Wolcott History
Wolcott Historical Society

Wolcott Historical Society News - June 2008

By Florence Goodman

Frisbie Elementary School, which is located on Woodtick Road, was named in honor of Judah Frisbie and the members of his family that settled in the area. Judah Frisbie was born in Branford, Connecticut, on September 12, 1744. He was the second of eight children born to Elijah and Abigail (Culver) Frisbie, who settled in the Waterbury area in 1750. The Frisbie family moved to the Woodtick area in 1759.

Judah moved to this area of Wolcott around 1773. His first home was a small frame structure or a log house. There is a legend that Judah Frisbie was responsible for naming this area Woodtick. It was said that Judah Frisbie was chopping wood to clear the land for his house. He took off his jacket and placed it on a tree stump. At the end of the day, his jacket was covered with ticks. Each time he went back to the area he referred to it as the place where the "wood ticks" were. Eventually it became known as "Woodtick."

Shortly after his marriage to Hannah Baldwin of Woodbridge, Connecticut, on August 12, 1779, Judah built a larger home, which stood until 1872. This house would later be replaced with a larger home built by David Frisbie, Judah's great-grandson.

Judah and Hannah had four children. They were Mary born in 1780, David born in 1782, Hannah born in 1783, and Judah born in 1785. Judah kept meticulous journals from 1762 to 1800. These journals or account books kept his personal records of money he earned or spent, and one in particular was that of his Revolutionary War days.

From his journals, it was noted that he operated a saw mill on the site below the dam on Nichols Road and a turning mill located on Lily Brook. He also manufactured wooden roof shingles, as well as metal buttons of various sizes. He usually paid his debts in labor or with the materials he produced. A quote from the 1926 Genealogy says: "Judah Frisbie was a man of energy and thrift and of influence in the town and community in which he lived." Judah Frisbie died in Wolcott, Connecticut, on January 27, 1817.

The Judah Frisbie School was built in 1950 in honor of the family that first settled this area. The David Frisbie/Berkley Frisbie House was built on the land where Judah had built his first home. This house is located at 435 Woodtick Road.

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