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A collaboration of the Salisbury Association Historical Society (SAHS)  and the Scoville Memorial Library

In the 1880s events in Lakeville, Connecticut made the front page of the “New York Times” and the “Hartford Courant”, and appeared in papers across the United States.   Now, the “New York Times” page one headline “The Lakeville Crucifix” has become the title of a new book by local historian Geoffrey Brown about what has been called a “religious war”.  In this talk, the author will outline the series of events that comprised the Lakeville Crucifix incident – an incident that has today been forgotten for the most part. The most interesting aspects of the incident, however, were not the events themselves, but instead the collision of several trends and movements taking place here and elsewhere during and prior to the incident.  Among them were nativism, major changes in the larger Roman Catholic Church, Irish immigration, the New England Puritan tradition, and the changing social and political structure of post-Reconstruction New England – as well as a few local figures whose names are still known today. All these contributed to Lakeville’s moment on the front pages of America – and elsewhere.

Geoffrey Brown, whose Taconic-based Between the Lakes Group (www.betweenthelakes.com) recovers and re-publishes local history from New England, the Northeast, began collecting, writing, and publishing local history and genealogy and related material since the 1980s, during his career at Citibank.  His books include John Hodgkin (Hotchkin) of Guilford, Connecticut and his Descendants (1988) and  Acronyms for Organizations(2017); His current projects include a biography of US Senator William H. Barnum (of Lime Rock), and  a history of Trinity Church in Lime Rock

He is active in the Friends of Beckley Furnace,  Trinity Lime Rock, and Crescendo, where he serves on the Advisory Committee.  He was previously a board member of the Falls Village Historical Society, active in the Salisbury Winter Sports Association, and spent more than 25 years in various posts in the United States Pony Clubs,.  The USPC honored him with a Founders Award in 2011. He and his wife, Judith Sherman, reside in Twin Lakes.

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