Category Archives: CAIS Events

Lesbian Society Impact on Suffield

While I was searching the archives for articles that had significance to women history, I came upon this article about the Lesbian Society. I instantly grew interest and that night i went home and did further research on it. After doing a lot of research, I learned that the Lesbian Society was a very important group in Suffield. Even though the name of the group sounds like they had something to do with the LGBTQIA, they actually had nothing to do with it. They were a group that was formed to provide entertainment and relive during a time where the United States was fighting in World War I. I would like to research the Lesbian Society because i think that the Lesbian Society provided joy and calmness by providing dances, camps, festivals, and reception. This was not an easy time for Suffield as a lot of mothers were left alone to take care of the children and provide and times were only getting harder. The Lesbian Society was formed to make times easier for the ones who weren’t in the war and was at home fighting the homefront. What I would like to know is who were the key players in the Lesbian Society and how it was formed? I will need to search for more information about the Lesbian Society in our local archives. I can also check Suffield Academy’s archives, and I will reach out to members of the Suffield Historical Society and check records in the town hall.

The Lesbian Society is putting on a dance for the town of Suffield at Suffield Academy’s gymnasium. 



Join Our Inquiry into Women’s History

Screen Shot 2018-05-16 at 1.07.33 PMWhat famous Connecticut women made history in your community? Who is making history now? What significant woman’s contributions to your community history has been overlooked? Forgotten? Undervalued? Start researching and writing about your local history. We will plan to do the same research and share research methods when we published our discoveries on this CAISCT PBL blog. Bill Sullivan’s class will also be putting on a community presentation to the town’s historical society in April of 2019 where the students will share what they learn and show how they learned it. In some ways, CAISCT students and teachers can find their own venues to add more depth of authenticity to the way they share their local history discoveries with their community. Perhaps it is best to consider this work as another form of service learning.

Curious about using a classroom blog and student-operated Twitter account to accommodate project-based learning? Plan to join our day hike for the 2018-19 academic year and dive into this authentic, local history challenge. Any CAISCT learner is welcome to collaborate on the CAISCT-PBL blog and Twitter account. So provide your students the opportunity to write history and appreciate the discipline form another perspective. They will soon learn that Connecticut’s history is complex, and one ingredient of our historic inquiries acknowledges that a local history perspective will CAISCT learners shed a new light in the historiography of Connecticut’s narratives. Lisa Leveque from Rectory School and Bill Sullivan from Suffield Academy will share their students’ learning experiences while working on one blog during the 2016-17 academic year in which they investigated freedom and slavery in the pivotal year of 1774 as well as the 2017-18 academic year, which pursued homefront issues of WWI.

Bring your day hike bag and learn about next year’s inquiry into Women’s history and set your students on an adventure course where they explore possible nominees for the Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame in their community.

Unacknowledged Heroes of the Lusitania

I examined the role that Connecticut played in the Sinking of the Lusitania on May 7th, 1915, the tragedy that is widely perceived to have persuaded the USA into entering WWI. While there is llusitania-hero-ABittle information connected to Suffield during this event, the state of Connecticut does have a rich history with this famous sinking. Aboard the Lusitania there were 1,960 passengers, and out of that group, twenty of the residents were from Connecticut. Among those twenty Connecticut residents involved in the Lusitania sinking, two of them are nationally perceived as heroes for saving ten percent of around seven hundred survivors. Elizabeth Duckwork, a weaver from Taftville, assisted in the rescue of forty passengers, and James Ham Brooks, a salesman in a Bridgeport manufacturing company, helped save 33 people. Another Connecticut survivor aboard the Lusitania was Theodate Pope, a Farmington citizen, who went abroad the Lusitania in hopes of reaching Liverpool to continue her research of “spiritualism”. Pope traveled with her colleague, Edward Friend, a philosopher who graduated from Harvard University. Pope survived the tragedy by clinging to the oar of a lifeboat for three long hours in the freezing waters in the Irish Sea [a true Titanic story!]. Edward Friend jumped off the side of the Lusitania before Pope did and was never seen again after the sinking. Pope is known for being the first female architect in Connecticut and for her architectural structures spread out around New York and Connecticut. Impressively enough, Pope created and founded Avon Old Farms, a single-sex boarding school in Avon, CT. Pope died at the age of forty-six in her home in Farmington, CT, which is now a museum dedicated to Theodate Pope herself. It would be very interesting to visit the museum in Farmington in order to learn a little more about a local survivor.




This source comes directly from the Hartford Courant and it is an article in remembrance of “The Sinking of The Lusitania” on its 100 year anniversary.

