Canaan, CT history
Scrap Book of North Canaan
-- historic and now very scarce -- was written circa 1898 by John Rodemeyer, Jr.
The author was
once the Editor of The Connecticut Western, a newspaper of the day.
The book was originally published by C. H. Pease, a familiar North Canaan name
Containing maps and abundant photographs in its
eighty-odd pages, Scrap Book of North Canaan is a well-written depiction of the town over the
years. Although it modestly denies being a history of the community, in
fact it is just that. Over 100 years
later the distinction of being THE history of that community still belongs to this thin volume.
Written only 40 years after that township
separated from Falls Village (a/k/a Canaan), it captured memories of people who remembered
"the old days." It also included many photographs of Canaan at the turn of the 20th century.
We have indexed the book.
The index is available on this
website. If you
are fortunate enough to have access to a copy of Scrap
Book of North Canaan,
this index may help you find people and places in it more easily.
Thanks to the
Journal for their wonderful article about this re-publication project!!
View the index of Scrap Book of
We offer Scrap Book of North
Canaan, with the new index, on CD-ROM. Also included are scans of two
Manuals (historic directories) of the Pilgrim Church of North Canaan.
We added some topographic maps of the area, and also some old and new photographs. The price of the CD-ROM is $20.00 (CT orders:
please add 6.5% sales tax).
Information about how to order the
What people are saying:
The Litchfield County Times: "...a treasure trove for local
historians and genealogists."
S. P.: "Thank you so much. My dad loves it!"
About those Canaan place names....
Here's the full story:
Canaan is the name of a village in the township of North Canaan, Litchfield County,
| However, Canaan is also the name of an adjacent township in
Litchfield County, the principal village of which is Falls Village. Both are
located in the state's Northwest Corner. Both these Canaans were once a
To thoroughly confuse matters, there
is a much better known place in Connecticut called New Canaan -- but New Canaan is
in Fairfield County, around 50 miles south of the Northwest Corner's two Canaans.
|A good summary can be found on a State of
Connecticut sign -- and this particular one is located in the Falls Village
Canaan, not the North Canaan Canaan. Click on the picture of the sign to the right
to see a larger image. There's a similar sign in North Canaan, near
the athletic field.
North Canaan is one of the fortunate small towns that had a
citizen -- a local newspaper editor -- who actually wrote a book about it.
You can check the index to that book.
North Canaan's newer (of what were once two) Congregational Churches published a
series of "Manuals" at intervals in its past. We've indexed two of these
manuals -- summaries of the church records -- the
1912 edition and the 1937
edition. There's more about the Pilgrim Church Manuals later on this
We've also collected some century-old topographic maps of the
Canaans -- because it's useful to see how things looked then. The land forms did not significantly change, but the indications on the map of development
(roads, railroads, and buildings, most notably) certainly do.
Finally, we've found that most people with an interest in a
community's past are also interested in what the community looks like in the
present. A few current pictures
of Canaan are below. Many more photos are on the CD-ROM.
Also on the CD-ROM is a slide show comparing what things looked like in Canaan circa 1900 and what they look like in
The CD-ROM containing the scans, the indexes, the photos, the
maps, and the slide show is now available. Check the ordering information.
|Pilgrim Church, the former Congregational Church in Canaan village, was
actually the second
Congregational Church in the town of North Canaan. The original Congregational Church here,
once located between Canaan and East Canaan, was moved to East Canaan.
Now, most people refer to that one as the East Canaan Church.
now that the Pilgrim Church merged into it a few years ago, it is correctly
called the "North Canaan Congregational Church". The old Pilgrim
Church building in the village of Canaan is now the home of a Baptist congregation.
The entity that published the Manuals no longer exists as a separate
We have scanned and indexed two editions of the Pilgrim Church's
"Manuals" -- the 1912 and 1937 editions of these historic church
directories. Each around 40 pages long,
they contain membership rolls, history of the church, and other information that
may be of interest. The indices to the two manuals are on-line now.
View the index of the 1912 Manual, or
view the index of the 1937 Manual. Scans
of the complete manuals and their indexes are on the CD-ROM.
|Here's an 1853 map of Canaan Village. Click on it to see it in
|On the CD-ROM you will find several of the
circa 1900 topographic maps of the quadrangle in which Canaan is located available
along with maps of the railroads that intersected in Canaan.
Here are a few pictures of North Canaan today.
Many more pictures, both current and
historical, including some of Falls Village and Twin Lakes, are available on the
CD-ROM. Also on the CD-ROM is a slide show, comparing the way many Canaan
landmarks looked in 1898 with the way they look in 2003.
interest on the CD-ROM for students of railroading history are both pre- and post-fire
photos of the famed and historic Canaan Union Station.
(Click on any of these samples to see them larger.)
Former Barnum, Richardson Co.
blast furnace (Beckley
One of several historic houses at the "Lower Crossing"
Remains of historic Canaan Union Station after the
fire. There's an active campaign to rebuild this historic building.
Christ Church, Episcopal
Head Office of Canaan National Bank,
merged, soon after the picture was taken, into the Salisbury Bank and Trust Company
The former Pilgrim Church
(Congregational); now a Baptist congregation
Douglas Library (Pease Museum is
located on the second
floor in rear)
Formerly Bob's Clothing and Shoes
Looking north on Railroad Street from the
intersection with Main Street
-- no, that is NOT a
spelling error! The diner was founded by a member of the Collin
Are you interested in joining a free e-mail discussion group about Canaan,
North Canaan, Union Station, the iron industry, and all the other aspects of the
history of the area? It's easy to join this small group! Just send a blank e-mail to: canaanCTfirstname.lastname@example.org
-- you'll be welcome!!
For other material about Canaan (Falls
Village) and North Canaan, see the Canaan section of
our Litchfield County page.
We're glad to supplement this CD-ROM
with a FREE article written by Mary Geikie Adam about the
history of Canaan from the 1896 Connecticut Quarterly.
It's free -- and it's interesting!
The White Oak for 1954,
yearbook of Housatonic Valley Regional High School, Falls Village.
Includes the towns of Canaan and North Canaan. See our
Litchfield County page for more
Delegates' Reports: CT Board of Agriculture
(1869) -- The report from the
Litchfield County delegate begins on page 21 of this document. See our
Connecticut miscellany page for more information.
Included is a report on an agricultural exposition in Falls Village.
QUERY: Steam irons made in Falls Village? The
Blakeney Cooperative Co.?
Recently we saw what we think is a real oddity: a "steam
iron" that isn't electric -- one that, like other old irons one sees at
antique shows and tag sales, was heated on the family range before ironing with
it. Making this even more interesting is the fact that this iron was
manufactured in Falls Village! The owner of the iron would like to learn more
about it, so would we -- and so would the Falls Village -- Canaan Historical
pictures of the iron
Be sure to check
|Many people who are interested in the Canaans are also
interested in the Iron Heritage of the area. If this is you, please
visit our Iron page. If your interest
lies with Litchfield County communities not tied specifically to iron or
the Upper Housatonic Valley in Connecticut and Massachusetts, you may
want to check our Litchfield County page,
or our Connecticut page.