Wednesday, January 16, 2013


You stop for the brown sign. In this case, it marks the birthplace of Samuel Seabury, the first Episcopal bishop in America.

His is a wacky story, as are so many biographies of his time, full of international travel and domestic travel and war and getting arrested and switching sides and religious/national tensions.

But interesting as that is, you stay for the small building behind the sign. At first it looks like nothing, like someone's abandoned barn. But you notice that it has a plaque on it, with a tiny "National Register of Historic Places" oval.

It's locked up now.
But it used to be Gurdon Bill's "country store and stage coach way station...a meeting place of local residents and passing travelers." It was built in 1816. It "retains its original features and location."

You drop a pin at this location on the map on your phone. It's the intersection of Church Hill Road and Spicer Hill Road in Ledyard. Except for crowing roosters and the very occasional car, it's quiet. The plaque says, "Two important roads of early New England intersected at this point."

You walk away and glance towards the woods. And because this is Connecticut, there's an enormous boulder sitting there, making the worlds of early Episcopal bishops and stage coach travelers seem like only yesterday.

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