Blog Archives

A Blacksmith Business at Its Peak #2

Volume 23 Issue 4 Fall 2019

Isaac Ensign’s Multifaceted Occupation

Although a major part of Isaac Ensign’s business was shoeing horses and oxen, his customers probably never called him a farrier. He and the others in town in the same trade were designated in the early tax records only as “blacksmiths.” However, the variety of products he made and his use of several metals other than iron, would qualify him today to also be called a brazier or brownsmith, a locksmith, and a gunsmith.


A Blacksmith Business at Its Peak #1

Volume 23 Issue 3 Summer 2019

Isaac Ensign’s Second Account Book

When Isaac Ensign began his blacksmith business in Simsbury in 1770, he was a bachelor just shy of twenty-three years old. The town enticed him here with the offer of the “Blacksmith Lott” in the center of town just north of the “Burying Yard.” He had undoubtedly learned his trade from his older brothers Moses and Samuel, who were both blacksmiths.


Cornelia’s Speech

Volume 23 Issue 2 Spring 2019

The Foundations for Practical Conservation

Gifford Pinchot, Simsbury native, is well known as a two-term Governor of Pennsylvania and the first chief of the U.S Forest Service. Less known is his generosity and selflessness when it came to public service. His parents, James and Mary Pinchot, founded the Yale School of Forestry in New Haven with a gift of $100,000 in 1900, a gift that would provide the practical and philosophical foundations for professional forestry in America.


A Boyhood in Simsbury #2

Volume 23 Issue 1 Spring 2017

Memoirs of Joseph Toy Curtiss, Part II

In 1911 the Joseph Toy Curtiss family moved from the Weatogue district to the center of Simsbury. The next couple of years must have been difficult ones. The father, Joseph Toy Curtiss Sr., died in 1912 in a car crash, and the family moved several times before settling down. Still, Joseph Toy Curtiss Jr. seemed to remember these year fondly.


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