The Harriet Beecher Stowe Center—one of our nation’s most important historic sites—has a fresh take on the house tour and a freshly renovated interior. Find out why you should visit this summer—plus a stroll through their historic garden and the award-winning plants you’ll find there.
We wish to thank Katherine Kane, Judith Lohman, Beth Burgess, and the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center. This episode was produced by Elizabeth Normen and Sarajane Cedrone.
Read more at ctexplored.org where you'll find several stories on Stowe including "The Most Famous American," "Where Mr. Twain and Mrs. Stowe Built Their Dream Houses," "Lincoln and the Key to 'Uncle Tom's Cabin'," and "'Must Read Book' is 160 Years Old."
Rules 10 through 20 of P. T. Barnum's The Art of Money Getting or Golden Rules for Making Money are Barnum at his best: wise, funny, clear and wonderfully useful still today. Hear how America's first media mega-mogul and 2nd ever millionaire made his millions - the honest way. Good advice and good history. Give a listen.
Ready to ride the road to riches?
In part 2 of THE ART OF MONEY GETTING, you'll hear America's 2nd millionaire and first entertainment mega-mogul, P T Barnum, describe the first 10 rules for succeeding in business, and life. Written more than 150 years ago, the advice is as good today as int was back then. And it's written in Barnum's wise, witty, and of course, truly entertaining, style.
Between each rule is an excerpt of Barnum-era music that was recorded on Edison cylinders, the first ever recorded music. Gathered from the digital cylinder audio archives at the University of California at Santa Barbara, they are a delightful comic foray into the world Barnum helped create.
This month, the "Greatest Show on Earth" folds its tent after a run of 146 years. To commemorate, we're honoring "The Greatest Showman on Earth", P T Barnum, with a look back at his life, and a full reading of his still so useful book, THE ART OF MONEY GETTING." His 20 rules for achieving success and attaining wealth are still as sound as when he first wrote them, back in 1858. And no wonder, because as Kathy Maher, Executive Director of the Barnum Museum in Bridgeport tells Barnum was not only America's first entertainment mega-mogul, he was the nation's second millionaire. Consider it a get rich quick theme in three parts, yours for free on Grating the Nutmeg.
The Amistad Center for Art & Culture in Hartford, which documents the history and art of people of African descent in America, celebrates its 30th anniversary this year. Connecticut Explored’s Elizabeth Normen talks with executive director Frank Mitchell about the center's history and takes you on a tour of its special exhibition “30 for 30: Art, Agency, Legacy.” The episode features music by Connecticut-based Self Suffice, the RapOet.
Watch for Frank’s story in the Fall 2017 issue of Connecticut Explored. Connecticut Explored, the magazine of Connecticut history, is available by subscription or single issue at ctexplored.org.
Find Self Suffice’s music on iTunes and on Facebook.
We wish to thank Frank Mitchell and The Amistad Center for Art & Culture, and Self Suffice, the RapOet. This episode was produced by Elizabeth Normen and Patrick O’Sullivan.
With equal doses of wit and bravado, hear the stories of New Britain’s Stanley Works employees serving in France with World War I-era music recorded from the original records in the collection of Henry Arneth.
For more Connecticut in World War I: Listen to episode 24 for a dramatic reading of Cleveland Moffett’s 1915 fictional cautionary tale “The German invasion of Connecticut,” and episode 25 for the story of the Connecticut National Guard’s service on the Mexican border in 1916.
Read about Connecticut in World War I in the Spring 2017 issue of Connecticut Explored, the magazine of Connecticut history, available by subscription or single issue at ctexplored.org.
We wish to thank Karen Hudkins and Andrea Kulak from the New Britain Industrial Museum, Henry Arneth, and CCSU students Jacob Carey, Joe Guerrera, and Ryan Paolino. This episode was produced by Elizabeth Normen and Patrick O’Sullivan.
