The Hayward Rubber Company
The primarily agricultural town of Colchester began changing dramatically in 1847 when Nathaniel Hayward, owner of a small rubber shoe factory in Lisbon, built a rubber plant on Lebanon Avenue. The company produced rubber shoes and boots attracting nearly 1,000 people to the town to work as laborors in the factory. Mills, farms, retail stores a bank and manufacturing plants soon opened in order to serve the growing community. Nathaniel Hayward was instrumental in the formation of a fire company in 1854 and was involved with the establishment of the Colchester Savings Bank.
In 1865 Nathaniel Hayward died, but the rubber company and the town continued to prosper. In 1893 The Colchester Rubber Company was sold to the U.S. Rubber Company. Soon after the company closed permanently leaving 600 workers without jobs.
To Learn More >>
The Colchester Historical Society is proud to announce the successful completion of StEPS-CT, or Standards and Excellence Program for History Organizations (StEPs).
The Colchester Historical Society was one of 23 small cultural and heritage organizations which recently completed this intensive 2-year program. CHS received support and training 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 achieved bronze and silver certificates in six areas of museum practice. Through continued work on a self-study basis, CHS plans to continue to strive for gold certification in all StEPS Units. “This is just the beginning,” said CHS Co-President Gigi Liverant, “we are so grateful for StEPS-CT for all that we’ve learned, and we plan to continue developing procedures and policies that establish Colchester Historical Society as the premier steward of Colchester’s history and heritage.”
“Our experience with StEPS-CT has been invaluable,” Angela George, Co-President of CHS added. “From improved signage that has increased visitation to the museum, to implementing current policies that guide our volunteers through daily operations, StEPS-CT has improved our organization. We can now provide better programs to our community, and we are now better able to tell our audiences our local histories and preserve our heritage through our unique collections and images.”
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.
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.
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.