The Litchfield Historical Society

The Litchfield Historical Society

P.O. Box 385
7 South Street
Litchfield, CT 06759, USA

Our Collections

Adams family collection, 1829-circa 1900

Papers relating to the Adams family of Litchfield, including Joseph Adams (1764-1856); one of his sons, Charles Adams (1805-1883); and others, consisting primarily of genealogical materials and obituaries.
Collection ID: 00/2010-119-0

Litchfield Equal Franchise League Records, 1913-1920

A half-document box of records relating to the Litchfield Equal Franchise League, organized Sept. 5, 1913. It was an auxiliary of the Connecticut Woman Suffrage Association, which had as its mission the securing of the ratification of the 20th Amendment and preparing women for voting. Frances E. Hickox was the first president, serving 1913-1914. Adelaide Deming served next through at least 1920.
Collection ID: 1940-03-0

Robert W. Hill Lecture, 1906 Jul 30

Robert Wakeman Hill (1828-1909) was a noted architect. He received his early education in the schools of Waterbury and attended the Young Men's Institute in New Haven. He studied architecture with Henry Austin of New Haven and A. C. Nash of Milwaukee, Wis. He returned to Connecticut in 1858 and practiced architecture for a short time in Naugatuck. In 1863, he moved to Waterbury and spent the remainder of his life there. Hill was architect for the state under Governors Bigelow, Waller, Harrison and Lounsbury. He built the state armories at Waterbury, New London, Bridgeport, Norwalk and New Britain, and furnished plans for the Waterbury City Hall, the New Britain Opera House, the Thomaston Opera House, and the Winchester Soldier's Memorial in Winsted, among many others. He designed a number of buildings in Litchfield, including the County Court House (1889), the fire house (1894), two hotels, and the house of Edgar van Winkle, Hill-home. Hill died in 1909.
Collection ID: 1907-17-0

Nan F. Heminway Papers, 1953-2003

The personal papers of Nan Ferguson Heminway (1920-2006), whose professional career spanned 50 years. She took up permanent residence in 1971 in Litchfield and decorated many historic homes. She was extensively involved with historic preservation, the Garden Club, and the Litchfield Historical Society.
Collection ID: 2004-25-0

Samuel Flewwelling Papers, 1799-1868

The papers of New York City banker and businessman Samuel Flewwelling (1774 or 5-1849) primarily relating to property held by his wife, Julia Elvira Canfield Flewwelling (1791-1868), and him in the Western Reserve, later Ohio. Following Samuel's death, the properties were managed by William Mackay (1795-1873), a New York City businessman and the husband of Caroline Emma Canfield Mackay. The collections includes indentures, agreements, leases, deeds, statements and accounts, and correspondence.
Collection ID: 2010-96-0

Henry Wadhams Buel and Mary Jane Buel Brace Papers, 1842-1877

The papers of Henry Wadhams Buel, M.D. (1820-1893) and his sister, Mary Jane Buel Brace (1827-1884), of Litchfield, Conn., consisting of approximately 135 letters, 1842-1856; an album kept by Mary Buel Brace, purchased for her by her brother in New York City in 1846; 15 valentines to Mary Buel Brace from the 1840s; and three 1874 letters from Mary Buel Brace to her daughter, Emily.
Collection ID: 1988-07-0

Nelson Brewster Papers, 1811-1855

The papers of Nelson Brewster (1793?-1850), a lawyer who resided in Goshen, Conn. The papers consist of approximately 125 items, including legal records, bank reports, and similar documents.
Collection ID: 1971-127-0

Robert Cooley Collection, 1766-1999, bulk 1766-1999

Collection of materials purchased by Robert Cooley relating generally to Litchfield and the surrounding area. The collection includes individual 18th and 19th century letters and documents; deeds and other legal papers related to Capt. Miles Beach, 1766-1800s; photographs, including cabinet cards, cartes-de-viste, ambrotypes, daguerreotypes, tintypes loose, in cases, and/or in albums; materials related to the Coley, Tice, and Lewis family lineages and genealogy; and 19th and 20th century publications and ephemera, including newspapers, magazines, journals, pamphlets and other printed items.
Collection ID: 2004-07-0

