The Litchfield Historical Society
7 South Street, P.O. Box 385
Litchfield, CT 06759
phone: 860-567-4501
fax: 860-567-3565

Executive Director ~ Catherine Fields
Curator of Collections ~ Alexander Dubois
Curator of Library and Archives ~ Linda Hocking
Curator of Education ~ Kate Zullo
Education Assistant and Visitor Services Coordinator
Assistant Curator of Library and Archives

Please visit us!
The Litchfield Historical Society is located on the Green in Litchfield,
Connecticut at the junction of routes 63, 118, and 202
The Tapping Reeve House and Law School are located at 85 South Street in Litchfield.
The Litchfield Historical Society is located at 7 South Street, Litchfield, CT.
For more information about research, our collections, or our museum hours,
please call (860) 567-4501 or see www.litchfieldhistoricalsosciety.org.

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New Exhibition on Litchfield Female Academy Opening
 @ Litchfield History Museum
Items from the Litchfield Historical Society's extensive collection
of artifacts and archives from the Litchfield Female Academy
will be on display, as well as several ornamental arts
pieces on loan from regional institutions.
Also featured is our newest acquisition:
a portrait miniature of a young Miss Sarah Pierce.

The newest exhibition at the Litchfield Historical Society,
"By the Virtue of its Citizens:
Educating a New Nation at Sarah Pierce’s Academy"
The new exhibit opens to the public on Saturday, April 14
and will be on view through Sunday, November 25.

The exhibition explores the innovative educational
philosophy of the school’s founder, Sarah Pierce,
and its influence on later social and educational reforms.  
It also investigates the lively social and intellectual community
created by the Litchfield Female Academy and the Litchfield Law School.

The Litchfield Female Academy enrolled more than 3,000 students
over a forty-one year period from seventeen states and territories
as well as Canada and the West Indies.  Sarah Pierce deeply believed
 in the intellectual equality of the sexes, and her students learned
practical subjects, such as mathematics, geology, and astronomy,
 as well as ornamental lessons of painting, sewing, and music.

The proximity of the Litchfield Law School, where nearly 1,000 young men
would learn to be leaders in politics, education, and other spheres created
a vast social network for students to access throughout their lives.
 Items from the Litchfield Historical Society’s extensive collection of
artifacts and archives from the Litchfield Female Academy will be on display,
 as well as several decorative arts pieces on loan from regional
 institutions. This exhibition is sponsored by CT Humanities.

The Litchfield History Museum’s hours are Tuesday through
Saturday, 11:00 am to 5:00 pm, and Sunday, 1:00 to 5:00 pm.
For more information about this or programs related to the
newest exhibit, please visit www.litchfieldhistoricalsociety.org.

The Litchfield Historical Society is located at 7 South St., Litchfield, CT.
The museums open for the season on Saturday, April 14.
 The Litchfield Historical Society receives no funding from the town.
In an effort to better serve our community, the Litchfield History Museum
and the Tapping Reeve House & Law School offer free admission for all.
Participate in our shared history.

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Also Opening
To Weep with Those Who Weep:
Mourning Practices in Litchfield
On View through November 25, 2018
Mourning practices of the 19th century were largely affected by
the death of George Washington, with an increase in memorializing
the dead. The exhibit documents the tangible and intangible manifestations
of loss in Litchfield and the surrounding area. Stories of loss within
the community form the basis of the exhibit, highlighting correspondence
sharing condolences, discussing funerals, and reflecting on life and death.

The exhibit will also touch upon reactions of Litchfield Female Academy
students to death. Artwork portraying those in mourning and those
 being mourned will be on display, as well as poems written f
or those who died and objects created in their memory.

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April Vacation Activities
Free Fun Week ~ Drop-in
Tuesday, April 17 through Friday, April 20
~ 3:00-5:00 pm
Litchfield Historical Society
Avoid idleness this April Vacation with a week of
FREE afternoon crafts and games for families at inspired by
our newest exhibit, By the Virtue of its Citizens:
Educating a New Nation at Sarah Pierce's Academy.

Tour the exhibit and complete crafts inspired by
Sarah Pierce's school. Stop in anytime to join in the fun!
donations appreciated.
or call (860) 567-4501.

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Free Speech
with Nadine Strossen
Sunday, April 22 ~ 3:00 pm
Litchfield Historical Society
Please join the Litchfield Historical Society
in welcoming author Nadine Strossen
for a lecture on the First Amendment  
on Sunday, April 22 at 3 p.m.
Debates on free speech and censorship were widespread in the 18th
and 19th centuries, and the discussion continues today. Nadine Strossen,
 president of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) from 1991 to 2008
will be discussing the First Amendment and her newest book,
HATE: Why We Should Resist it With Free Speech, Not Censorship.
 Local historian John Dasher will lead a Q&A discussion following the lecture.

