Category Archives: News

Thanks to All Who Contributed to the Canterbury Historical Society’s Old Home Day on October 13, 2018

The morning of Old Home Day dawned cold, wet, and raw, but spirits weren’t dampened by the weather. Dozens of historical reenactors, farmers, pliers of traditional crafts and trades, artists, civic organizations, and other exhibitors prepared to welcome visitors.  As the morning wore on, the sky brightened and the sun peeked through.

We thank all who helped out with Old Home Day—from volunteers to exhibitors, the musicians who performed throughout the day, the Canterbury Lions who cooked and served hot food, and these generous sponsors:

  • Canterbury Historical Society 2018 Old Home Day committee, from left seated: John Baldwin, Emily Logee, Bob Blackard, and Ellen Wilson; standing: Linda Orlomoski, our terrific event chairman Steve Orlomoski, and Amy Orlomoski (missing Bill Kivic and JoAnn Brustolon)

    Affordable Portables

  • Brooklyn-Canterbury Large Animal Clinic
  • Brooklyn’s Country View Restaurant
  • BZB Farm
  • Canterbury Better Val U
  • Canterbury Mini-Storage
  • Canterbury Recreation Commission
  • Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Southeastern New England
  • Ed’s Garage
  • Frito-Lay
  • Hart’s Greenhouse
  • Quinebaug Kennels
  • R&R General Repair
  • Town of Canterbury
  • Westminster Tool

See this link for John Penney’s article and photos in the Norwich Bulletin.
http://www.norwichbulletin.com/news/20181013/canterbury-relives-small-town-history-once-again

 

Historic One-Room Green District Schoolhouse Open to Visitors for the Season

Location: South Canterbury Road (RT 169) at Library Road – Canterbury, CT 06331

Admission and parking for the Green schoolhouse are always free.

Drop by this season for a visit at the historic 19th century one-room Green district schoolhouse, now fully restored by Canterbury Historical Society volunteers. It’s the only one of Canterbury’s old district schoolhouses that’s open to the public. Bring the kids or grandkids for a glimpse of school life on a more intimate scale than nowadays, and without the technology and personal digital devices that can be so distracting in modern life.

Because this charming little schoolhouse was in service well into the 1950s, chances are that during your visit one or more of the friendly Canterbury Historical Society volunteers who greet you may have attended this very school. Who better to show you around and answer your questions?

Regular open hours this season are on the fourth Sunday in June and the second and fourth Sundays in July, August, and September from 2:00 to 4:00 PM. Dates are:

  • Sunday June 24
  • Sundays July 8  & 22
  • Sundays August 12 & 26
  • Sundays September 9 & 23
  • Plus Saturday, October 13 in conjunction with the Canterbury Historical Society’s annual Old Home Day

You can also call 860-546-9062 to request an appointment for a different date and time.

Canterbury's 19th century Green district schoolhouse, restored by the Canterbury Historical Society
Canterbury’s 19th century Green district schoolhouse, restored by the Canterbury Historical Society

Tragic Fire – Historic William Moore House, April 26, 2018

Our hearts are heavy for the family and for our community—both suffered terrible losses that day.

People have been asking us about the history of the house and its architectural significance, so here’s an overview, largely derived from the Canterbury Historical Society’s HISTORIC RESOURCE SURVEY of Canterbury Center, Packerville, and Route 169, published in April 1992 in collaboration with the Connecticut Historical Commission.

Traditionally known as the William Moore house, this house was built circa 1803 in an imposing, elegant Georgian Federal style at the northeast corner of the intersection of what are now routes 169 and 14.  William Moore was a merchant who ran a store in the village center and also served as postmaster. The front porch was added much later, in the 1920s.

As one of the centerpieces of the National Historic District in Canterbury center, the William Moore house is architecturally significant as one of the most elaborately detailed Georgian houses in Canterbury, a role augmented by its prominent location on the corner of the main intersection in the village center. Its projecting center pedimented bay, elaborate corner pilasters on pedestals, and elegant Palladian window represent the height of country Georgian architecture. Given that the window matches the Palladian window on the former First Congregational Church on the green (no longer standing), which was known to have been built by Plainfield architect-builder Thomas Gibbs, it is reasonable to assume that Gibbs also built this house and the other similarly detailed houses in Canterbury. These stylistically related houses include the Elisha Paine house (Prudence Crandall Museum) kitty-cornered across the road, believed to have been built about 1805.

The William Moore house also has historical significance as part of the development of Canterbury as a commercial center around 1800. The convergence of two major roads (later improved as turnpikes) stimulated the establishment of stores, shops, and the offices of professional men. The upper floor of this house at one time accommodated a ballroom where Masonic organizations met. Later in the 19th century, the house became the home of prominent merchant, banker, and politician Marvin H. Sanger, Connecticut Secretary of State from 1873 to 1876. In 1921, it was the home of Lillian Frink when she became one of the first women ever elected to the Connecticut General Assembly, along with four other women elected that same year.

William Moore house 1
William Moore house 2

 

 

 

 

 

William Moore house 3

William Moore house 4

MARCH 9 PROGRAM IS CANCELLED — WILL BE RESCHEDULED

Sorry about the late notice, but our speaker is under the weather and had to cancel. We will still hold a brief business meeting, but there won’t be a program this evening. We will reschedule with Bruce Clouette as soon as possible.

See details about this evening’s planned program, now postponed, on the meeting’s page at this link. And please plan to join again soon. Our regular monthly meetings always feature a history-themed program. (Well, except not tonight.)

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