The Red Chair was up early on Friday morning as we began our three days together. I was surprised that he was so bright and cheerful at that hour after his journey from Rhode Island, however he seemed excited to be in Old Wethersfield and eager to learn the history of Connecticut’s “Ye Most Ancient Towne.”
We found Red in the parlor chatting it up with the locals, and asking them what he should see while he was in town. They gave him a list, which he in turn gave to us and before long we were on our way.
Just down the way on the Broad Street Green we stopped in at Anderson Farms.
Out front of the farmhouse was an array of the season’s early harvest of fruit, vegetables and a cart of seedlings for the flower garden.
He said he was a bit of a history buff so we made our next stop the Ancient Burial Ground up the hill behind First Church.
It was a bit early for ice cream when we passed the Main Street Creamery but Red made us promise that we would bring him back in the afternoon for a double scoop of Mint Chocolate Chip.
It wasn’t too early for coffee at the Aroma Bistro and Red found a friend out front who was enjoying the warm spring morning. Just across the way is First Church and the rotary in the very heart of downtown Old Wethersfield
Just a few doors down are the three Early Colonial Homes that comprise the Webb Dean Stevens Museum. It was here at the Webb House that George Washington met Rochambeau and planned the campaign ending at Yorktown in 1781.
Just a block down Main Street we stopped in at the Heart of the Country and Antiques on Main so Red could meet what turned out to be distant cousins. They started telling old family stories and it was hard to get him away from there. But the promise of moving on to the Capitol city was enough to get him to bid adieu to the family.
Our last stop in town was the Warehouse on the Cove. Built in the 17th Century when Wethersfield was a thriving maritime port on the Connecticut River there were six huge warehouses that stored products waiting to be sent all over the world. Today there is only one.
Wethersfield, Connecticut had been thriving for 240 years when Silas W. Robbins built his French Second Empire style home on the expansive Broad Street Green in 1873. He was one of the owners of a successful seed business and when he died in 1910 he was buried in the prestigious Cedar Hill Cemetery just over the townline in Hartford. We took Red to see his monument and to pay tribute to the man who built our beloved B&B.
No visit to the Hartford area would be complete without going to see the Mark Twain House on what was once called Nook Farm, but now they just call it Farmington Avenue or the West End. There Samuel Clemens and his neighbor, Harriett Beecher Stowe, lived as part of Hartford’s High Society. The house is a Victorian Gothic mash-up that has delighted visitors for decades. While strolling through the Twain museum we came upon this larger than life portrait of Sam. Many of the author’s clever sayings are etched in the walls of the museum and when we came across the one that said, “Travel is Fatal to Prejudice” we knew that Red would totally agree.
Elizabeth Park, not so far from busy Farmington Avenue, but a world away in peaceful atmosphere, was our last stop on that afternoon. The world famous rose garden is the oldest municipally operated rose garden in the country. It is a two and a half acre garden which has about 800 varieties of roses. The middle of June is the absolute best time to visit the rose garden and the air is so heavy with the scent of roses that it nearly makes you swoon. Even the Red Chair needed to sit in the shade of the rustic gazebo before heading back home.
Back at the B&B Red wanted to have one more look at our new Knot Garden. It is one of newest features on the grounds of the Silas W. Robbins House. We hope he will stop back by on this way home from California and see how much it will have grown.
It was an eventful day on the road with Red. We tucked him in early so he would have a good nights sleep in the Silas W. Robbins Room on the 2nd floor. I promised him Stuffed French Toast in the morning and as I walked down the hall I’m sure I heard him say, “This place rocks!”
Having the Red Chair at our B&B was a bit like having royalty come to stay. We wanted to show him the best of Wethersfield, Connecticut. I’m fairly certain he enjoyed himself, but he’s a quiet sort and doesn’t show a lot of emotion. He was a splendid guest, not demanding at all, and we hope that Red will come to stay again.