Nadine Strossen is Professor of Constitutional Law at New York Law School
and the first woman national President of the American Civil Liberties Union,
where she served from 1991 through 2008. A frequent speaker on
constitutional and civil liberties issues, her media appearances
include 60 Minutes, CBS Sunday Morning, Today, Good Morning America,
The Daily Show, and other news programs on CNN, C-SPAN, Fox,
Al-Jazeera, and in Australia, Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy,
and Spain. Her op-eds have appeared in The New York Times,
The Washington Post, The Washington Times, and USA Today, among others.
HATE: Why We Should Resist it With Free Speech, Not Censorship
is published by Oxford University Press.

Free for members and $5 non-members
 or call (860) 567-4501
For more information about this or other programs,

The Litchfield Historical Society is located
at 7 South St., Litchfield, CT.
The exhibits re-open in April 2018.
The Litchfield Historical Society receives no funding from the town.
In an effort to better serve our community, the Litchfield History Museum
and the Tapping Reeve House & Law School offer free admission for all.
Participate in our shared history.

***************
Wine and Weep Program
Exploring Mourning Artifacts
Tuesday, May 1 ~ 5:30-7:00 pm
Litchfield Historical Society
The Litchfield Historical Society opened a new exhibit,
“To Weep with Those Who Weep: Mourning Practices in Litchfield”
on April 14, but many artifacts and documents were left out.
The Historical Society invites you to mourn their exclusion during
Wine and Weep, on Tuesday, May 1 from 5:30-7:00 p.m.  

 
Although fabulous and important to the story of mourning in Litchfield,
 these objects and documents were not included because of
their size and format. The Historical Society wants to recognize
 their purpose and mourn their life in storage. Come and learn more
 about these objects and documents with a presentation
by the Historical Society’s Curator and Archivist.  
After paying respects, a light repast of wine and cheese will be served.

Wine and Weep is $20 for members and $30 for non-members.
Space is limited and registration is required.
Payment is required with registration.
To register, call (860) 567-4501
For more information about this or other programs,

The Litchfield Historical Society is located at 7 South St., Litchfield, CT.
The museums are open mid-April through November.
The Litchfield Historical Society receives no funding from the town.
In an effort to better serve our community, the Litchfield History Museum
and the Tapping Reeve House & Law School offer free admission
for all, sponsored by Ericson Insurance Advisors.
Participate in our shared history.

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Litchfield Historical Society Walking Tour
Architecture-Homes and Histories
 Saturday, May 5 ~ 10:00 am
Litchfield Historical Society
Join the Litchfield Historical Society for Saturday morning
walking tours exploring new themes and areas of the town.
Walking tours last about an hour, be sure to wear
comfortable shoes and bring a bottle of water.
Tours begin at the Litchfield History Museum at 10 a.m.

Why does the center of Litchfield have so many white homes?
Learn how the history and stories of old Litchfield
are preserved in the architecture of the town.
The walk will cover North and South Streets.

Walking Tours are free for members
and $5 for non-members.
Registration is required.
Payment is required with registration.
To register, call (860) 567-4501 or
For more information about this or other programs,

The Litchfield Historical Society is located
at 7 South St., Litchfield, CT.
The exhibits re-open in April 2018.
The Litchfield Historical Society receives no funding from the town.
In an effort to better serve our community, the Litchfield History Museum
and the Tapping Reeve House & Law School offer free admission for all.
Participate in our shared history.

***************
Lecture on the Connecticut
Civilian Conservation Corps Camps
Sunday, May 6 ~ 1:00 pm
Litchfield Historical Society
Please join the Litchfield Historical Society for a lecture
and site visit with Marty Podskoch, author of Connecticut Civilian
Conservation Corps Camps: Their History, Memories, and Legacy.
The lecture on Sunday, May 6 at 1 p.m. will be followed by
an optional visit and guided tour of a nearby former CCC Camp.

The lecture shares the Connecticut Civilian Conservation Corps Camps
 (CCC Camps) experience of hard work, Army discipline, and camaraderie
 for men helping to support their families during the Great Depression.
The CCC was a public works program that operated from 1933 to 1942
as part of President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal. It targeted young
men and veterans in relief families who had difficulty finding jobs
during the Great Depression, providing unskilled manual labor related
 to environmental conservation and development of natural resources
in rural lands. 21 CCC camps were located in Connecticut,
 including several in Litchfield County. The lecture will begin at the
 Litchfield Historical Society with history of the camps and CCC and will
continue with an optional visit and guided tour of a nearby former CCC Camp.  

Lectures are free for members and $5 for non-members.
Space is limited and registration is required.
Payment is required with registration.
To register, call (860) 567-4501
For more information about this or other programs,

The Litchfield Historical Society is located at 7 South St., Litchfield, CT.
The exhibits are open Tuesday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 1-5 p.m.
Exhibits are on view through November 25, 2018.
The Litchfield Historical Society receives no funding from the town.
In an effort to better serve our community, the Litchfield History Museum
and the Tapping Reeve House & Law School offer free admission for all.
Participate in our shared history.

***************
Marvelous Mothers
Crafternoon Series
Thursday, May 10 ~ 3:30-5:00 pm
Litchfield Historical Society
Make something special for your mother, grandmother,
or loved one as we hear stories about women
who have made a difference in Litchfield's History.