Central Connecticut State University history professor Leah Glaser retells the story of Sam Colt’s investment in the Sonora Exploring and Mining Company in the 1850s, a company that was incorporated in Cincinnati, Ohio to exploit silver mines in the new Arizona Territory. Colt never set foot in Arizona but that didn’t mean he didn’t pour energy, money, and firearms into the venture. Unfortunately, the Apache, the Civil War, and myriad other challenges intervened. Still, Colt left an indelible impression on the American West.
Recorded February 28, 2017 at the University of Hartford as part of the Presidents’ College and Connecticut Explored’s “Connecticans in the American West” lecture series. Produced by Elizabeth Normen and Patrick O’Sullivan.
What was it like when a young schoolteacher from Connecticut arrived to teach in a rough frontier school in 1850? Find out in this podcast by Eastern Connecticut State University English professor Allison Speicher. Speicher tells us about why the famous Catharine Beecher, sister of Harriet Beecher Stowe, was so driven to send New England school teachers to the west—and what those teachers found when they arrived.
This talk was recorded February 21, 2017 at the University of Hartford as part of the Presidents' College and Connecticut Explored’s “Connecticans in the American West” lecture series. The episode was produced by Elizabeth Normen and Patrick O’Sullivan.
Museum of Connecticut History curator Dave Corrigan tells the forgotten story of the Connecticut National Guard’s service on the Mexican border in 1916—the first test of these young soldiers in a hostile environment before they shipped out to France six months later.
Part of our Commemorating World War I coverage. Recorded February 14, 2017 at the University of Hartford, part of the three-part Presidents’ College Lecture Series “Connecticans in the American West,” organized in collaboration with Connecticut Explored’s Winter 2016-2017 issue on that theme. Produced by Elizabeth Normen and Patrick O'Sullivan.
Watch for the other two lectures in that series in future episodes of Grating the Nutmeg.
This spring, Americans will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the United States entry into World War I. This year and next, events around the state will explore and remember Connecticut's special role as the "Arsenal of the Nation" in the conflict once called "the war to end all wars."
To help whet your appetite for some of the surprising stories ahead, state historian Walt Woodward retells the little known tale of the World War I "German invasion of Connecticut" as recorded by war correspondent Cleveland Moffatt in 1915. It's home front story to end all home front stories, that was serialized in the pages of the national magazine McClure's in 1915, and released in book form as The Conquest of America in 1916.
KEEP TRACK OF ALL EVENTS NEAR YOU COMMEMORATING CONNECTICUT AND THE GREAT WAR AT THE CONNECTICUT IN WORLD WAR I WEBSITE.
A celebration of the adventure, fun, and excitement of a road trip along the byways and back roads of America. Featuring the stories of the diners, motels, gas stations, and roadside amusements that are featured in Road Trip!, the New Haven Museum’s exhibition on view through June 15, 2017.
Visit ctexplored.org/shack-attack/ for photos and more information on Connecticut’s roadside eateries, and listen to episode 10, “Poets & Patriots in Stonington,” for our visit to the Sea Swirl in Mystic.
This historic preservation story is supported in part by Connecticut Humanities.
The Smithsonian’s Eric Hintz reveals why he featured Hartford as one of six places of invention in a special exhibition at the National Museum of American History in Washington D.C. Find out how Samuel Colt, Elisha Root, and Mark Twain figure into the story and the ingredients he’s discovered that mark Connecticut as a standout place of invention in the late 19th century.
Visit ctexplored.org/listen for links to stories of invention, including episode 19’s interview with Connecticut Historical Society curator Ilene Frank about their exhibition, “Connecticut Innovates!,” on view through March 25, 2017.
Thank you to Eric Hintz and the Smithsonian’s Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation, and Jody Blankenship and the Connecticut Historical Society. This episode was produced by Elizabeth Normen and Patrick O’Sullivan.
Make a gift to support Grating the Nutmeg at ctexplored.org/friends and use coupon code “gratingthenutmeg” to designate your gift. Gifts will be shared between Connecticut Explored and the state historian for outreach.
