Programs
Gravestones
Date: Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Suffield Senior Center 7:00 pm
Ruth Shapleigh-Brown
Refreshments: Laurie Tavino and Jamie Drenzek

Ruth Shapleigh-Brown, executive director of the Connecticut Gravestone Network, passionately works to preserve burial grounds. She will share some tricks and tips for your own explorations ... a blend of history and detective work. Come hear some of the secrets hiding in the weeds!

Frost Season
Date: Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Suffield Senior Center 7:00 pm
Walt Woodward and the Band of Steady Habits
Refreshments: Eleanor Chase and Helen Kope

The group will perform a New England history lesson through music and song ... Walt Woodward's musical tribute to the poet Robert Frost. Dr. Woodward began his career as a folk singer and country music composer, award-winning commercial jingle writer, and owner of an ad agency. He then pursued several degrees in early American history, including a doctorate from UConn. He has been Connecticut's State Historian since 2004, and he is also a history professor at UConn.

Taught to the Tune of the Hickory Stick
Date: Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Suffield Senior Center 7:00 pm
Dennis D. Picard
Refreshments: Terry Mandirola and Jan Peake

Dennis Picard, Director of the Storrowton Village Museum, will bring back memories for many of our seniors and open the eyes of our youngsters as he contrasts the challenges, benefits and adventures of learning in the old one-room school houses with today's learning experiences.

Several of those quaint and primitive school houses still dot Suffield and West Suffield landscapes. What was attending a one-room schoolhouse really like and how good an education did the students receive in such a facility? Join us in November to answer those questions.

Show & Tell Night
Date: Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Suffield Senior Center or Kent Memorial Library Auditorium 7:00 pm
Refreshments: Nancy Smith and Kerry White

Anyone can sign up for a five-to-ten minute presentation on any aspect of local history. Anecdotes about local characters, folklore, artifacts or phtographs are most welcome. Contact Ed Chase by March 21st to sign up.

Freedom, Slavery and the Complexities of 1774
Date: Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Suffield Senior Centor or Kent Memorial Library Auditorium 7:00 pm
Bill Sullivan's Suffield Academy - American Studies Students
Refreshments: Jacquie Wadsworth and Carolyn Samplatsky

In response to the 1773 Boston Tea Party, Parliament drafted the the Coercive Acts in 1774, and residents throughout the thirteen colonies protested these acts in various ways.

In the western town of Sheffield, Massachusetts, Colonel Ashley hosted citizens at his house, and that group composed the Sheffield Resolves. Interestingly, one of his slaves, Elizabeth Freeman, also known as Mum Bett, was inspired by these conversations of protest and later sued successfully for her own freedom, Brom and Bett v. Ashley (1781).

What happened in Suffield during the pivotal year of 1774? What part of the population supported the growing patriot cause in Boston? What portion of citizens accepted the dictates of the British Parliament and refused to petition King George III? Who was neutral? The year 1774 also marked the highest recorded number of slaves in Connecticut, 6,464. What effect did these turbulent times have on enslaved Africans?

Utilizing primary source documents, such as the Colony of Connecticut Census that listed 37 slaves living in Suffield in 1774, Bill Sullivan's American Studies class will focus their investigation within the year 1774 and present upon the complex topics of freedom and slavery during this important moment in American history.

Poisonous Herbs to Blood
Date: Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Suffield Senior Center or Kent Memorial Library Auditorium 7:00 pm
Gordon Kenneson
Refreshments: Anne Borg and Volunteer

Physicians, apothecaries, barber surgeons, and chirurgeons in the 18th century used mint juleps, heavily scented four o'clock flowers and poisonous hellebore in their practices. Horticulturist, historian and raconteur Gordon Kenneson will tell the story of Windsor's colonial Dr. Hezekiah Chafee and his "weeds women." Kenneson is a docent for the Windsor Historical Society and a well-known expert in ornamental horticulture, garden design and herbology.

Suffield's Past in Photographs
Date: Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Suffield Senior Centor or Kent Memorial Library Auditorium 7:00 pm
Anne Borg and Lester Smith
Refreshments: Florence, Kathy and Nancy Noble

This presentation is the traditional final program of the Suffield Historical Society's lecture series. The photos are from the archives of the late Hawley Rising's collection and selected by Curator Lester Smith and Trustee Anne Borg. See what Suffield was in days past with a contemporary historical perspective.