The Square Off
First Selectman Jones, meanwhile, was in Niantic for a few days vacation and could not be reached by telephone. The veterans dispatched a messenger to him and he returned to town.
Upon getting out of his car in front of the beach, Mr. Jones shouted: “All right boys, take down the fence. I don’t care how many State Police are here or if Hickey (Resident State Trooper William Hickey) himself is watching.”
Within a few minutes, the fence was torn down and thrown into the waters of Lake Pocotopaug. Mr. Carini and his attorney, Bruce Manternach of Robinson, Robinson and Cole, Hartford, approached Mr. Jones, who told them to “keep that fence down.” The Selectman warned Mr. Carini that he would remove any fence placed on the property in the future. State Police, under the direction of Sergeant Frank Leighton, acting commander of the Colchester Barracks, declared the beach area an emergency zone and order all cars removed from the immediate vicinity.
L - R The crowd surrounds Henry Carini and First Selectman Walter Jones
A storekeeper near the lake, it was reported, called State Police during the proceedings and asked that the “riot squad” be sent to the scene. Later Captain Leo F. Carroll and others from the Special service Division drove to the beach area but found the gathering dispersing without further disturbance and no need for additional police was reported.
Sending the Crowd Home
L - R: unknown man and woman in car, State Trooper Joseph Sirkorsky , Selectman Jones, Jackie Jacobson
Onlookers Move On
On August 13 approximately 100 men, most of them war veterans, claiming the beach belonged to the Town, dumped about 200 truckloads of sand onto the beach and place a sign reading “VFW and American Legion Beach.”
According to Carini the reason so many person think the beach belongs to the Town probably stems from the fact that for years the public used the beach. This was before there were any houses in the section and no objection was raised to public use of the beach.
Success - The Fence is Removed
L - R: ??, Jim Barton, ??, Joseph Porter, Selectman Hubert Hodge, Howard Engle (Council Chair Melisa Engel's grandfather), First Selectman Walter Jones, a very young but future Governor, William "Bill O'Neill, ??, Joseph Frontel,??, ??