May 15, 2011

Welcome to the web home of The Rocky Hill (CT) Historical Society. Here you will find up to date information and articles about the activities of the society. Please visit the various pages to the right for detailed information about the society and our activities, our community, our historic buildings, etc.

Dinner/Dance – Saturday April 28, 2014

February 5, 2014

Save the Date:  The Rocky Hill Historical Society and the Rocky Hill Fire Museum are co-sponsoring a Dinner/Dance to be held on Saturday, April 26, 2014, at the St. James Church Parish Center at 767 Elm St., Rocky Hill.  It will be catered and is BYOB with set-ups provided.

Music will provided by the 8-piece Shaded Soul Band.  Their repertoire includes Rock and Roll, Country, Jazz, Swing, Motown, R&B, Disco and more.  There should be something for everyone.

Tickets are $35.00 pp.  Please call the Historical Society at (860) 563-6704 for reservations.

RHHS Headquarters & Museum- Google Street view

RHHS Headquarters & Museum-
Google Street view

Rocky Hill Fire Museum on Church Street

Rocky Hill Fire Museum on Church Street – Google Street view

The Rocky Hill Fire Museum is open Saturdays Noon to 2PM

C 2000 Year Old Stone Axe Donated to RHHS

July 9, 2013


This stone axe head was found c 1970 at a construction site on Raymond Road in Rocky Hill. The object is in the Society’s museum and was recently featured in a talk at The Cora Belden Library by Nick Bellantoni, Connecticut State Archaeologist. He stated; “…it was one of the best examples of an ax head from this period (2,000 to 4,000 years ago) he had ever seen uncovered in the state of Connecticut.” This axe would have been used to fell trees and make dugout canoes. Described as “magnificent” by Bellantoni who said the axe was of granite and had a groove to haft it to a handle with sinews or fibers.

The object was given to RHHS by Katherine Mirabello whose father found the axe.

Denison Homestead & 2nd Continental Dragoons-Mystic June 9

June 5, 2013

This should be fun!

Denison Homestead Open House

CT DOT Proposes Fare Doubling on Ferries

May 9, 2013

Have you heard about the current Connecticut DOT proposal to double fares on the Chester-Hadlyme & Rocky Hill-Glastonbury ferries?

Instead, Connecticut DOT should consider other alternatives to increase revenues that have been proposed by members of the communities served by the two historic ferries.

A petition drive is underway where signers can express their opposition to the DOT proposal. Here is link to the petition

According to Ed Chiucarello, of the Rocky Hill Riverfront Preservation Society, a public meeting with the DOT about the fare increase to held at Rocky Hill Community Center, Room 1, on May 20th at 6:30PM.

These are the fares currently charged at the Rocky Hill/Glastonbury ferry:

$3.00 Per Vehicle(Car,SUV,Truck,Motorcycle or Similar)
 $2.00 Commuter Rate
(Requires Pre-Purchased Commuter Coupons)
 $1.00 Walk on Rate for Pedestrians and Bicyclist

 Rocky Hill Ferry

Notice: Annual Meeting & Special Event – May 10

April 22, 2013

Annual Meeting (6PM) and Special Presentation (7:30PM) about Selden Neck Island in History – United Methodist Church; 623 Old Main St, Rocky Hill

On Friday May 10 at 7:30 PM, in conjunction with our annual meeting, the Historical Society of Rocky Hill will present a 45 minute visual program, “Quarries of Selden Neck” by historian David Wordell. Mr. Wordell will be present to entertain questions and discussion following the viewing. Location: United Methodist Church, 623 Old Main Street, Rocky Hill. $10.00 per person. Enjoy coffee and dessert as we elect our officers for 2013-14.

The program details the days of quarries and schooners bound for New York City as well as other facts and folklore about Selden Island. Selden Neck Island is located in the Connecticut River between Lyme and Deep River.
More Information

Selden Island in the Connecticut River

Selden Island in the Connecticut River

Quarries of Selden by David Wordell

Quarries of Selden by David Wordell

War of 1812: Upcoming Program at Belden Library-Mar 26

March 18, 2013

Battle Ft McHenry

Presentation: Connecticut and the War of 1812
Date: Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Place: Cora J. Belden Library, 33 Church St., Rocky Hill, CT.
Time: 6:30 P.M.
Presenter: Glenn Gordinier
Co-Sponsors: Friends of the Cora J. Belden Library and the Rocky Hill Historical Society
Cost: Free
Refreshments will be provided

This presentation grew out of an exhibit, “The Rockets’ Red Glare: Connecticut and the Warof 1812–A Bicentennial Exhibit”, held at the Lyman Allyn Art Museum in New London,Connecticut, during the summer and fall of 2012.  A book by the same title was co-written by Glenn S. Gordinier under the guidance of the New London County Historical Society and provides fascinating insights into Connecticut’s participation in this little remembered or understood chapter in America’s early history.  

