Local supporters of the Peters House got some welcome good news recently, with the announcement that the home had been identified for inclusion as part of Connecticut’s Freedom Trail. “I just found out five hours ago,” said Donna McCalla at a public hearing regarding the house at the Hebron Town Hall on Feb. 5. “We are just thrilled.” The hearing was an opportunity for residents to discuss the home’s designation as a local historic property.
McCalla was joined by more than 40 people at the public hearing, including many direct descendants of Cesar and Lois Peters. Alethia Daughtrey, who is writing a book about the Peters family, travelled all the way from Massachusetts to support the house. “Learning about your own history is very, very different from sitting in class,” she said. Daughtrey recalled her first glimpse of the Peters House in a book at a local library . “Now there’s something that connects us to history,” she said. She made her first trip to the house with a large group of other descendants. “We wanted to kiss the ground,” said Daughtrey. “We want to lend our voices to designating it as an historic property.”
Other descendants voiced support as well, including a young man named Ade, who identified himself as a great, great, great, great, great grandson of Cesar Peters . “I feel that the house should be made into a museum,” he said.
Dan Larson, a member of the Hebron Board of Finance, identified the Peters House as a national treasure. “It would bring people to Hebron. It would get people talking about Hebron. Why not take advantage of what you’ve got?” asked Larson.
Resident David Morrison referred to other historic homes that had been torn down, their land paved over to make room for parking lots. “It’s documented as historic. It’s time to designate it as historic,” said Morrison.
Please designate this house,” said Chris Ambrose.
Rich Cassatta referred to the house when he stood up to volunteer for another five years on the Historic Properties Commission. Cassatta said that, after 10 years of service, he had hesitated to volunteer again. “I think there’s a perception in town that we’re a treehugging , old house radical group,” said Cassatta. When asked by selectman Brian O’Connell how things could be improved, Cassatta said he felt that education was the key. “We’re not just here to hug the old house,” he said. “The value to the town of Hebron is huge.”
The Hebron Board of Selectmen is scheduled to vote on the Peters House designation at their next regular meeting on Feb. 19.