CHESHIRE, CONN. - APRIL 2014 LIKE US ON FACE BOOK!
We are open! On Sundays! From 2pm to 4pm (and, as always, by appointment for research or tours)
We will be closed Easter Sunday weekend, but otherwise, drop by and visit us.
We are free, we are intesting, and we are so very happy to have you visit us!
April 12, 2014:
WHY we know it is spring!
Today during the Sunday Visiting Hours, President Diane Calabro found Inge Venus planting pansies and tulips in our Lucille Williams Memorial Garden.
Inge's advice: plant your peas and your beets. Maybe plant some of the sturdier lettuce plants, but hold off! Thursday night will be 29° and that is too cold for tender plants.
The Cheshire Historical Society has limited seating for a "pre-tour" of the MW&CR Railroad that was in operation from 1888 through about 1910. The tour cost is $15. It will be held on May 10th from 10am to 3pm. Starting point is the Cheshire Historical Society. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
On Display in our Exhibit Room: The Durand Family: "Anything Worth Doing Is Worth Doing Well"
What was it like before television? Before American Idol? Come see our exhibit about the Durand Family.
At the turn of the century, Howard (Pop) and Alida Durand and
their three children spent each summer in Cheshire after a strenuous tour of
the vaudeville circuit. Their act, "Five Musical Durands," which they
put together in 1905, eventually played over 3,700 times. When the act was retired
in 1916, they came to Cheshire for good. "Pop" was later elected municipal
judge and then a local representative to the State Legislature.
See The Durand Family of Cheshire, Connecticut by Sterling M. Jewett (c. 2000). We have this book available in our Museum Shop.
|We are very pleased to offer a sound recording made by Dr. Robert Chesanow. "Dr. Bob" has agreed to read excerpts from "Pop" Durand's Diary. We hope to have this available for you to listen to as you view the Durand Exhibit at the Cheshire Historical Society.|
Our Spring/Summer 2014 NEWSLETTER
Our Spring Program Schedule
Our March Speaker: Barney Kathan
In 1972, the Cheshire Historical Society moved to the Phillips House.
This is a fascinating story captured in a scrapbook, recently given to one of the members of the Cheshire Historical Society by the daughter of the Society President. Here are some photos from 1972 (left) and from 2014 (right) so you can see what hardworking Society Members did to restore this old house. It is a great story told in newspaper clippings, headline by headline. Please take a look!
Our NEXT Speaker:
Monday, April 28, 7:30 p.m.
Charles Wm. Dimmick is a Professor of Geology Emeritus, having retired from Central Connecticut State University (CCSU) in 2005 after 40 years of teaching. He is a Certified Professional Geologist, and served for three years as national editor for the American Institute of Professional Geologists (AIPG) and three years as President of the Northeast Section of AIP. He has been a member of the Cheshire Wetlands Commission since 1974, and is currently Treasurer of the Connecticut Association of Conservation and Inland Wetlands Commissions. He received degrees from Colorado School of Mines, University of Florida, and Tulane University. (Dr. Dimmick is also an active parishioner of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, an officer of Cheshire Grange (Patrons of Husbandry) and active in committees of the Connecticut State Grange and of the Association of Connecticut Fairs. ) Dr. Dimmick will discuss mining operations in Cheshire, beginning with the discovery of copper near the Parker farm in 1711.
Below, an actual protective hat used by miners in Cheshire which is on display in our Industry Room
"Cheshirepedia is on its way to being another unique part of the Cheshire landscape." President John Fournier is looking forward to having funding available to finalize design on the Cheshirepedia website as well as moving forward with 501c3 non-profit status. "Having this status is key," Fournier explained, as this allows for tax-deductible donations. Cheshire's Town Historian, Jeanné Chesanow, was the inspiration behind the Cheshirepedia concept. "So many people have asked me if there was a website where they could find 'all things Cheshire' and one day I simply said why not create Cheshirepedia for this purpose," explains Chesanow. She envisions the website as being a go-to place for students and educators with well-referenced submissions being available on any number of topics from apples to zoning.
APRIL - DECEMBER HOURS:
OPEN ON SUNDAYS 2-4 PM
We are closed on major holidays. Phone ahead to check. You can phone: (203) 272-2574 to set up an appointment for research or a private tour. We're looking forward to more school tours in 2014 and teachers can read additional guidance information. Visits from Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and other youth groups are always welcome. To schedule a tour please call (203) 272-2574. There is no charge for tours.
APRIL VISITING HOURS
We will be open on Sunday afternoons from 2pm to 4pm. Come by and visit. Docent-led tours are usually available.
If you've considered joining the Cheshire Historical Society, please take a moment to complete our form and mail this back to us.
Stop at CLIFF's PIZZA and then walk off that meal with our Heritage Walking Tour. Download our walking tour.
Beginning in April, the Hitchcock-Phillips House will be open to the public on Sundays from 2pm to 4pm. The Hitchcock-Phillips House is the home of The Cheshire Historical Society, filled with treasures and is located at 43 Church Drive, on the Church Green, in Cheshire, Connecticut USA.
