Stafford Historical Society - Stafford, CT

Stafford Historical Society - Stafford, CT The Stafford Historical Society, founded in 1962, preserves and promotes the history of Stafford, Connecticut. The museum is at 5 Spring Street and the Patten One-Room Schoolhouse is in Heritage Park. See Events for upcoming museum openings.
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The Stafford Historical Society is dedicated to promoting and preserving the rich history of the town of Stafford, Connecticut. Our main museum, at 5 Spring Street, has two floors of exhibits and photos showing some of the highlights of the town's history. We also maintain a research area with files of photos, articles, and books on the town and subjects relating to the area and the people who have lived here. The museum is open to the public, free-of-charge, on the second Sunday of each month from 2-4, and for special occassions. Updates will be added to Facebook when we are open or check website for details. The historical society also maintains the Patten District One-Room Schoolhouse located in Heritage Park on Rte 190 in Stafford. Dating to around 1799, the schoolhouse is the oldest school still in existence in town. The restored school is open to school groups and to the public at special events throughout the year. The historical society meets September through November, and March through June on the second Tuesday of the month, usually at the Stafford Community Center. The September and June meetings are for members only, but the other meetings offer presentations about subjects relating to Stafford or Connecticut history. We welcome new members and are grateful for volunteers to act as docents, help with special occasions, and work on special projects. If you love Stafford history, please join us and help preserve the history of the town.

Some more local businesses from the 1960's and 1970's
06/06/2020

Some more local businesses from the 1960's and 1970's

Some local businesses from the 1960's and 1970's
06/06/2020

Some local businesses from the 1960's and 1970's

05/19/2020
May 12, 1926 Baby Day at the first Johnson Memorial Hospital on East Street.   This was a celebration of babies who were...
05/10/2020

May 12, 1926 Baby Day at the first Johnson Memorial Hospital on East Street. This was a celebration of babies who were born at the hospital in the past two years. About 500 people attended. Happy Mother's Day!!

This was the first ambulance in use in the Town of Stafford.  It was purchased and donated to Johnson Memorial Hospital ...
04/26/2020

This was the first ambulance in use in the Town of Stafford. It was purchased and donated to Johnson Memorial Hospital in 1927 by longtime benefactor, Mrs. Annie Faulkner. She was the widow of local mill owner, Frederic Faulkner.

Recent Acquisition  -  Trade Card from the 1890's
04/17/2020

Recent Acquisition - Trade Card from the 1890's

A big social difference between the 1918 Influenza Pandemic and the 2020 Covid-19 Pandemic is that now alcohol is consid...
03/22/2020

A big social difference between the 1918 Influenza Pandemic and the 2020 Covid-19 Pandemic is that now alcohol is considered a necessity and people are allowed to go to liquor stores, and breweries and cideries can do curb-side pick-up. In 1918, there was a very strong movement to make the sale of alcohol illegal; and in 1920 the 18th amendment resulted in 13 years of prohibition. Throughout the early 20th century many Staffordites were arrested for making and/or selling liquor. In September of 1918, Mary Sartori, wife of Frank Sartori, was arrested for the illegal sale of liquor and the police seized 93 bottles of beer, 1 quart of wine, 2 barrels of beer and 1 barrel of wine from the premises. She was fined $101 and given a suspended sentence of 60 days in jail pending good behavior. (As a side note, I have noticed that wives often were the ones arrested even though it appeared likely that the husbands were the proprietors selling the liquor.) So, things could be worse! :)

DIAMOND LEDGE Part 2: Another article, this one of from July 8, 1915.
03/22/2020

DIAMOND LEDGE Part 2: Another article, this one of from July 8, 1915.

DIAMOND LEDGE Part 1: Not sure if this has been posted before, but here is an article that appeared in the Norwich Bulle...
03/22/2020

DIAMOND LEDGE Part 1: Not sure if this has been posted before, but here is an article that appeared in the Norwich Bulletin on March 23, 1916.

Found this interesting piece in the Norwich Bulletin from January 1, 1917. The article was titled HISTORY OF DRUG TRADE ...
03/20/2020

Found this interesting piece in the Norwich Bulletin from January 1, 1917. The article was titled HISTORY OF DRUG TRADE IN EASTERN SECTION OF STATE,

In the fall of 1918, WWI was winding down and thousands of wounded soldiers were coming home but there weren't enough me...
03/20/2020

In the fall of 1918, WWI was winding down and thousands of wounded soldiers were coming home but there weren't enough medical professionals to take care of them. And, then the Influenza Pandemic hit in late 1918, increasing the need for more doctors and nurses. Women were recruited by the Red Cross to volunteer in hospitals and convalescent homes; many went to school to become nurses. This photo is of two Stafford Red Cross volunteers, Beatrice Vezie and Bessie Vanasse. (Thank you to Pam Campbell-Vance for the digital donation of this photo.) These two families were intermarried with the Bolieau, Barsaleau, and Gilman families.

Apparently the Eaton Drug Co. had the ingredients to protect you from the Pandemic of 1918. This ad from the Stafford Pr...
03/20/2020

Apparently the Eaton Drug Co. had the ingredients to protect you from the Pandemic of 1918. This ad from the Stafford Press first appeared in October and would run until the beginning of December. We have not found any articles supporting this claim, but it sounds good!

The Influenza Pandemic of 1918, also known as the Spanish Flu, killed more people (50 million) than died in World War 1 ...
03/19/2020

The Influenza Pandemic of 1918, also known as the Spanish Flu, killed more people (50 million) than died in World War 1 (16 million). This pandemic came in two phases, starting in the spring on 1918 and the second phase emerging in the fall of 1918. By the beginning of October the Fair had been cancelled and soon after area towns started to close schools and churches. By the third week of October Stafford would also close Schools and Churches.

October 3, 1918 the Stafford Press ran this article about the cancellation of the Stafford Fair. This would be the first...
03/18/2020

October 3, 1918 the Stafford Press ran this article about the cancellation of the Stafford Fair. This would be the first time in 49 years the Fair would not be held. The Courant ran a similar article a few days before, mentioning that the purse for the horse racing was over $7,000. Doesn't sound like a lot? That's almost $120,000 in today money! (The horse racing back then is said to be the best anywhere, so there were many unhappy horseman.)

Both Marc Nevue and I are posting but thanks to Marc for being a motivating force.   And for starting the research on th...
03/17/2020
The Influenza Epidemic of 1918

Both Marc Nevue and I are posting but thanks to Marc for being a motivating force. And for starting the research on the epidemic 100 years ago. Here is another article on the Spanish Flu of 1918 and some related photos. ~ Becky Kraussmann

https://www.archives.gov/exhibits/influenza-epidemic/?fbclid=IwAR0SG-DHLi1jNkzqsy_gXnNOWtiT5IA5r7U-mg36VXXGl45dbldZ7_2I0kU

World War I claimed an estimated 16 million lives. The influenza epidemic that swept the world in 1918 killed an estimated 50 million people. One fifth of the world's population was attacked by this deadly virus. Within months, it had killed more people than any other illness in recorded history.

When did the 1918 Spanish Influenza hit Stafford? Articles prior to October of that year are scarce. October 3, 1918 the...
03/17/2020

When did the 1918 Spanish Influenza hit Stafford? Articles prior to October of that year are scarce. October 3, 1918 the Stafford Press mentions the death of Walter Bousquet and the cancellation of the Stafford Fair due to the pandemic.

Walter J. Bousquet: July 24, 1918 Walter leaves Stafford with his brother Henry for Camp Devens. A total of 29 draftees left Stafford at this time. Camp Devens served as a training ground for the National Army, but it also became the U.S. Ground Zero of the flu pandemic. By September 45,000 solders were there waiting to be shipped to France, but by the end of the month it was filled with dead and dying. August 18th Walter was back in Stafford or a visit, along with 4 other draftees. A short time later he returns to Camp Devens and sadly passes away on September 27, 1918 due to the Spanish Influenza. NOTE: Walter J. Bousquet is the first from Stafford to die while in the service. Walter is on Stafford's Wall of Honor and is buried at Saint Michael's Cemetery in Springfield MA.

