Inside the CHS

Sanborn maps of Hartford, up to 1960

April 27, 2007 · Collections, Manuscripts ·

The CHS library has recently acquired a new, complete set (4 vols, 1922-23) of Sanborn  Fire Insurance maps for Hartford with updates through 1960.  The Sanborn fire insurance maps were originally compiled to help insurers assess the value of property, identify risk factors, and underwrite losses.  The company mapped approximately 12,000 cities and towns, beginning…
Read More »

Boy Scout Jamboree, 1953

May 28, 2008 · Collections, Manuscripts ·

I have not posted to the blog for ages; too many things got in the way, I am afraid.  But I am back! On Thursday of this week, we received the most remarkable scrapbook. It was created by a young man from Wethersfield, Connecticut, Andrew Twaddle, who in 1953 took a cross-country train trip to…
Read More »

November in the Archives

December 4, 2009 · Collections, Manuscripts ·

There was no turkey coma in the CHS manuscript department this year. We have prepared another 145 records for the online catalog! All of these collections are open for research, so please stop by. While you are here, <shameless plug> do  some of your holiday shopping! We have several books for sale in our store…
Read More »

Transportation and the Imagination

Morgan Bulkeley Brainard (1879-1957) was a prominent Hartford resident. The Bulkeley and Brainard families have been established in the area for generations. A successful businessman, Brainard was President of the Aetna Life Insurance Company, a company founded by his grandfather,  Eliphalet Adams Bulkeley, for over 40 years. During that time, Brainard also served a term…
Read More »

It’s alive! It’s alive!

May 20, 2013 · Collections ·

By now, most people have probably heard about the plague of cicadas coming our way, or even heard the buzzing of the insects themselves as they emerge from the ground after 17 years to mate, lay eggs, and die. Because they spend so little time feeding, cicadas generally do not devastate trees and plants, unlike…
Read More »

Treasure Maps

June 5, 2013 · Collections ·

Maps may lead us to buried treasure, but not all treasure is found below the ground. On Saturday, June 8, learn more about the map holdings of CHS at our Behind-the-Scenes tour. A map recently discovered in the Rudd and Holley Family Collection leads us to another kind of “buried treasure.” 

The Revolution in Connecticut

July 19, 2013 · Collections ·

I recently returned from a mini-vacation to visit some friends in Colonial Williamsburg (and brought back a cold, which leads to my apology at this late posting!).  Even after living in New England for almost six years, I still think of Virginia and Massachusetts when I think of the American Revolution.  Being a Midwestern girl,…
Read More »

The Incredible Life and Mysterious Death of Captain George M. Colvocoresses

September 23, 2013 · Collections ·

CHS got a grant last summer from the Connecticut Humanities Council to catalog and digitize 800 of its 1000+ maps. I’ve done most of the cataloging on these maps. We’ve got maps that are hundreds of years old, from the 17th century, and maps that are from the late 1990s. They vary in size, from…
Read More »

Planning the Transcontinental Railroad

October 8, 2013 · Collections ·

The Connecticut Historical Society has just completed a major map project, Maps and Charts: Finding Your Place in Connecticut History, with funding from Connecticut Humanities and the William and Alice Mortensen Foundation. Eight hundred maps from the CHS collection may now be viewed in the CHS online catalog. This 1853 map showing proposed routes for…
Read More »

The Names Have Been Changed

October 15, 2013 · Collections ·

Look at any really old map of Connecticut—from about 1800 or earlier—and you’ll see lots of unfamiliar place names. In part this is simply because spelling had not been standardized, but many places were simply called different things at different points in time. The Native Americans had their own names and so did the Dutch….
Read More »

A Specialist in Cemeteries

October 29, 2013 · Collections ·

Some engineers specialize in land surveys, others in laying out highways or railroads. Benjamin F. Hatheway specialized in the design of cemeteries. Hatheway was born in 1827. I’m not sure when he developed his interest in the lovely rural cemeteries that were so popular in the nineteenth century, but he designed a lot of them,…
Read More »

Peek Behind the Scenes All Year Long!

January 13, 2014 · CHS Buzz ·

It is time to unveil the 2014 line up of Behind-the-Scenes Tours. We’re offering even more access to the hidden treasures of Connecticut history that are normally behind closed doors, and with the option of buying a Season Pass, you can get that sneak peek at a great 20% discount!

Sledding Down Drive A

February 25, 2014 · Collections ·

When I found Drive A on a map last summer, when we were in the middle of our map project, “Finding Your Place in Connecticut History,” I knew that I had found my place. There it was on a map of Greater Hartford from the 1950s: Drive A in the housing complex known as Silver…
Read More »

Playing the Teaching Game

March 31, 2014 · Education ·

I teach by day and work with toys by night. If that opening did not give you a hint, yes I am a comic book fan. I’m always trying to figure out a way to bring that out in my teaching, whether is setting up my desk at work with fun action figures, or trying…
Read More »

The Mapmaker’s Daughter

April 29, 2014 · Collections ·

  It’s a Cinderella story. Mary Pierson (1874-1949) was the daughter of Stephen C. Pierson, a civil engineer based in Meriden, Connecticut. The CHS has a large map of Meriden surveyed by Pierson in 1891. In 1898, his daughter Mary married Horace Bushnell Cheney, a member of the Cheney silk manufacturing dynasty. The couple traveled…
Read More »

Benjamin Talcott account book needs a new spine, among other things.

Talcott record books off for treatment

September 24, 2014 · Collections ·

Two Talcott account books, and several manuscript maps and documents went with archivist Barbara Austen to North Andover, Mass. for conservation.

Behind the Scenes Tour: Hidden Treasures of the CHS

January 12, 2019 · ·

An insider’s look at our favorite “hidden” treasures. Come behind the scenes and see them for yourself!

Behind the Scenes Tour: Hidden Treasures of the CHS

An insider’s look at our favorite “hidden” treasures. Come behind the scenes and see them for yourself!

More Articles