Tag Archives: Nick Bellantoni

Happy 100th, Sherwood Island!

Next year, Sherwood Island celebrates 100 years as a state park. (At least, 1914 was the year Connecticut acquired the initial parcels for what — 23 years later — eventually became our 1st state park.)

In anticipation of the centennial celebration, the Friends of Sherwood Island will install educational panels on the history of the Sherwood family. Daniel Sherwood and his wife Catherine Burr settled the area in 1761. They farmed onions and potatoes, and harvested oysters.

An aerial view of Sherwood Island State Park.

An aerial view of Sherwood Island State Park.

But before the signs can be installed for a historical walking tour, an archaeological survey must verify the locations of houses and barns.

Next Wednesday (May 22, 10 a.m.), Connecticut state archaeologist Nick Bellantoni will make a presentation and inspection visit. The public is invited to attend his free lecture and walk-about tour. Entrance to the park is also free.

Elwood Betts will be there. The 87-year-old Westporter remembers where the Sherwood house was; he visited the farm complex as a 6-year-old. (Just as notably, he’s a Sherwood descendant.)

In preparation for Wednesday's event, Elwood Betts (left) shows archaeologist Ernie Wiegand where the 1787 Sherwood house stood.

In preparation for Wednesday’s event, Elwood Betts (left) shows archaeologist Ernie Wiegand where the 1787 Sherwood house stood.

Archaeology professor Ernie Wiegand will exhibit Native American artifacts from Sherwood Island and nearby Green’s Farms. He’ll also help identify arrowheads, stone axe heads or other artifacts residents have picked up over the years.

Sherwood Island is an enormously popular state park — and a spot many Westporters have never set foot in. You may not be able to make it to next Wednesday’s event — but don’t wait another 100 years to go.