Historical Topics

Barkhamsted Historical Society - Barkhamsted, Connecticut

At some point in the not to distant future, this section will include more detailed information on a variety of areas of Barkhamsted history.  Right now you will not find much here, but we are working on it!  We hope to regularly add more material, and update previously posted items as appropriate.  Please contact us if you have comments on the information here, or if you would like to help contribute material to this section.

Historical Topics - Barkhamsted, Connecticut:

Compared to Other Connecticut Towns, Barkhamsted Was Settled Late

Books relating to Barkhamsted History:

"Barkhamsted Heritage: Culture and Industry In A Rural Connecticut Town"
edited by Richard G. Wheeler and George Hilton, was published in 1975 as part of the American Revolution Bicentennial program. As the editors stated in the forward; "...it was not the intent to produce a typical town history; rather, it was hoped to assemble and make available to residents and their neighbors - past, present and future - information which in considerable measure remained hidden from the public view in unpublished materials and out-of-print publications."  The Historical Society is proud to offer copies of this wonderful book for sale. Available in soft cover at $25.00 -  please add $5.00 for shipping (sorry our hard cover editions are sold out).  Send your check and book request to the mail address above to purchase your copy.

"A Village of Outcasts - Historical Archaeology and Documentary Research at the Lighthouse Site"
by Kenneth L. Feder, 1994.  This book is an essential resource if you have any interest at all in the story of James and Molly Chaugham, the Lighthouse village (located in Barkhamsted, just north of Pleasant Valley) or their descendants.  Ken Feder, professor of archaeology at Central Connecticut State University, pulls together the many sources of information on the Lighthouse village, including old newspaper accounts, information from earlier researchers, town and church records and extensive archaeological excavations that he conducted in 1990 and 1991.  The book delves into both the legend and fact, and traces the genealogy of the families that occupied the Lighthouse site.  Last time we looked, this book was still available through Amazon.com and is well worth the investment.   Paperback, 230 pages.

"Barkhamsted and its Centennial" (compiled by William Wallace Lee, 1881) is a delightful book on the 100th anniversary of the incorporation of the town.  The book records the days events (September 10, 1879) when "between 4,000 and 5,000 people were assembled, and the scene was one not often witnessed amid rustic surroundings".  Speeches given at the event are recorded here, including the historical address (covering some 58 pages!) given by Lee.  This address touches on many aspects of the town's history including early settlers, prominent residents, the Barkhamsted Lighthouse, mills and factories, meeting houses, schools and military service.  It is a very valuable resource given the fact that it was compiled 1879 to 1881.  It is hardbound and is 178 pages in length.  This book is difficult but not impossible to find.  The Advanced Book Exchange (http://www.abebooks.com) is a network of used book dealers- you might find it there.
"Sesqui-Centennial of Barkhamsted, Connecticut"  (compiled by Orville H. Ripley, 1930).  Similar in scope to the Centennial, this book records the days activities of the 150th birthday celebration of the town held on September 10, 1929 at the Barkhamsted Center Congregational Church.  Included is a 36 page historical address by Elliot Bronson and also over a dozen photos of notable people and places, one of which shows seven elders in attendance who also attended the Centennial celebration of 1879!   Hardbound, 115 pages.  Four hundred copies were printed, and it is somewhat easier to find than the Centennial volume.


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