Who gave the landscape of Kent and the Litchfield Hills its current outline? According to New Milford historian Michael John Cavallaro, the towns we inhabit today were shaped by one of Connecticut’s unsung heroes — Edmund Lewis, a surveyor who laid out Kent, New Milford, Canaan, and a number of other towns. Cavallaro spoke at our Sunday Series event on Sunday March 19, 2017.
A rod is 16.5 feet, and a chain is four rods. With these units, brave surveyors like Lewis mapped almost all of Litchfield County. In a highly visual, dramatic presentation, Cavallaro showed how and why the land was carved into its current shapes and boundaries, and explored the implications of decisions made so long ago.
Cavallaro also painted a vivid picture of the circumstances that Lewis and other surveyors endured as they traveled the undeveloped land with their equipment, keeping the records and identifying the likeliest spots for settlement. He presented maps and books for the audience to examine as he brought little-known aspects of the past to life.
The lecture, as well as future Sunday Series events in 2017, helped give context to the Kent Historical Society’s upcoming exhibit in the summer of 2017, “The Founders of Kent,” on the emergence of one New England town in the 18th century. The 2017 Sunday Series events are sponsored by the Kent Barns and the Kent Lions Club.
The Kent Historical Society sponsors the Sunday Series every other month September through May. Free admission for members; $5 suggested donation for non-members.
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