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    Saturday, April 01, 2023

    Let’s Go: Set sail on Chester-Hadlyme Ferry’s first voyage of 2023

    The 65-foot diesel-run Selden III crosses the Connecticut River filled with passengers enjoying last year’s “First Ferry Celebration.” (Photo submitted)

    When the Chester-Hadlyme Ferry makes one of its inaugural 2023 round trips across the Connecticut River at 10 a.m. on Saturday, April 1, a group of like-minded supporters intends to make the occasion special.

    “We want to hold a get-together to rejoice in the ferry’s return to the landing area near Gillette Castle,” said Lynn Wilkinson, president of the Friends of Gillette Castle State Park.

    “Several members of our organization plan to make that morning's initial round trip together, and we imagine others might want to join us,” she added.

    The boat is expected to load first on the Chester side and make its five-minute run east to the Hadlyme landing adjacent to the park, where the Friends’ group will gather.

    Access to the western landing is on Route 148 at Ferry Road in Chester. The eastern landing is on park property at the base of Seventh Sister Hill, with a road and footpath leading up to the castle, the eccentric, century-old home of the late actor William Gillette.

    “We can promise convivial conversations with members of the Friends,” Wilkinson said, adding that the gathering is being held free of charge. “They'll be eager to talk about Gillette Castle, its history and our own activities.” She added that “we will also enjoy refreshments from our good friends at the Hadlyme Country Market.”

    A ribbon-cutting is planned along with visits by regional dignitaries, including the portrayal of Gillette and his wife by Harold and Theodora Niver of Rocky Hill, who have portrayed the Gillettes at the castle for decades.

    The Friends of Gillette Castle State Park is a nonprofit, all-volunteer group dedicated to the preservation, conservation and educational activities of the building and its grounds. More information may be found at www.gillettecastlefriends.org.

    Let’s Go is a regular feature. To contribute, email times@theday.com.

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