The Founders of Kent: Starting from Scratch on the Frontier
This summer’s exhibit by the Kent Historical Society will explore the challenges faced by the founders of this small New England town, and make connections to the familiar government and community features of life in Kent today.
“The Founders of Kent: Starting from Scratch on the Colonial Frontier” will be presented in the Seven Hearths Museum with a public opening July 15 and continues weekends 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. through the end of October.
This exhibit will examine the Proprietors, the small group of wealthy men who by colonial custom, set up and controlled both the town government and the church. However, this presentation will also bring the important supporting actors to the front of the stage in order to learn more about the founding families of the town. It will include a focus on those who willingly risked their lives by leaving comfortable homes and villages to trudge, often on foot, clear across the state into that wilderness where there were no doctors, no stores, not even a single shelter from which to start realizing their dreams.
The exhibit will delve into the harsh realities they faced, such as the brutal winter of 1740; the economic rewards mostly unavailable to them in their former hometowns; the bonds they formed as the little town grew; and finally, the role they played in the early American populist religious movement known as the Great Awakening, which rocked Kent to its core.
“The Founders of Kent” will provide a glimpse into the connection to today’s governmental structure in town, as well as other aspects of life that stretch back to 1738. Many direct descendants of the Comstocks, Skiffs, Fullers, Roots and other settlers are still living in town today.
Throughout this year, the Society has focused on the town’s founders and has offered a variety of topics through its Sunday Series lectures on colonial life to enhance the exhibit and to help explain the emergence of one New England town in the 18th century. There will also be lectures in September on the role religion played, The Great Awakening, and in November on the furniture of Northwest Connecticut and what made it unique.
The Society is grateful to the exhibition sponsor, Northwest Connecticut Community Foundation, for its financial support.
Free admission to the exhibit for members; $5 suggested donation for non-members.
For more information, seewww.kenthistoricalsociety.org or call 860-927-4587.