The Wallingford Historic Preservation Trust took part in many events during the week-long 350+2 Jubilee Celebration. On June 18,, a replica of the Nehemiah Royce House, celebrating its 350th anniversary (1672-2022), was part of the 350+2 parade.
On Juneteenth, WHPT Board President Jerry Farrell and WHPT Director of Operations, Lorraine Connelly, both Directors of the Wallingford 350th Jubilee Committee, were hosts to the All-Faiths Service and Juneteenth Observance at the Seymour St. John Chapel on the campus of Choate Rosemary Hall. Sheehan High School vocalist Sajag Timilsina led attendees in a rousing rendition of “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” accompanied by Dr. Jeanette Gross, organist of First Congregational Church in Wallingford. The interfaith service was led Rev. Aaron Rathbun, Choate Rosemary Hall’s Chaplain. After the service, all were invited to attend the opening of WHPT’s “Enslaved Wallingford” exhibit at the Nehemiah Royce House, delving into enslavement of Black Americans in Wallingford between 1710 and 1840.
A dedication of Wallingford’s first Witness Stone in honor of Black Revolutionary War soldier Dick Freedom was held at the Royce House. A second dedication of Witness Stones in memory of Grace and Esau, enslaved in Wallingford, took place at Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church. WHPT has partnered with the Witness Stone Project, Inc. to restore the history and honor the humanity of the enslaved through research, education, and civic engagement.