The podcast of Connecticut history. A joint production of the State Historian and Connecticut Explored.


  • 94. Connecticut’s Jewish Farmers

    94. Connecticut’s Jewish Farmers

    03/05/2020 Duración: 33min

    Mary Donohue, Asst. Publisher of Connecticut Explored and co-author of  the book A Life of the Land: Connecticut’s Jewish Farmers  explores the story of Connecticut’s Jewish farmers in the last century. Surprised that there were Jewish farmers? Many people are but scores of newly arrived Jewish immigrants were assisted in making their lives in poultry and dairy farming throughout the state. Some farms developed into resorts catering to vacationing urbanites seeking a bigotry free relaxing vacation in the countryside. To read more about Connecticut’s Jewish farmers, go to the Connecticut Explored website to read “Hebrew Tillers of the Soil” from the Spring 2006 issue and “The Connecticut Catskills” in our Summer  2018-both articles are on online. To order Ms. Donohue’s book, A Life of the Land: Connecticut’s Jewish farmers,  go to the website of the Jewish Historical Society of Greater Hartford at     This episode was produced by Mary Donohue, Assistant Publisher of Connecticut Explored and

  • 93. Connecticut and the Pandemic of 1918

    93. Connecticut and the Pandemic of 1918

    16/04/2020 Duración: 31min

    State historian Walt Woodward used his recent shelter-in-place time to create a podcast about the deadliest disease to ever hit Connecticut. The influenza pandemic of 1918, like C0VID-19, stopped life as people-knew-it in its tracks. Emergency Hospital #16 New Haven[Library of Congress]  He asked the questions we’re asking about today’s pandemic to pandemic of a century ago. Where did it come from? How did it spread? Who did it affect the most? How did the medical community respond to it? How did state and local governments respond? What social distancing measures were taken? And how did its impact change Connecticut and its people?  Walt found history, as always, to be an important reference point. We think you will, too. If you like what you hear, please share it with your friends.

  • 92. Connecticut’s Carnegie Libraries: Bricks, Bucks and Books

    92. Connecticut’s Carnegie Libraries: Bricks, Bucks and Books

    31/03/2020 Duración: 27min

    Architectural historian Mary Donohue digs deep to uncover which local libraries in Connecticut were funded by robber baron, steel tycoon and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie at the beginning of the 20th century. Why did the City of New Haven turn down a generous gift of $300,000 from Carnegie in 1903 meant to build a large public library? How did communities apply for library construction grants from Carnegie and what were the requirements? What were the strings attached to accepting the money?  And, what has become of these well-built landmarks in Connecticut? Find out from guest Robert Kinney, Outreach Services Librarian at the Connecticut State Library and Pastor of Mount Hope Temple Church in New Haven what it takes to adaptively reuse an almost 100-year-old library building for a new purpose. We wish to thank our guest Robert Kinney. Read more in online at in the Fall 2015 article “Connecticut’s Carnegie Libraries”  This episode was produced by Mary Donohue, Assistant Publisher of Connectic

  • 91. Tom Linskeys Hearth-Cooked Feast

    91. Tom Linskey's Hearth-Cooked Feast

    16/03/2020 Duración: 51min

    Twice a year, restoration carpenter Tom Linsky and his wife Sally Irons host a heart-cooked colonial feast in their historic 18th century Portland home, as a benefit for their favorite charities. For those events Chef Tom Linskey spends an entire week prepping, preparing, and cooking a totally hearth-cooked panoply of colonial dishes to serve for the benefits' guests. Last month (February 2020), State Historian Walt Woodward stopped in to see Tom throughout the week to learn about hearth-cooking and feasting in the colonial era. The result was a delicious and wonderfully informative encounter with hearth-cooking and colonial foodways.  You can view photos of the hearth cooking experience and some of the items in the Linskeey's colonial tavern room on the Connecticut State Historian's Facebook page.            

