Saturday, February 24, 2018

The Hebron Historical Society

Enjoy Hebron - It's Here To Stay

Anne Ives, Charter Member & Amazing Worker, Passes Away


Less than a day after Anne Ives passed away, this double rainbow appeared over Old Town Hall!

Click here for more about Anne Ives.


As in past years, Country Carpenters will be open free to the public during Maple Fest this year with their many traditional activities that focus on the colonial era. Country Carpenters is located at 326 Gilead Street (Route 85, north of the center of town), across the street from the Hebron Lions Fairgrounds. The event will be held on both Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.

A one new event is scheduled this year at Country Carpenters that you won’t want to miss. Erich Steinhagen, a Griswold resident who owns Steinhagen Pottery, and his wife Janice will be on site to demonstrate the intricate skill of colonial redware pottery making.

The Steinhagens, both of whom hold Bachelor of Arts degrees in art/art education, began collaborating and coordinating their talents shortly after meeting at college. Soon they discovered they had more in common than just art, and married in 1981. Today, they travel throughout New England and the Northeast, displaying their pieces, selling many of them to re-enactor groups and museums.

Steinhagen’s pieces are all modeled on colonial era pottery such as jugs, flasks, pitchers, bean pots, butter churns, and even inkwells. He weaves fascinating tales into his demonstration, making it both an exciting educational and entertainment event. You can learn more about Steinhagen at his website,

Early American Life has twice selected Erich as one of one of “America’s best traditional craftsmen.” This is your opportunity to come and learn more about the thrill of the potting wheel, and the artistic items that can come out of simple mud, from a master of the art.

The Old Village Blacksmith shop, will be again be open, with live demonstrations of this ageless craft by Fred Brehant and his son, Freddy Brehant, who is Operations Manager at Country Carpenters.

In the Village Mill area, you will see wood working demonstrations by James Easton, wood turning demonstrations by Coventry’s own Paul Maulucci, furniture making demonstrations by Doug O’Connor, and (on Saturday only) chandler demonstrations by Chili Bob Whatley. Chili Bob is well known for the beautiful candles he produces!

On the Village Green area, local resident Curt Munson will be demonstrating revolutionary war-era rifles and how shot balls were made in colonial times.

“We are looking forward to the Maple Fest, and seeing many of our friends who stop by each year to enjoy seeing history re-enacted,” said Freddy.

Plenty of free parking is available at Country Carpenters, so make this a stop on your list for this year’s Maple Fest!

For the 23nd consecutive year, Hebron Historical Society will again hold their annual Quilt Show, and delight visitors once again with over a hundred quilts, both modern and historical, displayed at Old Town Hall. Nathalie Peltier-Horton is again hosting the show. If you have a quilt you'd like to display, please contact Peltier-Horton at 860-645-8421.

This year's quilt show will honor the work of lifelong resident, Marie Smith Billard. Billard has quilted for decades, both for her family and for numerous charitable organizations. "Marie never goes anywhere, even vacation, without her sewing machine," said Peltier-Horton. "Quilting has played a defining role in her life and in her community work, and we want to pay special tribute to her creative talent by featuring many of her pieces."

"Nathalie's creativity is what makes the Quilt Show so popular every year," said Maple Fest Coordinator Annie Piggott. "She collects different quilts of all styles and colors, and artistically displays them in a manner that makes each show unique." Visitors are allowed to photograph (but not touch) the quilts, so remember to bring your cameras!

Another popular event will be repeated this year: quilting demonstrations offered by Peltier-Horton, Elaina Strid, and Karen Strid, a well-known local quilter and owner of Sew Little Time. The demonstrations are scheduled for both Saturday and Sunday. Other local quilters will be on hand to answer questions about fabrics, styles and methods.

Donations to the Quilt Show are $2 for adults; children are always free. To protect the quilts, no food or beverages are allowed inside Old Town Hall during the show.

The Society will also be offering its usual dazzling variety of "teacup auction" items. These baskets and auction items feature things that appeal to all ages, including hand-made goods, kids' baskets, and food baskets. As in past years, tickets for the auction items are still only 50 cents apiece, or 3 for $1.00. Winning tickets will be drawn Sunday at 3:00 p.m.; you do not need to be present to win. Winners will be called.

Peter Billard will also be back for the second year inside Old Town Hall, discussing the Hebron Heritage Photo project. Billard, with the help of many longtime residents, has been collecting old photographs, documenting the history behind the photos based on oral memories, and posting them to his website, This is a great project that has already benefited many who study genealogy or are researching their own family roots.

