Category Archives: News

We Are Pleased to Announce a New, Updated Canterbury Cemetery Map & Successful Conclusion of Our Cemetery Mapping Project

This project, which took a number of years to complete, arose in response to numerous inquiries received by the Canterbury Historical Society, Canterbury Public Library, and other municipal offices about the locations of burying grounds in town. Most such questions come from people trying to locate the grave sites of their ancestors, in some cases going back 300 years.

The scope of the project was to pinpoint and document graveyard locations, not individual headstones. The timing of our effort was critical, given that some of our early burying grounds—particularly the smallest ones—are becoming overgrown with vegetation and therefore disappearing from sight. As a future enhancement, we hope to link to the photographs being taken systematically by a Canterbury resident of all the headstones in town cemeteries.

The Canterbury Historical Society has been fortunate to have the services and expertise of Mike Sheehan throughout the mapping undertaking. Mike is retired from the Army Corps of Engineers, where he was a biologist and wetland and soils scientist. He traces his interest in cartography to his time as an infantry officer in Vietnam, and later to his self-described lingering “wetlands geek” period. He generously donated his efforts for our cemetery mapping venture.

Edited map resizedOne of the project’s main outputs is a map of known Canterbury burying grounds overlaid on a modern road map of town, with a table of precise, corrected GPS coordinates for the burying grounds. Click on the thumbnail at right to open the new map. Once open, depending on your software and settings, you should be able to zoom in and out on the image.

Earlier maps had shown only approximate locations, as well as fewer burying grounds than we’ve been able to document. During the project, we discovered the locations of three that were previously unknown, leaving three others (Perry, Herrington-Stevens, and North Parish, noted in red on the map) for which we couldn’t confirm locations.

Using GPS technology, we were also able to correct the locations of virtually all previously documented sites. We provided the corrected and new location data to the Canterbury Land Use Office for submission to the state. Apparently state processes stipulate that the town land use office is charged with communicating all new information and corrections to the State of Connecticut for inclusion in its state-wide cemetery archives.

Large format hard copies of the new map are now available for public access during normal business hours in the Canterbury Town Hall at the:

  • Canterbury Public Library
  • Town Clerk’s Office
  • Land Use Office
  • First Selectman’s Office
  • Assessor’s Office

Working with the first selectman, we also hope the map can soon be linked electronically on the map page of the town’s official website.

In an effort to ensure that visitors do not unknowingly enter private property without prior permission of the landowners, please notice the following legal language included on the map:

Note that some cemeteries are on private property and others abut private property. It is the sole responsibility of visitors to obtain owner permission before entering private property.

We welcome your suggestions for needed corrections to the map, and if you know of burials that are not included—even if only a single headstone— please let us know at info@canterburyhistorical.org.

Old Home Day photos, our thanks, and more

Swampy Acre Farm friendsDespite persistent morning rain, the weather couldn’t dampen the spirit of the Canterbury Historical Society’s Old Home Day old-timey fall celebration on October 14 on Canterbury green. Exhibitors, musicians, visitors, and sturdy volunteers soldiered on cheerfully through the showers.

This year a new volunteer, Callie Flynn, took these wonderful photos.
https://photos.app.goo.gl/cA4W94W2c4VkqsmD3

And here’s a link to the flattering article, photos, and video that ran in the Norwich Bulletin the day after Old Home Day—even referring to the event as “Canterbury’s town jewel.”
http://www.norwichbulletin.com/news/20171014/locals-applaud-return-of-old-home-day—canterburys-town-jewel

We are especially grateful to our generous sponsors, without whom the event wouldn’t happen.

  • Better Val-U supermarkets
  • Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Waterford
  • Ed’s Garage, Canterbury
  • Frito-Lay of Killingly
  • Hart’s Florist and Greenhouse, Canterbury
  • Town of Canterbury
  • BZB Farms, LLC, Canterbury
  • Affordable Portables
  • Brooklyn’s Country View Restaurant
  • Canterbury Mini-Storage

Nor would Old Home Day be possible without the exhibitors, musicians, volunteers, and visitors. We sincerely thank everyone who contributed in any way.

We dedicated this year’s Old Home Day to the memory of Tony Denning, an energetic volunteer and relentless champion of this celebration. We all miss him.

Update on our July Red Cross blood drive, and thanks to all who made it a success

ThankkYouPostItWe are happy to announce that at our annual American Red Cross blood drive sponsored by the Canterbury Historical, this year held on July 10, 46 blood donors walked through the door. Of those, three were deferred for a total collection of 43 units of blood—10 units over our goal set by the Red Cross. Walk-ins were a boost, as usual, in addition to all the donors who scheduled appointments through the Red Cross.

Eleven historical society volunteers contributed 36 hours of their time at the drive itself, plus another five hours ahead of time for ad and poster placement and food shopping . In addition, we had seven marvelous bakers, three of whom were new to the drive. A number of blood donors commented on our hosting and café, saying they make it a point to come to our drive every year for the luxe snacks!

Once again Canterbury’s Better Valu donated six subs-of-the-week for the drive. We also had monetary gifts for the purchase of fruits, even a generous blood donor who insisted on making a $20 donation to help defray our costs. Nobody could talk her out it.

The drive was a great showing of community spirit. Sincere thanks to everyone who donated blood, time, food, funds, or helped out in any way. Special recognition to long-time historical society members, Les and Lynne Pitman, for chairing the event on our behalf.

