Charcoal Burning and Quarries: The Nipmuc and Black Community of Ashford Woods

 10/06/2022 @ 10:00 am

Join Historian Donna Dufresne and TLGV’s Chief Ranger Bill Reid on a guided tour of the homestead of Chester and Hannah Webster whose son, Charles Webster was a soldier in the CT 29th Colored Regiment in the Civil War. Charles Webster’s Civil War gravestone rests in the Lambert Cemetery on the Webster Homestead in the Natchaug Forest. In 1839 the Websters bought 16 acres with William Bates in what was known as Ashford Woods on the eastern border of Pomfret. Both families were of Nipmuc and African descent. From 1840 to 1871 a community of Nipmucs and Blacks evolved in the neighborhood. They worked as farm laborers, and likely worked in the nearby quarry. The Websters appear to have been burning charcoal which was sold to local iron works and foundries. There are 12 charcoal mounds in a quarter mile radius of the Webster homestead. The walk is moderate, mostly on dirt roads and paths with some rocky terrain. Register by emailing bill@tlgv.org. Sponsored by The Last Green Valley & Historian Donna Dufresne, thelastgreenvalley.org


Type of Event



Commuter Lot, Rt. 198, Phoenixville, CT

Additional Info

Moderate, Registration Required. We will carpool to Fayette Paine Rd. in Natchaug State Forest and park at the historic Cat Den Quarry.

TLGV Partners

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