Accused: Fairfield’s Witchcraft Trials
September 25, 2014 – January 5, 2015
In 17th century New England, religious beliefs and folk tradition instilled deep fears of magic, evil, and supernatural powers. How else to explain unnatural events, misfortune and the sudden convulsions and fits of local townspeople? Through a series of graphic novel-style panels, artist Jakob Crane retells the dramatic story of the witchcraft cases that took place in the Fairfield area in the 1650s and 1690s, providing a creative retelling of these troubling events in the community’s early history. Learn how neighbors, magistrates, and colonial leaders treated accusations of witchcraft and why the outcome of Fairfield’s witchcraft trials in 1692 was so different from what happened in Salem at the same time.
The Pequot War and the Founding of Fairfield, 1637-1639
October 15, 2014 – February 8, 2015
This exhibit presents the story of the Pequot War in 1637, which led to Fairfield becoming established as an English settlement in 1639. The Pequot War was New England’s first major conflict, involving thousands of combatants in dozens of battles in Rhode Island and Connecticut, with the final English victory won in a swamp here in Fairfield in 1637. Learn how conflict over trade and territory led to the war, how the war was fought, and what its outcome was for both sides. Explore how current archaeology undertaken by the Mashantucket Pequot Museum’s Battlefields of the Pequot War project is uncovering new facts about this epic conflict.
Unique items on display in the exhibition include the sword of John Mason, leader of the English forces during the war; an original copy of John Underhill’s Newes from America containing a first-hand account of the war; and a helmet and matchlock gun from the period. A diorama model of the Swamp Fight, commissioned for this exhibition, helps visitors visualize what it was like to be in the thick of the battle and a specially drawn map shows the location of the battle site today. Postcards and photographs illustrate how the war has been remembered in Fairfield, including a mural of the battle created in the 1930s that still hangs in Tomlinson Middle School.
Creating Community: Exploring 375 Years of Our Past
This hands-on exhibition invites visitors to explore the history of Fairfield and its region over the past four centuries. Look inside a Native American wigwam, climb into an American Revolution fort, decipher a spy code, and look through the windows of a trolley. Young and old alike will enjoy learning how people worked, lived, and
built communities over time by exploring original objects, individual stories, and engaging activities. Sponsored by CT Humanities, Fairfield County Community Foundation, The Perry Family and Southport Area Association.
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