The Society's famous Maple Milk will be available in the front of Old Town Hall, located adjacent to the Douglas Library right in the center of Hebron. Many visitors claim they come to Maple Fest just for the maple milk, a delicious concoction of milk, syrup and "secret ingredients." Ned Ellis and Farmers Cow have again donated the fresh whole milk.

Farmers Cow representatives Robin Chesmer and Kathy Smith will also be joining the Society for the second year in a row to promote the company's newest ice cream flavors. The Society is pleased to support Farmers Cow in honor of Hebron's long history of dairy farming.

For the second year, the Lebanon Towne Militia will be doing a military encampment in the Old Town Records/Gull School House area, adjacent to Hebron Town Office Building. There is plenty of parking available in the Town Office Building parking lot. Last year, well over 700 visitors attended the encampment and were thrilled to see the demonstrations of colonial military life and what patriots had to endure just to survive.

For a great learning adventure, a live animal demonstration featuring Nate Baribault's famous goats will be held at the Old Town Pound, located at the intersection of Chestnut Hill Road and Route 66, just west of the center of town. This popular attraction drew almost 250 visitors last year, and keeps growing in attendance every year. Old Town Pound will be open Saturday only from 10:00 a.m. until 200 p.m. Admission is free to all.

Carolyn Aubin and her team of National Honor Society volunteers will be offering tours of two historic one-room school houses. Aubin is an experienced docent in the field of colonial education, and her programs delight both young and old. Please note that the two buildings will be open Saturday only.

The Gull School House, located on Marjorie Circle and adjacent to the Town Office Building parking lot, will be open from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Parking is available at the Town Office Building parking lot (15 Gilead Street) with easy access to the historic building via the new granite steps installed by Parker Aubin as part of his Eagle Scout Project.

The Burrows Hill School House, the oldest school house in town, located on Burrows Hill Road, will be open from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. Admission is free, although donations are gratefully accepted.

Mark your calendars for Maple Fest, and make sure your plans include stops at these many events that feature Hebron history. Enjoy Hebron... It's Here to Stay!

There is a new event at Maple Fest this year, and this is definitely one to put on your “Must Do” list.

Hills Farm, located at 527 Gilead Street, is reopening to the public, and this is your chance to experience life on a dairy farm first-hand.

As many know, Alan and Denise Hills retired from the dairy farm business about 7 years ago, but now, the farm is now back in full operation thanks to their son Greg and his wife Kim. The farmhouse itself goes back to the 18th century.

Alan was a 3rd generation farmer. “Farming is a hard life style, but it is also a ‘feel good’ profession,” said Kim. “Knowing what you have and where it came from gives you a real sense of a quality life.”

“Farming is such a unique lifestyle and something that I couldn't walk away from,” said Greg. “I hope someday that my kids will grow up the way that I did."

“We had been planning on restarting the farm for about 3 years and deciding what our niche would be, so we started fixing up the farm and the barns,” said Kim. “We got the cows in July of last year, and now we have 43 milkers and 7 young stocks.”

A lot of hard work went into getting the farm started again which couldn't have been accomplished without the amazing help of our family and friends," said Greg.

“We talked about it for so long, doing a lot of planning and preparation. “We knew we had to start somewhere, so we began shipping with a local dairy cooperative, DairyLea, whose products go into labels like Hood and Garelick,” said Kim. “In the meantime we are researching options for our own unique product line.”

At Maple Fest, the newest generation of Hills will be doing farm tours, showing the historic barns, milk parlor, and milk room. Visitors will be able to walk through the milking barn and calf pen area. They will also be able to take pictures with calves, sit up on tractors, and generally have some great photo opportunities for their special day at Hills Farm.

All of the Hills Farm Holstein cows have unique names, such as Sienna, Amar, Wilda, and Kimmie. This will be an extremely family-friendly event with residents and visitors able to personally meet, touch, feel and experience life on a dairy farm whose roots are grounded in Hebron’s origins.

“I don’t think people realize all that goes into dairy farming when they pour a glass of milk,” said Kim. “It’s powerful to understand where it all comes from and what goes into the production of such a daily staple in our lives.”

“We’re excited for you to visit our farm and see the family tradition!” said Greg.

Mark your calendars for the Hills Farm Exhibit on both Saturday, March 10 and Sunday, March 11, from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. Make the Hills Farm either your first stop into town, or your final stop upon leaving the downtown Maple Fest activities. Or just spend an entire day there!

