Well, here we are in the New Year of 2009 and I'm the first columnist to appear this year in the Reflector! We're passing quickly through the first decade of this 21st century, and that makes me think of the terrible panic which people sought to engender concerning the year 2000. There were all kinds of dire predictions such as failure of computer networks, which would plunge our world into chaos and disaster.
At the beginning of each year I make a list of the years which are an anniversary, such as 1959, 1934, 1909, 1884, 1859, 1834 and 1809, to consider whether something significant took place in that year. In the list cited, the year 1909 saw a huge celebration in Norwalk for the town's centennial as well as the kidnapping of Billy Whitla, which had a Norwalk connection; 1859 is the year that gas lighting was first introduced in Norwalk; in 1834 a wonderful statistical description of Norwalk was published in the Reflector; and 1809 saw many early settlers arrive on the Firelands from New England and New York. Settlement followed the establishment of Huron County by the state legislature.