When we receive donations for our museum and archives collections, one of the first tasks we undertake is to determine the importance of the objects and figure out if and how they fit into the history of our town. While that is simple enough to say, the process can be painstaking, alternating between fulfilling and frustrating, but always fascinating.
As a researcher, women are frustrating to follow over time. Often their names change, they do not regularly appear in land records or tax rolls, many do not leave behind wills. Being a daughter, wife, and mother were primary roles for early American women. Running a household was a full time job. The account books of the Barber family help us shed light on the productive activities of those women.
In 1972 the Society received a donation of a day book from a Mrs. Arthur Golding. There was no indication inside the book as to owner of the business or its location, so for cataloging purposes, staff at the time had titled it "1826-1830 Account Book for General Store in Poquonock." Such a vague yet intriguing title has led more recent staff to wonder about its origins.
The first funeral director in Windsor, James J, Merwin was known throughout the region for pioneering new methods and practices to advance his profession. Windsor Historical Society is fortunate to have three volumes of record books from the Merwin Funeral Home in its collection.
Across the green from our Strong-Howard House, there once lived Dr. William S. Pierson (1788-1860) and his family. In 1829, Dr. Pierson purchased a day book that became a place for reflection on family and business affairs as well as a record of his medical and agricultural practices from 1829-1831.
The 1790s and early 1800s were transformative years for craftsmen in the greater Hartford region of Connecticut. The area’s economy boomed in the 1790s and then quickly retracted during the run up to the [...]