Preserving History

Mimi Findlay of the New Canaan Preservation Alliance at 8 Ferris Hill Road, a 1735 home whose future concerns the the nonprofit organization. Credit Michael DinanMimi Findlay of the New Canaan Preservation Alliance at 8 Ferris Hill Road, a 1735 home whose future concerns the the nonprofit organization. Credit: Michael Dinan

As historians it is our duty to preserve the past and use our knowledge to educate the public. In the museum field it is not uncommon for us to have to “make our case” when it comes to preserving an artifact or site. Currently the CT DAR is fighting to save a house in New Canaan, CT from demolition. As it is explained in this article, the house was built in 1735, but is not registered as a historic site. Although it is one of the last historic structures in New Canaan and is rumored to have housed Onesimus Comstock, who was a slave, this lack of historical recognition makes it vulnerable. When the house was bought in 2013, historians feared that it would be altered or razed because the land is more valuable than the home itself. As this more recent article explains, as of March 9, 2016 the demolition signs went up on the property and now the town and the DAR are searching for ways to save the house. A formal appeal has halted the demolition until a town meeting can be held on Thursday March 24, where historians and others will make their cases to save the house. If the citizens, DAR, and local historians fail to “make their case” by presenting evidence of historical significance, the new owner of the house will have the structure razed in the near future.

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