Wednesday, August 19, 2009

just got this email right now


Tales of witchcraft and tombstones

Wethersfield’s Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum to give special tours
focusing on witchcraft and the Ancient Burying Ground during October

WETHERSFIELD, Conn. (August 19, 2009) – Everyone knows about the witchcraft trials that took place in Salem, Mass. but we hardly ever hear about what occurred right here in Connecticut. Alse Young of Windsor, the first person executed for witchcraft in New England, was sent to the gallows in Hartford, Conn. in 1647. There were many others executed in Connecticut including three from Wethersfield.

To give visitors a taste of Connecticut’s witchcraft history, The Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum will be giving Tales of Witchcraft and Tombstones tours on October 10, 17, 24, and 31 at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.

The tours will begin in the Buttolph-Williams House, which was home to the characters that were portrayed in the book The Witch of Blackbird Pond, which Elizabeth George Spear, a Newbery-award winning author, wrote while living in Wethersfield.

Differences and similarities with the Salem Witch accusations will be discussed during the tours. Guides will also explore the lives of the women and men who were convicted of witchcraft and what life was like for them and their neighbors.

Following the tour at Buttolph-Williams, visitors will enter the Ancient Burying Ground where the headstones will tell many tales. Different types of headstones and beliefs of the times will be examined. Participants will also learn about some of the more interesting residents of the Ancient Burying Ground.

Each tour is limited to 16 people. Tours cost $8 for adults, $7 for seniors over 60, AAA members and those active in the military, $4 for students and children ages 5 to 18, and $20 per family (two adults and children). For more information or to reserve a space, contact Tari-Lynn Joyce at (860) 529-0612 ext. 12 or at Walk-up registration is also permitted if space allows. Groups will meet in the gift shop at the Webb House at 211 Main Street, Wethersfield, CT 06109.

About the Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum

Located in the heart of Connecticut’s largest historic district, the museum, which consists of three authentically restored 18th-century homes, brings Wethersfield’s rich history to life, from the American Revolution to the early 20th century. The museum includes the 1752 Joseph Webb House, which served as George Washington’s Revolutionary War headquarters in May 1781, the circa 1770 Silas Deane House, built for America’s first Revolutionary War diplomat to France; and the 1789 Isaac Stevens House, which depicts life in the 18th and 19th centuries through original family objects and includes a new children’s toy display.

The Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum, located at 211 Main St., Wethersfield, is open daily – with the exception of Tuesday – from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., May through October, and on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., November and April. Please call or check our website for special December hours. Three-house tours cost $8 for adults and $4 for students and children ages 5 to 18. For information about current exhibits, upcoming events or Museum School classes, call (860) 529-0612 or visit

and if you're interested here's more info on

alse young
more alse young
and i did a lil' posting on alse in january of 2006

1 comment:

Tari Joyce said...

We have had a wonderful response to our Tales of Witchcraft and Tombstones Tours. This Saturday, October 10, will be the first tour! We're so excited to share this interesting part of CT history.

Tari-Lynn Joyce
Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum Education Coordinator