Teaching Connecticut

Date: April 8, 2006

Simsbury Historical Society in partnership with Association for the Study of Connecticut History Spring Meeting

Date: Saturday, April 8, 2006
Time: 9:15-2:15
Contact Hours: 5
Fee: $25
Cutoff Date: April 3, 2006

“Phelps Tavern Museum: A Case Study in Using Family History in Exhibitions”

Dawn Hutchins Bobryk, Executive Director, Simsbury Historical Society In 2001, the Simsbury Historical Society completed a reinterpretation of the Capt. Elisha Phelps House (listed on the National Register of Historic Places) that focused on the role of taverns in rural New England. The exhibition was based on three generations of Phelps family members who served as tavernkeepers. Reconstructing their lives began in the museum?s archives but moved through repositories in ten states and the District of Columbia. The story that emerged dispelled cherished myths but created a rich tapestry of family history and American life.

“Uncovering the Voices of Our Ancestors”
William Fothergill, Independent Scholar, Kabila Consulting Services

All those seeking to discover information about their African American ancestors face severe problems due to paucity of evidence. This presentation will focus on research in primary sources and the barriers one confronts in researching African American ancestry in Connecticut. It will explore both research methodology and resulting discoveries that help to uncover an oft-hidden story of American history.

“The Higleys of Simsbury: A Connecticut Family and the National Experience, 1664-1900”
Allen M. Ward, Professor of History, Emeritus, University of Connecticut

The integration of individual biography into an historical narrative can provide examples that make abstract themes preferred by academic historians more understandable and meaningful for readers. The story of Simsbury’s prolific Higley family demonstrates this point. Founded by a runaway apprentice in 1664, the family became part of New England’s Puritan elite and vividly reflected the forces and events that shaped the American nation for two hundred and fifty years.

Teacher Workshop: Curriculum Material, Programs, Education Requirements, A Teacher/Historic Site Dialogue

Tour of Phelps Tavern Museum

For further information contact Dr. Peter Feinman at the Institute of History, Archaeology, and Education at 914-939-9071 or email us at: contact@ihare.org