A Birds-eye View of Wethersfield’s History

The following set of maps were created by Phil Lohman, artist and Wethersfield resident.  These birds-eye views are intended to depict, in fifty year increments, the development of Wethersfield and
to highlight some noteworthy events.  Please click on the illustration for a larger view.

The maps and accompanying text were originally published in the Town of
Wethersfield’s 2013 “Plan of Conservation and Development”, and were on
display at the Wethersfield Public Library.

 

1634: The first illustration shows how the area we now know as Wethersfield might
have been settled around 1634.  The first settlers are thought to have
wintered on the west side of the river.  A Wongunk settlement is nearby.
Note the different configuration of the Connecticut River at that time.

1634.jpg

1684: This illustration shows how Wethersfield might have been settled around 1684.  The river has changed course.   A witch trial might have been going on at the meetinghouse.  The mid
1600s were a time for “witch hysteria”.  Four witch trials and three
executions for witchcraft occurred in Wethersfield.

1684.jpg1734: The next illustration shows how Wethersfield might have been settled around
1734.  Note the configuration of the Connecticut River and the farm
fields surrounding the growing village area.  Note also the homesteads
in outlying areas.

1734.jpg1784:  This illustration shows how Wethersfield might have been settled around
1784.  In 1781, General George Washington met in Wethersfield with Count
Rochambeau of France to coordinate their activities for the decisive
battle of Yorktown.

1784.jpg1834:  The next illustration depicts how Wethersfield might have been settled
around 1834.  Many of the fields are devoted to seed production in
addition to subsistence farming.  Ice was harvested from the Cove in the
winter.

1834.jpg1884: This illustration shows Wethersfield as it might have been settled around
1884.  The first telegraph and phone lines are being installed and the
horsedrawn trolley service connecting Wethersfield to Hartford begins to
set the stage for Wethersfield to become a “suburban” community.

1884.jpg
1934: The next illustration shows how Wethersfield was settled around 1934.
Speculative subdivisons are occurring on old farmsteads.  The Silas
Deane Highway has been constructed and there are a number of houses
built adjacent to the trolley lines (Hartford Avenue and Wolcott Hill
Road).
1934.jpg1984: This illustration shows Wethersfield as it was settled around 1984.  The
embankment built as part of the construction of interstate 91 now
confines the Connecticut River so its course is more certain.  Earth
excavated for the embankment created the large “cove” at Crow Point.
The embankment also seperated Wethersfeild fro the Connecticut River.
Development along the Silas Deane Highway is essentially complete and
there are numerous houses in the surrouning areas.  Subdivisions have
spread far afield from the historic settlement area.
1984.jpg

2034: This illustration is a fictional map created by Phil Lohman as a projection of his ideal Wethersfield future.
2034 FINAL (Copy).jpg

About the Author: Phil Lohman

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