The W3R® of Connecticut

General information contact: Hans DePold at
To join the W3R®-CT contact: Hans DePold at

W3R®-CT Board of Directors

  • Chair:Hans DePold
  • Col. Serge G. Gabriel (Ret.)
  • Yolande Bosman
  • Stephen Shaw
  • Ingrid Wood,
  • Russell Wirtella,
  • Michael Fitzgerald,
  • Alicia Wayland,
  • Richard Orr,
  • Jay (Francoise) Jackson,
  • Mark Foster,
  • Charles Balesi,
  • Kevin Ring,
  • Dave Goodrich
  • Charles Lyle
  • Wayne Bickley
  • Susan.DePold
  • Salvatore Tarentino
  • Mary Donohue

W3R®-CT activities in 2005 / 2006 / 2007 / 2008 / 2009 / 2011
See also the Past Events area on the W3R®-US home page.

Connecticut Affiliates 

Major Historic Events in Connecticut

  • 1780 Washington and Rochambeau met in Hartford

  • 1780-1 winter: The hussars (light cavalry) of Lauzun's Legion stayed in Lebanon.

  • 1781 May: Washington and Rochambeau met in Wethersfield to develop battle plans and contingencies.

  • 1781 June: The French Expeditionary Force going south stayed in eight camps in CT overnight and in East Hartford for a week.

  • 1782: The French Expeditionary Force going north stayed in nine camps in CT overnight and in East Hartford for a week.

W3R®-CT Activities in 2005 

Dear friends of Washington and Rochambeau,

Greetings and congratulations to all of you, especially the volunteers who dedicated themselves for many years to bring about the successful design and the installation of the twelve markers -- permanent reminders over 120 miles of Connecticut territory to the glorious memory of the now legendary Rochambeau Army who marched to victory at Yorktown 225 years ago! Below is a summary of all our events with only committee head names shown with my apologies to the rest of you for not listing every contributor's name at this time.

What great and spectacular events, the re-enactors surely outdid themselves: the B.A.R.'s American, British and French sharp looking and expertly maneuvering complements, the 5th CT with Keith Jones and Albin Weber, Sal Tarantino's Sheldon Horses Brigade and the S.A.R. militiamen with Stephen Shaw. High ranking officers were prominent everywhere: 1)Brigadier General comte d'Aboville (alias Bernard Rieutord of Quebecville),commander of French artillery at Yorktown, 2) Colonel comte Axel de Fersen, Suedois, premier aide-de-camp to Rochambeau, (alias Ron Feltmann de l'Illinois), 3) General de la Marine, comte de Barras, (alias Bill Rose of Massachusetts)and 4) General, comte de Rochambeau (alias John Welsh) of Washington state). Even our friendly historian Bob Selig, appeared many times as Claude Blanchard, Commissaire de guerre in Rochambeau's army.

They carried on very professionally in October 2005 at Lebanon in presence of French Deputy Consul General Chantal Chauvin and Defense Attache Major General Pascal Vinchon. This year, at Wethersfield with Anne Kuckro, Farmington with Portia Corbett receiving splendid support from General Washington (aka Carl Closs), Southington with Carl Sokowloski and Major Conroy's Governor's FootGuards parading in the Marion commemorative ceremony, Southbury with Albin Weber and several hundred re-enactors and lastly at Ridgebury, also with several hundred re-enactors, with Keith Jones (again in presence of Deputy Consul Chauvin), already a month ago!

Unveiling ceremonies at Scotland with Kevin Ring, Andover with Ann Rhinelander and in Bolton with Hans dePold and Pam Sawyer, East Hartford with Betty Knose, Danbury with Brigid Guertin and Bob Young, the Housatonic Crossing in Newtown with Dan Cruson and Deputy Consul General Chantal Chauvin. And in Waterbury/Middlebury/Southbury with Col. John Chiarella at the memorial ceremony in the Pierpont cemetery and Marie Galbraith and Jiny Vail at the Town Green with several hundred people in attendance. French Consul Adjoint Michel Besse was really very impressed, and I was too!