Glenn’s presentation sheds light on the events leading up to, during and after the War. Among the more interesting highlights he covers are the British raid on Essex, the Battle of Stonington as well as legacies of the War of 1812.

Glenn S. Gordinier teaches history for the Williams College/Mystic Seaport Program in Maritime Studies and for the University of Connecticut. He has written or co-written several books including Surfing Cold Water, Fishing Out of Stonington (Maritime) as well as The Rockets’Red Glare.

The Rockets’ Red Glare by Glenn Gordinier is available at Amazon:


Rockets' Red Glare

Historical Society of Rocky Hill on Facebook

January 24, 2013

The society now has a Facebook page. Please visit us here to add your comments, photos, and suggestions.

October Tag Sale to Benefit the Society: Oct 27 9-2

October 23, 2012

All proceeds from the October Tag Sale will benefit the Academy Hall Restoration Fund. The sale will be held on the grounds of the Academy on Saturday Oct 27 from 9 AM to 2 PM. Below an important note from a committee member:

Would any of you be able to help at the Rocky Hill Historical Society Tag Sale this coming Saturday, the 27th? We especially need people to help at 7:00 a.m. to carry boxes out to the tables on the sidewalk. We have a ton of stuff to put out, so the more people we have, the fewer trips each person needs to make, and the quicker we get done! Hope you can make it!


History of Rocky Hill Historical Society: First Fifty Years

October 22, 2012

John Serra, our hardworking treasurer and researcher, has written “History of the Rocky Hill Historical Society: The First Fifty Years (1962-2012)”, in observance of the society’s anniversary. The document lists the people who volunteered and the events that took place in Academy Hall Museum and also off site.

In 1970, for example, academy Hall was nominated to the National Register of Historic Places. Eight women know as the Barbersharps sung patriotic songs. Historical society member from Huntington, Long Island traveled by canoe on the Connecticut River to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. Many names and program titles can be found in the extensive history of our society.
(from the society’s newsletter; Jeff Gubala, Ed.)

The entire document can be read at the “John Serra: History…” in the “Pages” sidebar at the right.

A New History of Rocky Hill by Rafaele Fierro

July 3, 2012

Just published on the Wethersfield Historical Society website:

Rocky Hill: A History by Rafaele Fierro

It was only a matter of time. Rocky Hill citizens since the 1820s had been petitioning the Connecticut General Assembly to become a separate town. Now in 1843 the residents of Wethersfield’s “Lower Community,” known since 1722 as Stepney Parish, took up the issue anew but with more vigor and in more numbers. Town leader Elias W. Robbins led this local independence movement, which succeeded by June of 1843. Rocky Hill would be the new town’s official name and henceforth would become known as the “political daughter of Wethersfield” to its north. Rocky Hill was not unique in its quest for and success in separation. Two other towns–Glastonbury and Newington–also emerged from Wethersfield.

And today, out of the 169 incorporated towns in Connecticut, more than half were created when they split from their “mothers.” Indeed, between 1820 and 1850, the state’s General Assembly incorporated 13 new towns, including Rocky Hill, one steeped in tradition and history, and created as much by nature’s fury as by the power of Connecticut’s legislative body…(left Philip Goffe House)

Men like Goffe found the land appealing because it stood high above the river whose flood plains narrowed down, just south of the long hill for which the town would be named ultimately. And because it seemed logical to these early settlers to cross the river along this tapered stretch, they helped establish a transport service in 1655. Later known as the Rocky Hill-Glastonbury ferry service, it remains the oldest ferry service in the United States. The settlers also realized that the land could be used for building ships and farming. A classic riverport was about to be born.

(read the rest of this interesting history on the “Rafaele Fierro..” Page in sidebar at the right)


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