While dismantling the Hills house on High Street in East Hartford, workers from the Glastonbury Restoration Company uncovered a 5-foot-long drawing of a battle scene. Although primitive in execution, the scene is complex, depicting three distinct groups of combatants—possibly English, French, and Native Americans. The figures carry a variety of weapons and have inflicted considerable carnage. When discovered, the board had been reused as exterior sheathing underneath the house’s clapboards.
The Connecticut Trust’s Circuit Riders and Deputy Director Chris Wigren visited the site several times after the discovery. Dendrochronology tests commissioned by Steve Bielitz, owner of the restoration company, determined that the house was built in 1693 and expanded in 1742. David Hills (1724-1785), an occupant of the house, served in the French and Indian War, and it is likely that the drawing reflects his experience. Goodwin College bought the property in 2015 and brought Mr. Bielitz in to dismantle the house; a Hills descendant plans to re-erect it in a National Register district out of state.
Objects like this drawing are an important part of historic preservation. Please contact our staff if we can ever assist you in your work!