#PBL Opportunity For CAIS Learners

On April 18th Suffield Academy American Studies class gave a presentation to Connecticut Historical Society during its April meeting. Students reflected on questions that were asked, and some things that did not go as smooth as we wanted them to go. Here are some of the thoughts the group shared between each other after presentation was done.

During our presentation every student knew what he or she were doing and talking about. We all have mastered our topic and new every little part of our slides. On the other side we were not very familiar with topics that did not touch our area of research – that could have resulted in a problem if someone would not show up due to any possible circumstances. Presentation was done very well, and each of us had spent good time and effort in order to finish it.

Still we had some problems with the slides on the day of presentation – I think for future it would be better to practice giving presentation at least once in the facility we are going to present it. Also to make presentation more neat I think each student needs to keep a list of websites/books he or she had used to make their slides. After everyone is done with their part, we all could compose a big bibliography of material we have used. Bibliography will help us navigate in our sources and anyone who would look at our presentation can find them useful in order to check our information, or to use it for their purposes.



Suffield Academy Students Present at Suffield Historical Society Meeting on April 18th


Boston Tea Party Painting from US Capitol

What Happened in Suffield during 1774?

A free lecture from 7:00-8:00pm on April 18th at Suffield’s Senior Center, 145 Bridge Street. Suffield Academy Students will present about the complexities of 1774 during the Suffield Historical Society Meeting.

In response to the Boston Tea Party (1773), Parliament drafted the Coercive Acts in 1774, and residents throughout the thirteen colonies protested these acts in various ways. In the western town of Sheffield, Massachusetts, Colonel Ashley hosted citizens at his house, and that group composed the Sheffield Resolves. Interestingly, one of his slaves, Elizabeth Freeman, also known as Mum Bett, was inspired by these conversations of protest and later sued successfully for her own freedom.

What happened in Suffield during the pivotal year of 1774? What part of the population supported the growing patriot cause in Boston? What portion of citizens accepted the dictates of the British Parliament? Who was neutral? The year 1774 also marked the highest recorded number of slaves in Connecticut, 6,464. What effect did these turbulent times have on the 37 enslaved Africans in Suffield?

Suffield Academy’s American Studies class looks forward to sharing what they learned about the complexities of freedom and slavery in Suffield during 1774. All Society meetings are open to the public, and newcomers are most welcome. SA.Presentation.Flyer-4-18-2017

We’re Writing #CTHistory & We Need Your Help

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Suffield Resolves, July 4th, 1774

We’re writing Connecticut History, and we need your help.

Between the Boston Tea Party and “the shot heard round the world” at Lexington and Concord spans the most important introductory chapter of American history that many history books passover and rush to the Declaration of Independence. Did you know that eighteen towns in Connecticut wrote Resolves to support the residents of Boston after Parliament closed the port.

Lesson plan #1: ask students to do research about your area in between the Boston Tea Party and Lexington and Concord events. Then ask them to try to read and understand the set of resovles document from your area.

Ashford, Brooklyn, East Haddam, Farmington, Glassenburry (colonial spelling), Groton, Hartford, Lyme, Middletown, New Haven, Norwich, Pomfret, Preston, Salisbury and Stonington, Suffield, Wethersfield, Windham and Woodstock. Click here to view your town’s resolves:

Can you find out more about the citizens who gathered to discuss and agree upon these results? What portion of the population in your area supported the loyalist cars in 1774? Because these conversations about human rights and freedom or pervasive throughout the colonies what effect did this spirit have on the African-American population in your hometown? Want to know the African-American population in your town, click on the Colony of Connecticut Census from 1774, pp. 484-492. Look up your town and begin investigating.   

Lesson Plan #2: Did any African-Americans listed in the 1774 colony of Connecticut senses later respond to the Lexington alarm? Or did they later and list to fight not only for the Continental Army but for the freedom?  Did any fight in the American Revolution? Click here and scroll down for exact names and towns of African-American veterans.

This link will help you find your county and town statistics:

Every town in Connecticut by law provides access to town records. What do your town records report on this issue in 1774? This could be a fun little field trip to investigate.

A class at Suffield Academy recently discovered a great deal of information about the turbulent and pivotal year of 1774. You can read more about their discoveries on this blog that you are visiting:  Their public presentation slides from an April 19th program are here:

Join us in planning a symposium at the Connecticut Historical Society later this spring where we share what we learned and show how he learned it. Look for a sign process soon. In the meantime, you can facilitate other primary source documents on this blog or at your local historical society to help us collaborate and write the complex Connecticut history of 1774.