The membership of Wethersfield Historical Society is passionate about the town’s history, often inspiring individuals to conduct research on their own about topics of particular interest.
The “Articles from the Community” section of this website includes research and writing of the Wethersfield community representative of their interest and enthusiasm for topics related to Wethersfield history and culture. Articles are not edited by Wethersfield Historical Society staff and while we hope you find the contributions to “Articles from the Community” interesting and informative, they do not reflect the research, scholarly editing, views, or opinions of Wethersfield Historical Society’s staff, Governing Board or general membership as a whole.
Articles from the Community by Time Period
(1600′s / 1700′s / 1800′s / 1900′s)
attend church was difficult. As a result, within a few decades, those living on the Glastonbury side of the river sought to form their own town with its own church.
Willard, is the 11th generation Willard to live in Wethersfield. Read about her and her ancestors.
British established a blockade, which effectively destroyed the lucrative West Indian and Southern coastal trading that many of Wethersfield’s seafarers were engaged in. These men soon expressed an interest in having their now inactive commercial vessels armed and refitted as privateers.
way of thinking was exemplified by the actions of “fighting parsons” such as Rev. Peter Gabriel Muhlenberg of Woodstock, Va., and Rev. Elisha
Pomp, and Guinea. The other 2 families were those of Quash Gomer and Jephet Will.
Wethersfield Prison Blues by Amy Gagnon: In September 1827, the new Connecticut State Prison opened its doors to 81 inmates. During its 136_year history inmates killed two wardens and three guards. The prison closed in 1963 when the Connecticut State Prison was moved to Enfield.
Wethersfield in the Civil War by Wes Christensen: The American Civil War is generally accepted as themost traumatic event in this nation’s history. Wethersfield’s population was 2705 in 1860 and nearly one half of the eligible men served in the war – 6 were killed, 17 died of wounds or disease, 5 died in prison, 1 was shot for desertion and 19 were wounded.
A Whaling Family by John C. Willard: Who says that Wethersfield is a quiet place with no adventure? Certainly not Captain Thomas Williams, (one of the youngest captains of the whaling fleet in the 1860′s) or his wife, Eliza Azelia Griswold, who accompanied him on a three_year’s voyage from 1858 to 1861in the Pacific Ocean.
Sgt. Major Robert H. Kellogg by Danielle Johnson: “I wonder if they know at home of our real condition here.” There were many horrors of Civil War prisons, and Wethersfield’s Sgt. Maj. Robert H. Kellogg was one who witnessed them and lived to write about them.
Who Was Charles Wright? by Joyce Rossignol: His portrait hangs in the lobby of the school that bears his name, but his distinguished life isn’t told here.. Who was Charles Wright that a school is named for him?
Sophia Woodhouse’s Grass Bonnets by Melissa Josefiak: Inventor and businesswoman, Wethersfield’s Sophia Woodhouse (1799_1883) was one of the first female entrepreneurs of the Greater Hartford area. Known internationally, her bonnets were widely admired by socially prominent women, and worn by two former First Ladies, Dolley Madison and Louisa Adams – the latter’s husband, John Quincy Adams, calling it “…an extraordinary specimen of American manufacture.
”Wethersfield Illinois by Larry Lock: In addition to our daughter towns of of Rocky Hill, Newington, and Glastonbury – Connecticut’s “Most Auncient Towne,” has a younger sister. Wethersfield Illinois was founded in 1836 by the Connecticut Association of Wethersfield, Conn. Led by Rev. Caleb Jewett Tenney of Wethersfield, the association was one of several Protestant organizations that established colonies in Henry County Illinois. Col. Sylvester Blish and Elizur Goodrich were sent west in 1836 to purchase land and later that year Rev. Joseph Goodrich, John F. Willard and Henry G. Little came to lay out the village of Wethersfield.
They Even Survived Rocks On The Tracks by Abbie B. Dunn: One hundred years ago “rapid transit” meant the horse railway. Wethersfield was the first town adjacent to Hartford to have this service. The Hartford & Wethersfield Railway Co. was chartered June 18, 1859.
Wethersfield Almshouse by Nora Howard: “Love your life, poor as it is. You may perhaps have some pleasant, thrilling, glorious hours, even in a poorhouse. The setting sun is reflected from the windows of the almshouse as brightly as from the rich man’s abode.” In 1811, two years before Connecticut required each town to establish houses for the poor, Wethersfield opened its own.
the landscape. Newsreels and movies tell the story to the folks at home.
swimming at Shep’s pond – a boy and a town come of age.
became “a unique and priceless asset” for our town.
was best known as the town’s “Horseradish King”.
“Wethersfield’s Homebuilders: 1940 and Beyond”: by Jim Meehan. Of the nearly 9,900 housing units in the
town of Wethersfield approximately 1,000 were constructed in the 1940s (nineteen single_family dwellings in 1945, fifty_four in 1946, 108 in 1947, 149 in 1948 and 150 in 1949) and two_thirds were built after 1950 and more than fifty percent of that two_thirds occurred between 1950 and 1970.“A History of Temple Beth Torah”: edited by Phil Lohman. The Jewish Community Group of Wethersfield, forerunner of the present Temple Beth Torah, originated in December 1954, when eighteen families convened to discuss the possibilities of forming such a group. On June 4, 2005 Temple Beth Torah celebrated its golden anniversary.