Edwin Bowman was a real throwback to another day. There was a certain twang to his voice, people don't speak like that around here anymore. As a child he attended a one room schoolhouse in Newfield. As was his father before him, Bowman was a student of local history and volunteered much time at the Newfield Cemetery. Edwin would have made a decent engineer, for he devised his own system of providing electricity to his farm. Behind his barns was a windmill for charging batteries. Those batteries provided all the power for his place, from running the milk machines, electrifying the fences, pumping water and illuminating his house. He never had power hooked up to his house. Until he had to.
One day Edwin was putting up hay and there was an accident. No one knows if he fell down or if a bale of hay fell on him, but in any case Edwin broke his neck and would never walk or use his arms again. He kept his home and lived there as long as he could, but to pay for his medical expenses he was forced to sell most of his property. This led to a couple of things. First, some very nice homes went up and a good neighborhood was established. Second, since he was a farmer, he wanted some of his land to stay in agriculture. So he donated land to HLPT to be used as gardens for the senior citizens of town.
Thanks mostly to the efforts of a neighbor as well as the Sullivan Senior Center, these gardens are thriving.
There are 75 raised beds, and the waiting list is full. Many people and organizations have volunteered time and materials to make these gardens a sucess. A pavillion is being erected by the students of OWTS using donated materials. Edwin would be quite happy, and probably a little surprised, to see how well his wishes turned out.
The Bowman Gardens are on Mountain Road, about two miles north of West Torrington. They are located where the road turns ninety degrees to the left, drive carefully.