Historic Tales of Bethel, Connecticut

Overview

Bethel, Connecticut, was settled as early as 1700 in the rolling hills of Northern Fairfield County. Rooted in hat manufacturing, the town offered many residents employment in the factories of the Hickocks, Judds and Benedicts. Bethel is also the birthplace of celebrated showman P.T. Barnum, who became an international celebrity and yet never forgot his hometown. Now most noted for its picturesque downtown, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Bethel retains its small-town appeal while ...

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Historic Tales of Bethel, Connecticut

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Overview

Bethel, Connecticut, was settled as early as 1700 in the rolling hills of Northern Fairfield County. Rooted in hat manufacturing, the town offered many residents employment in the factories of the Hickocks, Judds and Benedicts. Bethel is also the birthplace of celebrated showman P.T. Barnum, who became an international celebrity and yet never forgot his hometown. Now most noted for its picturesque downtown, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Bethel retains its small-town appeal while still offering accessibility to both New York City and Hartford. Join town historian Patrick Tierney Wild as he recounts the trials and triumphs that have given this New England town its charm, from the tumultuous days of the American Revolution to the early decades of the fast-paced twentieth century.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781609493578
  • Publisher: History Press, The
  • Publication date: 10/20/2011
  • Pages: 160
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Patrick Tierney Wild is a Bethel native who has served as the town's municipal historian since 1993. He attended kindergarten at the Plumtrees one-room schoolhouse, went to St. Mary's Elementary School and Bethel High School and has a BS degree from Rutgers University and an MA from the College of New Rochelle. He has written articles for the Danbury News-Times, Bethel Home News and Bethel Beacon and has provided historical information for biographical documentaries on P.T. Barnum for both the Arts & Entertainment Channel and the Discovery Channel. He served as a Bethel selectman from 2003 to 2007. He is employed as a social studies teacher at Ridgefield High School, where he teaches advanced placement courses in both United States history and United States government and politics.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements 9

Introduction 11

1 The Legend of Luther Holcomb: Bethel's Revolutionary Riddle 15

2 Captain Daniel Hickok and the Night of the Three Generals 21

3 Bethel's Tories: Those Who Chose Loyalty over Independence 25

4 The Reverend John Ely House 32

5 Bethel's Historic Main Street Houses 37

6 Main Street's Second Meetinghouse and Congregational Church 44

7 Greenwood Avenue: The Heart of Bethel 53

8 Old Roads and Turnpikes 61

9 The Early Days of the Bethel Railroad Station 68

10 Bethel's Commerce and Industry in the 1790s 73

11 Bethel's Hatting Industry and Its King of Hatters 78

12 Comb Making in Bethel 87

13 Bethel's Cemeteries: Where the Founders Are on File 92

14 Stony Hill's First Historian 95

15 The Plumtrees Schoolhouse 103

16 Bethel's Most Familiar Symbol: "The Spirit of the American Doughboy" 118

17 Barnum's Fabulous Fountain 123

18 Barnum's Last Visit to Bethel 134

Bibliography 139

About the Author 143

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