Babb's Rink History

Donate  Merchandise  Guestbook  Contact Us  Photo Gallery  Join
Join our Facebook Group Join our Facebook Group     Work Party Update    Babb's brochure


 

Babb's Beach
The Babb family operated a summer lake resort on the shores of the Congamond Lake starting in the late 1890s. The current roller skating rink was built circa 1930 as a dance hall. The facility hosted well-known musicians during the Big Band era. The Babb family donated the approximately 7 acre property to the Town in 1977 and Nelson Babb had a life-use of a house and continued to operate the skating rink until 1996. The 11,000 s.f. building was falling into disrepair and on October 31, 2003, the Town entered into a four-year lease with four extension periods with Citizens Restoring Congamond (CRC). CRC agreed to utilize its non-profit status to conduct fundraising and restore the building as a rollerskating rink. The Town recieved a $100,000 Small Town Economic Assistance Progam (STEAP) grant from the State of Connecticut to help with the restoration. Babb's Beach was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on July 21, 2006. Once the rollerskating rink is restored, CRC plans to sublease the building to a rink operator and any profits realized from the sublease will be used for CRC's mission of the protection and preservation of the Congamond Lakes. Future plans for the town-owned property, pending available funding, include reutilizing the beach area, constructing a bathhouse, and building a pavillion overlooking the lake.

 

Remember when... History...

  • Babb family operated summer lake resort on the shores of Congamond Lake since the late 1890s

  • Current facility built circa 1930 as a dance hall

  • Hosted well-known musicians during the Big Band era

  • Later became roller skating rink

  • Babb family donates 7-acre property to the Town in 1977

  • CRC agrees to 20 year lease with the Town on October 31, 2003

  • Town awarded $100,000 State grant for restoration, as well as several smaller grants

  • Babb’s Beach listed on National Register of Historic Places on July 21, 2006

Babb’s Update for Sep 21, 2007:

We now have the roof permit!
The shingles have been moved back to the rink and installation is scheduled to start  Monday
9/24/07

http://babbsrink.org/babbsrink/pdfs/Skating%20Rink%20Article%20-%20Westfield%20Paper%20April%202008.pdf

 

Excerpt taken from Roller Skating Rinks Northeastern Region List FAQ
Copyright 1994-2000 by George Robbins

West Suffield, CT 06093

Babbs Roller Skating Rink
Babbs Road
West Suffield is located in northern Connecticut, between Springfield, Massachusetts and Granby/Simsbury Connecticut. The Babbs rink is on the shore of Congamond lakes. From I-91, get off at exit 40 - Rt 20 and head west towards the airport. Continue on Rt 20 to Rt 187, turn right to head north on Rt 187 for about four miles, then turn left onto Rt 168 and follow Rt 168 for about four more miles to Babbs Road. Turn right onto Babbs Road, The rink could be here, or a mile further north in the Babbs Beach area. In general, look for signs pointing at the lakes/recreation area, it's not directly visible from the road.

Wood Floor - Pretty Smooth
Snack Bar - Games - No Smoking
In-line Skates permitted and available for rent

[lainer@map.com (Ellen Lainer) ]
On June 30th [1996], Babbs will be closing its doors. Apparently, the old building is in need of major electrical updating (to the tune of $30,000). I was hoping that the town would take it over, or that some wealthy soul would buy and renovate the place, but it doesn't seem to be happening. I just starting going to Babbs this year, as I am a new resident to the area. I am saddened to see it close.

[ web gleanings ]
Babbs Beach was a summer lake resort operated by the Babbs Family. As recreation trends changes, the resort became less active and Nelson Babb Jr. eventually donated the property to the town, on the provision that he could retain his residence and lease the rink back for a nominal sum. The town operated a recreation program at the beach until recent budget cutbacks. Babbs, 77, was content to operate the roller rink and donated the proceeds to various self-help charities.

The rink did close in in June 1996, and there was an auction to sell off all the skating related equipment in September. A newspaper article mentioned that some people were interested in operating the facility as a rink, but made it sound more like wishful thinking than serious. It also implied that the town would rather have a parking lot or soccer field at the lake than a commercial operation.
 

            


Back | Home | Contact Us
Page last updated on November 14, 2012
Website donated by Chip & Donna Dyer of West Suffield, CT

Babb's Park Renovation sponsored by
Citizens Restoring Congamond