After we left Rochester, New York, our next destination was Hartford, Connecticut, so that we could go to the Connecticut State Library and Archives to try and find some information on Otto Salewski, a brother of one of Lisa’s great grandmothers.

We arrived in Hartford on Memorial Day Monday evening, and pulled off the highway where Lisa had found there was a Super 8 motel for $50. As we were heading to that, a large sign for America’s Best Value Inn advertising $45 for a night caught her eye, so we went there. We didn’t have much to do in Hartford, so went out to eat dinner, then returned to the Inn to sleep, then Tuesday morning headed off to the Connecticut State Library and Archives.

The Good

Connecticut State Library and Archives is in a quite magnificent building that also includes the Supreme Court, the State Archives and the State Museum.

Connecticut State Library Archives and Museum

Connecticut State Library Archives and Museum

It is over the road from the Connecticut State Capitol – also an amazing building.

Connecticut State Capitol

A view from the steps of the State Library, across Capitol Ave to the State Capitol.

We only had a few hours in which Lisa hoped to unearth some information on the above mentioned Otto Salewski (Saluski, Saleski, no matter how it got spelled), so didn’t have time to look at much else.

The Genealogy and Family History section is but a small part of the State Library, but it made up for this with a very knowledgeable, helpful and friendly staff who seemed to have all the answers. We placed an order to have some Voter Registration Registers for the town of Sharon brought from the Archives (they were in off site storage), and about an hour later they had arrived so we could view them. We also looked at land records and a few other records for the town and found quite a few mentions of Otto Salewski.

The Bad

On Monday evening I had looked on the GPS for Dining in the area of where our Inn was, and it came up with a number of restaurants of different flavours. So off we went to find Johnson’s Sea Food. But at the designated address there was almost no sign that a restaurant had ever been there. I guess that explained why really the only thing I could find online about it was a review in 1995. It had probably disappeared soon after the review!! Most of the other places were closed too – some just for Memorial Day, and some it seemed probably permanently. We ended up at the Burger King right beside the Inn.

The Ugly

America’s Best Value Inn at Hartford, CT had to be the WORST motel we’ve ever stayed in. The reviews on the page linked here do it justice I think – in fact we did perhaps get the best room they had from the sounds of the other reviews – I agree with one – it should be shut down!!!

Room #130 – the toilet was leaking all over the floor – not overflowing from the top of the bowl, but leaking from the back under the tank somewhere. I called Reception to ask for a new room. Eventually “my repairman” – and elderly man who looked for all the world like Martin Short’s Ed Grimley except that the hair was more back than up comes along with a plunger, probably thinking “stupid guests – they overflowed it”. Eventually he figured out what I was telling him that it was NOT overflowing, but was actually leaking somewhere. There was a not so pleasant smell here too – kind of like the non-smoking room had been smoked in, then a whole spray bomb of some ghastly thing to try and hide the cigarette smell let go in there.

Room #136 – this room was barely big enough for the bed in it, and there was no table or anything else on which to use a computer. Same smell as Room #130, but at least the toilet didn’t leak.

Room #128 – a duplicate of Room #130, so a nice table, the toilet didn’t leak, but it did smell.

Outside the place looked like it must operate as Party Central. There were dozens, probably hundreds, of beer bottle caps all over the parts of the lawn we looked at, matched by about an equal number of cigarette butts- what a mess!!!

Above our room was a sign that said

No Trespassing – Police Take Notice

Now I don’t know if this was a suggestion that even the Police weren’t to trespass, or if it meant that Police would take notice of Trespassers. Whatever it meant, the Health Department apparently hadn’t been there in a very long time.

We left in the morning and will NEVER return!!

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