Category Archives: News

2019 Seasonal Open Schedule for the One-Room Historic Green District Schoolhouse

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

We cordially invite you to stop by at some point over this season at the charming 19th century Green district schoolhouse. Bring the kids or grandkids to let them experience a bit of what school was like, before all the intense screen time of the present. School was up close and personal back then. Because this little schoolhouse was in service into the 1950s, during your visit there’s a good chance you might even get to meet a volunteer who attended this school.

This year, the seasonal schedule will see the schoolhouse open for visitors on the following dates:

  • Saturday June 8, 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM, for Connecticut Open House Day
  • Sunday June  23, 2:00 to 4:00 PM
  • Sundays July 14 & 28, 2:00 to 4:00 PM
  •  Sundays August 11 & 25, 2:00 to 4:00 PM
  •  Sundays September 8 & 22, 2:00 to 4:00 PM
  •  Saturday October 12, 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM, in conjunction with the Canterbury Old Home Day

There’s also the option of requesting a different date and time; call 860-546-9062. We hope to see you there.

The location is Canterbury green, just behind the 1st Congregation Church of Canterbury. Put 6 South Canterbury Road, Canterbury, Connecticut  into your GPS, and turn it at Library Road. Admission and parking are always free.

We are updating our list for email notices—let us know if want to get them

We are in the process of updating our historical society email list for notices of meetings and events. If you do not currently receive emails from us, but would like to, kindly send your full name and email address to us at canterburyhistorical@gmail.com. Or maybe you used to get our notices and haven’t provided us with your new email address?

We are happy to send these notices to anyone who is interested. No need to be a society member.

Kids of all ages had loads of fun when Santa & Mrs. Claus visited the Green school on November 17, 2018

Check out these photos of the recent visit of Santa and Mrs. Merry Claus to Canterbury’s historic one-room Green district schoolhouse.  Both big kids and little kids had big fun.  And all those cookies that Mrs. Claus baked and handed out—yum!

Lots of the photos taken that day are bound to end up on family Christmas cards.

Many thanks to the dynamic duo of board member Amy Orlomoski. and the Canterbury Historical Society’s BFF Linda Orlomoski, for arranging this much-anticipated annual event.

Photo link.

 

 

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
  • Canterbury Athletic Association
  • Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Northern 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

For a photo gallery of the day, see https://www.facebook.com/pg/CanterburyHistoricalSociety.CT/photos/?tab=album&album_id=10155811156613372&__xts__%5B0%5D=68.ARD1LBEQbdk_klDKSsSfn7ITyAiCJmiNYfFGaza9-wxvzs-KnBquXIB-bHQNzW2QMkxCuS7ezTpez3Tm58L-g0TTBHA6TkFtfZ4C23i8plM497idH_jTZPiTO9Ow4R_VKex1BHQLTDFVBFtEyO0-LoOYsRY67kdI8K4F6EW0nRPFZzslQFOA0fyZ66FSm3qZqOd0yWQHiAx2&__tn__=-UC-R

 

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.