Articles from the Community

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

About the Author: Jared B. Standish

JARED BUTLER STANDISH (1866-1961) was a nationally known wood engraver and student of early Connecticut history.  With Mrs. Standish he was instrumental in reorganizing the Wethersfield Village Improvement Society (later Wethersfield Park Board) and contributed to the development of recreational areas in the town and was active in the acquisition of the Mill Woods property […]

Early Public Schools in Wethersfield

By Merrick B. Carpenter (Written in 1967) (Please click to enlarge.) Here, as elsewhere in Connecticut, the beginning of our primary educational system started in the home. Parents and guardians wee charged with the responsibility of training their children to learn to read and to take part in home and church services. Due to the […]

Yale in Wethersfield – 1716

by Frances Wells Fox and Jared Butler Standish Yale College was incorporated in Saybrook in 1701. The first tutor was the minister of Killingworth (Clinton). Classes were held in his home until his death in 1707. A few years later a controversy arose, regarding a change in location. The trustees were undecided and the scholars […]

Leonard Chester’s Search for a Mill Site – 1636

by Frances Wells Fox and Jared Butler Standish In September, 1636. one bright morning, young Leonard Chester, only 24 years of age, one of the adventurers, whose homestead was about midway on the east side of Broad Street determined to set out all by himself to find a suitable stream to locate his “Corn Mill,” […]

Beginnings of Wethersfield

By John C. Willard (Written in 1972) In 1662 there arose a fear that Connecticut might be taken over by  either Massachusetts or New York and have a royal governor. Connecticut people wanted to remain independent and elected a committee to obtain a separate royal charter. They were fortunate in selecting as an envoy to […]

Slavery Was Not Limited to the Black Race Alone

by Merrick B. Carpenter (Written in 1967) It is probable that most of the earliest slaves in the Colony were Indians and prisoners of war. Not only were such captives sold to servitude, but their progeny were born slaves, or “servants” as bondsmen were called, down to 1700. Some were sent to the West Indies […]

William Watson Andrews and the Catholic Apostolic Church

 by Jim Meehan  A Niche in Wethersfield’s History Wethersfield Connecticut’s entry lists William Watson Andrews (1810 – 1897), “an American clergyman of the Catholic Apostolic Church, as one of the town’s “notable people”. And Henry R. Stiles in his “Families of Ancient Wethersfield, Connecticut” provides a high-level view of his Wethersfield credentials. “Rev. WILLIAM […]

Wethersfield’s Dinosaur Footprints

by Jim Meehan Wethersfield’s most recent dinosaur footprint find occurred during the construction of the Church of the Incarnation in early 1965.  As the laborers were removing rocks and boulders, two adventurous Webb School ninth graders (Steven Hill and Virgil Viets)  went exploring over the construction site and discovered the footprints of prehistoric beasts, dinosaur […]

A Conversation with Robbins Barstow

“A Conversation with Robbins Barstow” by Cullen Gallagher originally appeared November 15, 2010 on the website of UnionDocs “a Center for Documentary Art that generates and shares big ideas”, and is republished, along with the photo of Mr. Barstow, with their permission. Introductory remarks from Wethersfield Historical Society. Robbins Barstow lived in Wethersfield, CT with […]

About the Author: Cullen Gallagher

Cullen Gallagher is a writer and musician living in Brooklyn, NY. His work has appeared in many publications including the Los Angeles Review of Books, the Brooklyn Rail, and Bright Lights Film Journal. He blogs at