03/16/2020

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Stafford Historical Society is canceling all events, open houses and workshops from now through the end of May. We will re-evaluate in May to decide if we can safely re-open. Everyone stay calm and safe. And remember, Stafford endured the flu pandemic of 1918 (only 102 years ago) and the town will come through this pandemic as well. I will put up some info about Stafford in 1918, also.

Ever wonder what the roads were like 100 years? This appeared March 16th 1920 in the Norwich Morning Bulletin.
03/16/2020

Ever wonder what the roads were like 100 years? This appeared March 16th 1920 in the Norwich Morning Bulletin.

Apparently Valentine's Day was not just about gifts like cards and flowers. This ad from 1892 ran in papers like New Hav...
02/14/2020

Apparently Valentine's Day was not just about gifts like cards and flowers. This ad from 1892 ran in papers like New Haven's Morning Journal Courier and Waterbury's Evening Democrat.

Here's a few historic Valentin's Day ads from the The Press.
02/14/2020

Here's a few historic Valentin's Day ads from the The Press.

Cindy
12/03/2019

Cindy

"Frederick Sanger, father of Selah R. Sanger. He was a member of the Stafford Historical Society. He is shown here with a 1916 Model T Ford which was the first automobile to carry mail from Staffordville, Stafford Hollow, Stafford Springs." as captioned on the back by my grandmother, Doris Sanger.

11/14/2019

Note from Becky Kraussmann - I won't be posting for a while because my house burned and I will be tied up with that. Dave Bartlett will be checking the site now and then so we will eventually get to any PMs that have been sent. We still have our book for sale at various places in town and will be open for WinterFest. The book makes excellent birthday, Christmas or Hanukkah gifts.

By the way, my husband and I got out of the burning house and, because of the bravery and kindness of our local fire departments, our cats were saved, too. The firemen and firewomen were like angels with hoses and air tanks.

Now that the big events of the 300th are over, we are getting back to many items that had collected at the museum.   Ove...
10/23/2019

Now that the big events of the 300th are over, we are getting back to many items that had collected at the museum. Over the past six months we have received many fabulous donations. One was a group of school items of Mildred Holtham (born 1893) who lived in Stafford from 1898 - 1907. During her years here, she and her parents lived with her mother's uncle Rev. Leonard Goodell, rented the Clark Grant house and the Henry Thresher house. She attended Stafford Street and Pinney Schools and in her 1906-7 composition book she wrote a letter about the Stafford Street Schoolhouse. How wonderful to have a peek at the school through the words of one of the school's students. I have included a photo of the schoolhouse.

We are looking for a date and IDs on this photo taken inside Memorial Hall.  Can you help?  The VFW are the new tenants ...
10/22/2019

We are looking for a date and IDs on this photo taken inside Memorial Hall. Can you help? The VFW are the new tenants of this building and have been doing extensive research on the building. It is very exciting to see the building in use again and by a group that cares so much about it! Also, the Stafford Historical Advisory Commission has worked very hard to gather information on the right way to stabilize and preserve the building. If you have photos of events taken at Memorial Hall please share them with us either on FB or by email at [email protected]. And, kudos to VFW Post 9990, the Stafford Historic Advisory Commission and to Rick Hartenstein for finding a new use for Memorial Hall!

Come down to the Stafford Historical Society museum on Sunday, October 20 between 9:00 - 3:00 and start your holiday sho...
10/19/2019

Come down to the Stafford Historical Society museum on Sunday, October 20 between 9:00 - 3:00 and start your holiday shopping. There will be special exhibits, trolley tours (sold out) and our gift shop. Learn more about the history of our town and check out our new book!!! Signed copies will be available.

