Welcome to Lebanon, Heartbeat of the Revolution
The town of Lebanon, Connecticut was incorporated by the General Assembly of the Connecticut Colony on October 10, 1700 and has maintained a long and proud history of patriots, national contributors to the arts and sciences, as well as a still thriving farming community. There are over 100 active farms in Lebanon today producing dairy products, plants for commercial use around the country, maple products, eggs, cattle, and vegetables.
From the raising of a Liberty Pole by local Sons of Liberty during the Stamp Act crisis to the outbreak of the war, the free men of Lebanon were active protestors against British policies. During the Revolution, at least 677 Lebanon men served in the American units, from the Battle of Bunker Hill to the end of the campaigns in 1782. This represents more than 50 percent of the adult population at that time.
Among Lebanon's best known patriots are William Williams, member of the Continental Congress and signer of the Declaration of Independence, and Jonathan Trumbull, the only Colonial governor to become the governor of a state.
Governor Trumbull's leadership galvanized Connecticut's astounding contribution of men, munitions, supplies and provisions to the Continental Armies, as well as to the militia and the state's navy. George Washington and Lafayette visited the town, along with military leaders including generals Knox, Putnam and Rochambeau, to confer with the man Washington affectionately called "brother Jonathan." This outpouring of supplies, which several times rescued Washington's troops from starvation at Valley Forge and Morristown, earned Connecticut its nickname as "The Provisions State."
In addition to the historical sites the town has to offer, there are many outdoor activities which appeal to a variety of ages and tastes. There are several thousand acres of open space where one can relax with nature. There are many sites open to the public for walking or hiking, exploring, and other passive recreation. Motor vehicles are not allowed on many of these sites. Hunting is allowed at some; check DEP regulations. Lebanon also offers numerous dirt roads through private working farmland and mature forest such as North Street and Valinksy Road. In addition, most farmers are proud of their land and are willing to share it, especially those who have preserved it for agriculture and forestry. In Lebanon you're always near preserved farmland. Don't be afraid to ask!
Lebanon also hosts a multitude of annual events including the farmers market, the Memorial Day parade, and the Lebanon Country Fair which draws crowds from all over New England. The Summer Dancefest is held on the Green and hosts a wonderful variety of musical performers. The Antiques Fair sponsored by the historical society features vendors from a number of places. Come early enough to avoid missing out on the popular clam chowder! Children will enjoy the annual tree lighting even complete with a visit from Santa.
The Jonathan Trumbull Jr. House opens for the season with an exhibit of Native American artifacts. Items on display include dramatic groupings of beaded bags and fancy baskets made by Penobscot, Passamaquoddy and Iroquois people, primarily made for the Victorian tourist trade. The artifacts are from the collection of Charles and Barbara Adams, antiques dealers from South Yarmouth, Mass. Refreshments will be served. The museum, owned by the town of Lebanon, is located at 780 Trumbull Highway (Route 87), Lebanon. Hours are Saturdays and Sundays, noon to 4 p.m. Admission is free. For information, call (860) 642-7987.