Monday, March 12, 2018

Hebron Town Center Project Looking to Put "Feet on the Street"

The Hebron Town Center Project formed in order to bring more entertainment, socialization, and integration into our beloved town of Hebron, Connecticut.  When the committee first met at the Douglas Library, it was opened up to the population to bring their ideas to promote more activity in Hebron.  The committee talked about what was working and what wasn't working in Hebron, and opened up to suggestions on how the town could improve, what events it could offer to keep more people in town, and how to utilize the town green in the center of town.  At the last Hebron Day, this past August, the Town Center Project hosted a survey asking residents what they would prefer for events in order to increase both activity, efficiency, and the feeling of "home" within our town.

The top five events were announced at the September Town Center Project meeting in the Douglas Library.  With the motto "Bring more feet to the streets," the Town Center Project met and divided up into five groups, all of which promote a different activity or event within the town. Since the meeting in September, these groups have met and developed their own individual meetings to host their various events.  These various events are scheduled as follows:

1. Summer Concert Series: Enjoy music from 3 different bands, on 3 summer Sundays, July 15, July 29, Aug 12, starting at 5:30 pm. Bring a picnic, your lawn chairs and enjoy music in the heart of Hebron. Located in the field behind Co. #1 Firehouse.

2. July 4th Parade Celebration: An old-fashioned celebration with a twist-everyone will be on wheels! 10:30 am. on Route 66.  The parade will start at Hope Church, proceed down Rte. 66 towards Teds, turn around at the Post Office and return. There will also be a reading of the Declaration of Independence on the Old Town Hall steps before the start of the Parade.

3. Lazy Sundays of Summer on the Hebron Town Green: Slated for one Sunday a month from May through September (dates and time posted in the image below).  The intent is to create a low-key laid back atmosphere along Main Street.  The bulk of events are pick up games of kornhole, bocce, crochet, tug a war, potato sack races, yard Yahtzee, a and a life-sized chess and checkers board.  Possible activities are sidewalk chalk, hopscotch, tic tac toe, and a drop-in class of yoga, Tai Chi, or Pilates.  The committee is also searching for local musicians to and street performers.  Each month will have a "main" activity that is intended to draw people to the town green.   In May, a local high school student, Melanie Shalayda will be hosting a "Shoes Off" poetry slam on the side lawn on Main Street and will promoted as a "bring your lawn chair, throw down your blanket, and stay awhile" event for all ages.  Other months are looking at including an obstacle course or karaoke.  Holly Habicht, the president for the Hebron group "Lazy Sundays" says that "the hope is to bring the Hebron community and their friends to the center of town to utilize the beautiful sidewalks, and spend some good, quality time with each other."  For more information, please contact Holly Habicht at

4. Harvest Moon Festival: The harvest Moon Festival will be held on Saturday, October 20th, 2018.  The committee plans to have artisans, vendors, family games, pumpkin chuckin', a fun run, and a nighttime pumpkin walk.  Right now the committee is in the early stages of planning.  For more information, contact the president, Wendy Weingarten at

5. Town Wide Tag Sale: The town wide tag sale is scheduled for June 2nd, 2018, rain or shine from 8:30 AM to 2:30 PM.  Hebron residents, businesses, and organizations can all participate.  People can register to hold a tag sale at their homes or business for a fee of $25 ($30 if after 5/7/18).  People can also reserve a table at Town Hall for a fee of $20 ($25 if after 5/7/18).  House tag sales will be given a house marker sign for easy tag sale locating and maps with house locations will be distributed throughout town at select locations.  To register, you can print out a tag sale registration form the TTCP Facebook page or contact the chair, Emily Turker at or 860-559-5554.  Registration forms must include a check payable to "The Town Center Project."  Registrations must be received by Monday, May 21st in order to be included on the town location map.

Please come out and support Hebron, Connecticut with these upcoming events!  Feel free to contact the individuals posted if you would like more information.  Thank you.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Boy Scout Cleans Up Godfrey Hill Cemetery For Eagle Scout Project

