Women’s Work

Before the Shakers invented the clothes-peg in the 18th Century, freshly washed laundry was draped on bushes or tree limbs to dry. In 1853 the spring clothespin was invented by David M. Smith of Vermont and it revolutionized wash day. The advantage of Smith’s spring clamp was that it could not “be detached from the clothes by the wind as is the case with the common pin and which is a serious evil to washerwomen.”

Women’s Work

The theme for the Warren Historical Society for 2019 is Made by Hand in homage to the skills mastered by early Warren residents. Over the next few weeks, and maybe even months, our blog posts will be devoted to the work of women. Each week the life’s work of one woman from Warren will be highlighted.
Rhoda Payne Strong, the first child of European ancestry to be born in Warren, will be introduced first.

Rhoda was born in September of 1739 to Stephen Payne and Sarah Leach. She married Philip Strong at the age of 20 and together they produced a family of 15 children. To say her days were full is an understatement.

Aside from caring for her 15 children, tending the kitchen garden, making and repairing clothes for the household including spinning, weaving, knitting and dyeing, laundering which included fetching water, making soap, boiling the wash and then drying it, cooking, baking, preserving, tending the ill including preparing medications, Rhoda Payne, as a Puritan woman, would have been expected to devote herself to spiritual concerns. She learned to read as a girl so that she could read the Bible. This is a book of sermons which she purchased in November 1796.

Veterans of the French and Indian War

The Seven Years’ War was the first world war with armies and naval forces engaged in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Caribbean. Called the French and Indian War in the colonies, it was the greatest military challenge faced by the Connecticut colony between the time of King Philip’s uprising and the American Revolution.
Jonathan and Ann Filer Sackett sent two of their sons into the conflict.  28 yr. old Jonathan Sackett served for 2 months under Captain James Peck of New Haven in the Fall of 1755 and his younger brother, Reuben, who served in the company of Capt. John Marsh’s Company of Litchfield for the relief of Fort William Henry in August 1757.

Warren in the Revolutionary War

Twenty eight veterans of the Revolutionary War are buried in Warren’s Old Cemetery, but many other Warren men served. At least one fell in the Siege of Fort St-Jean, 12 miles southeast of Montréal, and never returned to Warren. Major Eleazer Curtiss who enlisted in May of 1775 was at the Battle of Ticonderoga and at the Battle of Ridgefield where he caught General David Wooster as he fell mortally wounded from his horse. It was Major Curtiss who recommended the newly incorporated town take the name of Warren as the namesake of the fallen hero, Joseph Warren.
He served as Warren’s very first First Selectman.

Independence Day Bell Ringing

Wednesday, July 4 at The Academy 8 Sackett Hill Road
Bell ringing on the 4th of July was the brainstorm of our first Vice President and second President, John Adams, who said on July 4, 1776, that the day should be celebrated by the ringing of bells. The custom, however, fell into disuse until 1963 when two famous Warren residents, Eric Sloane and Eric Hatch collaborated on an article entitled “Make Freedom Really Ring.” Connecticut Senator Abraham Ribicoff then proposed a resolution that called for the ringing of bells nationwide at 2 pm every July 4.
Bell ringing will be preceded by a reading of the Preamble of the Declaration of Independence.
Bells and refreshments will be available.
Come celebrate a Warren tradition!

The Church of England

The Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts

Connecticut was a Puritan colony. Their religious practices were a “protest” to those of the Church of England. Despite their objection to England’s state religion, the colony was very aware that their charter came from the King. Consequently, Anglicans lived and worshipped among their Warren neighbors albeit paying taxes to support the East Greenwich Society. The area around College Farms seems to have been inhabited by many Anglicans and the activities of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, the missionary agency of the Anglican Church, can be documented from 1763 in Kent.

The Moravians

                                 Moravian missionary

Four short years after the first white settlers arrived in what is now Warren, Moravian missionaries from Bohemia arrived  to minister to Native Americans. Their mission was on the western bank of the Housatonic River. Like every other human being they welcomed the Indians as sinners as long as they believed in God and has the Savior in their hearts. From the outset they were viewed as suspicious and when they refused to take the Oath of Allegiance to the King, their missionary activities were terminated in Connecticut at the end of the French and Indian War.

Faiths of Our Fathers

For the next few weeks our Facebook posting will highlight some excerpts from our recent program entitled Faiths of Our Fathers which covered the religious traditions of the people of Warren who were not members of the Congregational Church.
                                                                                                                                              State of religious freedom

                                  Thomas Hooker

Thomas Hooker, a leading Puritan clergyman, founded the Colony of Connecticut in 1636 and, in accordance with every other sovereign nation of the time, ordained an established church. Puritans insured their right to practice their faith freely and fined, imprisoned or banished non-Conformists.  The Toleration Act of 1708 gave Christians of every denomination the right to worship, but the tax revenues of conformists and non-coformists alike supported the established church.

Thanks to the amazing sleuthing of board member, Heather Blue Forstmann, attendees at the Sunday lecture met the Rev. Peter Starr, the Warren Church’s second minister. Born in the 18th Century, a graduate of Yale at just 16, British subject until converted to the Patriot cause and the force behind the construction of the church building which now stands in the center of Warren.

Look for upcoming programs which will explore faith in our northwest corner of Connecticut.

Virtual Collection

Foot Warmer

The Warren Historical Society collects objects, photos, archival materials and images of objects, photos and historic homes and landmarks for our collection.
Many families want to keep their heirlooms close to home, but might be willing to share an image of the item.
If you have a photo, an historic house or an object with Warren significance, we have the expertise and equipment to photograph it.
The image becomes part of our virtual collection and the heirloom is still part of your family's legacy.

Some of the items in our collections aren’t real

In some cases, the WHS doesn’t own the actual items, but has the rights to its image.
This portrait of Manly Peters is an example of our virtual collection.
Manly Peters was born in Woodville in 1799. His father, Eber, owned the mill on the Shepaug which became known as Peters Forge and by extension Petersville


Warren Turnpike

Even before the Warren Turnpike was constructed, Platt Starr, the brother of Warren’s second minister Peter Starr,
had an inn at 14 Cornwall Road. It operated from 1796 until 1826 and would have served travelers along the route of the Warren Turnpike.
With the closing of Platt Starr’s established the Federal-style colonial passed into private ownership until 1972 when the restaurant L’Ermitage began welcoming diners.
If anyone has photos of L’Ermitage we would love to see them!