Litchfield: The Making of a New England Town

On Saturday November 3, Historic New England and the Litchfield Historical Society host an event with local author Rachel Carley to award Litchfield: The Making of a New England Town Historic New England’s eighteenth Book Prize.

The afternoon starts at 1:00 p.m. with a reception and remarks by the prize winner Rachel Carley, followed by a book signing. The award-winning book, published by the Litchfield Historical Society is available for purchase at the event.

To attend, please call 617-994-5934 or e-mail The event is free, but space is limited. The Litchfield Historical Society is at 7 South Street, Litchfield, Connecticut.

Litchfield: The Making of a New England Town is a lively exploration of the town’s history and architecture, not only during the colonial period but also during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The book is generously illustrated with maps, photographs, and paintings of this quintessential New England town, including many that are published for the first time. Carley is a preservation consultant and architectural historian. Her previous books include Building Greenwich, Architecture and Design, 1640 to the Present; The Visual Dictionary of American Domestic Architecture; Cuba: Four Hundred Years of Architectural Heritage; Cabin Fever; A Guide to Biltmore Estate; and Wilderness A to Z. She is a resident of Litchfield.

About Historic New England’s Book Prize

The Historic New England Book Prize recognizes works that advance the understanding of the architecture, landscape, and material culture of New England and the United States from the seventeenth century to the present. This includes works in the decorative arts, archaeology, historic preservation, and the history of photography. To qualify, works need not deal exclusively with New England but must make a significant contribution to our understanding of New England and its relation to the wider world.

About Historic New England

Historic New England is the oldest, largest, and most comprehensive regional heritage organization in the nation. We bring history to life while preserving the past for everyone interested in exploring the authentic New England experience from the seventeenth century to today. Historic New England owns and operates thirty-six historic homes and landscapes spanning five states. The organization shares the region’s history through vast collections, publications, public programs, museum properties, archives, and family stories that document more than 400 years of life in New England. For more information visit

For area information visit

A Duo of Two Revolutionary Events July 7


The Burning of Fairfield 223 Year Commemoration & Walking Tour

On Saturday, July 7th the Fairfield Museum and History Center has planned an evening walking tour from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm to commemorate the 1779 Burning of Fairfield.

On July 7, 1779, the people of Fairfield awoke to a warning shot from the fort at Black Rock, signaling that a British fleet was spotted off the coast.    For two days, Fairfield was under British attack with troops burning virtually all its buildings.  This attack was actually one of three attacks, including New Haven and Norwalk, along the Connecticut coastline.

Following the Burning of Fairfield in 1779, there was ongoing worry among citizens about a repeat attack and this concern eventually led to the construction of the Powderhouse in Fairfield, which is located behind the site of Tomlinson Middle School.

This year marks the 223 rd. anniversary date of the destruction of Fairfield by British troops. This year, the animated walking tour brings to life an exciting piece of Fairfield’s history and will include stops at various homes on or adjacent to the town green with actors portraying prominent citizens. The event is so authentic that actual letters and depositions from 1779 are used. This is living history in action because you can hear the actual dramatic words of Fairfield citizens who were witnesses to the burning of Fairfield.

The rain or shine walking tour will begin at the Fairfield Museum and History Center, located at 370 Beach Road in Fairfield.  Each tour is $5 for museum members and $8 for non-members.

The Fairfield Museum is located at 370 Beach Road in Fairfield, CT. Hours are Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and weekends from noon to 4 p.m. Admission is free for members, $5 for adults, $3 for students and free for children age 5 and under.  For more information on exhibits and upcoming programs, visit or call the Fairfield Museum at 203-259-1598.  The Museum annually hosts more than 18,000 visitors. For area information visit



Hopkins Vineyard Celebrates 225 Years

On July 7 from noon to 5pm (rain date July 8th) Hopkins Vineyard, a National Bi-Centennial Farm (25 Hopkins Rd.) located in New Preston Connecticut will be celebrating 225 years of ownership by the same family.

The Hopkins Family has organized the Heritage Festival and is inviting the general public to come and experience this colonial themed event for free! The Heritage Festival, will be replete with music and costumes representing the year 1787.

In 1787, Elijah Hopkins, returning from the Revolutionary War, chose this rich and fertile site on Lake Waramaug to settle his family and start the Hopkins Farm. The farm, has witnessed many diversified forms of agriculture over the years including the raising of sheep, racehorses, grain crops, tobacco, and in the more recent past dairy farming.

In 1979, Bill Hopkins planted the first vines and converted his 19th century barn into a state-of-the-art winery that overlooks the serene waters of beautiful Lake Waramaug. The rest is award winning winemaking history.

Now in business for over 30 years this premier Connecticut Vineyard is celebrating its’ heritage in style. The events from noon to 5 pm at the Heritage Festival will include: Sons of the American Revolution Color Guard Parade at Noon followed by a Proclamation of the Anniversary, honoring American Patriot, Elijah Hopkins.

Adding ambience to the festival, there will be 18th Century Music by Hanford & Finlay, who will play Tavern Songs in addition to performing a family program called “In the Good Old Colony Days”.

There will be quilting, spinning and weaving, candle making, rope making, black smithing, kettle corn and open fire cooking displays. The festival will have plenty of fun children’s activities and games that will be provided by the Charles Merriman Society. The DAR will be on hand to help with genealogy research and an interesting selection of Colonial Era Arts and Crafts will be for sale.  Refreshments, baked goods and food catered by the Hopkins Inn will also be available.

For more information visit For area information and places to shop, stay and dine visit




Fairfield CT – Fairfield Museum and History Center Plans Interactive Graveyard Tour

Fairfield Museum and History Center will hold an interactive graveyard tour at Fairfield’s East Cemetery, located at the end of the Old Post Road in Fairfield, Conn. from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 14th. According to Museum genealogist Roderick MacKenzie, this tour is particularly important, because 2011 marks the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the Civil War and there are 14 Fairfield Civil War veterans buried in the East Cemetery.

“We have been particularly careful to create detailed histories of our various subjects and are involving volunteer actors who really will bring their spirits to life,” MacKenzie said.

The tour will include authentic portrayals of Fairfield individuals like Major John Morehouse, lst Cavalry in the Civil War, Christopher Wells, Sr., lst rural mail carrier and Civil War veteran, Charles W. Thorpe, in John Morehouse’s regiment in Civil War, Captain Hanford Nichols – Civil War veteran, Amelia Sturges, who married J. Pierpont Morgan; John Bunker who lived in the Sun Tavern during the middle 1800s and a War of 1812 veteran; and Revolutionary War veterans, Abel and Aron Turney, whose family lived in the area of the East cemetery. One served on The Fence, a Revolutionary War ship; And the other on the Alliance, another war ship.

The cemetery is also the resting place for Edwin Randolph, a slave who lived to be about 100 and worked for the Jennings family in Fairfield and enjoyed going to Long Island Sound for clamming.

Tour participants will also learn about the history of the cemetery and about the symbols on the gravestones.

The Rain Date for the Cemetery Tour is Saturday, May 21 at 2 p.m. The cost of the tour is $7, non-members, $5 members and registration is preferred. For more information, please contact the Museum visitors center at 203-259-1598 or visit the website at


The Fairfield Museum is located at 370 Beach Road in Fairfield, CT. Hours are Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and weekends from Noon to 4 p.m. Admission is free for members, $5 for adults, $3 for students and free for children age 5 and under. For more information on exhibits and upcoming programs, visit or call the Fairfield Museum at 203-259-1598. The Museum annually hosts more than 18,000 visitors.