The Sarah Whitman Hooker Homestead, built in 1715, is the oldest surviving structure in West Hartford, Connecticut. The house, originally two-story structure with one room on each floor, was expanded several times during the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Sarah Whitman Hooker lived in the house with her husband Thomas in the 1770’s. After Thomas died of disease at the siege of Boston in 1775, “the widow Hooker” was asked to lodge two Tory prisoners during the winter of 1775-76. During the winter, Sarah was forced to dissuade some of the townspeople from tarring and feathering her two guests. Sarah Hooker lived until 1830, but sold the house to her children in 1800. (The children later sold it to cousins.) The house is now open to the public on a limited schedule. The interior is furnished as it was during Sarah Whitman Hooker’s residence.
Sarah Whitman Hooker Homestead is located at 1237 New Britain Avenue West Hartford, Connecticut 06107, off Interstate 84 at exit 41.
The prairie town of De Smet, South Dakota is better known as “The Little Town on the Prairie,” the setting for the famous novels by Laura Ingalls Wilder, including “By the Shores of Silver Lake,” “The Long Winter,” and “These Happy Golden Years.” The Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial preserves two homes in which Laura Ingalls and her family lived in the late nineteenth century. They spent the winter of 1879, their first winter on the Dakota prairies, in the Surveyors’ House (the house described in “By the Shores of Silver Lake”). Charles Ingalls built a larger home for the family in 1887. After the death of Laura Ingalls Wilder in 1957, the Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial Society was founded in DeSmet to preserve the family’s former homes. Both the Surveyors’ House, which is now the oldest building in De Smet, and the Ingalls Home have been restored for touring. The Ingalls Home in particular displays many artifacts and original belongings of the Ingalls and Wilder families.
Location Information and Directions
Links: Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial
Mary McLeod Bethune was one of a formidable generation of leaders who arose in the early 20th century within the African American community to confront racism and segregation, and to claim the community’s rightful place in the American dream. “What does the Negro want? His answer is very simple. He wants only what all other Americans want. He wants opportunity to make real what the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution and the Bill of Rights say, what the Four Freedoms establish.” Mary McLeod Bethune founded Bethune-Cookman College in Daytona Beach, Florida and served as an advisor on African American affairs to four presidents. She founded the National Council of Negro Women to address the problems of the black community. Mary McLeod Bethune Council House National Historic Site is a three-story Victorian town house that was Mary McLeod Bethune’s last Washington, D.C. residence and the first headquarters of her organization.
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Links: Mary McLeod Bethune Council House National Historic Site