Guilford Presentation - Melissa Jones Elementary School

Happy 375th Birthday
Guilford, CT
By Mrs. Havrda’s Second Grade Students
June 13th 2014
The Founding of Guilford
by Grace & Nicole
Welcome to Guilford. Let’s learn
about how it was founded.
When did they come? Henry
Whitfield, the leader, left
England and came to Guilford in
the late summer of 1639 with 24
English Puritan families who
were seeking religious freedom.
We noticed that this was like the
Pilgrims. While on the ship the
families wrote and signed a
covenant that would become the
foundation for the community of
Guilford. Today there are almost
24,000 citizens in Guilford.
The Founding of Guilford
by Grace & Nicole
These Puritans needed land.
They made a trade with the
Native Americans who lived
nearby. The chief, or sachem
who made the trade was a
woman named Shaumpishuh.
The Puritans traded 12 coats,
12 fathom of wampum, 12
glasses, 12 pair of shoes, 12
hatchets, 12 pairs of stockings,
12 hoes, 4 kettles, 12 knives,
12 hats, 12 porringers, 12
spoons, and 2 English coats.
The Puritans called the land
Guilford after a town in
The Guilford Green
Henry & Saviah
Have you ever been to the Guilford
Green for a picnic? The green didn’t
always look like it does now. It used
to be larger and there were buildings
on the green. Also, people used to
let their animals wander around on
the green.
There were also about six or more
school houses on the green. Isn’t
that cool? There were also churches
on the green, the most famous was
the Episcopal Church built in 1750.
Did you know that a long time ago
there were gravestones on the
green? About 1500 people are still
buried there but the gravestones
were removed in 1825.
The Guilford Green
Henry & Saviah
The gravestones were removed from
the green because the town wanted to
turn the green into a park. Because of
the graves there people thought that a
ghost walked around the Green but it
was actually Parson Baldwin in his
service robe. Even before 1815, no one
could keep their cattle on the green.
It is interesting to know that when
the Green was first made, it was in the
shape of a parallelogram, but parts of it
were sheered off for blacksmiths. The
Green also had a whipping post to
punish law-breakers. It’s cool to know
that George Washington traveled
through the Green in 1756 and 1776.
The town Green was also a training
place for militia drills. Can you imagine
that a gun was shot so close to a boy’s
ear that it made him deaf!!
The Statue on the Green
Have you ever noticed a statue
in the middle of the Guilford
On the Guilford Green there is
a monument of a soldier. It
was given to Guilford in 1877
to honor the men lost in the
Civil War. The statue is a way
to say, “Thank you,” and to
show respect to those who
fought for our rights. I love to
visit the statue on the Guilford
Green with my family.
If you ever have a chance to
visit the Guilford Green, check
out the statue!
The Whitfield House
AJ & Carly
We are going to tell you about
the Whitfield House and what it
would be like to live there in
colonial times. Can you imagine
that this house was built in 1639. It
is the oldest house in Connecticut.
Many owners lived in this house but
the first was Henry Whitfield who
built it. It was built out of stones,
pine planks, and oak rafters.
Amazingly, the walls were 2 feet
thick to protect the settlers from
attack. If you were a boy who lived
there then, you would have to do
chores to help, like collect firewood,
or carry water to the house. Boys
played marbles made out of clay for
The Whitfield House
AJ & Carly
If you were a girl during colonial
times you would have to help too
by weeding the garden and helping
with the cooking. Then for fun you
would play Cat’s Cradle, Button on a
String, and play with a doll made
out of cloth. The first people who
lived in the Whitfield House had to
struggle to stay alive. Also it was
hard to prepare food because they
had to grow it themselves and cook
in a fireplace. But, you could find
firewood easily. Today the Whitfield
House is a state museum. We went
there to see how people lived a
long time ago and also visited the
barn to see how they celebrated
holidays in colonial times.
The Hyland House
Gia & Hallie
Have you ever been to the Hyland
House? Here are some facts
about it. George Hyland was the
first owner of the house. He
bought the land on 84 Boston
Street in about 1657 and built his
house there. Some people think
that his house may have been
rebuilt but some say parts of it
were the same house Hyland
lived in. The house was going to
be torn down in 1916 but it was
bought by the Dorothy Whitfield
Society and restored. It opened
as a museum in 1918 and has
been open every summer since
The Hyland House
Gia & Hallie
Did you know that a famous person
lived in the Hyland House? His name
was Ebenezer Parmelee. He was the
grandson of George Hyland. He was
famous for making clocks, and
became know as the father of
Connecticut clock making. Today
Guilford school children go to the
Hyland House to learn about how
people lived long ago. If you were a
child that lived in the Hyland House
long ago, you might have to help
your neighbors, who didn’t have
children, by working on their farm or
in the gardens. That’s how people
helped each other.
