Friday, September 03, 2004

Day of Events for Rediscovering North End's History

When: Saturday, September 11, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Where: Four locations: Isham-Terry House, at 211 High Street; SAND Elementary School, 1750 Main St.; Keney Clock Tower, intersection of Main and Ely streets; and the Spring Grove and Old North cemeteries

Cost: Free. Program booklets available at the festival locations.

Presented by: The Antiquarian & Landmarks Society (ALS) and the Community Renewal Team Inc. (CRT), along with other community-based programs

From a press release issued by the ALS:

"One of Hartford’s best kept secrets is the rich cultural heritage of the part of Main Street separated from Downtwon by I-84. Join in as we rediscover the Downtown North / North Hartford area from High Street at Albany Ave. to upper Main Street.

"The day will include walking tours, sports demonstrations, music, storytelling, ethnic food and community arts projects for children and families.

"See inside the Isham-Terry House musem, home for 80 years to Charlotte & Julia Isham who stood up to the wrecking ball of urban renewal to preserve a way of life.

"Visit some of Hartford’s most historic churches and landmarks, including Faith Congregational Church – home of Connecticut’s oldest African-American parish – and Sacred Heart Church, founded by Hartford’s German population and now home to Hartford’s Puerto Ricans.

"Explore two of Hartford’s most historic cemeteries – Spring Grove and Old North – the final resting place of the founders of Wadsworth Atheneum, the American School for the Deaf, the Institute of Living, The Connecticut Historical Society and more.

"Learn about the Hartford Circus Fire, America’s first famous woman writer, Connecticut’s African-American soldiers in the Civil War, “Professor Jim” from Trinity College and two towering figures of the American environmental movement.

"Climb the stairs of Keney Clock Tower and discover how two brothers’ devotion to their mother changed the City they loved.

"Listen to Gertrude Blanks, Andre Keitt, Dorothy Keller, Bill Hosley, Chief Charles Teale, Gary Wait and others share stories that connect us with North Hartford’s past.

"Enjoy a variety of musical and culinary traditions all within walking distance between High Street and SAND Elementary School.

"Homecoming will welcome those with roots in the neighborhood to tell their stories and show family memorabilia and old photographs to museum archivists and curators hoping to learn more about a Hartford neighborhood with a rich ethnic and cultural heritage.

"A Living History will begin with a service at the Old State House honoring the Police and Firemen who sacrificed their lives on this day three years ago. A symbolic walk up Main Street to the Keney Clock Tower will connect upper Main with Downtown. Remembrance and homecoming are the themes of the day as we invite residents past and present to rediscover historic North Hartford.

"Hartford residents and visitors may be unfamiliar with the part of Main Street that was cut off from Downtown by highways and urban renewal. It is an area rich in heritage and civic pride. Once home to renowned civic leaders like David Watkinson, Rev. Horace Bushnell and Travelers founder James G. Batterson, today the area features a variety of distinctive landmarks that tell the story of a flourishing neighborhood that Anglos, Irish, Catholics, Protestants, Jews, Italians, Russians, Germans, Poles, Puerto Ricans, and African-Americans have all called home.

"A&L is a statewide cultural organization that operates a network of historic house museums. A&L promotes interest in Connecticut's special places by preserving properties and collections of historic, scenic, and artistic value. For more information on properties, programs and membership please contact the Hartford headquarters at 255 Main Street, Hartford, CT 06106. For more information see"

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