A Cultural Hub
The Amistad Center for Art & Culture is a hub for exploring African American art, history, and culture in the greater Hartford area and beyond. The Amistad Center is open Thursday through Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. To plan your visit and learn more about the current exhibition visit amistadcenter.org.
The Amistad Center for Art & Culture at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, 600 Main Street, Hartford. AmistadCenter.org; 860-838-4089
Witchcraft Panic in Colonial Connecticut
The Ancient Burying Ground presents programs this October on the intriguing history of colonial-era witchcraft.Learn about the colonists’ struggles in the New World that led to fear and paranoia. Communities became embroiled in gossip and conspiracies, resulting in punishments and death for innocent people who were condemned as “witches.”
The Ancient Burying Ground, 60 Gold Street, Hartford. theancientburyingground.org; 860-337-1640
ASCH is for You!
Since 1970 the Association for the Study of Connecticut History (ASCH) has promoted the study of the history of Connecticut via meetings and conferences. Its publication, Connecticut History Review, is the only academic, peer-reviewed journal devoted to the history of Connecticut. ASCH serves academic scholars, museum professionals, history buffs, graduate students, and educators.
Public History at CCSU
CCSU Public History is thrilled to announce the addition of another public historian to its faculty. Camesha Scruggs will earn her Ph.D. this summer from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, where she also earned a certificate in public history. She will teach courses in African-American history and public history, and she comes to us with several years of teaching experience and professional connections and experience at state and national historic sites. CCSU History has also won a $60k “Spotlight Grant” from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Scruggs will join our team in developing an upper-level course on how to teach about Connecticut history through place-based learning, with a focus on communities of color. CCSU continues to seek innovative ways to train professionals in teaching history in and out of the classroom. Reach out to email@example.com regarding applications or becoming a community partner.
History Department, Central Connecticut State University; ccsu.edu/history/
Cedar Hill Cemetery in the Fall
[Cedar Hill in Fall 2.jpg]
Fall is a beautiful time to explore Cedar Hill Cemetery’s art, history, and natural beauty. Public programs continue in September and October. Join us for our popular walking tours including College Ties, Remarkable Women, Fall Foliage, Angels Among Us, and Hartford in the Gilded Age. Special events include the Mystery Scavenger Hunt and Hallowed History Lantern Tour.
Program information can be found at cedarhillfoundation.org. If visiting Cedar Hill Cemetery on your own, quiet recreational activities such as walking, birding, and photography, are permitted. A Guide for Visitors, A Guide to Notable Trees, and Guide by Cell Audio Tour are available for self-guided experiences.
Cedar Hill Cemetery, 453 Fairfield Avenue, Hartford. cedarhillfoundation.org; 860-956-331
Congratulations 2023 Award Winners!
The Connecticut League of History Organizations congratulates the recipients of its 2023 Awards of Merit. The awards recognize excellence in interpreting history in Connecticut and individual service to the field. This year’s recipients are:
Barnum Museum for Curious People Wanted
Connecticut Explored magazine for the Grating the Nutmeg podcast
Connecticut Historical Society for The Bicycle Game
Culture 4 A Cause for The John Brown Project
Jewish Historical Society of Greater Hartford for “Community Voices: Digitizing 50 Years of Oral Histories”
Mystic River Historical Society for “Mystic River Bascule Bridge Centennial”
Stanley-Whitman House for Memento Mori – Remember Death
Stanley-Whitman House for The Last Night
Weston History & Culture Center for “Reinterpretation of the Coley House”
Wilton Historical Society for Finding the Forgotten: The Enslaved of Wilton
Catherine K. Fields for individual achievement
Elizabeth J. Normen for individual achievement
Richard C. Malley for individual achievement
For more information visit clho.org/awards.
