Dig resurrects a feud over which town is a state's oldest

ABC News | 11/18/2018 | Staff
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An archaeological dig is rekindling a feud between two towns over which was the first in Connecticut.

Experts have unearthed artifacts they believe date to the 1630s in Wethersfield, where town signs declare it the state's "most ancient," founded in 1634. But a few miles up the Connecticut River to the north, Windsor boasts it is the state's "first town," settled in 1633.

Dispute - Settlement - Connecticut - Centers - Settlers

The long-running dispute on which was the first English settlement in Connecticut centers on how you define "town." Settlers from Plymouth, Massachusetts, established a trading post in Windsor in 1633. Advocates for Wethersfield say settlers from Watertown, Massachusetts, made Wethersfield their home in 1634 and claim Windsor didn't become a town until 1635, when people there built homes.

"I don't think it ever will be settled," state archaeologist Brian Jones said.

Jones - Dutch - Fort - Hartford - Windsor

Jones pointed out the Dutch built a fort in Hartford in 1633 that predated the Windsor trading post, and there is some evidence there was a Dutch trading post in Hartford as early as 1623.

Archaeologists at the Wethersfield site say they have uncovered the earliest evidence of European settlement in the state. Among the buried finds: a fence believed to be from the 17th century and built for defense against Native American tribes; coins and ceramics dating to the 1630s; beads used in trade with Native Americans; clothing hooks and buttons; and remains of meals including seafood shells and animal bones.


"The 17th-century stuff...
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