As promised, some other photos from my research into the history of Cheshire, MA. The threads of research continue to unravel in interesting ways (at least to me) . . .
This is a monument to the original settlement in Cheshire, originally known as “New Providence.” What is now Cheshire was settled by Baptists from Providence, RI, the result of a large land purchase-cum-investment on the part of Nicholas Cook of Providence. Col. Joab Stafford was one of the first to actually scout out the area and purchase land. The hill on which the monument is erected, Stafford Hill, is named for him.
Stafford was followed by other prominent Rhode Islanders. Many of them were descended from the original settlers who had followed Roger Williams, the founder of Rhode Island, to Rhode Island. Here is a close-up of the monument to the original settlement.
Here is a close-up of the plaque.
Among the families who followed Stafford were a pair of brothers who were, most likely, descendants of Chad Brown, one of the original settlers of Rhode Island. Elisha Brown and Daniel Brown were prosperous Rhode Islanders who were probably related to the brothers John and Moses Brown of Providence, RI. You may recall them from previous posts. If you don’t, I’ll happily jog your memory.
Anyways, Daniel Brown was a Captain in the Continental Army who fought with John Stark and the Battle of Bennington. Brown owned a distillery in Cheshire, near the Lanesborough border, which distilled Caribbean sugar cane into rum. It stood near the present-day Cheshire Town Hall. According to Ellen Raynor and Emma Petticlerc (two women I hope to learn more about), the authors of an 1885 history of Cheshire, a general store and stone horse trough stand on the site of the old still. Here is a photo of the Town Hall:
The old stone horse trough can be seen in front of it, although it’s now a planter. Note the Town Hall in the background:
The general store is just down the street. Note the triangular apron of grass on which the Town Hall sits in the background in this photo:
Here is a front-on picture of the general store:
In my next post I will tackle a somewhat more theoretical subject, America’s difficulty talking about race.