Connecticut League of History Organizations; clho.org
Artifact Returned to State Museum
In 1971 a rare 1847 Colt Whitneyville-Walker revolver was stolen from the Museum of Connecticut History. The case was cold until 2009, when Pennsylvania detectives Andrew Rathfon and Brendan Dougherty received a tip about weapons stolen from the Valley Forge Historical Society in Pennsylvania. Rathfon and Dougherty followed the trail and found related thefts that occurred in organizations spanning five states between 1968 and 1979. The FBI’s Art Crime Team was called in to help, and a search warrant resulted in the recovery of dozens of stolen items; the culprit turned over the rest of the weapons in exchange for a lesser sentence. Among them: the museum’s Colt Whitneyville-Walker revolver! On March 13, 2023 a repatriation ceremony hosted by the FBI at the Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia returned more than 50 historic items to 17 different museums decades after they were stolen. The Museum of Connecticut History was reunited with its Colt Whitneyville-Walker revolver at last!
Connecticut State Library, 231 Capitol Avenue, Hartford. Ctstate.library.org; 860-757-6500
Museum Takes on a New Name
The Connecticut Museum of Culture and History (formerly the Connecticut Historical Society) is the go-to destination for those who want to gain a deeper understanding of Connecticut’s culture and history. Visit the museum to learn more about the critical role Connecticut continues to play in American history — and about the many cultures living in the state today. Through collaborative interactive exhibitions and programs rooted in our world-class collections, explore the resiliency of Connecticut’s diverse communities, the creativity of its cultures, and the impact of its innovations.
The museum has a remarkable legacy of nearly 200 years. This new name reinforces its commitment to the modern delivery and interpretation of history and culture. Your visit involves more than historic documents, images, and artifacts; it’s also discovery and dialogue. As part of its commitment to its new brand identity, the museum will continue to offer a diverse range of collaborative, interactive exhibitions, educational programs, and world-class collections.
Connecticut Museum of Culture and History, 1 Elizabeth Street, Hartford. connecticutmuseum.org; 860-236-5621
Fall for Ghosts and History
Connecticut Landmarks has apparitions and architecture galore, just in time for fall! On Saturday and Sunday, October 7 and 8, visit Phelps-Hatheway House & Garden in Suffield for the Asher Benjamin Symposium to celebrate the work and legacy of Asher Benjamin (1773 – 1845), one of the most influential of the first-generation American architects. If ghoulish things are more your style, get into the “spirit” of the season by spending time with some Things That Go Bump in the Night on Thursdays and Fridays, October 12 through 27, at Nathan Hale Homestead in Coventry. Our special candlelit tours will take you around the property and into the house, all the way up to the dark, shadowy attic. Hear long-standing and new Homestead ghost stories from staff members and spooky encounters reported by guests, as featured on the Syfy channel’s Ghost Hunters.
Connecticut Landmarks; ctlandmarks.org
Tune in to Local Public Radio
Connecticut Public strives to be an essential source for truth and ideas that connect citizens of Connecticut to their communities and the world. Check out PBS and NPR favorites, plus award-winning local shows on radio, TV, and online:
Where We Live (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 9 a.m.): Catherine Shen puts Connecticut in context with in-depth conversations about Connecticut history, politics, challenges, and opportunities.
The Colin McEnroe Show (Weekdays 1 p.m.): Colin tackles unpredictable topics and promises interesting discoveries in conversation with experts and amazing guests.
The Wheelhouse (Wednesdays 9 a.m.): Local and national politics with the noise turned down and perspective turned up. Frankie Graziano makes Connecticut politics more understandable and accessible.
Audacious (Saturdays 10 a.m.): Chion Wolf highlights uncommon experiences of everyday people through questions that get to the heart of things.
Disrupted (Wednesdays 2 p.m.): Khalilah Brown-Dean explores disruption as a catalyst for something stronger, more inclusive, and effective.
Tune in on our website: ctpublic.org/local
Connecticut Public; ctpublic.org
Connecticut River’s Autumnal Beauty
This fall see the Connecticut River Museum two ways! Enjoy fall foliage and the murmurations of swallows as you cruise on the river aboard one of the museum’s two vessels. Then step inside to view the plein-air paintings of Connecticut River Valley artist Jerry Weiss through October 8.