Unplug and spend the afternoon crafting and creating!
The Litchfield Historical Society’s Crafternoons will explore a new theme
in history with hands-on crafts and games that encourage students
 to look away from the screen and tap into their own imagination.
Crafts are recommended for children in first through seventh grade.
Sessions held once a month on a Thursday, from 3:30-5 p.m.

Registration is required.
Payment is required at time of registration.
Crafternoons are $7 for members
and $10 for non-members.
To register, call (860) 567-4501
For more information about this or other programs,
The Litchfield Historical Society is
located at 7 South St., Litchfield, CT.

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Litchfield Historical Society Walking Tour
The Beecher Family
 Saturday, May 26 ~ 10:00 am
Litchfield Historical Society
Join the Litchfield Historical Society for Saturday morning
walking tours exploring new themes and areas of the town.
Walking tours last about an hour, be sure to wear
comfortable shoes and bring a bottle of water.
Tours begin at the Litchfield History Museum at 10 a.m.

Explore some of the sites related to the famous Beecher family,
residents of Litchfield from 1810 to 1826. Visiting locations all over
the center of town, such as the Congregational Church and
the site of their home, participants will get to see
the town through their experiences and words.

Walking Tours are free for members
and $5 for non-members.
Registration is required.
Payment is required with registration.
To register, call (860) 567-4501 or
For more information about this or other programs,

The Litchfield Historical Society is located
at 7 South St., Litchfield, CT.
The exhibits re-open in April 2018.
The Litchfield Historical Society receives no funding from the town.
In an effort to better serve our community, the Litchfield History Museum
and the Tapping Reeve House & Law School offer free admission for all.
Participate in our shared history.

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Annual Pet Parade and
Turn-of-the-Century Fest
Tuesday, July 4, 2017
Litchfield Historical Society
~ BZ photos
 

 

 

   


 

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Walking Tours
The Litchfield Historical Society’s Saturday morning
walking tours are exploring new sites in town.

Each tour lasts about an hour—make sure to
bring a bottle of water and wear comfortable shoes!
We meet at the Litchfield History Museum
 at 10:00 a.m. for each tour.
Registration is required for walking tours.

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Litchfield Historical Society
Recipient of Digitizing Grant
The Litchfield Historical Society is pleased to announce it is the
 recipient of a $42,380 Access to Historical Records: Archival Projects
grant from the National Archives, given through the
National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

The project will create a detailed finding aid for the papers of
Elijah Boardman of New Milford CT. The papers will then be digitized
and available online as a primary source for studying early America.
 Documentation of Boardman's business, political, and family activities
has not been accessible to historians, until recently when they were
 donated to the Historical Society from private collectors.

Elijah Boardman papers, Collection of Litchfield Historical Society,
Helga J. Ingraham Memorial Library

His papers provide evidence of not only a significant figure in the
 early national period, but also document lesser-known aspects
and people of the era. His business ledgers reflect the local agricultural
community in Northwest Connecticut, as well as the rural market's
participation in foreign commerce and the influence of foreign goods
on rural Americans. Additionally, education, the settlement of Ohio,
northern slavery, African American life, textile history, family life,
 social networks, and American art during the early national period
 is all reflected both in correspondence and accounting.

Established in 1934, the National Historical Publications and
Records Commission awards grants for preserving, publishing,
and providing access to historical documents. The grant awarded
to the Historical Society for this project will provide access to Boardman's
papers and enrich our nation's understanding of the time period
when the Constitution was first interpreted and
many of our national institutions were established.

The Litchfield Historical Society is located at 7 South St., Litchfield, CT.
The exhibits are currently on view through November 2017.
The Litchfield Historical Society receives no funding from the town.
For more information about this or other programs,

In an effort to better serve our community, the Litchfield History Museum
and the Tapping Reeve House & Law School offer free admission for all.
Participate in our shared history. Free admission for 2017 is
underwritten with generous support from Ericson Insurance Advisors.

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Litchfield Historical Society
Prepares for Town's 300th Anniversary Celebration
The town of Litchfield, Connecticut will be celebrating its 300th Anniversary
 in 2019. Litchfield encompasses the center village, Bantam, Northfield, Milton,
East Litchfield, and Morris (pre-1856), and the Litchfield Historical Society
seeks to document all areas of town. A Common Heritage grant awarded
to the Society by the National Endowment for the Humanities
will fund these projects held to prepare for the anniversary.


Have questions about the events or unable to attend the digitization day?
Want to check if your item(s) can be digitized?
Call the Historical Society at (860) 567-4501.

Additional programming will be held throughout the next
 two years to prepare for the anniversary celebration in 2019.

Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment
for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature,
philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected,
peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information
about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant
programs is available at: www.neh.gov.

For  more information please contact:
Megan Olver Siok, Education Assistant and Visitor Services Coordinator

to learn more about these and future programs and events.
The Litchfield Historical Society is located at 7 South St., Litchfield, CT.
 Free admission sponsored by Ericson Insurance Advisors.