Dick Orr was the dedicated planner and MC at the special ceremony on July 1st at the Monroe Green with Deputy Consul General Chantal Chauvin unveiling the stone marker to the memory of the duke of Lauzun's Legion encampment there in 1781. Very well done, Dick!

Lastly, we need to express our gratitude to three significant contributors who ensured progress was being made all along in all areas: Mary Donohue with her sharp negotiating skills, Ann Harrison with her keen eyes to details and "Rochambeau painter" David Wagner who generously contributed several of his paintings for inclusion in a number of markers. These three individuals were particularly recognized by French Consul General Francois Delattre in his speech given in New York City on the occasion of Bastille Day.

The unveiling of the 12th and final marker,"First Meeting", is now scheduled for Saturday September 30 at 3:00 PM (see draft attached)with a "Big Bang" since located in Central Hartford (just outside the Old State House). It will be conducted jointly with the Governor's Horses and FootGuards annual laying of a wreath at the memorial boulder (within the OSH grounds), to the Washington and Rochambeau "First Meeting" of September 20, 1780. Governor Rell's presence is possible but not guaranteed. Already invited by the Governor's FootGuards, is Air Force Major General Delon, the new Defense Attache at the French Embassy in Washington and, invited by us, Deputy Consul General Chauvin who will be attending as well as other dignitaries.

Following the above event there will be a ""Volunteer Recognition Reception "sponsored by the Commission on Culture & Tourism with each volunteer being presented a Certificate of Appreciation by Mary Donohue. To prepare them, each local committee head should collect the names (First, Middle Initial,Last, and residing town)) of their volunteers and mail it to me (with copy to Mary Donohue) as soon as completed. Also at the same time kindly let me know the exact name and title of the town official or organisation to appear on the "Certificat d'Honneur" of Le Souvenier Français.

Again, dear friends, all my congratulations for the magnificent historical realization you and your team accomplished throughout Connecticut over the past years! French Ambassador David Levitte, Defense Attache Major General Pascal Vinchon, Consul General Francois Delattre, Deputy consul General Chantal Chauvin, Consul General Adjoint Michel Besse and Honorary Consul Dr. Yolande Bosman at one time or another have all expressed their admiration and gratitude for what you have accomplished to commemorate the Rochambeau Route throughout our state of Connecticut. The 12 markers are now standing in our state as permanent reminders of the Allied Revolutionary March on the final stretch towards independence. They surely will promote tourism throughout our state for years and years to come. We all have to be very proud of our accomplishment.

Huzzahs to all! See you in Hartford on September 30th! --- SERGE GABRIEL, August 2, 2006

Two Signs Installed and Dedicated in 2005

In detailed planning since 2003, the markers were designed by David Wolfram of Middletown under the dedicated supervision of Ann Harrison and Mary Donohue of the Connecticut Historic Preservation & Museum Division of the Connecticut Commisssion on Culture & Tourism, which is headed by Jennifer Aniskovich.
  • Lebanon (Town Green), October 1st
  • East Hartford (Raymond Library) October 16

W3R®-CT Activities in 2006  

2006 July 14 - Bastille Day Speech On this occasion M. François Delattre -- the French Consul General at New York -- spoke about the current and historic alliances between France and the United States, taking special note of the W3R®. You may read the full text (en français). The last portion, which mentions the W3R® has been translated (by Col. Serge Gabriel) and is presented below:
".... C/ Lastly this recovered close friendship (between France and the United States of America) expresses itself on the field of the heart and of symbolism. [Translator's note: Section A covered the diplomatic field, and B/ the economic field.]

