Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Vampires, Witches and Ghosts – It’s Halloween at Connecticut’s Old State House

This month, visit the Old State House for three very special events! All programs listed start at 12 p.m. and will last approximately one hour.

Tuesday, October 15
Performance: The Witching Hour by the Judy Dworin Performance Project

Enjoy a free, sneak preview of The Witching Hour by the Judy Dworin Performance Project prior to the show’s November run at the Wadsworth Atheneum.  Set in the context of the Puritanical values of colonial Connecticut, The Witching Hour presents the little known stories of the prejudices and persecutions that resulted in the death of Alice Young of Windsor, the first person hanged for witchcraft in the 13 colonies.  Prepare to be moved by this dramatic modern dance performance. The program is free to the public, no registration required.

Tuesday, October 22
Conversations at Noon: Vampires & Witches in Connecticut

Get into the Halloween mood on Tuesday, October 22 when State Archaeologist Nick Bellantoni discusses the New England Vampire Panic and how historical and archaeological research uncovered an early American widespread belief in the “undead”. A panel discussion will explore Connecticut’s aggressive prosecution and execution of accused witches between 1647–1663, decades before the famous Salem witch trials. Lisa Johnson, executive director of the Stanley-Whitman House will share her expertise on the trial of accused Connecticut witch, Mary Barnes; and Dr. Larry Goodheart, who recently authored the book The Solemn Sentence of Death: Capital Punishment in Connecticut, will recount the stories of eleven people put to death for witchcraft in Connecticut.  Program will be moderated by CT-N’s Diane Smith.

This program is free. Registrations are encouraged but not required. Register at

Thursday, October 31
Special Halloween tour of Connecticut’s Old State House

Celebrate Halloween with a spooky tour of Connecticut’s Old State! Hear ghost tales as you discover the rich history of this National Landmark. The tour starts at noon, lasts an hour. Regular admission fees apply. Please register by calling 860-522-6766.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Re-Imagining Ways to Preserve the Past - Wednesday, September 18 at Noon

Re-Imagining Ways to Preserve the Past
Wednesday, September 18 at Noon

Hartford, CT – From the home of a world-renowned opera singer to the pharmacy operated by the one of the first women in the state licensed as a pharmacist, there are more than 100 sites on the Connecticut Freedom Trail that commemorate the accomplishments of African-Americans. But many others have been lost.

Photo provided by Brent Leggs
On Wednesday, September 18, join preservationist Brent Leggs from the National Trust for Historic Preservation for his talk, Re-Imagining Ways to Preserve the Past, and discover how he helps communities save buildings including schools, homes, theaters, and churches that reflect the African-American experience.  These buildings are often “small, unadorned structures” yet their preservation is vital to empowering “black youth by revealing historical themes besides slavery, including entrepreneurship, civil rights, entertainment, sports, education, and political activism,” according to Leggs. Following the brief talk, enjoy a thought-provoking discussion with Glenn A. Cassis, the Executive Director of the Connecticut African-American Affairs Commission and Maisa Tisdale from the Mary & Eliza Freeman Center for History and Community.  The Center owns the historic Freeman Houses, the only structures remaining from Bridgeport’s Little Liberia that was home to free people of color from 1820-1850.

September is Connecticut Freedom Trail Month and Todd Levine, from the State Historic Preservation Office, will join the discussion to talk about the 130 Connecticut sites, including Connecticut’s Old State House, which embody the struggle toward freedom and human dignity and celebrate the accomplishments of the state's African-American community.

The program begins at noon and is FREE. Discounted parking is available nearby.

For more information, call 860-522-6766. Registrations are encouraged but not required. Register at

Connecticut’s Old State House will validate parking tickets from the State Street South Parking Garage (formerly the Constitution Plaza garage) and State House Square Garage. The cost, after validation, is $5 for the entire day.