The Pomfret Historical Society was awarded a grant from the Connecticut Humanities enabling the organization to offer four historical workshops all to do with Waking the Dead: Archaeology, Genealogical and Archival Research About Enslaved Africans in Windham County. The workshops focus on research techniques and burial ground restoration featuring the enslaved Africans of Jonathan Randall from 1777 up to the Civil War. They include tours of historic sites and demonstrations on repairing and cleaning gravestones. These workshops are open to the public and will aid in the restoration of the Randall Higginbotham Burial Ground on the Wyndham Land Trust’s Nightingale Woods property in Pomfret.

Workshop presenters include historian and writer, Donna Dufresne; Dr. Nick Bellantoni, State Archaeologist Emeritus; Dr. Sarah Sportman, State Archaeologist; Ruth Shapleigh Brown, Executive Director of the CT Gravestone Network; Michael Carroll, Director of Rediscovering History Gravestone Restoration; and William Fothergill, expert in African and Native American genealogy.

The fee for each workshop varies from $10-20; the fee for all four is $35. More information can be found on our events page or register now at the Pomfret Historical Society website. For information on individual workshops, check out the options below.

The Lost Village of Voices – A New Narrative, Oct 2nd @ 10AM

Presentation at the Pomfret Community Center followed by guided tour of Higginbotham site.

$10 Registration. Lunch included.


Waking the Dead – The Stories Told in Artifacts and Tombstones, Oct 23rd @ 9AM

Symposium begins at the Rectory School followed by a guided tour and workshop at Nightingale Woods and the Randall/Higginbotham Cemetery.

$20 Registration. Lunch included.

Uncovering the Past in Ancient Burial Grounds - October 30 @ 1PM

Presentation at the Pomfret Community Center followed by a workshop on gravestone carvers, cleaning and repairing gravestones.

$10 Registration.

Native American and African Descent Genealogy, Nov 6th @ 1PM

Genealogy presentation at the Abington Congregational Church.

$10 Registration.



Waking the Dead Poster

Click on the above poster to download the PDF.