Connecticut River Museum, 67 Main Street, Essex. Ctrivermuseum.org; 860-767-8269
[AudetteScrapMetalV.png] Anna Held Audette (1938–2013), Scrap Metal V, 1990. Florence Griswold Museum, Gift of Louis G. Audette
From September 10, 2023 to January 28, 2024 the Florence Griswold Museum presents Abandon in Place: The Worlds of Anna Audette. Connecticut artist Anna Held Audette (1938–2013) found loveliness in decay, creating large oil paintings of the disused factories, machines, and scrap-yards that are America’s ruins. Her works reference the arc of America’s ascendance and decline as a manufacturing titan, a process that transformed our environment through the extraction of resources and the deposit of waste. The often considerable scale of Audette’s works and their depiction of rusting machines in the workshops or fields in which they were made and used position her compositions somewhere between landscape, still life, and abstraction.
Her attention to the making and unmaking of the industrialized landscape could not be more timely, as is her contemplation of humankind’s detritus in an era when the environment has reached a state as precarious as Audette’s masses of scrap metal.
Florence Griswold Museum, 96 Lyme Street, Old Lyme. 860-434-5542; florencegriswoldmuseum.org
Nowashe Village in South Windsor
Visit national award-winning Nowashe Village this fall. Indigenous educators include renowned Chef Sherry Pocknett (Mashpee Wampanoag) and David Eichelberg (Mohegan) on September 23, the Horse Hill Singers on October 9 and Annawon Weedon (Mashpee Wampanoag) on November 4. Explore Indigenous lifeways, both past and present at Nowashe. Visit nowashe.org for details.
Wood Memorial Library, 787 Main Street, South Windsor. 860-289-1783; WoodMemorialLibrary.org
Clay Artist’s Legacy
[Greenwich Spotlight] Katherine Choy with ceramic vessels, c. 1957. Courtesy Clay Art Center Archives
In 1957 Chinese-born ceramic artist Katherine Choy, a rising meteoric talent in American studio art pottery, gathered a group of like-minded artists in Port Chester, New York to found the Clay Art Center, a cooperative studio dedicated to creative ceramic art. Buoyed by Choy’s growing celebrity for her boundary-pushing sculptural clay vessels, the Clay Art Center’s reputation quickly grew among American potters, and its resident artists lay down roots in Port Chester and neighboring Greenwich, Connecticut. Radical Pots and Cooperative Hands: Katherine Choy and the Clay Art Center features a number of Choy’s dynamic, genre-defining ceramic works presented alongside photographs and archival material telling the story of the Clay Art Center’s remarkable presence in the mid-century artistic community of New York and southeastern Connecticut. This exhibition is on view October 18, 2023 through February 6, 2024.
Greenwich Historical Society, 47 Strickland Road, Cos Cob. greenwichhistory.org; 203-869-6899
Nook Farm Walking Tour
History buffs, this is your chance to Walk and Learn! The “Seeing Is Revealing” Nook Farm Walking Tour explores the historic landscapes occupied by Harriet Beecher Stowe and Samuel Clemens, a.k.a. Mark Twain, and illuminates the social disparities and parities that continue to affect the contemporary neighborhood known as Asylum Hill.
Meet at the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center and travel through the urban green space where the historic homes of Stowe and Twain are located. Continue beyond the campus to explore Hartford’s broader Asylum Hill community and learn more about this dynamic neighborhood’s history. Just under a mile, the tour includes places to sit. In addition to guide-led walking tours, visitors can purchase a self-guided walking tour with ADA functions.
Harriet Beecher Stowe Center, 77 Forest Street, Hartford. 860-522-9258; HarrietBeecherStoweCenter.org
Hartford History Center Annex Opens
While the Hartford History Center’s location at the Downtown Library remains closed for repairs, the Hartford History Center Annex at the Ropkins Library (1750 Main Street, Hartford) is now open for students and researchers by appointment. This recently renovated location includes access to a large collection of bound volumes of The Hartford Courant and Hartford Times newspapers along with Hartford city directories and thousands of historical photographs. Other research materials may be available upon request. Hartford History Center staff can assist with research questions by phone or e-mail. To book an appointment at the Hartford History Center Annex or for general assistance call 860-695-6927 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Select Hartford History Center collections, including Hartford Timesphotographs and the Hartford City Parks Collection, are also available electronically on the Connecticut Digital Archive at ctdigitalarchive.org.