Celebrate Christmas in Connecticut with two stories – from Harriet Beecher Stowe and the Mark Twain House. Featuring music from Duke Ellington's Suite from the Nutcracker Ballet performed by the New England Jazz Ensemble.
Visit ctexplored.org/listen for links to Connecticut Explored's photo essay on historic Connecticut-made and Connecticut-displayed Christmas decorations.
Make a gift to support Grating the Nutmeg at ctexplored.org/friends and use coupon code "gratingthenutmeg" to designate your gift. Gifts will be shared between Connecticut Explored and the state historian for outreach.
In this, the first of 2 special holiday episodes, we celebrate one of the best things about the holiday season - the stories people share with each other. We journey to Connecticut's Quiet Corner, where residents of the towns of Columbia and Lebanon met together on an evening in early November to share soup, dessert, and stories.
State Historian Walt Woodward emceed this events - held to celebrate the 50th anniversaries of both the Lebanon and Columbia Historical Societies. It was a magic evening that saw two communities come together as one family to share some of the most interesting and surprising stories you can imagine.
What do the Shroud of Turin,a beer drinking donkey, a walking catfish, Farmall tractors,the Blizzard of 1888, spooky houses, and the songs from the Wizard of Oz have to do with the little towns of Lebanon and Columbia? Listen and hear!
Thanks to Donna Baron, Justin Holbrook, Rick Kane, Andrea Stannard, Alicia Lamb, Marge Nicholls, Ed Tillman, Belle Robinson, and ALL the amazing story tellers who made this night so fun and memorable.
What does it take to be considered innovative? What is Connecticut's history of innovation? Find out with this interview with Connecticut Historical Society curator Ilene Frank and exhibit designer Jordan Klein about their new exhibition Connecticut Innovates! on view November 11, 2016 to March 25, 2017.
Visit ctexplored.org/listen for links to stories about Connecticut’s innovators: Sikorsky, Ensign-Bickford, Pepperidge Farm, Peter Paul, Bigelow Tea, Pratt & Whitney, Kaman, and more!
John Dempsey (1961-1971) was one of the most popular – and effective - governors Connecticut ever had.He was also the only immigrant governor of Connecticut since the colonial era, having been born in Cahir, Ireland in 1916. During his administration Connecticut - both state and government – was completely transformed, from one of the most tight-fisted American states to one of the most socially responsible. This – our first combined video AND audio Grating the Nutmeg podcast – describes Dempsey's remarkable achievements, and reveals how both his character and his policies were shaped by his boyhood in Cahir, Ireland.
TO WATCH THE VIDEO VERSION OF THIS PODCAST, CLICK THIS LINK:
Hear about Ruth Duncan’s shocking discovery of her great great grandfather’s connection to the notorious pirate William Gibbs and about who’s clamored to get into—and escape from—Old New-Gate Prison over the last 240 years. After six years of a stabilization project, the popular historic site is on the verge of reopening to the public with an open house on October 22, 2016.
In our 17th episode, Connecticut Explored's Elizabeth Normen and Jennifer LaRue explore stories from the the Fall 2016 issue on the theme of Crime and Punishment in Connecticut.
In "The Pirate's Pericardium," you'll hear how the membrane surrounding a notorious pirate's heart was made into a tobacco pouch and ultimately made its way onto the archives of the Greenwich Historical Society. Ruth Duncan and archivist Christopher Shields of the Greenwich Historical Society recount this fascinating story.
Next comes the tale one of the state's most popular tourist attractions--Old New-Gate Prison. Jack Shannahan, Sophie Huget, and state representative Tami Zawistowski tell this captivating story.
Photo: Ruth Duncan with the human pericardium/tobacco pouch, possibly of the notorious Gibbs the Pirate.
Some people say that young people these days just aren't that interested in history museums. Don't tell that to the Noah Webster House in West Hartford, which has found a way to attract hundreds of twenty-and-thirty-somethings to drink in history at the birthplace of the man who helped define early America. Hear all about it in “Drinking in History with Noah Webster." See pictures on the Connecticut State Historian Facebook page.