November 19 Claus Visit to the One-Room School, Photos and Recap

On Saturday, November 19th the Canterbury Historical Society was pleased and honored to welcome Santa and Mrs. Merry Claus to our historic Green District One-Room Schoolhouse for a pre-Thanksgiving/pre-Christmas visit. Mrs. Claus made lots of tasty cookies, and the kids who stopped in had the chance to sit and chat with Santa and Mrs. Claus without the whole rush of, “Hey, get your photo taken and move on!” that sometimes happens at the mall. We think the setting was far more charming than the mall too.

Adults were not only welcome to take as many photos as they wanted but also to have their own pictures taken with the Clauses if they so chose. Special thanks to Mike Kotowski and his accordion for providing some very nice Christmas music to make the day even more special. All in all, it was a fine afternoon for cookies, for Clauses, and for the community.

We hope when we invite Santa and the Mrs. back from the North Pole next year, that even more kids, both young and old, will stop in for a cookie and a good time.

Check out the lovely photos of the visit by talented Canterbury Historical Society board member Linda Orlomoski at this link.
https://www.facebook.com/pg/CanterburyHistoricalSociety.CT/photos/?tab=album&album_id=10154072673553372

clauses_2016

Courant Community Newspaper Article on Our November 5th Tour of Canterbury Green National Historical District

On November 5, the Canterbury Historical society hosted a group of visitors from UConn as part of the university’s planned outings to visit all 169 towns in Connecticut.

The Courant Community article about the tour is at this link.
http://www.courant.com/community/canterbury/hc-kn-1117-canterbury-history-walk-20161115-story.html

More about the tour on its webpage  on this site.
http://canterburyhistorical.org/?event=canterbury-historical-society-hosts-walking-tour-of-canterbury-green-national-historic-district-with-UConn

A few photos on Facebook.
https://www.facebook.com/pg/CanterburyHistoricalSociety.CT/photos/?tab=album&album_id=10154020013618372

Courant Community Newspaper Coverage of Our Walktober Event on the Historic Clark Property

On October 28, 2016, the historical society once again participated in The Last Green Valley’s annual Walktober event, welcoming visitors to the historic Captain John Clark in property in Canterbury for a walk and talk. Thanks to reporter Denise Coffey of the Courant Community newspaper for this coverage of the event.
http://www.courant.com/community/canterbury/hc-kn-canterbury-walktober-1110-20161108-story.html

A Few Photos of the Narrated Walk in the National Historic District, November 5, 2016

Our guests for this walking tour hosted by the Canterbury Historical Society were from the Connecticut State Museum of Natural History and Connecticut Archaeology Center at UConn.

See a few photos and a brief description of the walk at the following link.
https://www.facebook.com/pg/CanterburyHistoricalSociety.CT/photos/?tab=album&album_id=10154020013618372

See the walk’s webpage at this link.
http://canterburyhistorical.org/?event=canterbury-historical-society-hosts-walking-tour-of-canterbury-green-national-historic-district-with-UConn

Visitors leaving the historic one-room Green district schoolhouse to begin the narrated walk
Visitors leaving the historic one-room Green District Schoolhouse to begin the narrated walk (photo by Jim Olson)

The Canterbury Historical Society is Pleased to Announce Receipt of a Traveling Archivist Program Grant

We  are honored to receive this grant and look forward as a result to improving our archives and access to them. The Traveling Archivist Program (TAP) is a program of the Connecticut State Historical Records Advisory Board with Conservation ConneCTion, funded by a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission [NHPRC].

access_keyThe Traveling Archivist Program promotes best practices in management and preservation of—and access to—archival collections in museums, historical societies, and public libraries with local history collections in Connecticut.

The program provides a free half-day site visit from a professional traveling archivist to recipient institutions and post-visit follow up. The traveling archivist encourages and instructs staff and volunteers in collection best practices, including management, arrangement, description, preservation, and access.

Eligibility
Connecticut museums, historical societies, or public libraries with local history collections or publically accessible archival collections could apply. However, organizations with less than 10 linear feet of archival collections were not eligible.

In Addition
Also available to organizations selected to receive traveling archivist services is a series of low-cost, in-depth seminars on best practices in collections management. These roundtables run from late 2016 to early 2017. Topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Preservation, Storage, & Housing of Archival Collections:  Guidelines & Solutions
  • Basics of Archival Acquisition and Appraisal
  • Fundamentals of Archival Arrangement and Description
  • Making Archives Accessible Using Connecticut Archives Online
  • Introduction to Digitization

Now Moved to the Rain Date of October 28: Walktober Walk on the Historic Clark Property Featuring Dr. Nick Bellantoni

This Walktober walk being sponsored by the Canterbury Historical Society, originally scheduled for Friday, October 21, has been postponed to the rain date October 28. Only the date is affected, all else remains the same including the time, 1:00 to 3:00 PM.

This walk is officially full, and so is the wait list. Pre-registration was required to take part. If you’re not already confirmed to join us, we hope you’ve had the opportunity to enjoy other Walktober outings this year in The Last Green Valley.

Questions? Click for the event’s page on this website.

Walktober walk on the historic Clark property featuring Dr. Nick Bellantoni is now full, and so is the wait list.

This Walktober walk being sponsored by the Canterbury Historical Society on Friday, October 21, rain date October 28, is now officially full, and so is the wait list. Pre-registration was required to take part. We hope you’ve had the opportunity to enjoy other Walktober outings this year in The Last Green Valley.

Questions? Click for the event’s page on this website.