Ancient Burying Ground, 60 Gold Street (Main and Gold Streets, adjacent to Center Church), Hartford, CT 06103
Wadsworth Atheneum, 600 Main Street, Hartford, CT 06103
Main and Marsh Streets, Wethersfield, CT 06109
320 Hayden Station Road, Windsor, CT 06095
80 Broadway Street, Colchester, CT 06415
31 Canterbury Street, Hartford, CT 06112
Old Burying Ground, 69 Main Street, Norwich, CT 06360
Old Center Burying Yard, approximately 28 North Main Street, West Hartford, CT 06107
Hebron Village Center, Hebron, CT 06248
17 Spruce Street, Vernon, CT 06066
Mystic Seaport, 75 Greenmanville Avenue , Stonington, CT 06355
8 Garden Street, New Haven, CT 06511
217 Dixwell Avenue, New Haven, CT 06511
Evergreen Cemetery, 92 Winthrop Avenue, New Haven, CT 06519
2030 Main Street, Hartford, CT 06120
10 Northfield Street, Greenwich, CT 06830
28 North Street, Milford, CT 06460
Antientist Burial Ground, Near Hempstead and Granite Streets , New London, CT 06320
57 Fort Street, Groton, CT 06340
27 Keney Terrace, Hartford, CT 06112
Museum of Connecticut History, Connecticut State Library, 231 Capitol Avenue, Hartford, CT 06106
66 Hillside Avenue, Meriden, CT 06451
Intersection of Routes 201 and 165, Griswold, CT 06351
106 Goffe Street, New Haven, CT 06511
Sherwood Island Connector and Greens Farms Road, Westport, CT 06880
Gunntown Road, Naugatuck, CT 06770
More than 200 years ago, on what is now the Gunntown Passive Park and Nature Preserve, a British agent almost shot a young patriot to death before another Tory jumped in front of the gun.
The dramatic incident, one of many during the five-day kidnapping of 16-year-old Chauncey Judd, has earned the land a spot on the Connecticut Freedom Trail, which includes more than 130 sites that symbolize the struggle for freedom and African-American accomplishments.
“This is a story of human freedom and human dignity,” said Len Yannielli, community outreach director for the volunteer committee that maintains the 39-acre park. “It has a lot of features of the Hollywood chase scene, except it’s in the Revolutionary period.”
After Yannielli gave a presentation Jan. 9 to the Connecticut Freedom Trail Planning Committee, the members voted unanimously to include Gunntown as part of the trail, he said. The committee is a division of the state’s Commission of Culture and Tourism.
A formal dedication will be held in September, which is Connecticut Freedom Trail Month, said Mayor Robert Mezzo.
“It’s not only beneficial from an educational and historic perspective, but also a potential attraction for tourists to visit the trail,” Mezzo said.
In the spring of 1780, a gang of thieves loyal to the British crown robbed a house in Bethany and then abducted Judd, who lived in what is now the borough, and was then called Judd’s Meadow. The group reached a bend in Long Meadow Brook, near the Gunn family barn, when Capt. Daniel Graham concluded Judd had become a burden and decided to shoot him, tie stones to his body and throw him into the brook.
Henry and David Wooster, young cousins who were in the Tory gang but had grown up with Judd, threw themselves in front of Graham’s gun to prevent him from firing. Dissension in the ranks had been exposed as trackers from Bethany closed in.
“The turning point of this story happens right on the Gunntown land, when that British agent put a gun to that kid,” Yannielli said. “It was the beginning of the end. That is what ultimately does them in.”
The group later made its way to the Wooster homestead in Middlebury, where David Wooster’s mother saved Judd again when she realized Graham was getting ready to kill him in a dairy room.
The gang then went south to the Oxford Inn, which no longer exists but was in or near Derby. A slave named Tobiah who worked for the inn overheard what the group had done.
“Tobiah begins to relate to this kid, because this kid is kidnapped, just as his grandmother and other relatives of his were kidnapped out of Africa,” Yannielli said.