Thus this year we celebrate the 225th anniversary of the victory at Yorktown -- which opened the way, as a result of the decisive military support from France, to the Independance of the United States of America. I can never express enough the importance of participating in ceremonies that commemorate our common victories of the year 1781, and I would like again to recognize this evening Colonel Serge Gabriel and the entire team which is called W3R® -- the Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route -- for their exemplary contribution.

Colonel Gabriel is accompanied by three key Americans who have contributed significantly to the realization of the commemorative panels [Translator's note: 12 of them] now installed along the route followed in Connecticut by Rochambeau's army 225 years ago: Mrs. Mary Donohue, Mrs. Ann Harrison, and Mr. David Wagner. They are to receive the "Diplome d'Honneur" of the Souvenier Français from its president Mathieu Petitjean, who I am saluting, at an important commemorative ceremony scheduled September 30 in Hartford.

I encourage all of you to meet them later on in order to find out more and to congratulate them."

Signs Placed in 2006  

Connecticut is very proud to report that the production (in duplicate) of twelve (12) high quality 2 foot x 3 foot outdoor interpretative markers has been successfully completed by Pannier, Inc., of Pennsylvania with their shipment starting on March 30, 2006.
Review the signs (low-resolution) and their text, with a few photos of the installation cermonies, -- then travel to visit the signs themselves to enjoy their magnificent graphics at full resolution.

The dedications scheduled for 2006:

  • Scotland (Huntington House Museum) on Saturday, May 20th at 1:00 pm .
  • Southington on Saturday, May 20th
  • Wethersfield on Sunday, May 21st (and week-end) at 1:00 pm

  • Waterbury on Friday, June 15th (and week-end) at 5:00 pm on the Town Green.
  • Andover on Saturday, June 23rd
  • Bolton on Sunday, June 24th, "Historical day"
  • Ridgefield on Saturday, July 1st(and week-end)
  • Danbury on Saturday, July 1st(and week-end)
In addition, the following celebrations are being planned:
  • Danbury, War Encampment at Kenosia Towen Park on May 6th and May 7th
  • Farmington on Saturday, June 1th: 6pm-8:45pm series of events at First Church of Christ
  • Monroe Saturday, July 1st, marker placement
  • Hartford: no date yet for placing marker
  • Newtown: no date yet for placing marker

The final bill from Pannier for the production of the markers was $11,014.95 and the final bill for the designer was $5,010. Southington is paying for their own interpretative marker. Monroe has not yet raised money for an interpretative marker. You are all invited to any one or all of the above celebrations planned in May and June to coincide with the 225th anniversary of The Rochambeau's Army March through our individual towns.

Connecticut feels very confident of having met successfully our goals of
1) installing about every fifteen miles memorial markers
      across the 120 miles of the state,
2) educating visitors about what happened 225 years ago, and
3) promoting tourism within our beautiful nutmeg state!

We give many heartfelt thanks to all who participated with their generous efforts in this unusual historical endeavor. Furthermore, next month, the Connecticut Commission on Culture & Tourism will release in a ceremony at our Capitol 10,000 copies of its W3R® statewide tourist brochure.

Please, come to Connecticut to witness our achievements and experience our warm hospitality!

Cordially yours, SERGE
Serge G. GABRIEL (Col. Ret.)
Chair, CT Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route (W3R®-CT)
Res. 101-H Lewis Street, Greenwich, CT 06830 Tel/FAX (203) 661-326

W3R®-CT Activities in 2007  

2007 May 12 -- 10:00 AM -- A W3R® marker was dedicated at the Sarah Whitman Hooker House Museum, 1237 New Britain Avenue, West Hartford, CT. The keynote speaker was Serge Gabriel, Col., Ret., Chair of the Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route in Connecticut.



The Changing Face of Bolton's Heritage Farm House

by Hans DePold, Bolton Town Historian, August 2007

Just a spoonful of verified heritage saved Bolton Heritage Farm from development, but there are still buckets of heritage yet to be confirmed. And there are wagon loads of community pride and heritage based quality of life yet to come.

