Category Archives: Artifacts and Archives

Blog posts include anything that involves items from the artifact and/or archives collection of the Historical Society.

Travel and Transportation Month

Did you ever wonder how a station wagon got its name?  This is a plan for a model manufactured by Litchfield’s own carriage makers, Flynn & Doyle.  The wagons were designed to transport train travelers to and from their final destination or place of departure.

Earlier in the 19th Century, travelers and mail were transported via stagecoach.

This photo of a stagecoach notes that it was sold in Danbury in the early 20th Century for $800.

This advertisement from 1827 describes the Aerial Phaeton.  It sounds like an early amusement park ride.

The Hawk-Hurst, 1906

This brochure, from the Hawk-Hurst hotel, continues to extol the virtues of Litchfield.  The next page reads as follows:

It is true, as a well known newspaper writer has recently said, that “all the poor wretch” has to do “who is languid with the luxuries of Lenox, stuffed with the satieties of Saratoga, nettled by the noodles of Newport, sick of the snobberies of Southampton, riled at the rigidities of Ridgefield, or piqued at the pretensions of Pittsfield,” all that this poor wretch has to do is to “come and bask for a while in the lithsome light of Litchfield.” He will leave a better and a happier man. But he will leave only to return the next season. It is an invariable rule that a person comes, sees, and is conquered. Once in Litchfield he is always a Litchfielder.

Special June rates for the season of nineteen hundred and six- $12.50 to $20 per week.


Western Reserve Addition

Judson Canfield by Ralph Earl, 1796

We’ve noted our available Western Reserve Collections before (see In addition to the Judson Canfield Papers and the Samuel Flewwelling Papers, the Benjamin Tallmadge Collection, the Seymour Family Papers, and several others all document the population of the Western Reserve. We are happy to add a new publication to our holdings related to this topic, The Peopling of New Connecticut: From the Land of Steady Habits to the Western Reserve, edited by Richard Buel, Jr. It includes an excerpt from the Litchfield Monitor, an article published by Uriel Holmes, a former Litchfield Law School student, in the Carlisle Gazette, and a speech by Oliver Wolcott to the legislature. Thanks to Chip Spencer for this new addition.

Law Day

Litchfield County Bar Association Journal


The Litchfield County Bar Association is celebrating Law Day today with a reception at the Litchfield History Museum.  The Society holds the Litchfield County Bar Association Records, 1793-1886 in the Helga J. Ingraham Memorial Library. This single volume record book contains various information pertaining to the Litchfield County Bar Association. The first entry is dated December 1796.  The volume includes entries by various secretaries documenting rules for admission to practice, resolves, and fees.  Adonijah Strong is the first party listed as Chairman, and Frederick Wolcott the first as Clerk of the Bar.  It establishes a fee schedule for the Court of Common Pleas and the Superior Court. It provides listings of students studying for the bar at the Litchfield Law School and reading law with various attorneys.  It also notes when particular students have completed their studies.  Several Litchfield Law School students held the Secretary’s position and kept the minutes.  The volume ends in 1886.  It has been a valuable resource for providing citations of attendance for many law school students.  Images of the pages will soon be available in The Ledger.


Arbor Day

Tree Map of Litchfield

In case you have had your fill of the Royal Wedding, today also happens to be Arbor Day.  This Tree Map of Litchfield, part of the Deming, Perkins & Quincy Families’ Papers, was a gift of Mary Perkins Quincy to the Mary Floyd Tallmadge Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution in 1901.  It was prepared under the direction of Professor Henry S. Munroe of the School of Mines of Columbia University. Quincy authored Tree Histories of Litchfield: A Monograph by Mary Perkins Quincy in 1901.

She wrote, “To the future guardians of our village trees, are now lovingly committed, the map commemorating their sites and their Histories.”  She notes that the manuscript was read before the DAR on Tuesday, October 29, 1901 at the residence of the Misses Buel on North Street. She provides detailed accounts of local lore about various trees, including one supposed to have grown from Colonel Benjamin Tallmadge’s riding whip.

The Society has recently received a number of questions regarding trees.  We’ve also been notified of a great resource for finding information about them-  Click on “towns” and “Litchfield” to find information about local plantings, or stop by to read Tree Histories of Litchfield.