Tobiah risked his life by turning a gun on Henry Wooster and demanding Judd’s freedom. As he was preparing to tie Wooster up, the other Tories burst into the room, seized Judd and Wooster and left for Long Island, where they were eventually captured.
Tobiah later won his freedom by joining the Revolutionary army and was a witness when the Tory gang went on trial in New Haven.
Records of the trial and an 1864 book by Israel P. Warren detail the story of Judd’s abduction. The Gunntown committee has named some of the park’s trails after the story’s major players. Yannielli said a bronze plaque will be installed by September, when the site is dedicated as part of the freedom trail.
235 Dixwell Avenue, New Haven, CT 06511
Area surrounding 11 Hempstead Street, New London, CT 06320
108 Cross Highway, Westport, CT 06880
34 Hopkins Street, Waterbury, CT 06704
Jackie Robinson Way, Richmond Hill Avenue and West Main Street, Stamford, CT 06902
Fountain, Cedar and School Streets, Norwich, CT 06360
Center Cemetery, Old Colony Road (off of Route 272), Norfolk, CT 06058
2 Pennywise Lane, Old Saybrook, CT 06475
299 Palisado Avenue , Windsor, CT 06095
Cedar Hill Cemetery, 453 Fairfield Avenue, Hartford, CT 06114
Cross and Vine Streets, Middletown, CT 06457
People's State Forest, 106 East River Road, Barkhamsted, CT 06063
44 Lake Avenue, Greenwich, CT 06830
Marianna Farm Way, Danbury, CT 06811
Danbury Museum & Historical Society, 43 Main Street, Danbury, CT 06810
61 Mahl Avenue, Hartford, CT 06120
351 Farmington Avenue, Hartford, CT 06105
Walnut Grove Cemetery, 817 Old Colony Road, Meriden, CT 06450
352-54 and 358-60 Main Street, Bridgeport, CT 06604
Old North Cemetery, North Main Street, at Mather Street, Hartford, CT 06120
2051 Main Street, Hartford, CT 06120
Hillside Cemetery, Route 44, North Canaan, CT 06024
Riverside Cemetery, Daniel's Farm Road (off Route 127, one mile from exits 49 and 50, Merritt Parkway), Trumbull, CT 06611
Town Green, 98 Hayward Avenue, Colchester, CT 06415
North Main Street, at Mather Street , Hartford, CT 06120
Palisado Avenue, Windsor, CT 06095
1221 Enfield Street, Enfield, CT 06082
Grove Hill Cemetery, 22 Cemetery Avenue, Vernon, CT 06066
1 South Canterbury Road (Junction of Routes 14 & 169), Canterbury, CT 06331
110 Whiting Street, Plainville, CT 06062
Off East Street, South of Veteran's Memorial Cemetery, Windsor, CT 06095
Bushnell Park, 31 Pratt Street, Hartford, CT 06103
Milford Cemetery, Prospect Street, Milford, CT 06460
East Rock Park, 41 Cold Spring Street, New Haven, CT 06511
121 North Lake Street, Litchfield, CT 06759
2035 Main Street, Hartford, CT 06120
37 Howe Street, New Haven, CT 06511
Grove Street Cemetery, 247 Grove Street, Putnam, CT 06260
City Point Area, roughly bounded by Columbus Avenue, Loop Road, the railroad tracks and Howard Avenue , New Haven, CT 06519
1921 Main Street, Hartford, CT 06120
242 Dixwell Avenue, New Haven, CT 06511
First Church Cemetery, 489 Town Street, East Haddam, CT 06423
Dock Road, Outer Road and Split Rock Road, Norwalk, CT 06854
34 Bidwell Street, Manchester, CT 06040
12 Gregory Street , Bridgeport, CT 06604
Washington and Vine Streets, Middletown, CT 06459
Route 177 and Norton House site, 109 Main Street , Plainville, CT 06062
206 Tower Avenue, Hartford, CT 06120
377 Hayden Station Road, Windsor, CT 06095
Lock & Canal Streets, New Haven, CT 06511