This photo of wooden doors in the old mill outlet at Warren Woolen was put up on Facebook by American Woolen today.  It ...
10/15/2019

This photo of wooden doors in the old mill outlet at Warren Woolen was put up on Facebook by American Woolen today. It is wonderful that are are working on reopening the mill store and appreciate the history and beauty of the buildings.

Original details carved into a set of double doors at our mill store, which we hope to reopen soon.

Want to know what the Stafford FAIR was like 100+ years ago, this article might help.
10/04/2019

Want to know what the Stafford FAIR was like 100+ years ago, this article might help.

This is the 8th grade class at the first Stafford High School in 1937 so these children would be the graduating class of...
10/03/2019

This is the 8th grade class at the first Stafford High School in 1937 so these children would be the graduating class of 1941.

I don't know if this is the track at Stafford.  These are race car drivers who have received cakes or baked goods from t...
10/03/2019

I don't know if this is the track at Stafford. These are race car drivers who have received cakes or baked goods from their fans. One of the boxes says "To Ben From Big Ben Fan Club (Good Luck) 110". Another says "Danny Wash[burn?] 32." Can anyone confirm if it is Stafford or not and/or who any of the drivers are?

This play looks very amusing - all the actors are men.  Does anyone know the event or the actors?   Is this the Knights ...
10/02/2019

This play looks very amusing - all the actors are men. Does anyone know the event or the actors? Is this the Knights of Columbus? I think this stage is upstairs at Warren Memorial Town Hall. The sets look like those from Memorial Hall in Stafford Hollow although this stage is not Memorial Hall.

G. W. Benton was the father of Clarence "Deke" Benton, who owned the Stafford Fair Grounds from 1939 - 1969.  This build...
10/02/2019

G. W. Benton was the father of Clarence "Deke" Benton, who owned the Stafford Fair Grounds from 1939 - 1969. This building with Benton's store was on East Main Street.

Locals wanting to buy our book can go to the Town Clerk's Office, Stafford Library, Stafford Cidery, Artisan's on Main, ...
10/02/2019

Locals wanting to buy our book can go to the Town Clerk's Office, Stafford Library, Stafford Cidery, Artisan's on Main, and Bittersweet to purchase it. It is $21.99, no tax because we are a non-profit, cash or check.

For anyone who needs a book shipped, mail us your check or money order for $25 to Stafford Historical Society, 5 Spring Street, Stafford Springs, CT 06076. When we receive your check we will mail out your book. If you need more than one just PM us and tell us how many and we will figure out the shipping charges and get back to you with a total amount.

09/25/2019
Stafford, CT 300th Anniversary Parade and Fair

This video of the 300th event is excellent. It shows a little bit of the parade (a glimpse of Dave Bartlett in the Grand Marshal carriage), the exhibition hall, the midway, the stage, the racetrack and the fireworks. And, it shows the exhibit that we had on the History of the Stafford Fair. There are credits at the end although I am not sure who shot and edited the video but, kudos to you!!

Stafford, CT celebrated their 300th Anniversary with a parade in town, followed by a huge fair at Stafford Motor Speedway. So much history in 300 years that ...

Thank you to everyone who came out to Stafford's 300th parade and party!!  We hope you had a GREAT time, we sure did!  W...
09/25/2019

Thank you to everyone who came out to Stafford's 300th parade and party!! We hope you had a GREAT time, we sure did! We want to thank you for participating in the Stafford Family Origins exhibit by adding your story of when and why your family came to Stafford or by putting a dot on one of the maps. Not matter how insignificant you think that was- it's a help in telling the story of Stafford and who we are!!. If you didn't know your story, but wanted to tell it- please fill out the sheet and get it back to us. We have several genealogies of Stafford families on file, some that go back to the first settlers and some are of families that came here in the 20th century. They are all part of Stafford's history and we appreciate all Stafford family history that is shared with us!