Litchfield South Association Records, 1842-1991, bulk 1934-1977

The records of the Litchfield South Association (1842-1991), which consist of correspondence, minutes, publications, and other administrative records.
Collection ID: 1992-41-0

Loring family correspondence, 1812-1863

The Loring Family Correspondence consists primarily of letters to and from Mary Pierce. The main correspondents are: Mary Pierce; Anna Pierce Brace, Mary's niece; Charles Greely Loring, Anna's husband; Jane Loring Gray and Susan Loring Jackson, daughters of Charles and Anna, grandnieces of Mary Pierce.
Collection ID: 1965-23-0

Landon and Howd Family Papers, 1795-1936

The papers of the Landon and Howd families of Salisbury, Conn., including bonds, correspondence, deeds, estate records, and other items. Family members reflected in the papers include James Landon (1744-1813) and his son James (1770-1833), Henry E. Howd, (1799-1878; son-in-law of the younger James Landon), and Henry E. Howd's son Frank E. Howd (1849-1933).
Collection ID: 1999-18-0

Mary Ann Lewis papers, 1811-1895

The Luke Lewis family moved to Litchfield, Conn. in 1811 and lived in a house at #7 East Street in the center of town. Mr. Luke Lewis operated a store on the property and his four daughters all attended the Litchfield Female Academy at various times from 1812-1821. The majority of the collection consists of invitations and replies from members of Litchfield families, Litchfield Female Academy students, and Litchfield Law School students.
Collection ID: 1913-30-0

Catholic Women's Benevolent Legion, Emma Deming Council No. 265 Records, 1907-1913

The Catholic Women's Benevolent Legion (CWBL) was a fraternal and insurance society founded in 1895. The Emma Deming Council No. 265 was founded in Litchfield in 1907. Membership was limited to Catholic women ages 17 to 50. The records document the activities of the Deming Council; some relate to the dealings between the main office in New York and the local council. Membership applications, lists, and investigating committee report and notices of members provide personal details about members. Other records consist of correspondence; canceled checks, receipt and bank books, and associated records; insurance forms; constitutions of the CWBL; religious and welcoming poems; the Catholic Women's Benevolent Legion Bulletin (1909); medical examiner's blanks; and a CWBL manual of procedure.
Collection ID: 2005-20-0

Hall Family Collection, 1836-1909

The papers of Norman Hall (1805-1852) and a son, William J. Hall (1839-1912), residents of Milton, a part of Litchfield, consisting of deeds and an estate inventory. The papers of William also contain a certificate of exemption from service during the Civil War and related documents.
Collection ID: 1961-38-0

Gould family papers, 1799-1923

Small collection of correspondence between members of several generations of the Gould and Dubois families. Includes some genealogical notes.
Collection ID: 1931-08-0

My Country Society, Inc. Records, 1968-1970

Records related to a series of 12 articles printed by UOP Transportation Equipment Group, Aerotherm Division, in their "Executives' Digest" newsletter in conjunction with Litchfield's 250th anniversary in 1969.
Collection ID: 00/2010-118-0

Bissell family collection, 1760-1926

The papers of the Bissell and Bissell-Baldwin families, including family members, friends, and business associates. The collection consists of correspondence, business records, account books, and other records. Papers from the time period 1760-1840 have been processed and described (see the finding aid). The remaining papers have been partially processed and are described generally in this scope and content note.
Collection ID: 1949-24-0

William Miller Collection, 1907-1990, bulk 1967-1990

The personal papers of William Miller relating to the Borough of Litchfield Charter Revision Commission, Board of Warden and Burgesses, Courthouse Site Committee, Postal Site Committee, historic preservation Borough Historical and Architectural Commission, Litchfield Green Advisory Committee, Litchfield Historical Society "European Extravaganza," Historic District, and other Borough matters; The Sanctum; and the Litchfield Country Club; architectural drawings of the residence of Mrs. Francis Little of Beecher St.; drawings of suggested changes to a residence on Beecher Lane; and topographic maps of northeast Connecticut.
Collection ID:

