Category Archives: family

250 Years, One Family, One Farm

I am going down a research rabbit hole. My quest is to develop a Mansfield Historical Society display that honors the Stearns family in Mansfield, CT. for 250 years. How does one condense 250 years of living, farming, generations, wars, and weather into an exhibit? I’m trying…

The family purchased this farm in 1772. Tonight, I held that deed in my hand. I saw the signature of the man who walked here from Killingly, Boaz Stearns. He set to paper his claim to a hill of Chestnut trees and field with a fine saltbox house. Little would he realize the tenuous strand the farm would survive by at times, and yet it has. The American Revolution took a son, as did the Civil War. Nature played out her tempest in hurricanes, blizzards, droughts, and soggy seasons. Fires ravaged the farm in 1929, 1959, and tried again in 1989. How does a family pick up the pieces and continue?

Those pieces have been a different challenge for every generation. The important piece that was picked up was the CT Farmland Preservation program protecting 746 acres to forever be for agricultural use! No development will scar the land and erase the centuries of blood, sweat, and tears that fell on the soil there. We are charged with being stewards, here to protect and preserve and move it on to the next generations. So many stewards have walked this land just as I did today.

This morning I walked in the Spencer lot as it’s called. A dusty farm road lies between corn and hay land. Tonight, I found the original deed in the town hall vault. That ninety-acre parcel was purchased from Henry and Mary Spencer on June 26, 1852, for the grand sum of $50.00. A bargain in my opinion. I am sure they would all be pleased to see the newly planted corn sprouting and the hay waving in an early morning breeze. Farm lot names preserve a bit of history.

If you are intrigued by my research story or a family that stays on a farm for 250 years there is so much more. The exhibit opens Sunday, June 5, 2022, 1:30-4:30 at Mansfield Historical Society Rte 195 Storrs CT.

New Year Photo Scavenger Hunt

Time for some individual or family fun. Make it a competition or do it for arts sake. Join in to get out of the house. Share your photos on social media with the hashtag #PhotoScavengerHunt Scavenger Hunt Photo Checklist   Take the Photos Share the Fun! Brought to you by People ☐ Volunteering ☐… Continue Reading

My Roots Are Showing; Collecting and Telling Historical Family Stories

July 21-24, 2016 The National Storytelling Conference will be held in Kansas City MO.  The host organization is the National Storytelling Network. their twitter handle is @nsnstorycon  There will be a steady update of happenings from the National Conference where storytellers from around the country and even a few from around the world will… Continue Reading

Fiona’s Viral Post

      Her name is Fiona, she is one of many beautiful calves at Mountain Dairy in Storrs/Mansfield Connecticut.  What is so special about her has been the reaction a photo of her received on Facebook. Mountain Dairy is our family farm. My grandchildren are the 11th generation. I take care of social media for… Continue Reading

Prompt July 4 Family Stories

 July 4th and you are planning a picnic. Nothing newsworthy just some family and friends coming over. This year make it special,  collect a few memories from your guests. Ask ahead for a couple of favorite recipes to prepare and share. Be sure everyone gets a copy of the recipe to take home. Then ask for the story behind… Continue Reading

Archaeology and Family Stories

  It was as if I entered a portal to time and crossed over to the American Revolution. Was this a table in the offices of Archaeological and Historical Services, Inc or my great, great, great, great- Grandmothers kitchen table?   While researching a family story online I found an archaeological report… Continue Reading

The Patriot Gave Everything – Focus on Family Stories

Are you aware of the thousands who died for the cause of America, not in battles of our Revolution, but as prisoners of war held by the British under the most horrific of conditions. Their story is mostly forgotten, their lives given to the new nation undervalued by history, unserved by classroom text. The stories of… Continue Reading

Thanksgiving  A List of Giving Thanks!

Thanksgiving A List of Giving Thanks!

My family – as always I am thankful for my family and this year in particular for my Brother, Steve Marshall. We took a long journey through our parents illness and passing together and I am so grateful to have had him at my side! Thank- You Steve!                                                                                      Here Steve is at work on the… Continue Reading

Journey of a Thousand Goodbyes

Journey of a Thousand Goodbyes

          My father passed away last week. He was a captive of Dementia or Alzheimer’s for several years and in passing over that journey has ended and another begun. Herman F. Marshall was born July 19, 1929 in Manchester, New Hampshire. His story is our family memory now and I’m reading the things he wrote… Continue Reading