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St. Patrick Cemetery
76 Dublin Road • Canaan, CT • Litchfield County

St. Patrick Cemetery is one of the earliest sites of the area's Catholic population. Included among those buried there are family members of parishioners of St. Bridget Church. Because the first Church of St. Bridget, located in West Cornwall, sat on barely a quarter acre, deceased parishioners were buried in the Cemetery of St. Patrick, an 8 mile journey from West Cornwall ... [ more ]

St. Patrick Church
24 Beebe Hill Road • Canaan, CT • Litchfield County

St. Patrick Church was the first Catholic parish in northwest Connecticut, established in 1851 in Falls Village. At that time, Masses were said in private homes, in a schoolhouse in Amesville, or outdoors, weather permitting, under an apple tree on Beebe Hill Road. The congregation of mostly Irish immigrant families reached 800 when the local ironworks was at its peak. Rev. Peter Kelly, the first priest ordained in Hartford, was St. Patrick's second resident pastor after Rev. Christopher Moore ... [ more ]

Beckley Furnace
140 Lower Road • East Canaan, CT • Litchfield County

A rich vein of high-quality iron ore runs through the northwest corner of Connecticut and miners began to exploit it in the early eighteenth century. The era of large scale industrial production of iron began in 1825 when Holley & Coffing built a blast furnace in Lime Rock. By 1830, the first foundry for casting the raw pig iron into finished products was opened and the need for workers began to increase. Irish immigrants had already begun to migrate to northwest Connecticut in the 1830s and 1840s for railroad construction jobs and they started working in the iron industry at about the same time ... [ more ]

St. Joseph's Convent
12 Elm Street • Salisbury, CT • Litchfield County

Irish immigrants probably began joining the iron-manufacturing workforce in the greater Lakeville area in the 1830s and 1840s, around the same time they migrated to Northwest Connecticut to take railroad construction jobs. The rise of the Irish population in Connecticut at that time reflected the impact of a mass migration responsible for bringing two million Irish to America in the 1840s alone. One million of these refugees settled in New England--driven to this country both by famine and and by the religious and political strife in their homeland ... [ more ]

St. Mary's Parish School
35 Sharon Road • Salisbury, CT • Litchfield County

The school was dedicated on the same day, September 5, 1882, as the St. Joseph Convent nearby. Dedication day also marked the arrival of four nuns from the Sisters of Mercy, a Catholic order started in the 1820s in Ireland. In 1852 the Sisters of Mercy had founded a Hartford branch devoted to the care of orphans and the destitute and to the religious and moral education of female children ... [ more ]

Jabez Bacon House
30 Hollow Road • Woodbury, CT • Litchfield County

Matthew Lyon, who would become a controversial figure in the U.S. House of Representatives, worked on Jabez Bacon's farm upon his arrival from Ireland around 1764 at the age of 15. He came to America as a "redemptioner", agreeing to be "sold" on his arrival as an indentured servant to pay for his ship's passage. Lyon was "redeemed" by Jabez Bacon, a wealthy country store keeper in Woodbury. In about a year Bacon traded Lyon for a pair of stags  ... [ more ]

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