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Agriculture


Oxford Agricultural Society Premium List, Oxford Agricultural Fair 1875

Establishing Roots in Oxford

October 8, 2022 • Agriculture, Oxford

From its earliest colonial days the area in and around…

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Detail from the map View of Windsor Locks, Conn. 1877

The Windsor Economy: A River Ran Through It

Windsor’s location on the Connecticut River shaped the area’s development…

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Picking Tobacco in the Connecticut River Valley

Literacy Tests and the Right To Vote

Connecticut was the first state to require a literacy test of would-be voters and, even as the practice came under fire as a tool of discrimination, the state held steady until 1970.

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Shaker advertisement to board horses, 1884

Enfield’s Shaker Legacy

Shaking Quakers settled in Enfield and created the packaged seed business.

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L. B. Haas & Company address label, 1958

Cash Crop: L.B. Haas & Co. and the History of Tobacco in Connecticut

A Dutch immigrant builds a business made in the shade.

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Brass City/Grass Roots: The Persistence of Farming in Waterbury, Connecticut

This article is part of the digital exhibit “Brass City/Grass Roots: The Persistence of Farming in Waterbury, Connecticut”

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John Howard Hale: Glastonbury’s Peach King

May 12, 2022 • Agriculture, Glastonbury, Seymour, Work

John Howard Hale came from a family of fruit growers in Glastonbury and developed a new type of peach that flourished in the harsh New England climate.

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English barn, Ashford

Barn Design in Connecticut

Most barns still on the Northeast landscape are New England-style barns from the 19th century and later.

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Jared Eliot

Jared Eliot Calls on Colonists to Change their Agricultural Practices

In 1760, this Killingworth minister and farmer published the first agricultural advice book in the British American colonies.

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Shaker women and buildings, Enfield, 1890s

Shakers Revolutionize Garden Seed Business – Who Knew?

…that the Shakers of Enfield first packaged seeds in small…

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Lebanon Grange Hall

The Lebanon Grange Followed a Different Tune than National Movement

April 3, 2022 • Agriculture, Arts, Everyday Life, Lebanon

Music played a central role in fraternal rituals and sense of community.

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Playing with Time: The Introduction of Daylight Saving Time in Connecticut

Despite both formal and informal attempts to regulate the observance of Daylight Savings Time in Connecticut, it still remains a controversial topic for many state residents.

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Lantern Hill

Breaking the Myth of the Unmanaged Landscape

Evidence of early Native land use is etched into the landscape and preserved in oral tradition as well as the historical and archaeological records. This is in direct contradiction to a persistent myth of colonialism: that European settlers encountered a virgin landscape free of human intervention and ripe for development.

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The Smith Sisters and Their Cows Strike a Blow for Equal Rights – Today in History: January 8

Abigail and Julia Smith of Glastonbury (along with Isabella Beecher Hooker) fought for a woman’s right to speak at town meetings and have a say in government.

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Postcard of Beechmont Dairy in Bridgeport, CT

Beechmont Dairy: Bridgeport’s Ice Cream to Die For

Joseph Niedermeier Sr. founded the Beechmont Dairy in Bridgeport in 1906—a popular local business for over 60 years.

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The White Pine Acts – Who Knew?

The British government made it illegal for colonials to cut down white pine trees over 24 inches in diameter—preserving the trees for use as masts on British naval ships.

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Gold Hall circa 1900, a men's dormitory named in honor of UConn trustee T. S. Gold. The building burned down in 1914

The First University of Connecticut Trustees

When the University of Connecticut started life as the Storrs Agricultural School in 1881, Governor Hobart Bigelow appointed its first eight trustees—all with agricultural backgrounds.

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Adam Farm in North (or East) Canaan, Connecticut

The Land of Nod Farm, East Canaan, Connecticut

The Land of Nod farm was an important agricultural and residential resource for both the people of Canaan and the workers at the Beckley furnace.

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Main Street, During Fair Week

The Great Danbury State Fair & Early 20th-Century Outdoor Advertising

In 1909, the Danbury Agricultural Society called attention to its upcoming fair in a most creative manner.

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Sharpe Hill Vineyard in Pomfret

Raise a Glass to Winemaking in Connecticut

The Colony’s first settlers produced wine and spirits, but it would not be until the 1970s that Connecticut could grow and sell its harvest.

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David Humphreys

David Humphreys, Soldier, Statesman, and Agricultural Innovator

Despite an accomplished political career, this Derby-born gentleman of means is best remembered for introducing Merino sheep to North America.

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Andover Creamery, 1889

Andover’s Award-Winning Creamery

Started in 1886 by town residents, the Andover Creamery Corporation…

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Everett B. Clark seed barn, Orange

Orange Seeds Yield Corn, Alfafa, Soy, and More

The United States is one of the leading producers of…

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Brass City/Grass Roots: Waterbury Farming in the Late 1800s

This article is part of the digital exhibit “Brass City/Grass Roots: The Persistence of Farming in Waterbury, Connecticut”

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Brass City/Grass Roots: Farming as Recycling: The Becces in the North End

This article is part of the digital exhibit “Brass City/Grass Roots: The Persistence of Farming in Waterbury, Connecticut”

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Brass City/Grass Roots: From Farmers to Developers: The Rasmussens of Town Plot

This article is part of the digital exhibit “Brass City/Grass Roots: The Persistence of Farming in Waterbury, Connecticut”

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Brass City/Grass Roots: The Pierponts of East Farms

