Travel Back in Time to Colonial Glassenbury, Bring the Family and Friends, and Come to the Welles Shipman Ward House for the Biggest Holiday of the Year
It’s the late 1700’s/early 1800’s in Glassenbury and the biggest holiday of the year is here: Thanksgiving. (Christmas wasn’t celebrated in New England until approximately 1840-1850 later immigrants arrived. It was however, celebrated in Southern colonies.) Each year, the Governor of every American colony (state) designates a day of public Thanksgiving. This day was a proper way to give thanks to God for all he had provided (remember there is no separation of church and state at this time so the Governor can tell you when to go to church). This day was usually chosen at the end of November or early December. In preparation for Thanksgiving and the impending cold weather, fall housecleaning was done, food was "put by" (preserved), animals slaughtered and either smoked, dried or corned (brined) to preserve it through the winter season. Everyone who was able traveled home. Students came home from college, apprentices traveled home from their jobs, travelers turned around and came home. Due to the difficulty of travel and the wish to have everyone present at a wedding, sometimes young couples were married on Thanksgiving mainly because everyone was available. Sometimes 20-24 family members would be seated at the Thanksgiving dinner table. The main course, just as now, was turkey. A large wild turkey only weighed about 8-10 pounds, clearly not big enough to feed everyone, so other things would be served. Large animals, such as pigs or cattle might not be slaughtered yet because they needed to rely on cold weather to refrigerate the animal while the processing was finished, so there were pies; loads and load of pies, both sweet and savory.
At the Welles Shipman Ward House in South Glastonbury Thanksgiving is Here! will Sunday November 18th from 1:00pm until 4:00pm. The house will be open and full of demonstrations conveying the hustle and bustle of the holiday. There will be tours of the 1755 Connecticut River valley mansion and two of the barns will be open. You’ll see how vegetables would have preserved, some examples of heirloom vegetables that will be similar to some of the veggies that would have been available to the colonial house wife. The fire will be going and you’ll see demonstrations of some of the treats that a family might have enjoyed on their Thanksgiving table that aren't commonly eaten today. The cooking demonstration will include chicken pie, which was one of the great delicacies, which visitors can sample as well as a Marlborough Pudding. So bring the family and friends, travel back in time to Colonial Glassenbury, and come home for the biggest holiday of the year because Thanksgiving is Here!
All ages welcome. Admission $3. Phone 860-633-6890 or visit www.hsgct.org for more information.
If you’d like more information, or to schedule an interview, please call the Historical Society of Glastonbury at 860-633-6890 or email HSGlastonbury@snet.net
The Museum on the Hubbard Green is open Monday, Tuesday and Thursday 9:00a.m – 4:00p.m, and the third Sunday of every month. Admission is FREE.
The Welles-Shipman-Ward House, also run by HSG, is open for special events through out the year and Tuesdays during the summer.
The Historical Society of Glastonbury strives to educate through the preservation and promotion of Glastonbury’s extraordinary historical legacy. They have been instrumental in preserving and maintaining historic properties and a driving force in establishing five National Registered Historic Districts (NRHD), as well as a Local Historic District. Support comes from primarily over 490 member households, local businesses, foundations, and the State and Town. Visit the Historical Society of Glastonbury at www.hsgct.org and on Facebook.