Witness Stones Celebration Highlighted Installation of Plaques Marking Sites of Enslavement in Old Lyme
OLD LYME –The Old Lyme Witness Stones Partnership held an installation ceremony last Friday, June 4, celebrating the town’s newly installed Witness Stones—historical plaques commemorating the lives of 14 individuals, who were once enslaved on Lyme Street.
The project expands the understanding of local history and honors the humanity and contributions of those formerly held in bondage. Continue reading.
Old Lyme Installs Witness Stones
Honoring the Forgotten
By Jim Altman on Fox61 News
OLD LYME, Conn. — The Witness Stones Project, a non-profit initiative that honors enslaved people that worked and lived in Connecticut centuries ago has now made its mark in Old Lyme.
Outside the Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library, a ceremony took place to recognize 14 Witness Stones that are along Lyme Street in town. Continue reading.
Witness Stones Dedicated to 14 Enslaved in Old Lyme
By Cate Hewitt in CTExaminer on June 4, 2021
OLD LYME — Cato, Lewis Lewia, Humphrey, Caeser, Jack Howard, Jenny Freeman, Luce, Crusa, Nancy Freeman, Temperance Still, Jane, Pompey Freeman, Samuel Freeman, and Arabella — 14 African Americans who were once enslaved along what is now Lyme St.
Until recently, their history had been almost entirely unknown and untold, and few people knew the history of slavery in Connecticut. Continue reading.
Old Lyme Installs Witness Stones
From NBC News Connecticut on June 4, 2021
Stones honoring the lives of formerly enslaved people now line Lyme Street in Old Lyme. The fourteen plaques are called “witness stones” and are designed to help people learn about and honor the enslaved people who lived in town.
“To help people understand the true history of their town because you lose things when you forget,” said Pat Wilson Pheanious.
Wilson Pheanious is the co-chair of the board of directors for the Witness Stones Project. The project has helped communities across Connecticut, including Guilford and New Haven, remember those who have gone unrecognized for so long. Continue reading.
Student Poetry from Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School Students
Seventh-grade students from the Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School wrote poems to tell the life stories of Jenny Freeman and Lewis Lewia.
By Ilona Binch
Sun shining through the windows.
Children running through the halls.
There were joyful voices in the air
Even though nothing was right at all.
I was knitting socks and gloves
For children that weren’t mine.
My children worked for families that weren’t ours.
Their children got toys – my children got scars.
My body was their property.
To the Noyes my enslavers.
I took care of their children,
But my thoughts were of mine.
When I was “Old Jenny,”
I worked and worked not even getting a penny.
I would care, and I would clean.
I was nothing, not even a thing
When I was a “Freeman,”
I was something
I helped others be free like me.
No one should have to suffer the indignities of slavery.
[Read more…] about Student Poetry from Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School Students
New Generation of Historians Reveals Untold Stories in Old Lyme
By Elizabeth Regan in The Day on June 4, 2021
Old Lyme — Though they are the town’s youngest historians, they are among the first to reveal centuries-old stories of the people enslaved on Lyme Street.
Seventh graders at Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School this year pieced together the stories of Jenny Freeman and Lewis Lewia, two of the people held in bondage on the street once inhabited by wealthy sea captains, shipbuilders and merchants.
It’s all part of the Witness Stones Old Lyme community partnership to install small plaques commemorating individuals once enslaved. A ceremony was held Friday after the first 14 stones were placed earlier this week. Continue reading.
Witness Stones Old Lyme to Hold Installation Ceremony
OLD LYME – The Old Lyme Witness Stones Partnership will hold an installation ceremony Friday, June 4, from 10 to 11:15 a.m. celebrating the town’s newly installed Witness Stones—historical plaques commemorating the lives of 14 individuals, who were once enslaved on Lyme Street. Continue reading.
Witness Stones Arrive in Old Lyme, Project Will Mark Local Slave Narratives
By Cate Hewitt in the Connecticut Examiner on June 1, 2021
OLD LYME — Up and down Lyme Street, cement and bronze markers arrived today showing where enslaved people once lived in the town of Old Lyme.
The markers are part of the Witness Stones Project, which “seeks to restore the history and honor the humanity of the enslaved individuals who helped build our communities” through research, education and civic engagement. The project grew out of research on slavery in Connecticut by Dennis Culliton, a local historian and teacher in Guilford, where the first stones in the state were laid. Since then, 12 towns including Old Lyme have joined the project. Continue reading.