Hartford History Center at the Downtown Library, Hartford Public Library, 500 Main Street, Hartford. 860-695-6300; hplct.org
Visit Hill-Stead’s new exhibition! Born in 1867: Theodate’s Generation focuses on extraordinary women born in 1867, the same year the museum’s founder Theodate Pope Riddle was born. Theodate was one of the first licensed female architects in the United States, and the exhibition seeks to highlight women who were also pioneers in their respective fields, such as astronomy, medicine, entrepreneurship, and more. On view October 26, 2023, through March 31, 2024.
Visit during regular museum hours, (Wednesday to Sunday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.) and take advantage of free access to the grounds (every day, 7:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.).
Hill-Stead Museum, 35 Mountain Road, Farmington. hillstead.org; 860-677-4787
Indigenous Education Programs
For more than 45 years the Institute for American Indian Studies has provided hands-on, inquiry-based education programs about the 12,000-year-plus history of Indigenous peoples in Quinnetukut – The Place of the Long Water. The museum’s interdisciplinary programs are designed with state standards in mind to provide interactive learning experiences. Its recently revamped education programs address upcoming changes in the curriculum that will mandate the teaching of local Native American history. Updates to programs include an educational game called “Quest Across Quinnetukut,” in which students represent experts with the goal of returning a cultural item to one Connecticut’s five recognized tribes by answering trivia questions about local Native American history. With programs ranging from school field trips to professional development workshops for teachers, our education department engages learners of all ages in thought-provoking discussions about local Native American history and culture. Visit iaismuseum.org for more information and to request a program.
Institute for American Indian Studies, 38 Curtis Road, Washington. wigwamescape.org; 860-868-0510
Lots to Do at Keeler Tavern
Visit KTM&HC this fall for fantastic community events! The #HandsOnHistory: Living Off the Land exhibition explores impacts of climate, historically and today; History on Tap features local breweries for an evening of live music and great food and drink; and the historic site comes alive October 27-29 for family-friendly tours at Ghosts of Ridgefield.
Keeler Tavern Museum & History Center, 152 Main Street, Ridgefield. 203-438-5485; Keelertavernmuseum.org
Places of Kent Exhibition
Last year the Kent Historical Society celebrated the Faces of Kent by featuring Kent portrait artists and their local subjects in an exhibition of their works. This year KHS celebrates the Places of Kent with an exhibition of Kent landscape paintings by both contemporary and early Kent artists this fall.
Kent Historical Society, 4 Studio Hill Road, Kent. 860-927-4587; kenthistoricalsociety.org
Cemetery Complaint Filed
On April 20, 2023 a complaint was filed with the Danbury Superior Court by Attorney Franklin Pilicy regarding succession at Central and Laurel Hill cemeteries in Brookfield. The complaint includes language from a report by a forensic accountant that says:
“Connecticut cemeteries that fall under the management of community associations face insurmountable conditions that cannot be overcome without professional assistance and the centralization of burial information between relevant parties.
Contributing issues include:
- an absence of accurate historical burial records
- an absence of accurate and standardized financial recordkeeping
- insufficient disclosure and standardization for financial reporting
- insufficient adoption of technology and electronic resources
- burial actions of third parties without notification
- insufficient oversight of perpetual care and prepaid funds
- lack of professional support and advising
As a result, cemetery associations and sextons perpetually inherit problems stemming from previous and current generational accounting and business practices.”
Central Cemetery Association, 490 Federal Road, Brookfield. 203-775-3278; centralcemetery.net
Antique Show Benefit
Shortly after the Lebanon Historical Society was incorporated in 1965, members began to dream of a building of their own for collections, exhibits, and programs. In 1967 they organized the first antique show on the Lebanon Green, now in its 56th year. More than 50 antique dealers from around southern New England display wares on the mile-long Lebanon Green. Dozens of volunteers will help with making clam and corn chowder and home-made pies that are offered for sale upstairs in the historic 1804-1807 brick meeting house. Admission to the Antique Show is $8; children under 12 are admitted for free.
