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Jun 29, 2021

In this episode, Dr. Leah Glaser and students from her 2021 Public History class at Central Connecticut State University present stories about the state’s witness trees — a project that evolved out of a semester-long class on local and community history. Trees are central characters in the state’s history, myths and legends. They witnessed the changing environmental, political, social, economic, and cultural landscape for decades and even centuries. What’s a witness tree, you ask? Find out in this episode of Grating the Nutmeg.


Find Dr. Glaser’s article about witness and memorial trees in the Spring 2021 issue of Connecticut Explored online at


Dr. Leah Glaser is a professor at Central Connecticut State University and Coordinator of the Public History Program. Her 2021 class researched tree stories and each student presented one story on the podcast. Contact her at

  1. Andy King-The Mashantucket Pequots and the rhododendron
  2. David Prochorena-Pinchot Oak, Simsbury
  3. Helena Torres Diaz-The Witch Tree and the Hartford Witch Trials, Hartford
  4. Despina Merriman-Nathan Hale Pear Tree, Coventry
  5. Gregory Franklin-Puritans to Patriots (Ye Olde Oak), Easton
  6. Cameron Clarke-John Brown’s Tree, Torrington
  7. Grayson Belisle- Teddy Roosevelt and the McKinley Tree, Farmington
  8. Emma Koss-Land Stewardship and the Dewey Oak, Granby
  9. Valerie Chase-WWII Patriotism and Arbor Day, Windham
  10. Benjamin Johnson-The Old Oak Tree and the Coltsville labor strike, Hartford
  11. Kaitlyn Oberndorfer- Blue Cedars and the Rural Cemetery Movement, Hartford
  12. Patricia Wallace– The Cypress Tree Mystery at an Olmsted Park, New Haven
  13. Garrett Saranich-The Chestnut Oak, Shipbuilding on the Connecticut shoreline, Clinton
  14. Ben Haberman- The Black Cherry Tree oversees Seaport to Coastal Gateway, Madison
  15. Tom Ieronimo- Of Hickory and Baseball, Hartford


For more information on Hartford’s historic trees, go to the Hartford Preservation Alliance website at


Find the Connecticut Notable Tree Project at


Read More!

Connecticut Explored



Grating the Nutmeg Podcast

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Want to know more about Connecticut’s landmarks, museums, art and history? Subscribe to Connecticut Explored magazine — in print to your mailbox or digitally to your e-mail inbox. Visit to subscribe. And for a daily dose of history, visit Today in Connecticut History produced by the Office of the State Historian at


This episode was produced by Leah Glaser and Mary Donohue and engineered by Patrick O’Sullivan. Please join us again for the next episode of Grating the Nutmeg!