Thousands of years ago our community was covered by an ice sheet believed to be a mile thick.
What happened after the ice melted is the subject of a new book by Town Historian Jeanne Chesanow.
“Glaciers to Greenhouses” starts by explaining how the post-Ice Age topography of the area shaped the development of Cheshire. It goes on to tell how human uses of the land came about: the First People’s judicious use of fire, hand digging to grow crops; followed by the Europeans’; clear cutting the forests, farming with hand tools then with machines, damming of brooks and rivers and their trades and industries. The book addresses present-day activities with questions for the future.
The book’s 260 pages are packed with old pictures, colonial maps and even some writings from the diary of a young farmer explaining how early Cheshire residents spent their days of hard labor. It goes on to explain how the town grew into the fast-paced suburb that we have become with a look into a future involving driverless vehicles.
“Jeanné’s latest book is an eminently readable, profusely illustrated, well-researched glimpse into some of the factors that have combined to create the place that is Cheshire,” said Bob Giddings, a long time Cheshire resident and member of the Cheshire Land Trust. The Trust, along with others, provided financial and editorial support to get the book published. Quite a few residents helped gather material and provide meticulous editorial reviews according to Mrs. Chesanow. “I had a lot of community support.”
“Jeanne is more than the Town Historian. She is a community treasure,” commented Tim Slocum a member of the Town Council and life-long resident of Cheshire. “The hard work of writing this book was obviously a labor of love for her but she has given Cheshire something that will be timeless. Even Cheshire natives will find surprises; see if you can find the real Copper Valley!”
Chesanow has written several other books including “Honeysuckle Sipping, the Plant Lore of Childhood” and “Cheshire Remembers the Men and the Monument. (Civil War book). This new book is being released for purchase by the public from the Cheshire Land Trust or the Historical Society this weekend at the Fall Festival. Future purchases can be made from the Cheshire Land Trust, at the Historical Society and at local book-signing events where the author will sell copies of her work. To find out about those sales, contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org