Local History

The Historical & Genealogical collections are housed on the second floor of the Library and is accessible by registration during the hours the Library is open to the public.  Photocopying is allowed for certain materials, depending upon its condition.  If you would like information sent to you, please call, fax or email the Library with your request (reference@rathbun.lioninc.org).  Depending upon how much information is needed, there may be a fee attached to this service, including postage and handling.

Research Materials:

The Parker History & Index
This volume, compiled by Francis Parker, contains information published in the Valley Advertiser between 1900 and 1925.  This is often a starting point for researchers, and it is indexed by name/subject.

Survey of Architectural and Historical Resources of East Haddam
This is a 4-volume set compiled by the municipal historian et al. and contains information on many houses in the town/region (some illustrations, photographs and sketches contained therein).

Cemetery and Burial Records
The Library stores information on the many cemeteries and burying grounds in the area, such as the Old Cove Burying Ground, River View Cemetery, First Church Cemetery (sometimes referred to as Little Haddam Cemetery), Foxtown Cemetery, Millington Cemetery and others.  Indexed maps to the various cemeteries are available.

Family Genealogies
The Library carries family histories for the following families:  Daniel Fox, the Cone Family, Thomas Fuller of Woburn, Dawes-Gates, Venture Smith, Greene Family of Plymouth Colony, the Kelloggs, the Williams and Robinson Families, Beckwith Notes, George Gates and descendants, and others.

War Participation Records
The French & Indian Wars, the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, the Spanish-American War and World War I, as well as the First Regiment Connecticut Volunteer Heavy Artillery in the Civil War (1899).

East Haddam Histories
The Old Chimney Stacks by Hosford Niles (1887)
A History of the Town of Haddam and East Haddam (1892, 1914)
A Brief History of East Haddam
East Haddam Census, 1790-1850

The Clippings File
This file holds a large amount of information on a variety of events, people and places in East Haddam and vicinity, which have been culled over the years by volunteers and staff.  These files are available for photocopying also.  Some particular points of interest are:  the Nathan Hale Schoolhouse, Gillette Castle, the Gelston House, the Congregational Church, the Goodspeed Opera House, the East Haddam Swing Bridge and the Amasa Day House.

Other Collections
The Library also houses the Captain Comer collection, an arctic explorer who was recently profiled in major exhibit at the Mystic Seaport (2008/09), information on notable people of East Haddam, such as Major General Joseph Spencer, the actor William Gillette and Venture Smith.  A selection of historical photographs is available for viewing and copying, thanks to the generosity of the River View Cemetery Association (digital copies only); the originals are in storage.  A brief history of the women of East Haddam (18th-19th centuries) was compiled by Alice Stelzer in 2007-08 and is available for photocopying.