  • 90. Bob Steele, the Voice of Connecticut Radio

    90. Bob Steele, the Voice of Connecticut Radio

    01/03/2020 Duración: 30min

    Bob Steele, the Voice of Connecticut Radio For more than sixty years, Bob Steele was the voice of Southern New England, entertaining listeners of WTIC AM with his wit and humor. Connecticut author Paul Hensler has written the first-ever biography of Steele, chronicling his hardscrabble beginnings in the Midwest, his early career as a boxer, and his almost accidental hiring as an announcer at WTIC in the midst of the Great Depression. In this episode, recorded at the CT Historical Society with Natalie Belanger, Hensler provides a look into Steele's life and work.  Paul Hensler's book, Bob Steele on the Radio: The Life of Connecticut's Beloved Broadcaster, is published by McFarland. We wish to thank Natalie Belanger and author Paul Hensler. This episode was produced by Natalie Belanger and engineered by Patrick O’Sullivan. Be sure to join us for our next episode of Grating the Nutmeg.

  • 89. Why Teaching African American History in Connecticut Matters

    89. Why Teaching African American History in Connecticut Matters

    15/02/2020 Duración: 37min

    CT Explored publisher Elizabeth Normen sits down with Dr. Benjamin Foster and Connecticut State Representative Bobby Gibson to talk about their efforts to pass legislation requiring teaching African American history in Connecticut, their vision for the curriculum, and why it matters. “When kids  started to say math is for whites,” Foster, a longtime educator says, “I knew we had to do something” to reconnect students with their rich history of contributions to this nation.  We wish to thank Dr. Benjamin Foster and Representative Bobby Gibson and Carmen Arace Middle School for hosting us. This episode was produced by Elizabeth Normen and engineered by Patrick O’Sullivan. 

  • 88. Educated For Freedom

    88. Educated For Freedom

    01/02/2020 Duración: 01h06min

               Anna Mae Duane has written an amazing new book about James McCune Smith and Henry Garnet, two African American boys who met as young students at the New York African Free School on Mulberry street.   Their intertwined, but very different lives of antebellum antislavery activism helped define the possibilities for blacks in American Society.  State historian Walt Woodward interviews UCONN English professor Duane, who talks about Educated for Freedom, and the inspiring and informative example Smith and Garnet provided for their generation, and ours.  Episode recorded by Walt Woodward. Edited, mixed, and assembled by Matt Berky at Massive Productions  

  • 87. Time Capsule: Dirt Floor Studio and Connecticut Music

    87. Time Capsule: Dirt Floor Studio and Connecticut Music

    14/01/2020 Duración: 24min

    In the Winter 2019 issue of Connecticut Explored, Museum of Connecticut History curator Dave Corrigan tackles the obsolescence of everyday objects such as typewriters that were replaced by personal computers. With the advent of digital recording, CDs, and streaming music services, perhaps no industry has experienced more rapid change in the last 20 years than the music industry. But as historians, we know that some people value doing things in the traditional way. In today’s episode, Assistant Publisher Mary Donohue and podcast engineer Patrick O’Sullivan visit Connecticut’s legendary Dirt Floor Recording and Production Studios to talk to musician and Dirt Floor producer Eric Lichter. Connecticut Public Radio’s John Dankosky calls Dirt Floor “the Music Sanctuary of Connecticut”. Hear more about how Lichter uses old fashioned, hands-on musical  instruments and recording methods to produce some of Connecticut’s most popular new musicians. We wish to thank our guests Eric Michael Lichter and musician Angela Lun

  • 86. Who Paid for the American Revolution? The Founding Fortunes

    86. Who Paid for the American Revolution? The Founding Fortunes

    02/01/2020 Duración: 58min

    In our first episode for 2020, state historian Walt Woodward interviews author and historian Tom Shachtman talks about his just released book, The Founding Fortunes: How America's Wealthy Paid for and Profited From America's Revolution. In this fascinating economic history covering the years from the Birth of the Republic to the end of the War of 1812, Shachtman asks an important question most historians don't consider: Who paid  for the war for independence? The answers come with some profound insights that still resonate in the present. Shachtman also helps us understand the national significance of a number of famous Revolutionary Connecticans, including Jeremiah Wadsworth, SIlas Deane, Eli Whitney, John Fitch, and Oliver Wolcott, Jr.  