The original colonial core of Bolton's Heritage House was built by Bolton residents for Reverend Thomas White in 1725 and visited by Washington, Hamilton, Rochambeau, Lafayette, and many other famous people in 1780 and at other times. It has been examined by joyners and restorers and it was found that it still has many of its hand hewn timbers, some panels, and some original windows. The original house foundation is 24 by 28 feet and the core of the house appears to be of colonial style construction. The longer side faced its early driveway and down the hill to the Hope River.

It will be necessary to contract an expert Architectural Historian to verify and accurately document this heritage. The Society of the Cincinnati has granted $1,000 s seed money for this purpose.

There were two major 19 century additions to the house that extended the house over the driveway. Since then the house has faced Bolton Center Road and the colonial core of the house has been obscured from the outside because the front has been hidden by the new addition and the porch.

The house after the Sumner family had built the second new addition. The Barn which was believed built in 1908 can be seen behind the house just to the right. It can also be seen that the original massive colonial chimney was already replaced by this time (about 1910-15). A fire reportedly destroyed the second new addition a few years later.

The house today with the surviving first addition seen from the same view.

The historical integrity of the original colonial house is believed to range from the original foundation stones, to the low ceiling rooms, and up to the roof timbers. The foundation is surrounded with drip stones which were used in the 1700s to move water away from the foundation. Most of the attic and roof structural timbers are hand hewn and appear to be original. There are two batten hatches in the roof that appear to be with original rose head nails of the late 1700s. The roof has a five sided style ridge beam which was first used in the early 1700s. The original massive colonial chimney was evidently replaced after the present roof was built. There was no evidence of fire anywhere in the existing house.

Our 1998 archaeological verification of the Revolutionary War encampments at Heritage Farm arguably saved the farm. While we may be confident that further research will confirm that the core of the house is the highly historic original colonial, we still need an expert architectural historian to establish the periods of construction to make it official and to allow us to determine the best way to restore and utilize the house.

Schematic of the original colonial core, the surviving addition and the second addition before a fire destroyed it.

W3R®-CT Activities in 2008  

2008 April -- The Society of the Cincinnati funded an architectural study of the house (built in 1724) on the Heritage Farm in Bolton CT. Both Gen. Washington and Gen. Rochambeau stopped here during trips to confer on developing an allied strategy in 1780-81 and in 1782 following the victory at Yorktown.
2008 Oct -- W3R®-CT Leader Publishes Book: Hans DePold, one of the founders of the W3R®-CT, is the author of a newly-released book, Bolton: Historic Tales (The History Press, Charleston SC, 2008). The book's two-page preface describes the development of Hans' involvement with historic preservation and the early organization of the Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route.

W3R®-CT Activities in 2009  

The Connecticut Forest and Park Association encourages W3R®-related hikes, wine and cheese celebrations, re-enactments, artists and other cultural activities coordinated with the local trail hikes. The 2009 Connecticut Trails Day brochure will have the W3R® symbol next to every hike associated with the W3R®.

On Saturday 2009 June 07 Bolton CT will sponsor two such hikes. (1) The morning hike starts with the Rose Trail at Camp 5 and continues on the Hop River Rail Trail to Bolton Notch and Squaw Cave. (2) The afternoon hike will be at Bolton Notch and will also include a visit to Squaw Cave that overlooks the pass that General Chastellux used in 1782 November while French troops filled the town roads.

W3R®-CT Activities in 2011 

Chapter members worked on the following items in 2011.
  • Attended 2011 Annual W3R¨- US Meeting
  • Scotland, Lebanon, Columbia, and Bolton had W3R trail related events June 4,5 National Trails Days
  • Had the first Bolton Heritage Farm re-enactment in August
  • he ICHRC (Inter Community Historic Resources Committee) elected a new president, Ingrid Wood of Columbia.
  • Began planning an event to recognize Congressman John Larson for introducing H.R. 4794, the Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route National Heritage Act of 2000, that became Public Law 106-473.