Godfrey Hill Cemetery
           Situated on a hill on route 85, between a couple houses and behind some brush and trees, lies the Godfrey Hill Cemetery.  There is no sign or parking spot to mark the cemetery, so it is rather unnoticeable to many drivers passing by.  Some people may see the graves on the hill if they observe as they drive by, but many people are unaware of the cemetery’s existence.  
The Godfrey Hill Cemetery is part of the Saint Peter’s Church, located right where the old church used to lie in the 1700’s, before it was replaced at its current location along Church Street in 1824.  While Saint Peter’s Church has its own cemetery next to its current church, the Godfrey Hill Cemetery is the church’s older cemetery that contains the graves of many of the original families who attended the church before it was moved.
Connor Garrity supporting his Eagle Scout Project at Godfrey Hill Cemetery
Connor Garrity, a Boy Scout in Troop 28 in Hebron, CT is finalizing his Eagle Scout project at the Godfrey Hill Cemetery.  Garrity led Troop 28 to cut down and clear trees, branches, and shrubs that had been overgrown in the cemetery area.  Connor inserted a sign post where he will be posting a sign of the cemetery which will include some history and a map of those who were buried.  Connor’s project not only benefits the Godfrey Hill Cemetery by maintaining its foundation, but also provides a record and history of those who were buried and once belonged to the parish in the 1700’s.
Some of the common names buried and known in the Godfrey Hill Cemetery include: Bliss, Haughton, Horton, Hutchinson, Jones, Mann, Peters, Phelps, and Shipman.  Many of these were the earliest attendees of the church and are familiar names within our town’s history.  Particularly, John Bliss and Samuel Peters are two names that were essential in the creation of the Episcopal Church in Hebron, Connecticut.
John Bliss, a graduate of Yale in 1710, was called upon to be the town’s first settled minister.  He was soon resented by several southern Congregationalists.  In 1733, about fifty people were dissatisfied with Reverend Bliss, so they petitioned the town to be set off into a Congregationalist society and requested to secure a minister of their own.  While their request was denied, Reverend Bliss soon resigned, and in 1734, he and his followers became loyal to the Church of England.  Bliss had been brought up in the Church of England, and most of his followers were also of the English church.  The return to the church was only natural for Bliss under the current circumstances of his relationship to those of the Congregationalist Society.  
Bliss had been given a plot of land along Godfrey Hill, and this soon became the first site for Saint Peter’s Church.  While the construction of the site started in 1735, the church wasn’t finished until 1766 due to lack of funds.  Records claim the church stood at 58 by 30 feet in size.  While he did so much to organize the church, Reverend Bliss was not the first ordained minister, as his Congregationalist ordination was not recognized by the Episcopal church.  In 1741, just before he was to depart to England for the Holy Orders, Bliss died of smallpox.  He was then buried in the Godfrey Hill Cemetery, near the original church’s site.
Boy Scouts clear the area  of sticks at Godfrey Hill Cemetery
Samuel Peters was born in Hebron in 1735 and was a graduate of Yale in 1757.  He sailed for England in 1758 and received the Holy orders in 1759, before returning to Hebron the following year.  Samuel Peters would soon become the church’s first Reverend.  Peters was a Loyalist, being tied to the King of England.  He believed that the colonists who destroyed the tea in the Boston Tea Party had committed a “horrible crime” and should have consequences for their actions.  Peters soon became the target of attacks by the patriots of the Sons of Liberty from Windham and other surrounding towns.  On one occasion, Peters, with help from Reverend Benjamin Pomeroy (Reverend of the Hebron Congregational Church), barely escaped death from a mob of Patriots who had stripped him of his priestly robes and demanded that he longer side with the King of England.  Peters, soon fled to Boston and later took a ship to England.
While still in England, Peters was notified by the Episcopal clergy in Vermont to become a bishop, but the Archbishop of Canterbury chose not to consecrate him.  Later, Peters returned to America and settled in New York City.  In 1806, he returned to Hebron and was welcomed by the citizens.  He died in 1826 and was buried next to his three wives in Godfrey Hill Cemetery.  His remains were then moved to the present Saint Peter’s Church in 1841, which is his current marking place.  Saint Peter’s Episcopal Church was then named after Samuel Peters, the church’s first Reverend.
Over the years since it was erected, the church had grown to 58 families, 40 communicants, and a Sunday school of 35.  The 30 by 58-foot church on Godfrey Hill was soon becoming too small.  In 1824, a new church was constructed more appropriate to the parish’s size and importance within the community.  The church was consecrated on October 19, 1826 by Bishop Brownell, who claimed it as the second most beautiful church in the diocese.  This church currently resides on the southern part of Church Street heading toward Amston, Connecticut.  The old church on Godfrey Hill was soon torn down, and all that remains today are the cemetery, three wooden candlesticks, and the pewter baptismal basin.
Saint Peter's Episcopal Church
While the church has moved to Church Street, the Godfrey Hill Cemetery is still home to many of the deceased members of the original church.  The cemetery is a vital part of both Saint Peter’s Church and Hebron’s history.  Connor Garrity has done a magnificent job to maintain the church’s and town’s history, and his efforts to preserve the church’s records will be recognized for years and years to come.

Information about Saint Peter's Church and history from: