“Living Large in 18th Century Middletown”
Bill Hosley of Terra Firma Northeast
Wednesday, February 22, at 7:00 pm.
Russell Library, 123 Broad Street in Middletown
Perched high above Washington Street is Middletown’s finest example of Georgian Colonial architecture, the Judge Seth Wetmore House. The painted parlor was of such high quality that it was dismantled and is now on display at the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford. But the house began on a less elevated and sobering note: the foundation was dug by Judge Wetmore’s three enslaved workers, Milt, Cuff, and Will.
In the fourth installment of the “Vanished Port” speakers’ series, to be held on Wednesday, February 22, at 7:00 pm., Bill Hosley will discuss 18th – century Middletown architecture with an emphasis on the Wetmore House. Famous visitors to the house included Aaron Burr, the Marquis de Lafayette, and noted theologians Jonathan Edwards and Timothy Dwight. They would have enjoyed lively conversations in the parlor with its “corner shell cupboard with sun-burst decoration; marbleized fluted pilasters at either side of the fireplace opening, and its fine overmantel painting,” as described by the Greater Middletown Preservation Trust.
Hosley, the principal of Terra Firma Northeast, is a cultural resource consultant, writer, historian, preservationist, exhibition developer, and material culture scholar. He was the director of the New Haven Museum and Connecticut Landmarks. Major exhibitions he curated at the Wadsworth Atheneum include The Great River: Art & Society of the Connecticut Valley and Sam & Elizabeth: Legend and Legacy of Colt’s Empire.
“A Vanished Port: Middletown and the Caribbean, 1750-1824” is a recently opened exhibit at the Middlesex County Historical Society, 151 Main Street, Middletown, that illuminates
the culture of prosperity that grew from Middletown’s trade relationships with the slave-worked sugar plantations of the English Caribbean.
Russell Library is located at 123 Broad Street in Middletown and is handicap accessible. For more information on this presentation or on “A Vanished Port,” please call 860-346-0746 or see https://mchsct.org