Both Dave Bartlett and I (Becky Stocking Kraussmann) had the honor of being Grand Marshals of the Stafford 300th Anniver...
09/25/2019

Both Dave Bartlett and I (Becky Stocking Kraussmann) had the honor of being Grand Marshals of the Stafford 300th Anniversary Parade last Saturday. We shared that honor with Bruce Dutton, retired Stafford High School teacher and author of many books on Stafford, and a young man who also has a passion for history.

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5 Spring St
Stafford Springs, CT
06076

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Our Story

The Stafford Historical Society is dedicated to promoting and preserving the rich history of the town of Stafford, Connecticut. Our main museum, at 5 Spring Street, has two floors of exhibits and photos showing some of the highlights of the town's history. We also maintain a research area with files of photos, articles, and books on the town and subjects relating to the area and the people who have lived here. The museum is open to the public on the second Sunday of each month (April through November) from 2-4, and for special occasions. Check the Events tab for upcoming open houses. The historical society also maintains the Patten District One-Room Schoolhouse located in Heritage Park on Rte 190 in Stafford. Dating to around 1799, the schoolhouse is the oldest school still in existence in town. The restored school is open to school groups and to the public at special events throughout the year. The historical society meets September through November, and March through June on the second Tuesday of the month, usually at the Stafford Community Center. The September and June meetings are for members only, but the other meetings offer presentations about subjects relating to Stafford or Connecticut history and are open to the public. We welcome new members and are grateful for volunteers to act as docents, help with special occasions, and work on special projects. If you love Stafford history, please join us and help preserve the history of the town.

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Comments

I attempted to post images from old post cards. I don't see them here. Are they under review?
Old Post Card image. Caption reads: View of the Reservoir, , Staffordville, Conn. [One cent postage, unused]
Old post card image. Caption reads: View of Reservoir, looking North, Staffordville, Conn.[One cent postage, unused]
Front and back of old post card. Front: Greetings from Staffordville, Conn. Back is addressed to Augustine DaDalt (?), Willington Avenue, Stafford Springs, Connecticut. [one cent postage]
Cattle at Agricultural Fair, Stafford Springs, Conn. (Undated post card, one cent postage,)
Old post card image, undated. Caption reads: B. Schwanda & Sons, Staffordville Conn. 3.
Do you have a picture of the converse that owned some of the Mills?
This is a recently restored photo of the Stafford Springs High School party trip to Washington, DC in March of 1926. Anna Meyer (Kilty), my mother, is 3rd from the left as you view this photo. Sorry, I do not have the other names. ENJOY! Karen Kilty
As a native of Stafford Springs I left there in 1967 to join the USAF and come back every now and then. It is great to see this kind of history about Stafford. The people that are in charge of this site are doing a great job. Keep up the excellent work.
A very sweet co-worker who knows my love of Stafford memorabilia gave me this hanger from J. Wasserman. Can you tell me where this company was located and when it was in business in Stafford?
Its been a great year for Stafford. A lot went on this year with the 300th anniversary. Now that this year is coming to a close, I would like to reflect on a couple of things. I've been a member of the Historical Society for a few years now, and have worked with Dave Bartlett and Becky Kraussman who are the President and Vice President. I would like to thank Dave and Becky for all their tireless time and effort they put into getting ready for the 300th this year. Dave, doing all the research he needed to narrate the trolley tours and helping Becky write up the narrative on each page of the Stafford Historical Society book, and also organizing the events throughout the year for the 300th plus helping me construct the parade float, and all his other duties. Becky, for all the work she put into scanning photos for the past year or maybe more to be included in our book, and writing the narrative for each page, plus all her other duties at the museum.We're very lucky to have these two dedicated people preserving our history. Its a thankless job, but I know its a labor of love.We're very lucky to have Dave and Becky.
"Frederick Sanger, father of Selah R. Sanger. He was a member of the Stafford Historical Society. He is shown here with a 1916 Model T Ford which was the first automobile to carry mail from Staffordville, Stafford Hollow, Stafford Springs." as captioned on the back by my grandmother, Doris Sanger.