Babbitt family papers, 1895-1972

Papers relating to the Babbit family, including Eleanor Babbitt (1898-1994) and Col. Samuel H. Fisher (1867-1957). Col. Fisher's daughter Margaret Crossette Fisher married Eleanor Babbitt's brother Theodore Babbitt on June 17, 1922, in Litchfield.
Collection ID: 1994-15-0

Guion Family Papers, circa 1870-1977

The papers of the Guion family of Litchfield. Brothers Hobart Guion (1869-1950) and George Guion (1870-1962) married sisters Harriet Cutler McAllister (1880-1977) and Amelia Hamilton McAllister (1877-1962), respectively. The McAllister sisters were the nieces of New York social arbiter Samuel Ward McAllister, who coined the term "the 400" to describe, in his opinion, the elite New York society members who mattered.
Collection ID: 2004-43-0

Solyman Brown Research Collection, 1841-2006

The research materials related to Dr. Solyman Brown compiled by Dr. Leonard Elkins, who was working on an uncompleted biography of Dr. Brown.
Collection ID: 2007-30-0

Judson Canfield Papers, 1760-1856

The papers of Judson Canfield (1759-1840), consisting primarily of legal documents, including agreements, deeds, executions, receipts, statements, and correspondence. The papers also include a small collection of correspondence and writings relating to Walter Ferriss, whose daughter married Canfield's son.
Collection ID: 1985-24-0

Danner Family Papers, 1832-1991

The personal papers of Helen Danner and her parents Frederick Baxter Danner (1907-1979) and Elizabeth Neill Danner (1907-1991). Frederick Danner grew up in Mount Vernon, N.Y., and graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He was then employed by AT&T's Long Lines Division for 42 years. Elizabeth Neill was born in Milwaukee. She attended Sweet Briar College in Virginia. She married Frederick Danner in 1935. They moved to Litchfield in the early 1970s.
Collection ID: 2002-50-0

Samuel Fisher Collection, 1929-1961

Research files and other materials related to Samuel Fisher's 1946 book, Litchfield Law School, 1774-1833: Biographical Catalogue, containing information about its students. There are also papers related to other aspects of Litchfield's history.
Collection ID: 1961-25-0

Beach, Webster, and Dickinson families papers, 1797-1990

Papers related to the Litchfield families of Beach, Webster, and Dickinson. In 1916, Bessie Rachel Beach (1893-1976) married Leonard Dickinson (1895-1946). The parents of Bessie were Milo D. Beach (1861-1959) and Louisa Webster Beach (1862-1951). The papers relate to these three family lines.
Collection ID: 1995-15-0

Litchfield County judicial records, 1790-1930, bulk 1790-1861

Litchfield County Judicial Records (1790-1930) consist of case files and other documents relating to matters involving the Litchfield County Court, the Litchfield Superior Court, and the clerk of the court from the late 1790s through 1861. The records were recovered from the attic of the former Westleigh Inn and it is not known why the records were stored there. They appear to complement the Litchfield County Court records held by the Connecticut State Archives. In the absence of original order, they have been arranged in two series, Case files and Subject files, using two State Archives finding aids as models: "RG 003, Litchfield County, County Court Files, Inventory of Records" and "RG 003, Litchfield County, County Court Papers by Subject Inventory of Records," both of which were prepared by Debra Pond. The description of the series and records which follow include excerpts from these State Archives finding aids.
Collection ID: 2005-08-0

Marrin Family Papers, 1889-1991

The personal papers of the Oswald Marrin family. Materials include documents relating to the Litchfield County Hounds and Spring Hill School Reunion (1991). Also included are contracts and correspondence related to construction projects and incorporation documentation of the Litchfield Water Company (1889-1965), notes taken during talks on lace (1913), photographs, a playbill related to the Litchfield Summer Theater, and lace patterns.
Collection ID: 1999-12-0

