First Fridays Mill Town Mosaics: African-American Heritage

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June 1, 2018 @ 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Downtown Putnam

First Fridays in Downtown Putnam CT 2018 Theme is
Mill Town Mosaics: Cultural Heritage of the Quiet Corner in northeast Connecticut. 

First Fridays Mill Town Mosaics: African-American Heritage event line up: 

• 6pm – festival starts with National Anthem, performed by: Putnam High School band! Gather at the stage on the Congregational Church of Putnamlawn as the PHS Band kicks off this month’s event! 

Entertainment: Be ready to enjoy the chance to kick up your heels and dance the night away, sing along, clap, tap & snap at TWO locations! Bring a lawn chair so you can sit & rest for a bit, too! 

• On the Congregational Church of Putnam Lawn: 

• Next to The Crossings Restaurant & Brew PubJesse Liam

• Other entertainment: 

• Community Arts table for the kiddos will offer: 

• Volunteer Superstars of the Month: Putnam Science

• Cultural Celebration Station, hosted by The Last Green Valley (look for their green tent) and Sharon Luc Watson with information on CT’s underground railroad movement, and some early African-American business owners and entrepreneurs. 

• Vendors to visit: 

• Local businesses are offering: 


For the 8th season of First Fridays, The Putnam Business Associationinvites the public to celebrate the mosaic of diverse local history and culture with a celebration of Northeastern Connecticut’s mill towns.

Driving through the scenic towns of the region, it is commonplace to pass brick and stone mill buildings set alongside powerful rivers. Some mills have been revitalized, but many have been lost to time. These structures represent more than just a bygone era of industrialism; they symbolize much of our local cultural heritage.

At the turn of the 19th century, Samuel Slater introduced the concept of inviting entire families to move to factory towns. Next to the factories, houses were built for the new workers. Company stores and company-financed civic buildings filled the streets of the towns. 

Many current residents of our community are a product of our small mill towns, with roots and deep memories extending to Canada, Poland, Greece, Finland, and other parts of the globe. 

Each month, First Fridays will celebrate the mosaic of our Quiet Corner Heritage, with art, music, food, dance, family memories and more! 

Be sure to visit our Cultural Celebration Station each month!

JUNE 1st celebrates African-Americans. 

The African American experience in Connecticut began in the earliest years of the state’s colonization around 1630 and continues to this day, spanning the Black Governors of Connecticut, nationally prominent black abolitionists, response to the Amistad trial, letters of the 29th Regiment of Colored Volunteers in the Civil War, and the Civil Rights work of baseball great Jackie Robinson (a 20-year resident of Stamford), to name a few.

In 1833, Prudence Crandall (Connecticut’s official “State Heroine”) opened the first academy for African American women. The state responded by passing the “Black Law” making her school illegal. Though the case was dismissed in 1834, a mob completed the job by attacking the school and forcing her to close. The museum is a National Historic Landmark. 

The Connecticut Freedom Trail is home to buildings reported to have been used on the Underground Railroad; sites associated with the Amistad Case of 1839-1842; and gravesites, monuments, homes and other structures that embody the struggle toward freedom and human dignity and celebrate the accomplishments of the state’s African American community. ( and

Did you know: Amistad ironically means “Friendship” in Spanish.