Noah Blake’s Cabin in Context and as a Symbol of the Early Settlement Process

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.

Seven Hearths in Bloom Delights Guests

The Society celebrated the arrival of spring with a fundraiser, “Seven Hearths in Bloom,” Saturday, April 29 and this was a terrific opportunity to show supporters how great our house museum can look.

Floral displays were featured in each of the rooms and each was created and donated by Kent Greenhouse and Gardens. Our thanks also to TEPOZ Tequila donation for our specialty cocktail “Tequila Thyme Lemon-Lime Spritzer,” Kent Wine & Spirit and J.P. Gifford’s for their assistance with the party.

Trustee Jeffrey Morgan led a group of people through the museum on a tour, where he elaborated on the conservation work underway on the building. He noted how he has carefully removed the layers of paint to reveal the original colors at the bottom.

Curator Marge Smith said that the process of discovery has been interesting as the house reveals itself and its story of past residents.

“One of the fun things is to try to figure out why they chose the paint colors they did,” Smith said in the family parlor, that has also been called the dining room over the years. “We don’t know why they liked orange black,” she said, referring to the orange patches in the corner that have been uncovered.

Morgan said that there was a lot of change in the way the rooms were set up.

“Furniture was a very movable thing,” he explained, noting that many items are worn down on the front legs because they’ve been dragged around.

Smith also noted that the Beebe family was clearly very wealthy and wanted others to know that.

“By the time they built this house, they wanted to show they had money,” she said. The high ceilings and the color on the walls all indicate this to historians.

Smith encouraged all those attending to return to Seven Hearths this summer to view the exhibit on The Founders of Kent.

“It’s a fascinating story and you’ve got to come back,” she told the guests.

Almost 70 came and helped support our ongoing efforts to highlight the history of Kent.

The cocktail party drew a supportive crowd, with a great mix of old and young. When KHS President Mike Everett listed some of our recently completed capital projects, the new siding on Seven Hearths drew spontaneous applause. He highlighted several accomplishments of the Society.

“One of the most important things was we found a way to store all of Mr. Nelson’s paintings,” he said. An Art and Archives Storage area has been created in the lowest level of Tallman House, where the office is located.

Everett also recognizes the organizing committee for the party that was chaired by Trustees Deb Chabrian and Jeffrey Morgan. Other valuable members included Trustee Kate Vick, along with Bruce Whipple, Melissa Cherniske and Lynn Worthington.

One of the highlights of the evening was the silent auction to support the George Laurence Nelson Scholarship.

Seven artists contributed paintings and prints they created during a Paint Out on April 18 and 19 in George Laurence Nelson’s former studio in the Seven Hearths Museum. Proceeds from the auction will fund the scholarship that will aid college students studying art and art history.


We are especially grateful to those who supported this event and the Society with their generous contributions.


  • Mrs. Anne Bass
  • David and Allison Blitzer
  • Ms. Annette de la Renta
  • Dr. and Mrs. Henry Kissinger
  • Hilda and Arnold Neis
  • Todd and Leslie Powell



  • James D. Barron and Jeannette Montgomery Barron
  • Ms. Austi Brown
  • Ms. Agnes Gund
  • Michael Hallows and Lynn Perry
  • Ann Lozman and Jay Harris
  • Alice and Jim Hicks
  • Megg and Ted Hoffman
  • Jeffrey Morgan and Robert Couturier
  • Jean Morrison and Lawford Anderson
  • Judy and Jim Perkins
  • Mr. and Mrs. F. Anthony Zunino
  • Nicholas/Tobin Insurance Co.



  • Susan and Victor Fink
  • Kent Freeman and Adriana Martinez
  • Thomas Gibbs and Robert Lindgren
  • Nina Henderson and Roger Branson
  • Jim Hoge and Kathy Lacey
  • Charles and Jane Klein Family Fund
  • Bob and Carol Lenz
  • Carol L. Hoffman Matzke
  • Patricia and John Noneman
  • Sharon and Jim Norton
  • Jerry and Gail Tobin
  • Kate and James Vick
  • Bruce Whipple and Michael Ward
  • Wyrick Associates, Architect
  • Gabriel and Jane Zatlin