Connecticut Stories 5. Finding Histories

Finding Your Local Town History

Curious about the past? All you have to do is look.

When she was a high-school student, Calista Cleary of Redding discovered a little-known part of her town’s history when she began researching an abandoned graveyard by the side of a road. Her research led to intriguing facts about “Little Egypt,” a community on the border of Redding and Easton where blacks and whites lived and were buried next to one another. She pieced together the story of this community by looking at census records, town deeds and other early documents. The experience–which she compares to assembling a jigsaw puzzle for which you first must find the pieces–taught her that history emerges “from places we couldn’t have imagined,” and teaches us to ask new questions of the present.