History of Salisbury
Litchfield County, Connecticut

 

The Charles Henry Ball Family
Salisbury, Litchfield County, CT
Contributed By: Elsie Wood....granddaughter of Charles Henry Ball

My grandfather, whom I never knew, was Charles Henry Ball.  The town nicknamed him 'The Colonel", but he was not one.  My grandmother was Maud Ethel Bryant Ball.  They had 4 children, my mother being the oldest, whose legal name was Maude Caroline Ball.  My mother had 3 brothers:  William Harvey Ball, Lyman Ball, and Charles (called 'Chuck') Ball. 

 
My grandfather ran away when he was 15 because he wanted to fight in the Civil War.  He ran away to his cousin, Henry Ball, who lived in New Haven, CT at the time.  The doctor who signed my grandfather's papers knew he was lying about his age, but as in many cases at the time, he passed him through the physical examination so he could go to war, but he had to wait a couple years before they would let him fight on the battlefield.  Grandpa was a sharpshooter at the Battle of Cold Harbor, one of the few survivors. 
 
I think you ought to know that the history of the Town of Salisbury does go back to the 1600's.  At the top of Mt. Riga there is a very old burying ground, whose stones show dates in the 1600's.  Some of my ancestors are buried up there, and my middle name was granted me from one buried up there, Tryphena Ball.  Although, my middle name is really an extension of my early paternal grandmother's side, whose first name was Phena Bonhotel.  She had a  son, John Windsor Bonhotel, who was my father, and he was very close to his mother. 
 
My grandfather, Charles Henry Ball, is buried in the part of the cemetery in the center of town in what is known as "hallowed ground' reserved for many who fought in the Civil War.  Charles Henry Ball's mother's maiden name was Hannah Jane Ayres, and my mother told me that Charles always thought she had the most beautiful soft and loving brown eyes of any woman he had ever seen. 
 
And I don't know which generation another of my ancestors fits in with, but I do know for sure that I had a grandmother who was a full-blooded American Indian - I do not know the tribe - whose name was Lydia Wing.  Her grave stone is in the oldest graveyard I first told you about located on top of the mountain. 
 
Three states come together right there on that mountain where I hail from:  New York, Massachusetts, and Connecticut.  That is why they call the area "The Tri-State". 
 
Also, you need to know that one of my ancestors, Daniel Ball, built the dam up on top of old Riga Mountain.  But if you go up there, don't make the mistake of pronouncing it as it looks (Reegah), or the people will laugh you to scorn.  Everyone calls that mountain, and the people, "Mt. Raggie", and the people, including myself, who are born there "Raggies".  To the townspeople born there, it is an expression of deep loyal and patriot pride, and you don't want to run up against it, or they will never let you forget it! 
 
The furnace where they melted iron on top of the mountain is right next to that dam my ancestor built.  I climbed the mountain in 1989 the last time to see it, and to see where my ancestors were buried up there.  The townspeople are more close to those buried up on the mountaintop than they are to the newer cemetery which is in the center of town down in the valley below. 
 
Also, at one time, there were little towns on top of the mountain, which was called "Forge Village", and the collective name of the town as I've seen in libraries up in Washington, DC, where I also have lived, called it Voluntown.  It was primarily a town for the workers at the furnace, and many of my ancestors were iron-workers first of all, who threw the iron down the mountain, and the ships went by and picked up the iron ore and delivered it to create munitions and this was during the Civil War.   
 
elsie.wood@att.net
October 5, 2009

 

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