Come to a presentation and book signing by author and historian Marty Podskoch discussing his new book, The Connecticut 169 Club: Your Passport and Guide to Exploring Connecticut which includes a light lunch. The new travel book encourages travelers to visit all of the towns and villages of our beautiful and unique state. From the quaint splendor of the town of Kent in the northwest hills of Connecticut to the great restaurants that dot the shoreline of Westbrook to New Britain’s industrial roots, to Wilton’s colonial past, Podskoch has compiled little known facts and fascinating information about all 169 towns, cities and villages in the State of Connecticut in the hopes of encouraging people to visit every one of them.
Join this informal “club” by getting out and about, and taking the road less traveled! The book has a space for travelers to journal about their experiences and a place to get the book stamped or signed by a resident or business in each town. The reward for visiting all of Connecticut’s towns, cities and villages will be a “Leatherman” patch which commemorates this legendary wanderer, who during the late 1800s wore leather clothes and travelled a 365-mile circuit in approximately 34 days between the Hudson and Connecticut Rivers while camping out in caves. Podskoch will help organize a dinner in the fall of next year to honor those determined souls who have made it to every municipality, all 169! During that event they will get their Leatherman keepsakes. “Anyone can attend,” Podskoch says. “Members will share their stories and adventures.” It is worth noting that the Old Leatherman is well documented as visiting Wilton regularly, and could be spotted at the Rock Lake Reservoir.
There is no membership fee, just a desire to experience all of Connecticut. Adults and children of all ages can be members. What a great adventure for families, grandparents, and their grandchildren, or go by oneself. Most members will travel by car while others might use a bike, motorcycle, or maybe a canoe! “It doesn’t matter what age people are or what means of transportation people use to get there,” the 74-year-old Podskosh said. “The whole idea is to get people to see the many beautiful places in our state.”
The Connecticut guide book, Podskoch’s ninth book, entailed nearly two years of collaborative effort as he recruited Connecticut writers, historians and officials. Each contributed a passage about their town’s histories, haunts; favorite food fixes and historic landmarks. The Wilton chapter of the book was provided by Allison Gray Sanders, Co-Director of the Wilton Historical Society.
After Podskoch’s talk, the book will be available for sale and signing. The hard cover 8.5 x 11 book has 376 pages with hundreds of photos & maps and sells for $24.95.
Wilton Historical Society Members: No charge; Non-members $10
Please register for this talk and light luncheon: call 203-762-7257 or through firstname.lastname@example.org
The idea for the travel club guides began after Podskoch read about Dr. Arthur Peach in the December 11, 2005 issue of American Profile Magazine. Dr. Peach, in a story in Vermont Life magazine, suggested the idea of an informal group, the 251 Club, to veer off the beaten path “…to discover the secret and lovely places that main roads do not reveal.” He felt that every part of Vermont had its beauty, history, attractions, traditions, and interesting people.
After writing five books about the Adirondacks Podskoch decided to do a travel book to get people to visit all 102 towns in the Adirondacks. The result was his Adirondack 102 Club: Your Passport and Guide to the North Country in 2015. Now retired, Marty Podskoch was a reading teacher in the Catskills and came to Connecticut in 2005. He decided to write a book on the Connecticut CCC camps. He traveled to over 100 towns in Conn. where he gave talks on the CCC and people shared their stories and photos. His Connecticut Civilian Conservation Corps Camps: History, Memories & Legacy of the CCC was published in 2016. Podkosh lives in East Hampton, Connecticut.
The new book is not to be confused with the Run 169 Towns Society, whose members strive to run races in all 169 state municipalities.
State Historian Quote about The Connecticut 169 Club: Your Passport and Guide to Exploring Connecticut:
“Nothing defines Connecticut better than its 169 towns. From the beginning of settlement, we have been a “hiving off” people, settling here, reaching out there, one town becoming the parent of many towns, each fiercely independent, with its own home-grown character, history, and special sense of self.
The state of Connecticut has an exceptional geographic diversity, too, so our towns are extraordinarily beautiful and breath-takingly varied. From the Gold Coast to the Quiet Corner, the Litchfield Hills to the Long Island Sound, Connecticut has 169 kinds of picture-book perfection, from bustling cities to postcard-worthy village greens. You owe it to yourself and your family to see them all. Because in Connecticut, the sum of the parts truly is greater than the whole. This wonderful book is your invitation to do just that. Join The Connecticut 169 Club: Your Passport and Guide to Exploring Connecticut. Visit every town. See the sights. Hear the stories. Eat the foods. Meet the people. You’ll be glad you did. And, you’ll either be prouder than ever to be a Connectican, or you’ll wish you were one!” — Walter Woodward, State Historian