Many thanks to the Northeast Paranormal Investigations Society for their site visit during the summer of 2013 and their impressive talk in th end of October 2013. Well done! We thank the Mulholland Family for their participation, in particular, young Thomas Mulholland who found himself to be, as he described it, "Ghost bait."
Take a look at these photos from our Christmas Party on December 15, 2013
We plan to expand our Web site to include links to any organization in Cheshire that has a "history" section on their Web site. We assisted St. Peter's Church in scanning Helen Bray's Informal History. Also posted is "St. Peter's Continuing History 1985-2010" by Evie Michaud. We thought it would be useful to at least try to link to other Cheshire groups that have taken the time to record their history. For anyone interested in this, a new venture has started in Cheshire: Cheshirepedia. Their goal is to display photos and short essays about Cheshire past, present, and future. If you might like to learn more about this group, e-mail Cheshirepedia We understand that their website should be up and running in just a few weeks.
For TEACHERS, we prepared a short booklet to help in planning for school tours, scouts tours, and other tours for children and young students.
Mary Ellen Kania (left),
About Our Board of Directors & Contact Info | Directions to Our Society | Info Membership Form | Our Book and Gift Shop | Books at CHS (2012) | Our Brochure | Our Newsletters
Our Spring / Summer 2013 Newsletter includes our full event schedule
FALL 2013 NEWSLETTER SPRING 2013 NEWSLETTER
NEW! Books Available for Research at the CHS - Updated!
NEW! School Tour Booklet: a planning resource,
Lucille D. Williams Memorial Garden | Cheshire Memorial Day Parade 2012 | Christmas Party Photos 2012
The Historic Hitchcock-Phillips House located on the Church Green in the center of Cheshire, CT
In January, February, and March we are open by appointment. Call curator (203) 272-2574 to schedule an appointment for research or to visit the house.
for our Curator? Contact us:
Research Topics and Information
FARMING IN CHESHIRE CONN
Known as "The Bedding Plant Capital of Connecticut" (and some here in town claim this to be of the "entire world"!), Cheshire Connecticut has a long history of farming. Here are two articles, one from 1935 and the second from 2008, discussing farming in Cheshire
Earl and Ruth Kurtz are pictured standing in front of their home at 1604 Peck Lane back in 1941. Click on photo for more information about Cheshire Farms
STOP BY OUR GIFT SHOP!
Don't forget! Gift Giving is EASY when you stop at our Cheshire Historical Society GIFT SHOP! Town Historian, Ron Gagliardi's book: Images of America: CHESHIRE is a GREAT gift. LANDMARKS of Old CHESHIRE is also a lovely gift for anyone with an interest in Cheshire's history! We can mail books to you for a nominal shipping charge.
|Do you have an interest in period costumes, clocks and watches, dolls, dishes, furniture, jewelry, minatures, Native Americans, toys, slavery, or other topic? Do you have experience in searching town land records or doing genealogical or other research? Do you collect old stamps, coins, bottles, guns, tools? Can you make a poster or set up a display? Whatever your interest or talent, we'd like to add your name to our "Subject Specialist" List. If you can help, please call Curator Mary Ellen Kania (203) 272-8771|
Are you trying to locate information about someone buried in Cheshire prior to 1934?
PDF documents of the Headstone Inscriptions, Town of Cheshire of 1934. This list includes all the headstone inscriptions in Cheshire cemeteries. The list was sponsored by the Connecticut State Library and copied under the auspices of FERA (Federal Emergency Relief Administration) and WPA (Works Progress Administration), two Depression-era, federal agencies that provided "work relief." It is reproduced here with the permission of the Connecticut State Library.
HISTORIC BUILDINGS IN CHESHIRE CONNECTICUT - Compiled in 1986
Historic Resource Inventory Building and Structures - 82 properties in Cheshire Connecticut surveyed in 1986 PDF of original survey forms available.
Also Available with PHOTOGRAPHS - 1986 Black and White photos AND 2008 photos of the same properties and access to the PDF documents of 1986. (Note -- this will take some time to load as there are over 160 photographs).
Buildings located on Main Street, Church Street, South Main Street and West Main Street. Photos and descriptions from nearly 25 years ago of these historically noteworthy properties.
Are you interested in the George Keeler Family that lived at 168 South Main Street?
There were six Alice Washburn Houses built in Cheshire, Connecticut.
a member! It is so easy to be a Member of the Cheshire Historical Society!
Both old and new
town residents interested in preserving Cheshire history are encouraged
to become Historical Society members. Membership
information is available at the Society or from Membership Chairman
Get ready for a little spring cleaning? These cleaning tools are on display at the Cheshire Historical Society.
AIRPLANE FRAGMENT A piece of the airliner that crashed in Cheshire in 1946 - on display at the Cheshire Historical Society. (see Spring 2006 Newsletter for more details)
Located behind the Hitchcock-Phillips House, the Lucille D. Williams Memorial Garden has been lovingly tended to throughout the seasons since 2004.