A unique and very special treat is also in store for visitors when they come to Hills Farms. Greg and Kim will be selling baskets of fresh fried cheese curds with your choice of Maple Chiptole, Orange Maple Cranberry, Whiskey Maple Cream, or Mango Maple Barbeque sauce to dip or drizzle on the curds. All sauce recipes have been specially created by Kim and Greg.

You won’t find this kind of eating delight anywhere else… and you’ll get to enjoy the re-opening of the historic Hills Dairy Farm all at the same time!

Hebron Historical Society is pleased to announce that Cynthia Dias will be conducting a program on “Early New England Gardens” at their May 26 meeting.

Dias’ presentation looks at the gardens of early New England by tracing the roots of the early settlers back to the landscape of England.  Examining the walled kitchen gardens of Europe, we may see the influences in the historically-recreated gardens of living history museums, such as Plimoth Plantation and Sturbridge Village.  Examples of vegetables, herbs and ornamental plants will be discussed for those interested in creating their own heirloom garden.

cynthia_diasCynthia Dias is Director of the Willard House and Clock Museum.  She is a former Director of the Jonathan Trumbull Junior House Museum, Curator of the Clara Barton Birthplace Museum, and has also worked at Higgins Armory Museum and Slater Mill.  She was also employed for twenty years at Old Sturbridge Village where she worked in the gardens.

In addition to working in the museum field, Dias offers lectures on "John Trumbull, Patriot of the American Revolution,” "English Gardens,” and “Willard Clockmakers.”

A hand weaver and watercolor artist, Dias owns and operates her home business, Dovecote Studio, in Woodstock, Connecticut.

The meeting begins at 7:30 p.m. at Hebron’s Old Town Hall. Old Town Hall is located just east of the intersections of Routes 66 and 85, adjacent to the Douglas Library. If necessary, overflow parking is available across the street behind Century 21.

dias_garden_lectureThe public is cordially invited to attend this free event, although donations are gratefully accepted to support our educational efforts. Light refreshments will be served. For more information, please contact Program Chair Louise Casarella at 860-643-9288.

farmers_cow_2Make sure you stop by Old Town Hall at Maple Fest and enjoy a free sample of Maple Ice Cream, compliments of Farmer’s Cow, a milk cooperative of local Connecticut dairy farms.

Farmer's Cow Ice Cream was launched last summer as a result of customers who enjoy the local cooperative’s milk, cream, eggs and seasonal beverages like cider and lemonade. But they wanted more, especially Farmer's Cow Ice Cream.

“We decided it was time to oblige, and turned to our customers to tell us about their favorite flavors,” said Robin Chesmer, Managing Member for Farmer’s Cow. “We held an online survey to see what flavors our customers wanted to see in the freezer at their local grocery store.  The top choice was vanilla, followed by chocolate and coffee.  Farmer’s Cow members then took the suggested list and narrowed it down to nine flavors.  We then held a naming contest and were overwhelmed with well over 3,000 entries from all over Connecticut.”

The winning names all have a unique agricultural appeal:  Hay! Hay! Hay! Vanilla; Cow Barn Chocolate; Up Early Coffee; Fields of Mint Chocolate Chip; Milking Time Cookies & Cream; Farm Stand Cherry Vanilla; Heifer Nutter Peanut Butter; Black Raspberry Moo Chocolate Chip; and Summer Summer Meadow Strawberry.

Farmer's Cow Ice Cream uses only The Farmer's Cow fresh milk and cream plus natural ingredients and flavors from our Connecticut family farms, including Hebron’s Mapleleaf Farm located in the historic Gilead section of Hebron.

Farmer's Cow dairy products are never ultra-pasteurized but are pasteurized the traditional way to enhance goodness and flavor.  “We hope that folks will buy our ice cream because they enjoy buying local products from local farms, but we also hope people will crave it because it simply tastes great!!,” said Farmer’s Cow representative Kathy Smith.

“We will give everyone a chance to sample our special edition of Sugar Shack Maple Walnut ice cream, topped with locally produced maple syrup and our very own The Farmer's cow whipped cream,” said Smith. “There will be other flavors too, including the opportunity to tell us what you think of a brand new flavor that will be introduced soon - Muddy Boots Knee Deep in Chocolate.”

For an additional WOW factor: everyone that samples Farmer's Cow ice cream will receive an “I Licked The Farmer's Cow” sticker.

Make sure your Maple Fest plans include a stop at Old Town Hall to sample this wonderful maple-themed treat, compliments of Farmer’s Cow!