Was the oldest person executed under Connecticut's now-abolished capital punishment law given a fair trial? Where did an enterprising young man find the best law school in the early years of the new nation? (hint: it wasn't New Haven)
Find out about these and others stories about crime and punishment in Connecticut from the new Fall 2016 issue of Connecticut Explored, the magazine of Connecticut history.
Guests: Johnna Kaplan, author of "The Mysterious Case of Gershom Marx," and Cathy Fields, executive director of the Litchfield Historical Society: Hosts: Elizabeth Normen and Jennifer LaRue
What's the history of Bradley International Airport and why is it named for someone from Oklahoma? Is it time to change the name? On the 75th anniversary of Bradley Field (almost to the day) CT Explored's Elizabeth Normen talks with Jerry Roberts of the New England Air Museum about the past, present, and future of Connecticut's international airport and air museum.
Take an earwitness journey to the 1659 John Hollister homesite on the Connecticut River in ancient Wethersfield, and join the archaeologists, graduate students, and volunteers from many walks of life as they uncover one of the richest early colonial sites ever found in Connecticut.
State historian Walter Woodward brings you with him on the last day of the dig as for a first hand account of what they're finding at this amazing site, and what it means for understanding our early history. Hear from State archeologist Brian Jones, Lori Kissel, Scot Brady, Glenda Rose, Dick Hughes, Fiona Jones, Mandy Ranslow (president of FOSA - Friends of the Office of State Archaeology) and others about their epic archeological adventure.
You'll also find companion photographs of the site at the Connecticut State Historian's Facebook page (please like) and the Connecticut Explored website ctexplored.org (please subscribe to the magazine).
The Great Find!
A pair of 18th century portraits comes up for auction. Should the Connecticut Historical Society make a bid? This is a behind-the-scenes story in more ways than one! Host: Elizabeth Normen, CT Explored. Featuring Ilene Frank, Connecticut Historical Society
Pleasant Valley Drive-In
Did you go to the drive-in movies when you were a kid? You still can! Join Jennifer LaRue for another segment inspired by the "Small Towns, BIG Stories" theme of the Summer 2016 issue of Connecticut Explored.
Growing Up in Connecticut
Are you a millennial, Gen Xer, Baby Boomer, or member of the Silent Generation? Relive your childhood with the Connecticut Historical Society's special exhibition "Growing Up in Connecticut." (picture, left) Host: Elizabeth Normen, CT Explored. Featuring Ben Gammell, Connecticut Historical Society
Most people know the Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum as the place where George Washington and French comte de Rochambeau planned the campaign that won the American victory in the Revolutionary War. This year, a new museum exhibit commemorates another important event, one that happened there 100 years ago in 1916. That's when the minister, photographer, antiques expert, and marketing entrepreneur Wallace Nutting made Webb-Deane-Stevens one of the very first historic house museums in America. Museum Executive Director Charles Lyle tells us the amazing story about an amazing man who was the Martha Stewart of his generation and more, in episode 11 of Grating the Nutmeg.
More stories from "Small Towns, Big Stories," the summer 2016 issue of Connecticut Explored .
Poetry and Patriots in Stonington
A visit to an unexpected listing on the National Register of Historic Places: poet James Merrill's fourth-floor walk-up pied-a-terre in Stonington. Special guest poet-in-residence Noah Warren reads from Merrill's work and reveals how this place inspired both his and Merrill's poetry. And Beth Moore of the Stonington Historical Society gives us a highlights tour of historic sites in Stonington.
Shack Attack: Summer Eats in Connecticut
Find out where to get great clams, hot dogs, and ice cream at Connecticut's most iconic roadside food shacks.
This year, Lyman Orchards in Middlefield celebrates its 275th anniversary. State historian Walt Woodward sat down with John Lyman III to talk about the history of the 12th oldest family business in America, which also happens to be one of New England's most popular agri-tourism destinations.
Then, listen to What's It All About – Summer Edition, a lively discussion with Bill Hosley and Betsy Fox about their favorite small towns with BIG stories from the summer issue of Connecticut Explored.