The Antique Show opens at 9 a.m. and closes at 3 p.m. Lunch including chowder and grilled-to-order hamburgers and hotdogs is available starting at 11 a.m. All proceeds support the Lebanon Historical Society.
The Lebanon Historical Society Museum and Jonathan Trumbull Jr. House will be open at no charge from 12 noon to 4 p.m..
Lebanon Historical Society, 856 Trumbull Highway, Lebanon. historyoflebanon.org; 860-642-6579
Litchfield Law School
Visit the Tapping Reeve House and Litchfield Law School, the nation’s first law school. Through role-playing, hands-on areas, and interpretive exhibits, each visitor takes a journey through the 19th-century life of a real student who came to Litchfield for an education at the Litchfield Law School or the Litchfield Female Academy. Graduates range from famous to infamous, including vice-presidents Aaron Burr and John C. Calhoun and more than one hundred federal lawmakers and judges.
Visitors of all ages are welcome. Admission is FREE! Tapping Reeve House and Litchfield Law School are located at 82 South Street, Litchfield.
Litchfield Historical Society, 7 South Street, Litchfield. litchfieldhistoricalsociety.org; 860-567-4501
Creativity in Isolation
Exploring landscape, nature, and the role of place in the imagination, Elizabeth Enders: A Different Time, A Different Place, on view October 14, 2023 – January 14, 2024, presents the recent work of contemporary artist Elizabeth Enders . In vibrant paintings and watercolors, Enders depicts a range of abstract landscapes.
Born in 1939 and raised in New London, Enders divides her time between New York City and Connecticut. Some of the art on view was created during the COVID pandemic, as Enders channeled her creativity in a time of isolation and stasis. Traveling vicariously, she painted places remembered and imagined, infusing her work with bold color and energy. With this exhibition Enders’s art invites viewers to engage with time and place in new ways, transporting us to new realms.
Lyman Allyn Art Museum, 625 Williams Street, New London. 860-443-2545; lymanallyn.org
Migration, Displacement, and Movement
Between Worlds: Stories of Artists and Migration explores ideas of migration, displacement, and movement of people and objects in the 20th and 21st centuries. The exhibition is grounded in the ways artists employ the strategies of Surrealism — experimenting with juxtapositions of the familiar and foreign, dislocations of scale and space, disrupting temporalities and realities — to communicate a sense of dislocation or disorientation as fundamental to the migrant experience. This exhibition encompasses different stories, including immigrants coming to America, and internal resettlement such as the Great Migration and the forced removal of Native tribes. It brings new perspectives to well-known and underrepresented artists and takes an inclusive and diverse approach to narratives of migration. The exhibition runs from September 24, 2023 through January 7, 2024.
Mattatuck Museum, 144 West Main Street, Waterbury. 203-753-038, ext. 130; mattmuseum.org
Nautical Natural History
Mystic Seaport Museum presents Spineless: A Glass Menagerie of Blaschka Marine Invertebrates, an exhibition of exquisite and highly accurate 19th-century glass models of marine invertebrates such as anemones, octopuses, sea slugs, and sea squirts, all created by father and son glassmakers Leopold and Rudolf Blaschka of Dresden, Germany. At a time when naturalists and explorers were eagerly collecting and classifying new species around the world, museums and scholars struggled to exhibit marine invertebrates, which quickly discolored and deformed when preserved in jars. The Blaschkas’ glass models were one solution, elegantly capturing the forms, anatomical details, and colors of these creatures. Today the glass models continue to speak to contemporary concerns of biodiversity and ocean health. More than 40 models will be on view, along with jarred wet specimens, 19th-century drawings, and other supporting material that illuminate the science, history, and art behind their production and use. The exhibition opens October 21.
