Old Wethersfield

Location: Old Wethersfield

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Location Description

Beginning in Wethersfield Cove, the Media Lab accompanied the Appalachian Mountain Club's East of the River group for a leisurely, four-mile walk along Main Street in Old Wethersfield. Visitors can find the states' largest old-growth trees and oldest homes in the area. Some famous historical residents include Silas Deane, the country's first foreign diplomat. His restored home is apart of the Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum and became a National Historic Landmark in 1964. Halfway through the trip, we made a stop at Village Pizza for lunch and continued the walk by cutting through the town green, where George Washington assembled his troops before the battle in Yorktown during the Revolutionary War. The East of the River group is a sub-chapter of the Connecticut Appalachian Mountain Club. "We're an eating club with a hiking disorder," said member Lorraine Staley. The group organizes hikes with food pit stops every Tuesday and Thursday in eastern or central Connecticut.

Visit: "We're an eating group with a hiking disorder."
Rain foiled our original plans to join Bill Novoa and the East of the River group on their Rails to Trails hiking trip in Avon. So we rescheduled to join Bill in Old Wethersfield. The weather that day was perfectly sunny and warm for our four-mile hike through the historic town. We met Bill at Wethersfield Cove and interviewed him before the members of East of the River arrived. They are a close-knit, lively group of retired persons who've been on many adventures together. Our first stop was a seventeenth century warehouse on the cove. According to Bill, the cove was once apart of the Connecticut coastline. Merchants would sail into the area to sell their products. The warehouse itself is now a small museum. From there, we continued our walk down Main Street into a residential area. Ed Richardson, an arborist, would stop the group if he saw noteworthy trees to point out. The first tree we saw was a large Tulip Tree. Ed said it is a native Connecticut tree species and that it grows to be very large. We also saw many other old growth trees that are literally growing along sidewalks in Wethersfield neighborhoods. According to Ed, you can find some of Connecticut's oldest trees in the area. We also saw some of Connecticut's oldest homes during the walk. Some of the structures dated as far back as 1666. We continued our walk down Main Street until we reached Village Pizza, where the group stopped for lunch. "We're an eating group with a hiking disorder," said member Lorraine Staley, referring to the group's habit of eating out after their trips. Some of the hikers left after lunch. But Bill continued leading the group through the town green and back down Main Street towards the cove. The group made a stop at Main Street Ice Cream for dessert. More hikers left at this stop. By the time we reached Wethersfield Cove, the group had whittled down in size but not in spirit. The remaining hikers said their goodbyes as the Media Lab did a quick interview with Ed. It was a pleasant, albeit unconventional, hike. -Julia Kwon

Interviewer: Julia Kwon

Videographer: Paul Pfeffer

Photographer: Sam Hockaday

Editor: Megan Clark, Stephanie Merkel, Ross Mortensen, Willie Miesmer, Julia Kwon

Animator: Sam Hockaday

Manager of Online Content: Paul Pfeffer

Director of Online Services: Derrick Ellis

Web Designer: Lauren Nauheimer

Many thanks to Maryanne Kouyoumjian, William Novoa, Edward Richardson, Lorraine Staley, and East of the River.

Courtesy of http://www.ctnow.com/attractions/hc-oldwethersfield,0,946543.story?coll=hce-headlines-attractions, http://www.webb-deane-stevens.org/deanehouse.html, http://www.ct-amc.org/eor/index.shtm