Adams family papers, 1798-1928, bulk 1798-1877

The personal papers of the Adams Family, including Joseph Adams (1767-1856); his son, Charles Adams (1805-1883); children of Charles Adams, including Julia Adams How Wessells (1842-1904), Mary Adams Wheelock (1838-1895), and Charles Adams Jr. (1845-1864); other family members; and friends and business associates. The collection consists primarily of correspondence.
Collection ID: 1970-35-1

Litchfield Female Academy Collection, 1787-1927

This collection documents the history of The Litchfield Female Academy, Litchfield, Connecticut. Early records refer to the Academy as Miss Pierce's School, Miss Pierce's Academy, and Sarah Pierce's Academy. In the collection are institutional records; correspondence, diaries, journals, school notebooks, and albums of students; papers of Sarah Pierce and the Pierce family; and correspondence of Emily Noyes Vanderpoel regarding her research for her books "Chronicles of a Pioneer School, from 1792 to 1833" , published in 1903 and "More Chronicles of a Pioneer School" published in 1927. Included in the institutional records are works written by Sarah Pierce and her nephew, John Pierce Brace.
Collection ID: 1890-07-2

Litchfield Rarities/Bill Alexander Collection, 1797-1971

Connecticut covers (1967-1971); postcards, (circa 1903-1969); envelopes, unknown to Ransom (circa 1883), Pratt & Thompson to Ebenezer Wooster (1886), Flynn & Doyle to George R. Bailey (1913); photographs, including Litchfield High School students (circa 1880s), cabinet cards; publications and ephemera (1910s-1930s); Swamp-Root Almanacs, imprinted with Litchfield Pharmacy and Crutch & McDonald; deeds, F. Nelson B. Smith (1846), Edwin E. Pretiss (1858), and Charles Munson (1867); correspondence, including H. W. Wessells to Perry (undated), Alexander Lamb to James Morris (1797), Mary B. Hannah to relatives (1853-1860), Joseph Conway to Charles Beaman (1914); two Morris Woodruff warrants (1807-1808); Philena Sutliff v. Jospeh Sutliff (1802); order of the Litchfield selectmen signed by Oliver Wolcott, Jr. (1782); receipt, James Morris signed by Jedediah Huntington, Treasurer of the State of Connecticut (1789) with notations of interest paid 1790-1792; inquests into the suicides of John Meigs Morgan (1799), Hepsibah Marsh Catlin (1800), Sylvester Vorsburgh (1816), and Lucy Parmalee (1859).
Collection ID: 2002-21-0

B/E Aerospace collection, 1937-2002

Business records related to B/E Aerospace, which had operated facilities manufacturing aircraft seating and related interior components in Bantam and Litchfield. The company first came to Connecticut when the Warren McArthur Corporation relocated its factory from Rome, N.Y. to the borough of Bantam in 1938, manufacturing at that time a very distinctive style of anodized aluminum furniture particularly popular in Hollywood. With the onset of World War II, the firm shifted its manufacturing output to aircraft seating. After the war, the Warren McArthur Corp. was unable to readjust and declared bankruptcy in 1948. Emerging as the Aerotherm Corp. in 1950, the company continued to produce aircraft seating. The line expanded to include other interior aircraft components as the company was acquired and renamed a number of times over the next 42 years, including Aerotec Industries, UOP Aerospace Division, PTC Aerospace, and finally, in 1992, B/E Aerospace. In 2002, following a major downturn in aircraft manufacturing in the months after the September 11 terrorist attacks, B/E Aerospace permanently closed the Litchfield and Bantam facilities and shifted their operations to facilities in Ireland and North Carolina.
Collection ID: 2002-16-0

