Wolcott Historical Society News - July 2008
By Florence Goodman
The last of our elementary schools named for a prominent person is Wakelee Elementary School, which is located on Hempel Drive and was named in honor of Robert A. Wakelee, a selectman in our town from 1943 to 1973. He was born in Wolcott on January 17, 1885, and died here on April 1, 1973.
Robert Wakelee's roots go back to the early 1700s when Ebonezar (Ebenezer) Wakelee was the first settler in the region just north of Sharon Road. This region was referred to as "The Big Plains." The Almus Wakelee house was built between 1822 and 1835 and is located on Wakelee Road. The lot on which the house was built once formed part of extensive land holdings, which had been acquired by Ebonezar Wakelee in 1727. Robert Wakelee lived in this house for many years. The side yard of the homestead contained a Wakelee burial plot. Today the house belongs to the Parks Family.
On December 1, 1950, the Board of Selectman purchased approximately fifteen acres of land off of Spindle Hill Road. On June 29, 1959, money was appropriated for the construction of a new elementary school in the western section of town. The school was named Robert A. Wakelee after the man who served our town government for over 30 years.
I would like to thank the students of Tyrrell Middle School for their fundraising efforts for the Wolcott Historical Society. The Student Council held their "Penny Wars" and the money raised through this activity was donated to our Society. Some of the money will be used to purchase a digital video camera for the taping of oral histories and events of potential historical significance in Wolcott. The rest of the money will go into our building fund. We hope that Tyrrell students in the upcoming school year can do some of the video taping and continue to make connections with Wolcott's past.
Almus Wakelee House, Wolcott, CT., 1835
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