Since 1943, the New Canaan Historical Society has published annuals and pamphlets, rich in the details of our local history, providing an unsurpassed look at life in New Canaan. Many are still in print and are available for purchase in our Library. We also have local history books and pamphlets for sale that were published by others. View the complete list as a PDF here!
Portrait of New Canaan
Mary Louise King. 1981.
History of New Canaan through the 1950s.
New Canaan, Texture of a Community: Texture of a Community
Edited by David H. Finnie. 2001.
New Canaan, a town of almost 20,000 in Fairfield County, Connecticut.
The Old Neighborhood: New Canaan, Connecticut, during the 1930s and 40s.
Mario “Ben” Benedetto. 2009.
This short memoir recounts the good (and some of the bad) times by a member of New Canaan’s close-knit Italian-American community.
New Canaan Meets the Cuban Missile Crisis
Hudson Stoddard. 2011.
This account chronicles how New Canaan residents (including Thomas J. Watson Jr., who later became U.S. Ambassador to Moscow) reacted to and prepared for the Cuban missile crisis. A fascinating chapter provides little-known details about the construction of numerous fallout shelters on private land around town.
I Remember the Old Town Farm
Isabel Bouton, Lane, Raymond, Moore and transposed by Roger Bouton Lane. 2006.
This memoir chronicles life in the early 1900s on New Canaan’s poor farm, which was known as the Town Farm. The author provides fascinating insights into how residents of the poor farm fared and were cared for, and also describes the day-to-day activities of rural life in the early years of the 1900s (including home life during World War I).
Mary J. Kelley and the Little Red Schoolhouse
Robert W. P. Cutler, M.D. 2004.
Mary Kelley, the last teacher in the one-room schoolhouse on Carter Street, taught there for 47 years, from 1910 until the school closed in 1957. This booklet was compiled by Robert W. P. Cutler, M.D., who attended the school for five years, from 1938 through 1943. At the Society’s request, Dr. Cutler got in touch with a number of his former classmates and asked for their memories and impressions of their days at the Little Red Schoolhouse. He then assembled the reminiscences into this wonderful booklet. Illustrated with many photos.
My Impressions of the Hour
Margaret Mary Corrigan. 1998.
This turn-of-the-20th-century journal was written by Margaret Mary Corrigan, who taught in three of New Canaan’s one-room schools from 1897 until 1901. The journal gives a fascinating perspective both on the state of education in small district schools of that era and on the young lady herself, as she struggled valiantly to improve her own education. Interspersed among the entries are reflections that she wrote as she read her journal 40 years later. The Society is indebted to Mr. Walter Korfman who generously donated Miss Corrigan’s diary.
A Guide to God’s Acre
Mary Louise King. 1997.
This guide to a neighborhood walking tour of the Historic District is based on an original “Landmark Tour” prepared by historian Mary Louise King. It includes houses that are officially part of the Historic District, as well as neighboring structures of significance. The District includes buildings surrounding God’s Acre and was formed with the purpose of preserving the historical nature of the center of the Town.
John Rogers and the Rogers Groups
This fascinating collection includes a biography of Rogers, a recollection by his son, and notes on how the famous Rogers Groups were made. Rogers lived in New Canaan and worked in the Victorian Gothic Studio that now stands on the Historical Society’s grounds; it is one of only two National Historic Landmarks in New Canaan.
Philip Johnson in New Canaan
Landis Gores and Richard Foster. 1986.
Devoted to Philip Johnson’s contributions to New Canaan’s architectural scene, this Annual includes reminiscences of two of his early associates, both of whom played roles in the completion of the Glass House as well as other houses that Johnson designed. The book includes photos of the Glass House itself, the property’s art and sculpture galleries, library, and gatehouse. Johnson was a member of the Society’s Board of Directors. He willed the Glass House compound the National Trust for Historic Preservation, which operates the property as a museum. Click here to preview the introduction to the conversation between John Rogers and Philip Johnson.
A New Canaan Private in the Civil War: Letters of Justus M. Silliman, 17th Connecticut Volunteers
Edited by Edward Marcus. 1984.
This selection from among 140 letters that Private Silliman sent to relatives and friends mixes his keen eye for detail, sentiment and humor with information he was able to glean from his time as a headquarters clerk with the Union Army in Florida. An intimate, first-person account, it is illustrated with maps and photographs.
A Child’s Walking Tour of New Canaan
A delightful guide to the center of Town, this book will introduce children (and their parents) to New Canaan’s history and to what life was like in the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries. There are stories and photos of buildings along the route, which begins at the Society’s Town House. The walk follows Oenoke Ridge Road down Main Street, turns right onto Elm, then right onto Park Street and ends back at the Historical Society. A marvelous walk to take with your family on a lovely day!
Hidden History of Connecticut
Learn the truth about the Charter Oak, the State Seal and how the American Revolution was saved.