The Champion Story
General George Washington and The Champion Family of Colchester
Colonel Henry Champion born in East Haddam in 1723 was the grandson of Henry Champion; an original settler of Saybrook. In 1775, Colonel Champion was selected to be a Commissary for the war effort, his duties were to procure goods and supply the Continental Army with provisions. Colonel Champion worked closely with the top colonial leaders, including General George Washington and Connecticut Governor Jonathan Trumbull.
During the winter of 1777-1778, Champion was summoned by General George Washington to command a wagon train needed to feed starving troops at Valley Forge. A herd of beef cattle, purchased at great expense, was driven over 300 miles under the personal direction of Colonel Henry Champion and his son, Epaphroditus. The beef was eaten by the starving troops in only five days.
In 1789 Colonel Champion married and settled in Colchester raising two prominent sons, Epaphroditus and Henry, who also served in the Revolutionary War. Epaphroditus worked with his father in the Commissary of the Army and eventually reached the rank of Commissary General. Henry became an outstanding military leader and also reached the rank of General.
Learn More About Col. Henry Champion >>
Learn More About Gen. Henry Champion >>
The Colchester History Museum is open on Saturdays, 11:00 am-2:00 pm from April to December.
In memory of our friend Joann Riddell
The sudden passing of our dear friend, fellow board member and Festival on the Green chairperson, Joann Riddell. Joann was a tireless and enthusiastic supporter of the Society and for at least a decade sharing her expertise by spearheading our Annual Festival on the Green. We will do our best to continue the Festival in her memory.
Please help us to continue the tradition of the Annual Festival on the Green in July by supporting this important event.
We miss you Joann.
The Colchester Historical Society has been selected to participate in StEPs-CT— a statewide, 26-month integrated program of professional development for smaller cultural organizations.
The program is based on the national Standards and Excellence Program for History Organizations (StEPs). Since its debut in 2009, StEPs has helped 585 institutions nationwide, including 27 in Connecticut.
The Colchester Historical Society was one of 23 organizations recently accepted into the program after a competitive application process. Support and training comes via curriculum based workshops; coaching from a dedicated mentor; and access to a Connecticut Humanities grant fund earmarked for initiatives related to achieving StEPs-CT program standards. Over the course of the program, the Colchester Historical Society will work to achieve certificates in six areas of museum practice.
StEPs-CT is a program of Connecticut Humanities and the Connecticut League of History Organizations, in partnership with Connecticut Historical Society, based on a curriculum of best practices developed by the American Association for State and Local History.
This is the second offering of the StEPs-CT program. From 2012-14, two dozen Connecticut organizations completed the program. They received some $45,000 in grants and earned 116 StEPs certificates—more than 40% of the total certificates earned by all participating organizations nationwide. Connecticut’s program was the first to integrate the national StEPs curriculum and is viewed as a model for similar programs across the country, according to Scott Wands, manager of grants and programs at Connecticut Humanities.
Other institutions participating in StEPs-CT are :Avery-Copp House (Groton), Cheshire Historical Society, Connecticut Valley Tobacco Historical Society (Windsor), Cornwall Historical Society, Danbury Railway Museum, Deep River Historical Society, Denison Society (Mystic), Dudley Foundation (Guilford), Essex Historical Society, Groton Public Library, Guilford Keeping Society, Naugatuck Historical Society, New Britain Industrial Museum, Newtown Historical Society, Salisbury Association, Smith-Harris House (Niantic), Stonington Historical Society, Wallingford Historic Preservation Trust, Weston Historical Society, Westport Historical Society, Wilton Historical Society, and Wood Memorial Library (South Windsor).
Connecticut Humanities, a nonprofit affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, provides opportunities to explore the history, literature and the vibrant culture that make our state, cities and towns attractive places to live and work. Learn more by visiting www.cthumanities.org.
The Connecticut League of History Organizations (CLHO) builds connections among those who preserve and share the stories and objects of our past. Learn more by visiting www.clho.org.
NEW EXHIBIT COMING SOON!
A SENSE OF PLACE: POSTCARDS FROM THE PAST
In mid-April the Colchester Historical Society Museum will host an exhibit featuring images of notable Colchester buildings once featured on vintage postcards. The exhibit will include a map of the center of town illustrating where these historic structures still stand, or once stood. Some structures have been lost forever, others are easily recognized and still others have been carefully restored. All the images tell the story of Colchester’s past and it’s evolution into the town it is today.
Please stay tuned for updates on this exciting new exhibit.