The Revolutionary Road

Historic Legislation, 1997

by Hans DePold, town historian
(Published in the Bolton Community News, February 1997)

State Representative Pam Sawyer will soon introduce a bill to identify the location of the original historic route, military encampments and historic homes in Connecticut that existed during the American Revolution, and list the route with the National Register of Historic Places. The route will become part of a heritage preservation-based infrastructure for Connecticut tourism. The Inter-Community Historic Resources Committee has linked with historical groups across the state seeking to have all the state senators and representatives of the towns along the route co-sign the bill.

There is nothing that makes history come alive more vividly in our minds than the realization that we have some of the greatest examples of it right here in our community. During the American Revolution, Connecticut was the pantry and the armory for the Continental Army. The threat of coastal attack by the British made the inland route, our main road through Bolton, the most heavily traveled route for deploying American troops. It linked Boston to Providence to Hartford to New York. More than five American campaigns were launched along this route. The largest campaign was when Rochambeau marched approximately 5,000 French troops through our town to join General Washington and defeat the British at Yorktown, finally ending the Revolutionary War. Twenty-three encampments were made within Connecticut towns, one of them on the Rose farm here in Bolton. The army marched along the property line of Bolton High School on Bailey Road, which is now abandoned.

We must recognize that if we forget our heritage, patriots and allies, then we will soon forget the ideals and the principles for which they stood. If we remember them, then they will continue to enrich our culture and will help us preserve our rich heritage. Today our heritage exists in legends. This bill will authenticate that heritage with documented research and archaeological digs. Anyone can support this legislation by urging the appropriating committees and Governor Rowland to support it.