Tercentenary Film

WETHERSFIELD TERCENTENARY PARADE & PAGEANT ORGINAL FILM

Here is the Wethersfield Tercentenary Parade & Pageant Film which was filmed by E. Myles Standish on June 8th and 9th on 1934. Film was donated by Jared Butler Standish.

DISCLAIMER: The Wethersfield Tercentenary was held in 1934 and the Tercentenary Celebration consisted of several events including the parade and pageant which were representative of the culture of the early twentieth century. It is important to remember that the interpretation of history is constantly changing. Not all the events depicted in the film are historically or politically accurate, but instead represent the historical interpretation of the time. The pageant and parade should be placed in historical context as a glimpse into the history of 1934.

WETHERSFIELD TERCENTENARY PARADE & PAGEANT FILM WITH VOICEOVER

The original film is modified with voice and music compiled according to original script, playbill, program and Order of March. This edited version of the film is to provide orientation to the viewer and was made possible with support and collaboration with Wethersfield Community Television.

DISCLAIMER: The Wethersfield Tercentenary was held in 1934 and the Tercentenary Celebration consisted of several events including the parade and pageant which were representative of the culture of the early twentieth century. It is important to remember that the interpretation of history is constantly changing. Not all the events depicted in the film are historically or politically accurate, but instead represent the historical interpretation of the time. The pageant and parade should be placed in historical context as a glimpse into the history of 1934.

PRESERVATION OF THE FILM

In 2010, Staff at Wethersfield Historical Society endeavored to reorganize our manuscript collection in order to better serve researchers. During the reorganization Volunteer Librarian Martha Smart, rediscovered a 16mm Kodacolor reel film labeled “Wethersfield Tercentenary Parade Pageant June 9+10, 1934″ that emitted a vinegar smell. Staff contacted the National Film Preservation Foundation who advised us to send the film out for evaluation. Unfortunately due to the acetate decay (reason for the vinegar smell) the conservator could not save the film with color, but could preserve the film in black and white! The National Film Preservation Foundation provided a basic preservation grant which enabled us to have the film sent to Film Technologies Company, Inc. who stabilized the original film, created new reel films, a betacam copy, a VHS copy, a DVD copy and a digital copy to share with the public.

We are thankful to the National Film Preservation Foundation for the advice, opportunity and funding to allow Film Technologies Company to preserve an important event in Wethersfield’s past. 

WETHERSFIELD TERCENTENARY CELEBRATION IN FILM

The Wethersfield Tercentenary was held for three days on June 7-9, 1934 in the heart of Old Wethersfield on Main Street and at Cove Park overlooking the Connecticut River. The first event was the parade which attracted 15,000 people to view 3,000 marchers representing Wethersfield and the three daughter towns of Glastonbury, Rocky Hill and Newington. The parade was divided into divisions entitled Escort, Wethersfield, Glastonbury, Rocky Hill, Newington and Float. The Escort division included the Connecticut National Guard, the U.S. Naval Reserve, the Governor’s Foot Guard and all Connecticut service men, active and inactive, who wished to participate. The following town divisions had local government officials, civil service departments, local organizations and ethnic groups. The Float division consisted of twenty horse-pulled floats depicting early town history from all four towns.

The second part of the film contains scenes from the Tercentenary pageant. The Leaves of the Tree: A Pageant in Celebration of the Tercentenary of the Settlement of Wethersfield, Connecticut given on June 8 and 9, 1934 was written and directed by Doris Campbell Holsworth (1897-1964). Five hundred children and adults of Wethersfield and its daughter towns served as actors in the depiction of town history for a public audience of about 3,000. Mr. Oscar A. Phelps, Chairman of the Tercentenary Committee, praised the pageant as one “which will impress and inspire all who witness it or share in it, especially those of the coming generation.”

This film is a local celebration that impacts the larger state and national story. The film demonstrates how people interpreted their colonial, Victorian and modern pasts in the 1930s. The film also incorporates the founding story of the State of Connecticut involving many dignitaries. This is a silent film depicting the understanding of the Connecticut Story through the lens of the early twentieth century and serves as a record of past community building.

OBJECTS RELATED TO THE 1934 TERCENTENARY CELEBRATION:

Photographs:
  

Programs, tickets and Script:

     

Shown here is the entire program for the weekend of June 8-10, 1934.

If you are interested in looking further into the 300th celebration of the “most auncient town” in Connecticut please visit the Old Academy to view even more material on this monumental town event.