Looking Back: What can you buy with $5,000?

Similar to this week’s edition of The Press, the Sept. 3, 1992 paper was the first of the new school year.

Farmingville kindergarten teacher Suzanne Robertson was pictured on the front page showing student Lauren Buckley at her “cubby” on the first day of school.

Two separate school-themed stories ran on the front page — “Schools Open,” a feature about the 1992-93 school year (hey, we still run those today!), and “Youngest Students Survive First Day,” which was a profile on students getting through the first hours of school “with minimal butterflies.”

Of course, the news doesn’t stand still just because a few school buildings open up.

Inside the paper, The Press reported on a former RHS track star who was found dead at the South Norwalk train station.

“James Patrick Sullivan’s body was discovered by Norwalk Police about 11:30, on the stairs of the train station, after an anonymous caller had reported hearing shots,” The Press reported.

The twenty-four-year old man had been shot five times.

“It was probably a robbery,” said Norwalk Police Detective Sgt. Heinz Spielvogel. “There were no belongings on him.”

50 years ago

In the Aug. 31, 1967 edition of The Press — published 50 years ago today, The Board of Finance was busy appropriating an additional $5,500 for the purchase of the 77-acre Richardson tract at North Salem and Ridgebury Roads.

The appropriation brought the total price for the land up to $115,500. Originally, town voters had approved $110,000 for the property, which The Press reported was to be used for educational and recreational purposes.

“William H. Casey, a member of the board and president of the Ridgefield Real Estate Board, said that the new price was ‘not out of line, not at all,’” The Press reported.

It wasn’t the only land sale making headlines that week.

Splashed across the top paper was a story that read: “New Yorkers Buy Olcott Estate; Shapley Hoping for a New Deal.” It was the biggest story of the week.

“Vista-Vestra, Inc., the high bidder of the Shapley School property at an auction on Saturday, Aug. 26, may lease the school back to Carl Shapley, the school’s founder,” The Press’ lead stated. “Mr. Shapley said this morning that he is negotiating with the Connecticut-based organization and with other concerns and hopes to open the school on Monday, Sept. 28.”

And yet another land purchase made waves on the front page — underneath a picture of three five-year-old boys making literal waves with lifeguard Brian MacKenzie at Great Pond.

This one read, “Board Acts to Buy More Land, Defers Vote on Rockwell Offer.”

Again, it was the finance board at the center of the story. But this time around, they approved $56,400 — about half of the Richardson price tag — to buy 61.5 acres of additional land at Lakeland Hills in Ridgebury.

“But it deferred action on a proposal to buy 10.5 acres of Rockwell land adjoining the new junior high school on East Ridge for $90,000,” The Press reported.

Chairman Leo F. Carroll told board members that town attorneys “recommended buying it for an amount not to exceed $85,000.”

The lesson? Every $5,000 counts.