December 3: The Barkhamsted “Lighthouse”

  The Connecticut shoreline is home to many beautiful, historic lighthouses that have steered ships in Long Island Sound to safety for hundreds of years. One of the state’s most historically significant “lighthouses,” however, is located over 60 miles inland — and refers not to a navigational structure, but to a unique settlement established on…

November 26: The Oldest Congregational Church in America

  As the oldest continuously active Congregational church in the United States, the First Congregational Church of Windsor, Connecticut has celebrated more anniversaries than nearly any other church in the country. One of the most memorable anniversaries in the congregation’s existence was its 275th anniversary, celebrated on November 26, 1905. That year, the church organized…

September 26: Connecticut’s First English Settlement

  On this day in 1633, a small band of English settlers from Eastern Massachusetts sailed past an openly hostile Dutch trading fort near modern-day Hartford and defiantly staked their own claim near the shores of the Connecticut River. There, at a site that would soon be known as Windsor, they built a trading post…

September 21: The Treaty of Hartford Ends the Pequot War

  On this day in 1638, an “agreement between the English in Connecticutt and the Indian Sachems” was signed in Hartford, marking the end of the Pequot War, the first major Anglo-Indian conflict in the region that became New England. On May 1, 1637, English leaders in the fledgling Connecticut colony had formally declared war…

September 19: Remembering Old Saybrook’s “Battle of the Books”

  In 1701, the Connecticut General Assembly passed an act establishing a “Collegiate School” in hopes of creating a place “wherein Youth may be instructed in the Arts and Sciences who [through] the blessing of Almighty God may be fitted for [public] employment both in Church & Civil State.” For the first several years of…

June 9: President Taft Dedicates the State’s Oldest Wood-Framed House.

  June 9, 1915 marked the start of a new lease on life for the Thomas Lee House in East Lyme, which stands today as the oldest wood-framed building in Connecticut. Amid a flurry of pomp and circumstance and community celebration, former President William Howard Taft helped dedicate the reopening of the newly restored colonial…

May 26: A Deadly Attack on the Pequot Fort at Mystic

  Today in 1637, a month after a combined Pequot And Wangunk attack on the small colonial town of Wethersfield that left nine dead and crippled the town’s food security,, a group of 77 English soldiers and hundreds of their Mohegan and Narragansett allies retaliated by attacking and burning a Pequot village at Mystic  Fort,…

April 23: Pequot and Wangunk Warriors Attack English Settlers at Wethersfield

  For the English colonists who settled along the banks of the Connecticut River in the 1630s, life in the “New World” was anything but easy.  In addition to the challenges to food security caused by the unrelentingly harsh winters of the so-called Little Ice Age, the colonists’ relations with their indigenous neighbors became increasingly…

March 7: English Regicides Flee to New Haven

  Not long after the then-separate Connecticut and New Haven colonies were first established in the 1630s, their mother country of England was thrown into a long and brutal civil war between supporters and opponents of King Charles I.  The enemies of the King, calling themselves Parliamentarians, were primarily English Puritans who, after taking control…

February 1: The Third State Census in Seven Years.

  Since 1790, people in the United States have participated in a census of the population once every ten years.  During the American Revolution, however, Connecticut conducted three censuses in only seven years, each in response to different demands created by the revolutionary struggle. The third and final count was conducted today in 1782, and…

December 28: When Eastern Pennsylvania Belonged to Connecticut

  While Connecticut stands today as one of the smallest states in the Union in terms of land area, in the 17th and 18th centuries, ambitious Connecticans dreamed of expanding the colony’s control over vast swaths of territory located far to the west.   Connecticut’s Royal Charter of 1662, issued by King Charles II, had originally…