This article is part of the digital exhibit “Brass City/Grass Roots: The Persistence of Farming in Waterbury, Connecticut”

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Brass City/Grass Roots: Struggles and Decline

This article is part of the digital exhibit “Brass City/Grass Roots: The Persistence of Farming in Waterbury, Connecticut”

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Brass City/Grass Roots: Food Marketing and Processing as Part of Civic Culture

This article is part of the digital exhibit “Brass City/Grass Roots: The Persistence of Farming in Waterbury, Connecticut”

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Brass City/Grass Roots: What Makes a Farm a Farm? Other Sites of Food Production in Waterbury

This article is part of the digital exhibit “Brass City/Grass Roots: The Persistence of Farming in Waterbury, Connecticut”

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Brass City/Grass Roots: Remnants and Revivals

This article is part of the digital exhibit “Brass City/Grass Roots: The Persistence of Farming in Waterbury, Connecticut”

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Brass City/Grass Roots: Bucks Hill: Waterbury’s Rural Holdout

This article is part of the digital exhibit “Brass City/Grass Roots: The Persistence of Farming in Waterbury, Connecticut”

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Postcard of Plant B, Pierson's Greenhouses, Cromwell

The Rose King of America Transformed Cromwell’s Landscape

Andrew N. Pierson was born Anders Nil Persson in Skane…

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Elevated view of Storrs Agricultural College

The Yale-Storrs Controversy

In the late 1800s, under pressure from frustrated farmers, the Connecticut General Assembly voted to transfer land-grant status and revenue from Yale to the Storrs Agricultural School (UConn).

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Laboring in the Shade

Thousands of black Southern students, including a young Martin Luther King Jr., came north to work in Connecticut’s tobacco fields.

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Umbrella Elms in Connecticut Meadow by Aaron Draper Shattuck

Connecticut Transforms Aaron Draper Shattuck

Drawn to the landscapes of the Farmington River Valley, artist Aaron Draper Shattuck reinvented himself as a gentleman farmer and inventor.

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Martin Luther King

Dr. King’s Dream Had Roots in Connecticut

In the summer of 1944 a young Martin Luther King…

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Amusement Park Rides, Danbury Fair

The Danbury Fair, 1869-1981

For almost a century the Danbury Fair thrilled people from near and far. First showcased for its agricultural achievements, it later hosted a number of popular attractions including rides, races, and entertainment. In 1981, developers purchased the fairgrounds and the land is now home to the Danbury Fair Mall.

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Horse race, Goshen Fair, 1911

Goshen Fairs Well with Agricultural Enthusiasts

The town of Goshen plays an important role in connecting…

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Silkworms, Cheney Brothers, Manchester

Connecticut’s Mulberry Craze

In pursuit of silk thread, the state went crazy for mulberry trees.

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Halladay’s Revolutionary Windmill – Today in History: August 29

On August 29, 1854, Daniel Halladay a machinist, inventor, and…

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Nicholas Grillo and his Thornless Rose

Nicholas Grillo was a self-made floriculturist who earned international acclaim for developing the world’s first thornless hybrid tea rose.

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Eighteen-hundred-and-froze-to-death: 1816, The Year Without a Summer

Sunspots and volcanic eruptions led to cooler than normal temperatures in the summer of 1816. The cold weather decimated harvests and encouraged many residents to head West into the area of modern Ohio.

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Globe Onion

The Many Layers to Onion Farming in Westport

Westport’s fertile soil and ease of access by boat and rail once made it home to a thriving onion farming industry.

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Thomas Lee House and Little Boston School, 1935, East Lyme

A Connecticut Home That Dates Back to the 1600s!

The Thomas Lee House in East Lyme, Connecticut, is one…

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Connecticut River, 2011

The Connecticut River

The Connecticut River is the longest river in New England….

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Connecticut Agricultural College coeds gathering maple sap for war effort

A New Source of Farm Labor Crops Up in Wartime

During times of war, in Connecticut, as in many other states, women became an increasingly important resource in food production.

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Goshen Animal Pound, circa 1800

Goshen’s Animal Pound

Livestock were once a central feature and concern of daily life for Litchfield County residents.

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Tobacco barns in Windsor, Connecticut

Windsor Tobacco: Made in the Shade

Early New England settlers found the Windsor area’s sandy loam…

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North Stonington Grange, North Stonington Village Historic Distric

North Stonington Fairs Preserve Connecticut’s Agricultural Heritage

Despite brief success as a mill town in the early…

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Illustrations showing each farmer's branding earmarks

Branding Law Enacted – Today in History: February 5

On February 5, 1644, Connecticut enacted the first branding law…

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An Orderly & Decent Government: Significant Events & Developments, 1819-1865

Connecticut in the 1830s was characterized by a move from agriculture to industry, and the loss of residents to westward migration.

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Workers on the Charter farm on Crystal Lake Road, Ellington

William Pinney Does It All for Ellington

William N. Pinney’s life was one of public service. A…

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Food Needed to Win the War Comes from Washington

During World War I, the Town of Washington instituted a number of programs to increase food production and preservation to feed Allied armies and the European people,

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When Milk Powered Watertown’s Industry

The story of the dairy industry in Watertown mirrors that…

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Tobacco Valley, Windsor

Shade Grown Tobacco, Windsor 1965

Connecticut’s agricultural traditions have endured over hundreds of years, and…

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Detail of North Stonington from Town and city atlas of the State of Connecticut

North Stonington: Shunock River and Local Ambitions Powered a 19th-century Mill Town

European settlement in the area of North Stonington dates back…

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