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Wethersfield


Newspaper headline that reads "Girl Flyer Gets License, Aviation Writer's Paper Gets Story By Hard Work"

“Girl Pilot”: Mary Goodrich Jenson Breaks Barriers in Aviation and Journalism

Blending her aviation and journalism careers, Wethersfield’s Mary Goodrich Jenson pushed the boundaries of both fields.

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Red onion surrounded by text

Oniontown: How Hard Work, Tall Tales, and Red Onions Built Wethersfield

Until the 19th century, the red onion trade supported Wethersfield as the first commercial town along the Connecticut River.

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Tan colored bonnet with a green ribbon attached

Sophia Woodhouse Welles: Wethersfield’s World-Famous Bonnet Maker

Wethersfield’s Sophia Woodhouse Welles made a name for herself as an inventor and a businesswoman in antebellum America with her bonnets.

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Artwork of a ship close to shore with people in rowboats. There is a large flag protruding from the mast of the ship. There is text at the bottom of the image.

Connecticut’s French Connections

From Huguenots to French Canadian mill workers to modern immigration, Connecticut has always been a place shaped, in part, by a steady French influence.

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The Fundamental Orders

The Fundamental Orders of Connecticut

The Fundamental Orders, inspired by Thomas Hooker’s sermon of May 31, 1638, provided the framework for the government of the Connecticut colony from 1639 to 1662.

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Elm Arcade, Temple Street, New Haven

A Beautiful and Goodly Tree: The Rise and Fall of the American Elm

Almost every Connecticut town has an Elm Street, named for the popular trees that grew in abundance until a fungal infestation greatly diminished their numbers.

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The Clam Box, postcard by Cliff Scofield, ca. 1950s

Lobsters and Oysters and Clams: A Short History of Seafood in Connecticut

The ocean’s bounty has been savored along the Connecticut coastline for as long as humans have been around to bring it on shore.

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Makris Diner, 1795 Berlin Turnpike, Wethersfield

A Hip Road Trip

Known as “Gasoline Alley” during the 1950s, the Berlin Turnpike boasts a heady visual mix of neon, brand names, logos, and 1960s’ motel Modernism.

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The Webb Mansion, Wethersfield

Washington Didn’t Only Sleep Here: George Washington at Wethersfield’s Webb House

The first time George Washington traveled through Connecticut, he was an ambitious Virginia colonel hoping to advance his career in the British military.

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To show the man, Richard Reihl, who was murdered in Wethersfield in a hate crime in 1988

Richard Reihl: The Hate Crime That Became a Turning Point for LGBTQ+ Civil Rights

The 1988 murder of Richard Reihl, a gay man from Wethersfield, galvanized and mobilized communities to organize and transform LGBTQ+ civil rights legislation in the state for decades to come.

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Wethersfield's four-wheeled combination hook, ladder and bucket carrier

Connecticut’s Oldest Fire Department

November 19, 2021 • Everyday Life, Work, Wethersfield

The Wethersfield Volunteer Fire Department is the oldest continually operated fire department in Connecticut.

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The Importance of Being Puritan: Church and State in Colonial Connecticut

Connecticut Protestants wanted to cleanse the church of what they saw as corruption, and to return to the simplicity and purity of early Christian worship.

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Automatic Gallows

The Automatic Gallows – Today in History: June 18

On June 18, 1895, Jabez L. Woodbridge of Wethersfield patented an automated gallows.

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An English woodcut of a Witch

Alse Young Executed for Witchcraft – Today in History: May 26

On May 26, 1647, Alse Young of Windsor was the first person on record to be executed for witchcraft in the 13 colonies.

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Placard commemorating the adoption of the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut

The Fundamental Orders: Connecticut’s Role in Early Constitutional Government

The Fundamental Orders represent what many consider to be the first written constitution in the Western world.

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Map of the West Indies, 1717

Connecticut and the West Indies: Sugar Spurs Trans-Atlantic Trade

This profitable exchange brought wealth and sought-after goods to the state but came at the price of supporting slavery in the bargain.

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Poem relating the Beadle murders

The Beadle Family Murders – Today in History: December 11

Following his drop in status as one of the town’s wealthiest men, William Beadle murdered his entire family.

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View on the Erie Canal

Benjamin Wright: The Father of American Civil Engineering

October 18, 2020 • Transportation, Work, Wethersfield

Benjamin Wright helped build transportation and canal systems in the United States and served as the chief engineer on the construction of the Erie Canal.

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Pierre Eugene Du Simetière, Silas Deane. Member of Congress

The Rise and Fall of Silas Deane, American Patriot

Esteemed by his fellow patriots as a savvy diplomat who helped cement a strategic alliance with France during the American Revolution, Deane spent his final years under a cloud of suspicion.

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Aerial view of Connecticut State Prison

Wethersfield Prison Blues

September 8, 2020 • Crime and Punishment, Law, Wethersfield

In September 1827, the newly constructed Connecticut State Prison in Wethersfield opened its doors to 81 inmates once housed at Newgate Prison.

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First Meetinghouse in Hartford

The Free Consent of the People: Thomas Hooker and the Fundamental Orders

Government formed with the consent of the people was a radical idea in the age of nations ruled by monarchs, emperors, and tsars.

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An Orderly & Decent Government: Making Self-Government Work, 1634-1776

In 1698 the General Court reorganized itself to deal more effectively with Connecticut’s complex new problems.

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Video – Connecticut’s Cultural Treasures: Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum

Connecticut’s Cultural Treasures is a series of 50 five-minute film vignettes that profiles a variety of the state’s most notable cultural resources.

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The Wethersfield Academy

Wethersfield Academy Est. 1804

In the mid-17th century, Connecticut was considered the most literate place on earth, primarily due to the early Puritans’ insistence that everyone be able to read and write.

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Over Time: Wethersfield’s Historical Population

January 12, 2014 • Hide Featured Image, Wethersfield

Census data, from colonial times on up to the present, is a key resource for those who study the ways in which communities change with the passage of time.

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Silas Deane House, Wethersfield

Site Lines: Silas Deane

Despite Deane’s role in securing French supplies and support for the American Revolution, his accomplishments have long been obscured by whispers of treason, a spy’s double-dealing, and his own sudden death.

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