Monday, May 10, 2010

Crochet History in Connecticut

If you are a fiber-lovin' resident of Connecticut, or just visiting, here are museums, parks, and history worth looking into:

  • Putnam Park, located in Redding, CT. This is the oldest state park in Connecticut, former winter encampment of 1778 for General Putnam's Continental soldiers during the Revolutionary War. On Exhibit are many fiber related artifacts, including a Spinning Jenny used to speed up the process of making thread.
  • Susan Bates, located in Chester, CT. The former home of the makers of crochet hooks, knitting needles and other sewing items. Prior to the products being named "Susan Bates" they had the name "Chester." This site was closed due to environment contamination. The local Chester Historical Society may have items on display.
  • Waterbury Button Museum, located inside the Mattatuck Museum in Waterbury, CT. This museum has over 10,000 buttons on exhibit, including buttons worn by George Washington.
  • The Woolen Manufactory, formerly located in Hartford, CT from 1788 - 1794. This was the first mill to use power, and produced the material that made George Washington's suit for his Inauguration as The United States First President. The Museum of Connecticut includes exhibits of Freedom Quilts.
  • The Danbury Museum, located in Danbury, Ct. "Mad Hatter" is noted in Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland. The term "Mad Hatter" is used to described the uncontrolable shaking caused by mercury poisioning; mercury was used to help in the felting process to make hats. Danbury was once the hat center of the world in the 19th & 20th centuries, having many residents exposed. To this day, there are still mercury traces in the banks of local creeks. (Rose Wilder Lane, daughter of Laura Ingalls Wilder, has of yet to be listed as one of their famous Danburians.) Open most Saturdays; call for hours.

Edit: The HHCC would like to thank member Dee Stanziano for bringing to the Danbury Museum's attention the need to have Rose Wilder Lane added as a Famous Danburian.

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