Mystic Seaport Museum, 75 Greenmanville Avenue, Mystic. mysticseaport.org; 860-572-0711
Hartford-Based Artist Retrospective
Representing her largest career survey in the Northeast in a decade, Ellen Carey: Struck by Light, on view through January 28, 2024, showcases iconic works spanning three decades (1991-2022) of acclaimed Hartford-based artist Ellen Carey’s prolific career , drawn from the collections of the New Britain Museum of American Art and the artist. In the Helen T. and Philip B. Stanley Gallery, works spanning the early 1990s to 2000s trace the development of Carey’s innovative career and showcase gifts and acquisitions from the NBMAA’s collection. The Maximilian E. and Marion O. Hoffman Foundation Gallery features Carey’s newest body of work, comprising large-scale camera-less photograms that demonstrate her experimental approach to image-making. Collectively the works trace Carey’s enormous contributions to the field of photography through her ongoing and ever-innovative experiments in light, color, and shadow.
New Britain Museum of American Art, 56 Lexington Street, New Britain. Nbmaa.org; 860-229-0257
Master of the Silhouette
Profiles: Ruth McIntosh Cogswell and Dorothy Cogswell, now on view at the New Haven Museum, tells the story of two remarkable women through the art they created and the students they inspired. Ruth McIntosh Cogswell was an art educator and artist. Her specialty was the delicate, curious art of silhouettes. Her daughter Dorothy Cogswell was the first woman to earn an MFA from the Yale School of Fine Arts and later served as chair of the department of art at Mount Holyoke College.
New Haven Museum, 114 Whitney Avenue, New Haven. newhavenmuseum.org; 203-562-4183
Spooky Cemetery Tour
West Hartford Hauntings, the Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society’s spooky, theatrical cemetery tour, returns! Your ghostly guide leads you on a lantern-lit tour of Old North Cemetery, where you experience tales of death, disease, and real history. Join the fun on the last two weekends in October. Tickets are available at noahwebster.yapsody.com.
Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society, 227 South Main Street, West Hartford. noahwebsterhouse.org; 860-521-5362
Dive Into Shakespeare
This year marks the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s First Folio, which was the first published collection of Shakespeare’s plays, produced seven years after his death. Without the First Folio, 18 plays, including As You Like It, Julius Caesar, Macbeth, and The Tempest, might have been lost forever. How William Became Shakespeare: Four Hundred Years of the First Folio will showcase the remarkable Shakespeareana collection in Pequot Library’s Special Collections, including its Folios, examining what Shakespeare has meant to readers and scholars over time. The exhibition is on view October 5, 2023 – February 10, 2024.
Find details about the exhibition and associated programming at pequotlibrary.org.
Pequot Library, 720 Pequot Avenue, Southport. pequotlibrary.org; 203-259-0346
Local Historic Districts
Preservation Connecticut is excited to announce the relaunch of our Local Historic District and Properties website. A local historic designation is meant to preserve and protect the distinctive characteristics of buildings and places that symbolize the historical and architectural significance of a community. There are more than 8,000 properties in 135 districts in Connecticut! With that much representation across the state, the LHD website has proven to be one of our most visited platforms. The layout, content, and mapping have been overhauled to make the website more user friendly for commissioners and homeowners alike. Learn about the benefits of designating a district or property, explore the available resources for your commission, including the statutory processes, browse the FAQs, and much more!
This effort was made possible by grants from the CT Cultural Fund through Connecticut Humanities over the past two years. To explore the new site visit: lhdct.org.
Preservation Connecticut; PreservationCT.org
Slater Museum Reopens to the Public!
Slater Memorial Museum of Norwich Free Academy is excited to be officially reopened after its successful roof restoration campaign in 2023! The museum features 10 newly-refreshed and reinstalled permanent exhibition galleries that showcase familiar and brand-new pieces from its permanent collections representing artwork from around the globe. Visitors can view exhibitions including Casts of the Ancient World, which showcases the museum’s collection of 19th-century plaster casts, along with a local and regional collection of artwork spanning the 19th and 20th centuries. All are invited to experience world-class wonders, under one roof. Visit slatermuseum.org for hours of operation and for up-to-date information on the latest exhibition announcements and programs!
Slater Memorial Museum, 108 Crescent Street, Norwich. 860-887-2506; slatermuseum.org
New Katharine Hepburn Exhibitions
See what’s new at the Katharine Hepburn Museum, located at the Kate in Old Saybrook, the only museum dedicated to offering an authentic view of the cultural and historical impact of Miss Hepburn. New items on display include a pair of boots from The African Queen and The Gawky Chair, an original oil painting by Katharine Hepburn. The special exhibit The Importance of Being Kate and Ernest, highlighting costumes and artifacts from On Golden Pond and The West Side Waltz, will be on display through November 17, followed by the new exhibition Covergirl Kate, which will run through May 2024.