PHOTO OF THE LUCILLE D. WILLIAMS MEMORIAL GARDEN: Cheshire Garden Club members Inge Venus, Vicky Brady and Carol Goertz pose after their monthly maintenance chores in the garden in mid-October 2009.
The Lucille D. Williams Memorial Garden photographed just as Fall overtakes it.
36-Page Pamphlet written by Crawford E. Fritts - State Geological and Natural History Survey of Connecticut, Natural Resources Center, Department of Environmental Protection is available at the Cheshire Historical Society
Copies are available from the Cheshire Historical Society. The cost is $10 for this informative pamphlet.
TITUS MOSS AND MOSS FAMILY INFORMATION
In 2006 - We took A Walk Back In Time to Cheshire Connecticut in 1862. President Lincoln Calls For 300,000 Troops and Who From Cheshire Will Go? A WALK BACK IN TIME - TITUS MOSS: CHESHIRE FARMER AND CIVIL WAR SOLDIER -- A PRESERVATION MONTH ACTIVITY
NEWSLETTERS AVAILABLE HERE:
Do you have any older versions of the Newsletter (1999 and earlier)? Can you please let us know? We would wish to borrow them to scan and to post on our website.
ARE YOU INTERESTED IN A TOUR OF THE HITCHCOCK-PHILLIPS HOUSE?
Call curator (203) 272-2574 to schedule an appointment for research or to visit the house.
Curator Mary Ellen Kania welcomes visitors to the Cheshire Historical Society
DOLLS ON DISPLAY AT THE CHESHIRE HISTORICAL SOCIETY
Judge Ray Voelker donated these 11 white quartz Indian arrowheads and one black, flint arrowhead from the Krampitz farm, 1559 Peck Lane. Mineralogist Roy Smith examined these artifacts to verify the materials. (Spring 2006)
NOTE: Mr. Belletzkie was our Fall 2011 Speaker and
is now a very appreciated volunteer at the CHS.
During the regiment's charge when the enemy was in retreat Sgt. Woodbury encountered 4 Confederate infantrymen retreating. He drew his saber and ordered them to surrender, overcoming by his determined actions their willingness to further resist. They surrendered to him together with their rifles and 12th North Carolina (C.S.A.) regimental flag.
Crazy Quilt on display at the Cheshire Historical Society
PDF FILES AVAILABLE FROM THE CHESHIRE HISTORICAL SOCIETY WEB SITE:
Heritage Walking Tour Map of the Cheshire Town Green
Cheshire Town History: PDF FILE of "CHESHIRE, CONN An Old New England Town"
Chronology of Cheshire Events from "Our Town"
Titus Moss Letters Letters home from a Cheshire Civil War Corporal
Cheshire Town History: PDF of CHESHIRE, CONN An Old New England Town
Looking out the Front Doorway
THE CHESHIRE HISTORICAL SOCIETY -
Organized in 1951, the Cheshire Historical Society is a group of old and new residents who have a desire to discover and preserve the heritage of Cheshire, Connecticut. They educate and assist others in their inquiries into our past and promote a love for our town and its inhabitants.
Our first home was in the 1st. District School (1951-1956), then the old Cheshire Public Library (Williams House) on Main Street (1956-1972). We are presently located at the Hitchcock - Phillips House on the Cheshire Green, as shown above.
Our membership dues are most reasonable, so please join our Historical Society. Contact us for more information. We would love to hear from you!
Call Us On The Phone:
Our telephone number is:
Write Us A Letter:
The Cheshire Historical Society
P.O. Box 281
Cheshire, CT 06410
Send Us An E-Mail:
Diane Calabro - CHS President Send e-mail
Mary Ellen Kania - CHS Curator Send e-mail
Our Cheshire Town Historian, Jeanné Chesanow - Send e-mail
NEW! Cheshirepedia - Send
Visit Our Museum:
The Hitchcock-Phillips House
2-4 PM Sunday Afternoons, April - December
Links of Interest: CHESHIRE
The Town of Cheshire | The Cheshire Herald | The Cheshire Public Library: has every link you can imagine! | Suburban Garden Club of Cheshire |
Links of Interest: CONNECTICUT (this listing will be updated shortly - some links have expired...)
The State of Connecticut | The Connecticut Historical Society | State of Connecticut Historical Preservation and Museum Division | University of
Connecticut - University Libraries | Connecticut Freedom Trail | Covered Bridges in the Northeast | University of Connecticut MAGIC: Maps and Geographic Information Center | Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation | The Federated Garden Clubs of Connecticut |
Site Revised: DECEMBER 2013
" It was called 'New Cheshire Parish' a name no doubt proposed by Thomas Brooks, because he fathered most proposals and was himself from Cheshire, England."
Pg. 15 Program of the Cheshire Tercentenary Celebration of the Three Hundredth Anniversary of the Settlement of Connecticut, 1635-1935.
Commodore Robert Hitchcock
1804 to 1888
Born in Cheshire, son of Amasa Hitchcock, Jr. Their home was across South Main Street where the Medical Center (formerly a bank) is now.