  • 85. Connecticut Christmas Stories  Song

    85. Connecticut Christmas Stories & Song

    21/12/2019 Duración: 36min

             For your holiday enjoyment, State Historian Walt Woodward has gathered together three historic Connecticut Christmas stories, and a Christmas Song: Francis S. Parsons "The Christmas Party" (1923), Louise Chandler Moulton's "What Came to Olive Haygarth" (1867), Abby Allin's "Old Santa Claus (1850), and Walt Woodward's own "A Children's Christmas."  Happy Holidays From All the Grating the Nutmeg Team. 

  • 84. War, Maps  Mystery

    84. War, Maps & Mystery

    16/12/2019 Duración: 35min

    Maps tell stories. In this episode of Grating the Nutmeg, Natalie Belanger and Ben Gammell of the CT Historical Society uncover the little-known story of 18th-century cartographer Bernard Romans. A new exhibit of his maps at the museum pieces together the life story of a bold, talented, and adventurous immigrant to Connecticut who put his considerable skills to work for the American cause and may have paid the ultimate price for it.  “War, Maps, Mystery: Dutch Mapmaker Bernard Romans and the American Revolution” is on view at the Connecticut Historical Society until May 2, 2020. To learn more, visit   For more great stories on maps, order Connecticut  Explored’s back issue for Spring 2012 -entitled “Putting Connecticut on the Map”- at our website at This episode was produced by Mary Donohue, Asst. Publisher of Connecticut Explored, and engineered by Patrick O’Sullivan.   

  • 83. Exit Interview with a History Icon

    83. Exit Interview with a History Icon

    01/12/2019 Duración: 46min

         For more than a generation, Kendall F. Wiggin has been one of the most influential champions of history issues and institutions in Connecticut. At the end of 2019, Ken is retiring after 21 years as Connecticut's State Librarian. In a revealing interview, State Historian Walter Woodward sat down with Ken for a wide-ranging discussion about his agency's complex role in preserving the state's past, the effect of the Internet on historical research and libraries, the role of Connecticut history in public education, his successes and regrets, some advice for his successor, and more.  

  • 82. Writing with Scissors: Mark Twain, Harriet Beecher Stowe and American Scrapbooks

    82. Writing with Scissors: Mark Twain, Harriet Beecher Stowe and American Scrapbooks

    18/11/2019 Duración: 50min

    How did Mark Twain aka Samuel Clemons use scrapbooks to fight unscrupulous publishers who reprinted his work without paying him? Why did celebrities like Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony keep scrapbooks? How did abolitionists, suffragettes, and African Americans use scrapbooks to tell their story? Before the era of google and Instagram, how did American use scrapbooks to curate printed stories that contained information they wanted to save for the future? In this episode, our guest, Dr. Ellen Gruber Garvey explores how Americans from all walks of life created scrapbooks to document, store, critique, and participate in a rapidly changing world of information overload. This episode was recorded as a lecture at the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center. You’ll have to use your imagination a little to picture some of the types of scrapbooks that Dr. Garvey refers to but you’ll be fascinated by impact scrapbooks had on American history. We wish to thank our guest Dr. Ellen Gruber Garvey, professor

  • 81. Wilbur L. Cross, Connecticut Yankee

    81. Wilbur L. Cross, Connecticut Yankee

    01/11/2019 Duración: 57min

          Say the name Wilbur Cross and most Connecticans think of a parkway. Wilbur Cross the man, however, was a Connectican of extraordinary accomplishment. Born in 1862 in the factory village of Gurleyville, he became a world-class scholar, author, educational reformer, founding Dean of the Yale Graduate school, and, starting at age 68, a popular four-term governor who guided Connecticut through the worst years of the Great Depression.  In this episode, state historian Walt Woodward sits down at the New Haven Museum with poet and publisher David Wilk, whose City Point Press recently reissued Cross's 1943 autobiography Connecticut Yankee: An Autobiography of Wilbur L. Cross, to discuss Cross's remarkable nineteenth and twentieth century life.  As a bonus, we include a reading by David Wilk of Wilbur Cross's 1936 Thanksgiving Proclamation, regarded then and now for its eloquent invitation to thankful reflection. 

