by Ray Bendici
Apr 15, 2013
06:29 AMUnsteady Habits
Historic Treasures of New Haven
For fans of New Haven or history—or even New Haven history—comes a new book from History Press: Historic Treasures of New Haven: Celebrating 375 Years of The Elm City, by Laura A. Macaluso. New Haven officially celebrates the anniversary later this month, on April 25.
According to the press release:
For more than two hundred years, New Haven, Connecticut, has had a particular proclivity for marking the passage of time. Residents of the Elm City celebrate their heritage in historic fashion, and they have carefully preserved fascinating relics from their city’s past in local museums.
In addition to images of decorative arts, flags and seals, ephemera, furniture and earty portraits (like that of Rev. John Davenport, one of New Haven's most influential founders), the book features a wealth of fascinating items, including the first commemorative medal made for New Haven’s 200th anniversary in 1838, a needlework picture mourning the death of George Washington, Noah Webster’s dictionary notes for the letters “A” and “B,” and the buckskin coat worn by explorer Henry Eld.
In the forward of the book, Macaluso quotes former school superintendent Horace Day (who lead early efforts to preserve the city's history), writing at the turn of the 19th century:
"The 25th day of April, A.D. 2138, will be a memorable day in New Haven. Five hundred years in the life of this community will then have passed away. No human wisdom can foresee what that day will witness. Controverted opinions settled, intellectual and moral culture assuming new forms, fresh discoveries made of the relations of the forces of nature may show that the men of to-day were as little capable of comprehending this future progress as the men of 1638 could comprehend what we now see to have been accomplished."
I think it's safe to say that nearly two centuries after Day wrote these words, although he might be hardpressed to imagine the New Haven of today, he would be impressed with this effort to preserve its history.