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Litchfield County, CT history

Litchfield County, CT history

Litchfield County, CT local history

Litchfield County, Connecticut -- the northwest-most county of the state -- is where Between the Lakes Group is located, and we're definitely interested in the history here.  In fact, we've become the #1 source for Litchfield County historical material!

We have individual pages about some Litchfield County locales:

Canaan

Litchfield

New Milford

Winchester/Winsted

Salisbury 

Torrington

Lime Rock

We're continuing to add material about Litchfield County for download and have a fair amount of material still to process. 

General historical material about Litchfield County:

--The Litchfield Hills -- an 1898 Connecticut Quarterly article about geography of Litchfield County   (FREE)

--The Lure of the Litchfield Hills  - Volume III, no. 2, August 1931.  During the early 1930s, an organization called the Litchfield Hills Federation began publishing issues of The Lure of the Litchfield Hills, and we can wonder today whether these promotional magazines beginning in the Great Depression played a role in mitigating its effects in the area, and what role they played in future development of the area.  The magazine certainly brings us a flavor of those bygone years.  The photography was good, the writing was in the style of the time but still informative, and the advertisements give a fairly clear picture of what life in the Litchfield Hills was like back then.  Each issue covered different topics, and, as we get our hands on other numbers we will bring them to you.  This one notably covered Torrington, the area around Lake Waramaug, included a lengthy article about Lime Rock (in its days as an artists’ colony), and wrapped up with a biographical article on one John Pierpont (a preacher and poet).  The advertisements cover the entire county in varying degree.  40+ pages, in PDF format, download now for $4.00.

 The Lure of the Litchfield Hills

 

--The Lure of the Litchfield Hills  - Volume XX, no. 3, Winter 1960.  This issue covered a particular research topic of ours, namely women spies in American conflicts.  (The subject was one Patience Wright, a spy during the American Revolution).  Other topics in this issue included articles about skiing, about Litchfield village, about Barkhamsted, about Admiral Andew H. Foote, Ethan Allen, the Farmington Valley, and Ichabod Crane -- a real mixed bag.  40+ pages, in PDF format, download now for $3.00.

 Lure of the Litchfield Hills, Volume XX, number 3

 

 --For changed place names in all of  Litchfield County    (FREE)

--For information about the historic  iron industry of the Upper Housatonic Valley   (FREE)

--For all of Litchfield County -- our republication of Arthur Goodenough's classic The Clergy of Litchfield County (1909).  See our page about Clergy of Litchfield County.   (CD-ROM)

--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.

 

About Canaan and North Canaan:

--Ancient History Notebook (1910) - Canaan High School.  By Kenneth C. Hart.  In addition to its role documenting the times when Canaan had its own High School, it also documents in great and legible detail what a high school freshman was expected to know of ancient history back in those times.  If you were fortunate enough to study ancient history in school (a subject rarely taught except in private schools anymore, unfortunately) you will recognize immediately how thorough an understanding of the histories of Greece and Rome was considered necessary for a high school graduate to possess back in those days.  It is really rather daunting!

There is a story behind this publication, too.  During the summer of 2013, Between the Lakes Group decided to experiment with short-term summer interns as a way to encourage the study of history among young people, hoping to get back insights into how so-called “digital natives” view the world.  We took the interns shopping one day at Johnnycake Books in Salisbury, where one of the interns, Helen Jenks, immediately homed in on this notebook and began reading it carefully.  After reviewing it thoroughly, she advised me that we ought to purchase the notebook and publish it.  It would serve, she felt, as important documentation of what someone just beyond a “common school education” was expected to have assimilated a century or so ago.  Parenthetically, Helen attends a diocesan school in New York City and consequently has been exposed to quite a bit of ancient history.  At any rate, she made a persuasive case, and we went ahead with the purchase and now with the publication.  96+ pages, in PDF format, download now for $3.00.

 Ancient History notebook, Canaan HS, 1910     First publication of Ancient History Notebook, North Canaan

 

--For both Canaans -- an 1896 Connecticut Quarterly article about these communities   (FREE)

--For North Canaan -- information about  our republication of Scrap Book of North Canaan.  See our Canaan page   (CD-ROM)

 

--For Falls Village and the six Northwest Corner towns of District 1-- The White Oak for 1954, yearbook of Housatonic Valley Regional High School, Falls Village.  It has been said that high school yearbooks write history in the present tense, and in an area that has changed as much -- and as little -- as Connecticut's Northwest Corner, the expression rings particularly true.  Includes the towns of North Canaan, Canaan, Cornwall, Kent, Salisbury, and Sharon, CT.  100+ pages, download now in PDF format for $4.50.

 Housy 1954 yearbook the White Oak

 

--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.

 

About Lime Rock and Salisbury:

--For Salisbury -- Salisbury CT vital records circa 1730 - 1767 from the historical collections of the Salisbury Association, originally published in 1913. (Download)   See our Salisbury page for more information.

 

--For Salisbury -- Salisbury CT vital records circa 1768 - 1800 from the historical collections of the Salisbury Association, originally published in 1916.  (Download)   See our Salisbury page for more information.

 

--For Salisbury -- A Brief Military History of Salisbury, an address by Malcolm D. Rudd (1911) from the historical collections of the Salisbury Association.  (Download)  See our Salisbury page for more information.

 

--For Salisbury -- The 1820 census of children attending school in the Town of Salisbury, by school district.  This article constituted Volume III of the historical collections of the Salisbury Association.  (Download) See our Salisbury page for more information..

 

--The Salisbury Academy, documents and student lists, comprising Volume IV of the Historical Collections of the Salisbury Association.  (Download)   See our Salisbury page for more information.

--For Salisbury -- "Salisbury in War Time", a Memorial Day 1910 address by Thomas Lot Norton, with a comprehensive list of Salisbury men who served in the Union military forces and their units. (Download)   See our Salisbury page for more information.

--For Salisbury -- Grave-stone Inscriptions at Salisbury, Connecticut (1898).  This 16-page collection of Salisbury gravestone inscriptions (largely at the old cemetery at Salisbury center), originally collected by Malcolm Day Rudd, was published as a pamphlet.   (Download)    See our Salisbury page for more information.

 

--For Salisbury -- Salisbury Cemetery Records (1913), from the Historical Collections of the Salisbury Association, Volume I.  This 45+ page compilation includes 688 inscriptions found in several cemeteries in the Town of Salisbury (Chapinville, Dutchers Bridge, Mt. Riga, Town Hill, and five small, isolated cemeteries).   (Download)   See our Salisbury page for more information.

 

--For Salisbury --Salisbury, CT - The early years, by Judith M. Sherman The Township of Salisbury, Connecticut - The Early Years, by Judith M. Sherman (1988). Most of this material is based on the 1719 – 1742 period – the period when Salisbury was first laid out and settled.  In its 83 pages, including extensive tables, references, and footnotes, the paper analyzes and summarizes the township’s early history in a way that had not been done previously.    (Download)    See our Salisbury page for more information.

 

--For Salisbury --  Salisbury, CT - Land Speculation, by Judith M. Sherman Land Speculation in Salisbury, CT (1739 – 1761) by Judith M. Sherman (1990).  In addition to the importance of this master's thesis in the history of Salisbury, it also marked a trend in historiography that was only beginning to appear in local history when it was written in 1990: quantitative analysis based on early records.  (Download)    See our Salisbury page for more information.

 

--For Salisbury -- Abstract of Early Land Records This article, abstracting some of the more historically significant early land records, is found in that organization’s Historical Collections of the Salisbury Association, Volume II.  The original records still do exist (they survived the Town Hall fire) and are available for examination at the Town Clerk’s office.  Its limitations notwithstanding, this is an interesting compilation and has significant historical value.    (Download)    See our Salisbury page for more information.

 

--For Salisbury -- a lengthy illustrated article from 1989 from Volume IV of the Connecticut Quarterly about the history of the Town of Salisbury, including an index.   (Download)     See our Salisbury page for more information.

 

--For Salisbury -- History of the Town Hall, by Malcolm D. Rudd (1916).  This history is extracted from Historical Collections of The Salisbury Association, Volume II (1916).  The Salisbury Association served for many years as both a civic betterment group and an historical society for this northwest Connecticut township.   (Download)   See our Salisbury page for more information.

 

--For Salisbury -- Members and officers of the Salisbury Association (1913) from the historical collections of the Salisbury Association.   (Download)   See our Salisbury page for more information.

 

--About the iron industry -- We're happy to offer two articles by one of the earlier researchers of this subject in one download entitled Early Iron Industry of Connecticut.  Yes, there's plenty of Litchfield County material  in it!    (Download)   See our Iron page for more information.

 

--For Lime Rock  -- a 1905 article by the Rector of the local church about the history of this community. (FREE)

 

--For Lime Rock -- once the headquarters of an industrial empire -- our CD-ROM based on a Heritage Walk we conducted there in October 2004.  See our Lime Rock page.   (CD-ROM)

 

--For Lime Rock  -- an old plot map of the Lime Rock Cemetery.  (Download)

 

--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.

 

--Lakeville Horse Show Program (1964).   The Lakeville Horse Show, back in these days, was an important regional horse show. The advertisements in the program reflect a time when the Northwest Corner of Connecticut was a different place.  Not yet “discovered” by conspicuous consumers, there were still many working farms in the area.   (Download)   See our Salisbury page for more information.

 

For Litchfield and Goshen:

 

--For Litchfield -- our republication of Alain C. White's History of Litchfield, Conn -- 1720 - 1920See our History of Litchfield page.   (CD-ROM)

 

--For Litchfield -- An article entitled simply "Litchfield" from volume II of the Connecticut Quarterly (1896).   (Download)  See our Town of Litchfield page for more information.

 

--The family Bible of William Bonell, originally of Goshen, CT.   (FREE)

--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.

--For Litchfield -- our republication of George C. Boswell's The Litchfield Book of Days (1899).   (Download)  See our Town of Litchfield page for more information.

--The Haven of Litchfield, in The Lure of the Litchfield Hills  - Volume XX, no. 3, Winter 1960.  This issue covered a particular research topic of ours, namely women spies in American conflicts.  (The subject was one Patience Wright, a spy during the American Revolution).  Other topics in this issue included articles about skiing, about Litchfield village, about Barkhamsted, about Admiral Andew H. Foote, the haven of Litchfield, Ethan Allen, the Farmington Valley, and Ichabod Crane -- a real mixed bag.  Click here for more information.

 

For Norfolk:

 

--For Norfolk -- an 1895 Connecticut Quarterly article, including illustrations, about the Town of Norfolk in Litchfield County.  12++ pages.  Download, in PDF format, $2.00.  (Download)

Norfolk, CT

 

--For Norfolk -- Baptisms, Marriages, Burials, and list of members taken from the church records of the Church of Christ, Congregational of the Rev. Ammi Ruhamah Robbins, first minister, 1761-1813.  141+ pages, download in PDF format, $6.50.   (Download)

 Church Records, Norfolk CT

 

--Convention Troops in Connecticut -- some Revolutionary War history from the Connecticut Quarterly (volume III - 1897).  Of particular interest to those studying the Norfolk area.  6+ pages, PDF format, $1.75.   (Download)

 Convention Troops in CT - Norfolk

 

For New Milford, New Preston, Washington, etc.:

 

--For Washington -- a substantial, illustrated article from the Connecticut Quarterly, Volume IV (1898) about the Town of Washington, Litchfield County, CT.  20+ pages.  Download now in PDF format, $2.00.    (Download)

Washington, Litchfield County, CT history

 

For New Milford -- New Milford - 230 YearsPlenty of history of this community and neighborhood.  See our New Milford page.  (CD-ROM)

 

For Marbledale and New Preston:  Lake Waramaug.  

From the Connecticut Quarterly, Volume III (1897).  Litchfield County’s Lake Waramaug has long been recognized for its scenic beauty.  Since there is only just so much one can write about a scenic lake, this short article also covers both New Preston and Marbledale, the two nearest communities.  8+ pages, with photographs, PDF format.  Download now for $2.50.   (Download)

 New Preston, Marbledale, Lake Waramaug

 

--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.

 

For Torrington:

 

--Introductory information and index from Orcutt’s History of Torrington, Connecticut (1878).   See our Torrington page for more information.  (FREE)

 

--John Brown: From Torrington to Harpers Ferry from Orcutt’s History of Torrington, Connecticut (1878).   John Brown, Torrington’s most famous – perhaps notorious – son, was the subject of a lengthy biography in the town history. Today, of course, someone who did what he did -- seize a Federal military installation by force of arms and encourage armed insurrection by a portion of the population  – would fall under the classification of “terrorist”.  As terrorists go, simply by the fact that his insurrection got off the ground and accomplished its initial objection, he was one of the more successful we have seen in the history of the nation.  In the emotion-charged days leading up to the Civil War, however, and afterwards as well, he was regarded by many not as a terrorist but as a saint. This article devotes more than 100 pages in developing the character and background of John Brown of Torrington as well as tracing the steps that led up to the attack on the Harpers Ferry arsenal.  The laudatory poetry that concludes the selection makes it clear that even 20 years after the fact, Brown’s act was still widely viewed as a good thing.  (Download)    See our Torrington page for more information.

 

--For Torrington -- Lists of Names (Chapter XX) from Orcutt's History of Torrington (1878).   (Download)    See our Torrington page for more information.

 

--For Torrington -- Genealogies from Orcutt's History of Torrington (1878).   (Download)   See our Torrington page for more information.

