We moved to Vernon in 1963 buying a house in a new development off Tunnel Road. At the time, BC (before children) my wife and I both worked at Pratt in East Hartford.
A co-worker of my wife's was a pilot sharing a small plane out of Brainard Field in Hartford. We went on a flight with him in January 1965 that included a pass over our home. I recently ran across one of the photos I'd forgotten. The pictures show just how much has changed in 50 years as we moved from an agricultural to a bedroom community.
In the first photo (click on it for larger size) we are heading east and approaching today's Exit 66. At bottom left is Sacred Heart Church before the pyramid building. Then the exit to Tunnel Road. Notice all the fields stretching on both sides of the Tankerhoosen River all the way to Bread and Milk. It's January so there is a light snow cover. Beyond the Tunnel and railroad (yes, the tracks were still there) is a Driggs farm field, now a housing development.
The second photo is looking south from the exit. It's a little blurry but notice the tobacco barns, at least five are visible. Benjamin Kanter had his chicken farm just north of the exit and out of the picture, but before the highway cut through his property in the 1940's he owned about 90 acres along Tunnel Road, much of which was in tobacco. He is said to be the first to grow broad leaf tobacco in Vernon.
The third photo is a 1965 aerial. South is at the top for comparison with the last photo. The barns are less obvious, but the Kanter farm is lower left. The Driggs Farm is in the upper left. How its all changed. I so wish I'd taken pictures of the barns at the time, but didn't expect to be in Vernon this long.
I'm doing some research on the history of this section of Tunnel Road. For a half mile strip a lot happened. I'll post additional findings.