We hope you go visit the Hyland
House soon to see how people lived
long ago.
The Griswold House
Have you ever been to the Griswold
House? Well here is some information
about it. It is interesting to know that
the style of the Griswold House is a
classic New England Saltbox. It was
built by Thomas Griswold III for two of
his sons in 1774 on the Old Post Road.
(Boston Street). In those times you
needed to eat your dinner by candle
light. You would find that the parlour
was the living room but instead of
couches, you would have to sit on
wooden chairs. This house was owned
by Griswold descendants until it was
purchased by The Keeping Society in
1958. Now you should know that you
can go to visit the Griswold House
Museum from June until October.
Faulkner’s Island
Jackson & Yusef
discovered by Adrien Block in
1614. It is located about four
miles off Guilford’s coast.
Surprisingly Block called the
island Falcon Island because
there were a lot of falcons
there. You should know that
many ships were getting
destroyed by the rocks
surrounding the island. Many
people owned Faulkner’s
Island until it was bought by
Noah Stone in 1800. Noah
Stone then sold it to the US
Government in 1801.
Faulkner’s Island
Jackson & Yusef
The US Government then
erected a lighthouse on the
island to protect ships. It was
built with stone from the
island and it was 40 feet tall.
The two lamps were lit by
sperm whale oil. They also
built a small house and hired a
lighthouse keeper. His job was
to keep the light burning every
night and see that it never
went out. The keeper had to
climb the steep stairs to light
the lamps and then in the
morning he had to climb up to
turn the lights off.
The Guilford Fair
Andrew & Tania
The first Guilford Fair was in 1859.
Farmers wanted to have a competition
to see who brought in the most
animals. . That year the fair had over
426 yoke of oxen! The early fairs
became famous for cattle shows.
People would come to see the parade
of cattle. The fair soon had indoor
exhibits such as meat, plants, clothes,
vegetables and flowers. There were
even competitions for the best
sunflower and the biggest pumpkin. In
1910, the trolley car came to Guilford.
This made it easier for people to get to
the fair and there was a crowd of
nearly 10,000 people at the fair. By
1920 there was a lemonade stand and
a Ferris Wheel at the fair.
The Guilford Fair
Andrew & Tania
The early fairs had parades with
horses, decorated carts, and floats
carrying farm products. There was also
a fife and drum band. The Guilford Fair
used to be on the Guilford Green. In
1969 it grew too big for the Green and
was moved to Hunter’s Farm on
Lover’s Lane. Now the fair is different
than it used to be. It still has the
animals and exhibits but there’s lots
more. When I went to the fair last year
I saw lots of games like, Pop the
Balloon, Hit the Weasel, and Squirt the
Clown’s Mouth. There’s still a Ferris
Wheel but now there are rides like
Zero Gravity, Polar Express, and the
Pirate Ship. There is a circus, and lots
of different kinds of food. My favorite
is caramel apples. We love going to the
Guilford Fair!
Guilford Schools
Mia & Colin
Do you want to learn about schools in early
Guilford? Well, we will tell you all about
When Henry Whitfield first came
children were not required to go to school
because there were only 24 families but
most did. Towns with 50 families had to
provide schools. Now you should know
what schools looked like. Schools had only
one room, with plank floors. The roof was
made out of hewn shingles. The interior
walls were made out of mud and straw.
There were benches for pupils and a desk
and stool for teacher. Next you should
know how the students were taught. The
one teacher used the ‘blab method’ and
the bible was the main text. Blab means
that the students would repeat what the
teacher said. Children were divided into
groups according to their abilities and the
teacher taught one group while other
groups sat in back and practiced.
Guilford Schools
Mia & Colin
In 1723, the first school was built in North Guilford.
After the first school, many more schools were built
in North Guilford. All the schools were closed in
1913 when a new school was built on County Road.
The land was bought from the Chittenden family
and was first called the Chittenden School. Later it
was called the County Road School. This school had
two rooms with four grades in each room. Melissa
Jones was one of the teachers. She taught from
1929 to 1947 and never missed one day! In County
Road school, hot lunches cost 25 cents and soup
cost 10 cents. The children would have to wash the
dishes. I think I would have to get taught to wash
dishes because I don’t know how. At recess I might
look at the shapes of the clouds, play hopscotch, or
play jump rope. If I had to do some duties I might
have to build a fire every morning. When that
school got too crowded a new school was built in
1953. This school was named in memory of Melissa
Jones. We are in second grade there now.
• Thank you for coming to our presentation. We
hope you enjoyed learning about Guilford and
what it was like in the past.

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