 

--For Torrington -- Churches, from Orcutt’s History of Torrington, Connecticut (1878). Here are four chapters:  Chapter 4, Religions Privileges; Chapter 6, Torrington Church; Chapter 7, Torringford Church; and Chapter 11, the Churches in Wolcottville.  While religious matters are alluded to elsewhere in the volume, the bulk of the material about religion in Torrington, including rolls of members, clergy, and officers (where provided) are all included in the chapters selected here.    (Download)    See our Torrington page for more information.

 

--For Torrington -- Wolcottville from Orcutt’s History of Torrington, Connecticut (1878).  Three chapters from Orcutt’s History deal specifically with Wolcottville.  The chapters reproduced here concern the history of the village, the Wolcottville manufacturing companies, and the churches in Wolcottville.   (Download)    See our Torrington page for more information.

 

--Torrington in Wartimes from Orcutt’s History of Torrington, Connecticut (1878).  This section from that book – Chapter 18, Wartimes – covers the American Revolution and the Civil War, and has added material about the efforts on the home front, as well as on special topics such as women in the wars.  Not confined to lists of muster rolls (although these are included) it is useful for anyone with an interest in either of these wars and their impact in rural New England.  See our Torrington page for more information.  (FREE)

 

For Winsted, Winchester and Barkhamsted:

--For Winsted -- The Gilbert School, 1929 - 30.  A catalog of this public/private school, including lists of students, alumni, current and prior faculty, and Gilbert Trust trustees.    (Download)   See our Winsted/Winchester page for more information.

 

--For Winsted and the Town of Winchester -- A Tour to Historic Places in the Town of Winchester.   The full title of this booklet is “A tour to places of historic interest in the Town of Winchester made as part of the observance of the Connecticut tercentenary August 31, 1935”.  There’s a remarkable amount of history here.  It appears to have been collected from the remarks of many local citizens with special knowledge of local events and institutions, made during an automobile tour of the Town of Winchester.    (Download)   See our Winsted/Winchester page for more information.

 

--History of the Winsted Savings BankThis 1935 booklet traces the history of the Winsted Savings Bank from its foundation in 1860 until the year of publication, and along the way includes a fair amount of the history of Winsted and Winchester as well.  As a financial institution, Winsted Savings Bank was sensitive to economic conditions elsewhere in the nation as well, so some of this is included in the narrative.  Also included are photos of the bank through the years, some of its officers and staff, and staff member listings.    (Download)   See our Winsted/Winchester page for more information.

 

--Winsted Green and its Neighborhood  (1800 – 1840) By Emily Perkins Roberts.  This 1935 booklet traces the history of the Winsted Green – now the area of downtown Winsted opposite Northwestern Connecticut Community College – and the area surrounding it.  Originally prepared for the 150th Anniversary of the incorporation of the Town of Winchester, it was later included in the Connecticut Tercentenary publication.  Ms. Perkins uses many sources in this work, some well known (such as Annals of Winchester) and others far more obscure.   (Download)  See our Winsted/Winchester page for more information.

 

The Farmington River and its Origins, from the Connecticut Quarterly, Volume III (1897).  Today one thinks of the Farmington River, starting with its origins in Massachusetts and through its course in eastern Litchfield County (Winsted area), Connecticut, primarily in terms of scenic and recreational uses, but a century ago this was emphatically not the case.  (The emphasis in this article is on the portion of the river in Hartford County, so please see our Hartford County page for more information).   (Download)

 

--For Winchester and Winsted --  our republication of Annals of Winchester. (Winchester is the township in which Winsted is located)See our Winchester page.   (CD-ROM)

 

--Barkhamsted Reminiscences, in The Lure of the Litchfield Hills  - Volume XX, no. 3, Winter 1960.  This issue covered a particular research topic of ours, namely women spies in American conflicts.  (The subject was one Patience Wright, a spy during the American Revolution).  Other topics in this issue included articles about skiing, about Litchfield village, about Barkhamsted, about Admiral Andew H. Foote, the haven of Litchfield, Ethan Allen, the Farmington Valley, and Ichabod Crane -- a real mixed bag.  Click here for more information.

 

 We also republish local history about other areas.  Please check our catalog, as well as our  listing of future (and present) projects by state.

And, don't forget to try the red "Search our website" button in the left margin of every page.  We often put material on line for our publications on CD-ROM that will give you a peek into the contents.  In a few cases, it's even a complete index; other times it's a list of surnames; other times it's a table of contents.   That way, you can find out whether a subject you're interested in is covered BEFORE you buy.

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