The Katharine Hepburn Museum is open Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free, with a suggested donation of $5 to support the care and preservation of the collection.
The Katharine Hepburn Museum, 300 Main Street, Old Saybrook. 860-510-0473; katharinehepburntheater.org/about/museum
Literary History in Hartford
This fall visit The Mark Twain House & Museum! Explore the 25-room Gilded Age mansion where Mark Twain raised his family and authored some of the most famous novels in American literature, including Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. To plan your tour and learn more visit marktwainhouse.org.
The Mark Twain House & Museum, 351 Farmington Avenue, Hartford. 860-247-0998; MarkTwainHouse.org
Probate Inventories Reveal Records of the Enslaved
The Webb Deane Stevens Museum has benefited from the laws and legalities established in colonial Connecticut about the recording of estate inventories. Our archives contain documentation from the probate inventories of Silas Deane and Joseph Webb Sr., which is proving to be a vital resource. In addition to listing furniture and household items, it provides the only available records of enslaved peoples in the Deane and Webb houses. The manuscript collection reveals that Deane’s 1789 probate inventory lists two enslaved household members: Pompey and Hagar. A more recent discovery from Webb’s 1761 probate inventory references “a Negro girl called Pegg.” Of note, Silas Deane, attorney and diplomat, was hired by Webb’s widow, Mehitable, as her probate lawyer to deal with her husband’s estate. As such, he would have been involved in arranging the inventory process that has yielded such fascinating information today.
Webb Deane Stevens Museum, 211 Main Street, Wethersfield. wdsmuseum.org; 860-529-0612
Fall Family Fun!
The 3rd Annual Great Wilton Pumpkin Fest will take place on Saturday, October 14, from 2 to 4 p.m. It’s fun for all ages as with all things pumpkin! Play fall-themed lawn games such as cornhole and pumpkin tic-tac-toe. Join costumed colonial docents as they cook over an open hearth, weave and spin flax, or hammer away in the blacksmith’s forge. Decorate pumpkins and take part in autumn crafts. And enjoy the day while munching on complimentary cider and donuts!
Visitors can browse the pumpkin patch, offered in collaboration with the Wilton Kiwanis Club, on the front lawn and purchase the perfect pumpkin to bring to the decorating station or to take home! Kiwanis will also have small gourds and mums on sale to help fill out your personal harvest display. Start the season with a day of fall fun for all ages!
Wilton Historical Society, 224 Danbury Road, Wilton. wiltonhistorical.org; 203-762-7257
State History and Civics
Located in the heart of Hartford, Connecticut’s Old State House was home to all three branches of state government from 1796 to 1878. Some of the state’s most important stories of freedom, democracy, and civic action connect to this National Historic Landmark, including the Amistad and Prudence Crandall trials, and the Constitutional Convention of 1818.
The authentically restored building now offers a mix of historic rooms, modern exhibits, educational programs, tours, and year-round special events focusing on Connecticut history and civics. The site is home to the “Steward’s Museum of Curiosities,” where Rev. Joseph Steward maintained a portrait studio and unusual collection from 1797-1808.
Connecticut’s Old State House, managed in partnership with The Connecticut Democracy Center and the Connecticut General Assembly, is available for private rental. The elegant building and grounds provide a unique backdrop for life celebrations, parties, conferences, lectures, and more. For more information, visit ctoldstatehouse.org.
Connecticut Democracy Center at Connecticut’s Old State House, 800 Main Street, Hartford. CTOldStateHouse.org; 860-522-6766
Founders of Hartford
Formed to commemorate and preserve the early history of our capital city and our state, the Society of the Descendants of the Founders of Hartford is like a great, extended family with a wealth of memories and joys shared through the Society’s meetings, publications, and growing presence online.
Society of the Descendants of the Founders of Hartford. foundersofhartford.org; 860-987-9881