Windsor Historical Society



Free 1810 Day at Windsor Historical Society

April 9       9 AM to 5 PM


Listen, feel, taste, debate, live it!


A day-long program to deepen understanding of 1810 lifeways we interpret at our prize-winning Strong-Howard House, where yes, you really CAN touch everything! Attendees are free to come and go throughout the day and sample presentations of most interest to them. The day includes slideshow presentations, demonstrations of furniture making and hearth cooking, musical and living history performances, and a walking tour of the historic Palisado Green and Cemetery.


Cost: FREE! But please register by April 8 by calling 860-688-3813 so we know how much food to prepare.



Schedule of Events

8:30 – 9: Coffee and light breakfast foods

9 – 9:50: What Was Happening in 1810? Connecticut State Historian Walter Woodward sets the stage for the day, focusing on early 19th century history and politics. What were the issues of the day and decade statewide, and nationwide? What were people thinking, reading, and talking about? 

9:55 -10:45: Neoclassicism for a New Republic: American Material Culture scholar William Hosley shows how Americans self-consciously went about creating a national culture based on partially on the classic republics of Greece and Rome. The late 18th and early 19th centuries saw the first American dictionary, an American atlas, an American builder’s guide, an American cook book, American music, American manufacturers, American education, and the emergence of an American art and architecture. See a variety of objects and artworks that illustrate budding American nationalism.

10:50- 11:40: The Quick Transition of Fashion:  Exploring Neoclassical Style. Ned Lazaro, Associate Curator of Textiles and Collections Manager, Historic Deerfield. Changes in fashion mirrored changes in decorative arts and material culture as knee breeches gave way to pantaloons in men’s fashions, and women began to embrace the less-corseted gauzy look of the new Grecian mode. What stimulated the shift? And how did people react to the changes? Clothing, portraits, cartoons will be among the sources explored by Lazaro.

11:45 – 2 (options):

  • Becky Hendricks demonstrates hearth cooking at Strong-Howard House and Paul Hendricks demonstrates period games. Captain Nathaniel and Ann Howard (actors Walter Mantani and Susan Buchholz) welcome you into their home as honored guests.

  • Engage with presenters on your own

  • Lunch at one of Windsor’s delicious, delightful restaurants (list provided).

  • 1 PM: Society Director Christine Ermenc leads 45 minute tour of Palisado Green and Palisado Cemetery, showing differences between 18th and early 19th century buildings and gravestone art.

  • 1 PM: Steve Latta and Bob Van Dyke from Connecticut Valley School of Woodworking demonstrate inlay, stringing, etc.

2:15 – 3:05: Neoclassical Details in Early 19th Century Furniture: Why and How Did They Make Those Urns and Swags? Master furniture maker Steve Latta talks about the roots of Neoclassicism and show how it influenced American Federal furniture with its delicate inlays, stringing, and classical imagery. This presentation is a lecture/demonstration which includes videos of Steve at work.


3:10 – 4: According to Your Taste": Cooking with Herbs in the 1800s. Research historian and garden history consultant Christie Higginbottom shows how culinary herbs, or "pot herbs," as they were often known were grown and used, improving the digestion as well as adding flavor, preserving, and embellishing dishes of all kinds. A look at historic recipes including ones drawn from Amelia Simmons' 1796 American Cookery published in Hartford brings herbs to the table paired with meats, vegetables, breads, salads, dairy products, beverages and desserts.

4 – 4:45:  Tastings: fruit and egg-and-bacon tarts, potted cheese, biscuits, nuts, Mrs. Howard’s famous shortbread, and tiny tastes of period liquors: cider, madeira, port, possibly shrub. Enjoy nibbles of these period foods, then sit and relax with your snacks while musician/historian Rick Spencer entertains the audience with a selection of period music and provides a sampling of historic background for the songs he plays and sings.





Copyright 2016 by Windsor Historical Society of Windsor, Connecticut, Inc.