was the Echo Bridge Hotel located? (answer below)

The Niagra Falls of Newton - Some scenic spots are inextricably tied to romance and Echo Bridge seems to be one of them.  A good while back we featured a video of a wedding proposal beside Echo Bridge.  Since then we learned that our neighbors Mary Ellen Stokes and Dominique Fortin were married in 2010 on top of Echo Bridge.  Here's a photo of the ceremony and another photo where young Eleanor gives a clue that it was Oct 31.

The Stars of Upper Falls - Countryside School's annual musical extravaganza is this weekend.  The final performance of The Little Mermaid will be tomorrow, Sunday Feb 9 at 2 PM and tickets are still available.  The show will feature the most talented young singers/actors/performers in Upper Falls including Rory and Walter Boyce, Ally Black, Sophie Chang, Ainsley Grieb, Lily Harris, Ananta Kaundinya, Miriam Lagoon, Lana Mello, Lauren Michel, Oscar Mulcahey, Sophie Stephenson, Abigail Ustayeva, sand Sasha Zakuta.

Friends of the Upper Falls Greenway Kickoff - Come join us for the official kickoff meeting of The Friends of The Upper Falls Greenway on Tues Feb 11 at the Emerson Community Center at 7 PM.  The construction of the mile long Greenway path is scheduled to be completed this spring ... but that's just the beginning.   The Friends of the Greenway will be involved, on an ongoing basis over the coming years, in various efforts to improve our new park - plantings and landscaping, community events, arts, fund raising, special projects, etc.  We're looking for as many volunteers as possible to get involved.  Come on down to the Emerson Center and help plan and create our new neighborhood park.

Mysterious Black "Rocks" - At the bottom of Spring St, by the fence, on the side of the road, there are a number of black objects.  My daughter and I pass them every morning and have long wondered what they are.  They look sort of look like rocks but they don't seem heavy enough and they have some suspiciously smooth and polished surfaces.  My daughter thinks that they are wood, but it doesn't look like wood to me.  Just this week I noticed for the first time that they are also on the side of the road at the top of Spring St.

I talked to my neighbor Leslie Friedman who owns that house at the top corner of Spring and Summer.  She doesn't know what they are either.  She put them out to line the edge of her garden years ago.  She got them from another neighbor who also didn't know what they were.  The ones at the bottom of Spring St have apparently been moved down there by the plows over the years.

So take a walk by whenever the snow melts, have a look and send an email and let us know what you think.  It's time to get to the bottom of this mystery.

Mysterious Castle of Upper Falls - speaking of mysteries, here's another one.  Julie Levesque and her partner Deb moved into their house at 45 Thurston Rd 22 years ago.  The hillside behind the house was covered with vines.  When they cleared the vegetation out, they discovered this remarkable and mysterious castle there.  Ever since, they've wondered who created it and what the story behind the castle is.   If any readers know anything about the mystery castle, please let us know.

Steps To the Feast - The 2nd step is to find a sponsor.  Organizing The Feast of the Falls requires multiple permits.  The applicant for the permits must be an officially recognized non-profit organization.   We are delighted that the Tzu Chi Foundation, the Buddhist disaster relief organization on Summer St, has once again agreed to be the official sponsor of The Feast of the Falls 2014.  For those who were there, you probably remember the fabulous and delicious vegetarian dishes that the Tzu Chi folks served at last year's Feast.  This year's Feast will be held on Sunday June 22.

Little, Free, and Not Afraid of a Bit of Snow - During this past week's snowstorm the schools were closed, City Hall was closed but Upper Falls' Little Free Library was open for business.  Here's a great photo of our freshly shoveled Little Free Library on Rockland Place.  Stop by and check out a book any time - no library card needed.

We're Surrounded - For each of the recent issues of the UF News we've been getting new coyote sightings in the neighborhood.  This week, Allison Peters reports ."I saw a coyote on Friday morning in Upper Upper Falls, moving fast between the back of my condo (at 37 Cottage Street) and the public housing on Thurston…probably the same one that was spotted on Columbia Ave. on Thursday. Yikes!"

Did You Know ... that there are more chickens in the world than people? "Did you know ..." features an interesting and random fact every issue, collected by eleven-year-old Upper Falls resident Jayla Reilly.

Did you Know .. that "Did you Know" editor Jayla Reilly is also a prolific artist.  Here's a few of her recent drawings.

Spread The News - Ask your neighbors if they get the Upper Falls News.  If not forward them this issue and they can sign up for their own subscription here.

Send Us Your News - If you have any upcoming events, activities, news, trivia, stories, anecdotes or jokes related to Upper Falls just send them to news@UpperFallsNews.org and we'll include them in the next newsletter.  For those who prefer living in the past, back issues of the Upper Falls News are archived at UpperFallsNews.org.

Upper Falls Trivia Answer - Michael & Holly Grieb were in The Biltmore recently and noticed a new old photo on the wall.  It was a picture of The Echo Bridge Hotel from the early 1900.  As you can see, it was the block that is now home to Bob's Sub Stop.  According to "The Makers of The Mold",  in 1901 Otis Pettee knocked down a few houses and built the hotel.  The hotel opened for business in the upper floors in 1902 with retail stores on the ground floor, much like today.  Shortly after it was built, the Upper Falls Post Office moved into one of the ground floor premises.

Here's a photo of the photo hanging in The Biltmore: