Devil's Hopyard State Park, in East Haddam, Connecticut, was a hot topic a year ago. A fire that burned about 150 acres of the park kept local and state firefighters busy for quite a few days and even held the attention of news organizations for more than 24 hours.
There aren't many families that spend generation after generation on the same piece of property, even in the land of steady habits. But in the midst of the hustle and bustle that dots much of Connecticut, not too far from the banks of the Connecticut River and the unique East Haddam Swing Bridge, lives a family that personifies steady habits. This weekend, July 7 and 8, the Ballek family celebrates 350 years of life on the same piece of property, now well known as Ballek's Garden Center.
The early spring fire that burned an estimated 150 of the 860 or so acres of Devil's Hopyard State Park in East Haddam, Connecticut, was noteworthy because brush fires that burn up to tree tops is an unusual occurrence in this region of Connecticut. But this fire was not nearly as destructive as those out West where forest fires frequently consume thousands of acres, leaving remnants of charred dead trees that once towered overhead.