Litchfield Bancorp Records, 1850-2000, bulk 1850-1889

Records relating to Litchfield Bancorp. Founded in 1850 as The Litchfield Savings Society, the name was changed in 1952 to The Litchfield Savings Bank, and changed again in 1984 to Litchfield Bancorp. The items are the bank's cashbook, 1850-1864; record book, containing board of directors minutes and other records, 1850-1889; an 1850 incorporation document; a list, possibly of directors, 1874; an excerpt from an 1880 public act related to savings banks; and a scrapbook documenting the bank's 150th birthday celebration and commemorative recipe booklets, both 2000.
Collection ID: 2000-24-0

John W. Buell Papers

The papers of John Wadhams Buell (1821-1864), his sister, Mary Theresa Buell (1814-1900), and other family members. There is documentation of his involvement in several mining ventures, including the Connecticut Mining Company, and deeds to property owned by his ancestors.
Collection ID: 1950-20-0

Boardman & Seymour records, 1794-1811

The Boardman & Seymour Records (2009-75-0) consist of correspondence, bills, legal documents, licenses to sell liquor, orders, receipts, statements of accounts and other business records. Daniel Boardman (1757-1833), New York City businessman and merchant, his brother Elijah Boardman (1760-1823), New Milford businessman and merchant, and Moses Seymour Jr. (1774-1826), Litchfield merchant and town official, maintained a partnership to operate a store in Litchfield in which they sold "a variety of Dry and West-India Goods, suitable for all seasons; consisting of almost every article usually retailed in a Country Store," according to a Dec. 17, 1794, advertisement in the Litchfield Monitor. The partnership was dissolved in 1804, according to a Nov. 21 newspaper advertisement.
Collection ID: 2009-75-0

B. Woodruff Clark Collection, 1842-1942

Accession 2002-34-0: 12 views of Litchfield after an ice storm, Feb. 22 and 23, 1898; 3 winter landscapes, Mar. 30, 1928; 1 unidentified winter landscape, 1 of two unidentified men playing tennis.
Collection ID: 2002-34-0

Edward J. Brady Collection, 1897-2000

In the 1950s, Brady, an employee of what was then the New York, New Haven, and Hartford Railroad (commonly referred to as the New Haven) and is now part of Amtrak, developed an interest in the Shepaug railroad branch. He acquired original New Haven records that provide detailed documentation of the crossings, bridges, and abutting structures. Records also document original rights of way and the New Haven's unsuccessful and successful petitions to abandon the line in the 1930s and 1940s. In 1973, Brady used these documents to write a description of the Shepaug branch, two copies of which are in the collection. There are also photographs, generally from the 1920s, of railroad crossings and structures.
Collection ID: 2003-82-0

Brown and Johnson Family Papers, circa 1770s-2005

Papers relating to the Brown and Johnson families and related lineages of Litchfield, Naugatuck, Torrington and elsewhere consisting of original and copied source materials. The materials comprised ten binders and include 18th and 19th century publications, such as Hutchins' Revived Almanac (1814), Old Farmer's Almanac (1835), Centennial Exposition guide (1876); correspondence; family records and cerificates; bills and receipts; clippings; genealogical information; and photographs, including cartes-de-viste, cabinet cards, and tintypes, circa 1860s-1960s.
Collection ID: 2005-49-0

Gladys Mattson Papers, 1912-1950

The papers of artist and photographer Gladys A. Mattson (1890-1957) of Bantam, Conn., which consist of correspondence, photographs, drawings, stencils, patterns and other documents.
Collection ID: 2008-04-0

Benjamin Tallmadge Collection, 1777-1864, bulk 1778-1833

The Benjamin Tallmadge Collection documents the personal life and professional career of Colonel Benjamin Tallmadge through his correspondence as well as his legal, financial, and personal papers. An army officer, chief intelligence officer, and organizer of the Culper spy ring during the Revolutionary War, Tallmadge became a businessman and U.S. Representative from Connecticut in Congress after the war.
Collection ID: 1933-19-0

Donahue's Clothing Store Records, 1922-1937

On April 8, 1922, Martin J. Donahue opened a clothing and shoe store called Donahue's in L. R. Denegar's former location in the Beach block on West St. In March, 1936, he became postmaster of Litchfield. He died in 1946.
Collection ID: 1993-22-0