Why is there a street called "Yogananda Street" in staid Sandy Hook, CT?
February 2, 2009 11:58 AM   Subscribe

Why is there a street called "Yogananda Street" in staid Sandy Hook, CT, when there's no apparent local connection to yoga, generally, or to the famous yogi/author Paramahansa Yogananda, specifically?

This should not be a tough mystery to solve. But I'm finding it iron-like and utterly un-googleable. It's not that I care so much, it's just that I'm not used to questions that can't be answered via the Internets.

BTW, just to plug the president's "USA Service" initiative, I discovered the street when searching for local civic activities to participate in, and found the following:

37 Yogananda Street (Sandy Hook, CT)
Women Involved in Newtown makes Easter baskets for children who would not otherwise recive them. We work together with Newtown Social Services, Interfaith Aids and...
posted by jimmyjimjim to Grab Bag (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Since Sandy Hook is part of the Newtown borough, why not ask the city itself? Here's a link to their "contact" page:


The Newtown Historical Society could also help:

posted by KokuRyu at 12:20 PM on February 2, 2009

Response by poster: Wow. Someone actually marked this thread as a "favorite"!

Thanks, KokuRyu, that might work.
posted by jimmyjimjim at 12:25 PM on February 2, 2009

Sandy Hook is part of Newtown. The local paper is the Newtown Bee, and they have a column about the history of road names in Newtown. Surprisingly, they don't have this one. The author of the column is Nancy K Crevier - here's one of the columns. I can't find an on-line address, but you could try calling or writing the Bee:

"The offices of The Bee are located at 5 Church Hill Road, Newtown. Telephone: (203) 426-3141. Fax: (203) 426-5169. Mailing address: PO Box 5503, Newtown, 06470. Email: editor@thebee.com. R. Scudder Smith is the publisher, and Curtiss Clark is the editor."

Alternately, try calling the library or town historical society and asking them.
posted by zippy at 12:32 PM on February 2, 2009

Sandy Hook? Oh man, it's always weird when I see neighbors on MeFi.
posted by QuarterlyProphet at 12:32 PM on February 2, 2009

(on-line address for Crevier)
posted by zippy at 12:33 PM on February 2, 2009

West-side Connecticut represent!

[makes awkward WC gang sign, and wishes the Danbury Fair would come back]
posted by zippy at 12:34 PM on February 2, 2009

Best answer: This site says: Students of Vedanta society decided to establish a retreat site for students of Vedanta. Accordingly a plot of 370 acres was bought in the Berkshire Connecticut. The Berkshire Retreat was duly inaugurated by Swami Abhedananda in March 1907, and he remarked, “The Ashrama looks like Fairyland.”

Berkshire's just a mile and a half from Sandy Hook, I'm guessing there's your connection.
posted by Floydd at 12:35 PM on February 2, 2009

Response by poster: QuarterlyProphet and zippy, stop by some Tuesday night (microbrew night) at the extravagantly stocked bar of My Place! I'm the one semi-comatose and drooling at the end of the bar.

BTW, it's ONLY in places like west-side CT that people actually make WC gang signs.
posted by jimmyjimjim at 12:38 PM on February 2, 2009

Response by poster: Floydd, bingo, thanks. Vedanta's a natural here. In this part of Connecticut, all truly is one. One boring frakkin' environment...
posted by jimmyjimjim at 12:45 PM on February 2, 2009

Response by poster: BTW, vedantists and yogis despise each other, so it's still kind of weird. Vendantists say there's nothing to be done, so yoga is an absurd waste of time. The yogis retort "if you guys are living proof there's nothing to be done, we'll keep standing on our heads in caves, thanks"

It's one of the world's oldest ongoing flame wars. No actual violence, though.
posted by jimmyjimjim at 12:48 PM on February 2, 2009 [1 favorite]

It's one of the world's oldest ongoing flame wars.

posted by zippy at 4:02 PM on February 2, 2009

That's funny, I actually know a family who live on that exact street. Next time I see them I'll be sure to ask if they know anything (it might be a while, I don't live near there anymore).

As far as I'm aware, it's a fairly recent/new development (probably under 25 years old), so the street doesn't date back to early Newtown history (which extends back to before the Revolutionary War).

A lot of times the developers choose the street names, so there's no rhyme or reason, it's just the whim of a real-estate developer. Maybe the developer had just finished reading "Autobiography of a Yogi"?
posted by Alabaster at 4:08 PM on February 2, 2009

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