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Friday, September 25, 2009

Upcoming Events in New England

Here are a few upcoming events in New England readers of this blog might enjoy.

At Hartford’s Wadsworth Atheneum, free admission on September 26th. From their press release: “The Wadsworth is collaborating with the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts to present programming inspired by Hartford artist Sol LeWitt’s Whirls and Twirls wall drawing, on view in the museum. Enjoy live jazz and dance performances by students from the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts, choreographed by Deborah Goffe, Artistic Director of Scapegoat Garden, and hands on art activities. Visitors can also take part in docent-led explorations of works in the galleries and a tour of the recent installation of the Hudson River School collection. More family fun will be available with a Storybook Time and a game of Twister for young children. Family box lunches available through The Russell at the Wadsworth Atheneum.”

September is Connecticut Freedom Trail Month

More than 100 sites to celebrate with events and activities
Visit for complete listings

East Haddam
September 26
Venture Smith Day
1 – 4 p.m.
First Church of Christ Congregational
Town Street (Route 151)
East Haddam, Connecticut
Citizens from Ghana will perform traditional tribal dances, display artifacts and crafts from Ghana and provide samples of native dishes. Speakers, student performances and wreath laying ceremony. Contact: Karl Stofko, president, First Church Cemetery Association, Inc., 860-873-9084

September 26th, 2 p.m.
“Traces of the Trade: A Story of the Deep North”
Albany Branch Library
1250 Albany Avenue
Hartford, CT 06112

Watch and discuss this fascinating documentary about a New England family and the Triangle Trade: (New England-Africa-West Indies), also known as the Middle Passage.
(film runs 86 minutes)

Tales of witchcraft and tombstones

Wethersfield, Connecticut - The Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum to give special tours
focusing on witchcraft and the Ancient Burying Ground during October. “Everyone knows about the witchcraft trials that took place in Salem, Mass. but we hardly ever hear about what occurred right here in Connecticut. Alse Young of Windsor, the first person executed for witchcraft in New England, was sent to the gallows in Hartford, Conn. in 1647. There were many others executed in Connecticut including three from Wethersfield.

To give visitors a taste of Connecticut’s witchcraft history, The Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum will be giving Tales of Witchcraft and Tombstones tours on October 10, 17, 24, and 31 at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.

The tours will begin in the Buttolph-Williams House, which was home to the characters that were portrayed in the book The Witch of Blackbird Pond, which Elizabeth George Spear, a Newbery-award winning author, wrote while living in Wethersfield.

Differences and similarities with the Salem Witch accusations will be discussed during the tours. Guides will also explore the lives of the women and men who were convicted of witchcraft and what life was like for them and their neighbors.

Following the tour at Buttolph-Williams, visitors will enter the Ancient Burying Ground where the headstones will tell many tales. Different types of headstones and beliefs of the times will be examined. Participants will also learn about some of the more interesting residents of the Ancient Burying Ground.

Each tour is limited to 16 people. Tours cost $8 for adults, $7 for seniors over 60, AAA members and those active in the military, $4 for students and children ages 5 to 18, and $20 per family (two adults and children). For more information or to reserve a space, contact Tari-Lynn Joyce at (860) 529-0612 ext. 12 or at Walk-up registration is also permitted if space allows. Groups will meet in the gift shop at the Webb House at 211 Main Street, Wethersfield, CT 06109.”

The Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum, located at 211 Main St., Wethersfield, is open daily – with the exception of Tuesday – from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., May through October, and on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., November and April. Please call or check our website for special December hours. Three-house tours cost $8 for adults and $4 for students and children ages 5 to 18. For information about current exhibits, upcoming events or Museum School classes, call (860) 529-0612 or visit

If your group has any interesting activities having to do with New England history and culture, you can email your press release to, and I’ll try to post a few at least once a month.

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