Noah Blake’s Cabin in Context and
as a Symbol of the Early Settlement Process
A series of talks co-sponsored by the Friends of Eric Sloane and the Kent Historical Society
The Kent Historical Society and the Friends of the Eric Sloane Museum are co-sponsoring a series of talks by Michael Everett aimed at raising funds to aid the State of Connecticut in rebuilding Eric Sloane’s Noah Blake cabin in 2018. Suggested donation of $10 per class or purchase a Friends of the Eric Sloane Museum family level membership for $35 for the year and attend all four classes for free (and receive some additional benefits). This lecture includes admission to the museum. Those attending are urged to buy a copy of Sloane’s Diary of an Early American Boy. The talks will be held at the Eric Sloane Museum, 31 Kent Cornwall Road (Route 7), Kent, starting at 9:00 am on Saturday, May 6, May 20 and June 3.
Saturday May 6, 9:00 to 10:00 AM: “Howling Wilderness: Nature”
This talk will explore ideas about nature, conflicting attitudes toward farming, changing ecology. The actual location of the cabin will lead to a consideration of where a homestead should be sited. The session will end with a brief outline of the natural factors we look at in planning today.
Saturday May 20, 9:00 to 10:30 AM: “Geometry”
It’s hard to capture the colonial era without knowing the process of acquiring land, buying land and speculating in land, from 1740 on. The cabin focus will be on clearing in woods, the establishment of a farmstead, the types of structures needed, and the significance of proximity to town and meeting house. The session will end with a brief mention of how conventions and early regulations and the geometry of ownership we know.
Saturday June 3, 9:00 to 10:30 AM: “Built Form”
Building the initial cabin led to a bigger and more significant house. We’ll examine the difference between vernacular building and domestic architecture, and how houses and their siting are status symbols. The symbolic significance of Noah Blake’s cabin will provoke some reflection, too. The session ends with thoughts about how the first efforts on our frontier affected land use patterns that still persist, and the value we put on historical retention.