All around our great state of Connecticut, you can explore a world of history right in our own backyards, and in Torrington, that saying holds true. A part of The Freedom Trail sits up high on top of the hill by the UCONN Torrington campus in a very wooded yet rural area. If there were no signs to this attraction, you would never knew it existed. Though once you find it, you’ll be hooked, especially if you’re a history nut like myself. This site on The Freedom Trail is the John Brown site, the birthplace of John Brown who was an American abolitionist, and was a strong advocate to end all slavery. He was the leader of the Pottawatomie Massacre back in 1856, and was often times quoted as “the most controversial of all 19th century Americans.”
John Brown was born here in Torrington back on May 9th of 1800. He spent the first five years of his life in Torrington before moving with his family to Hudson, Ohio. Though John Brown would return to his home state in his teens when he attended The Morris Academy in Litchfield, however, due to financial troubles as well as health issues, John returned back home to Ohio. Brown became dedicated over the years to free African-Americans from slavery, and many historians agree to this day that he played a significant role in starting the civil war as John Brown did not believe in a peaceful end to slavery rather a drawn out violent war.
I wont give you a whole history lesson here, although I could, but if you are looking for a great history lesson, you may want to take a look into The Torrington Historical Society, which is a wonderful resource for everything Torrington, including John Brown. It is also here where you can learn all about Torrington’s setting here in the Berkshire Hills. Take a short, self paced tour in the historical societies museum and learn all about how Torrington came to be what it is today, from the early farm days to the manufacturing days and today. You’ll be sure to walk out armed with a wealth of Torrington knowledge, and that’s some pretty powerful stuff to be armed with!
For more information on John Brown as well as directions to the birthplace, check out the Torrington Historical Societies link:
Mike Valletta can be reached for comment at: NorthwestCTMike@aol.com