  • 80. Novelist Ann Petry and Exploring the Family Tree

    80. Novelist Ann Petry and Exploring the Family Tree

    18/10/2019 Duración: 38min

    Our guest, Elisabeth Petry is a journalist. She knows how to uncover a clue, follow a lead, and tell a good story. Her mother was bestselling novelist Ann Petry, whose 1946 debut novel The Street became the first novel by an African American to sell more than a million copies. In this episode, Liz tells us more about her family tree—the James and Lane Families—four generations of strivers and achievers descended from self-emancipated slaves, who settled in New Haven, Hartford, and Old Saybrook, Connecticut. Four hundred family letters survive, many of which contained stories that were fodder for Ann Petry’s novels. Hear more about how Liz and two of her cousins are taking the family’s story to the screen. We join Steve Courtney at the Mark Twain House & Museum as he introduces the lecture from which this podcast was recorded. We wish to thank our guest Elisabeth Petry and the host for the lecture, the Mark Twain House & Museum. Read more about Liz’s search for her family history in the Fall 2019 issu

  • 79. Gov. Ned Lamont, 100 Years of Fake News and Real and Fake Wars

    79. Gov. Ned Lamont, "100 Years of Fake News and Real and Fake Wars"

    23/09/2019 Duración: 42min
  • 78. Uncovering African and Native American Lives in 17th - 18th Century Hartford

    78. Uncovering African and Native American Lives in 17th - 18th Century Hartford

    02/09/2019 Duración: 29min

    Four hundred years ago, in August 1619, more than 20 kidnapped enslaved African people were sold to the Virginia colonists. Slavery was well established in the early Connecticut Colony, too. Traded, sold, given as gifts, and subjected to beatings as documents attest, the enslaved people of Hartford suffered no less than enslaved people anywhere. In today’s episode, Connecticut Explored’s Mary Donohue finds out about an innovative, model project that uses fine-grained scholarship to uncover the lives of almost 500 Africans, African Americans, and Native Americans buried between 1640 and 1815 in Hartford’s oldest historic site, the Ancient Burying Ground. She talks with Dr. Kathy Hermes, professor at Central Connecticut State University, about the project, sponsored by the Ancient Burying Ground Association and about the new website that makes all this research available with a click of a mouse. For more information, visit the new website at Join us on September 12, 2019 at 6

  • 77. The Delicious History of Pizza in New Haven

    77. The Delicious History of Pizza in New Haven

    18/08/2019 Duración: 51min

    Food historian and author of Pizza in New Haven Colin M. Caplin tells State Historian Walt Woodward and co-host Betsy Golden Kellem the fascinating story of the creation and rise to world-class celebrity of New Haven Pizza. Join us at Modern Apizza in New Haven for a lunch-time food and information feast you won’t want to miss. And at the end, you’ll hear about a special offer that might have you joining Walt Betsy and Colin for another podcast lunch and another slice of New Haven Pizza.

  • 76. The Rise of the Ku Klux Klan in Connecticut in the 1920s

    76. The Rise of the Ku Klux Klan in Connecticut in the 1920s

    01/08/2019 Duración: 18min

    In this installment of GTN, Natalie Belanger of the Connecticut Historical Society takes a walk through the museum's archival collection of documents related to the Ku Klux Klan. You'll learn about the Klan's sudden rise, and rapid fall, in 1920s Connecticut, a dark time when Connecticut was torn by disagreements over immigration policy and the changing demographics of United States. To learn more, you can join Natalie at the Connecticut Historical Society on September 14, 2019 for a gallery program related to this topic, or visit the CHS's Research Center anytime to view the Ku Klux Klan documents yourself.    This episode was produced by Natalie Belanger and engineered by Patrick O’Sullivan. To hear more episodes of Grating the Nutmeg subscribe on iTunes, iHeartRadio, GooglePlay, Spotify or at And for more great Connecticut history stories, subscribe to Connecticut Explored, the magazine of Connecticut history, at Please leave a review on iTunes for Grating



    16/07/2019 Duración: 01h12min

    In this Gate-leg Table interview with state historian Walt Woodward, transportation historian Richard DeLuca takes us on an expert's tour of Connecticut's long history of charging people to get from here to there. From turnpikes to bicycle roads, the state highway system to the parkways and toll roads Connecticut got rid of in the 1980s, DeLuca provides the background you need to make good decisions about The Toll Question in Connecticut. DeLuca is the author of POST ROADS AND IRON HORSES and PAVED ROADS AND PUBLIC MONEY, forthcoming from Wesleyan University Press. 

página 1 de 5