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Letter: Historical Article on Treat House Inspiring

Thanks to Ginny Reinhard for the inspiring story (“It had to be a Nightmare,” 10-5-18, p. 10) about Joseph Treat and his former house, still for the moment on Turkey Hill Road, and others from Milford (Orange was part of Milford then) during the American Revolution.  The British had simply unloaded the sick and dying prisoners on the beach to try to avoid infecting themselves with smallpox, etc.  Many were able to be nursed back to health, especially by Treat due to his immunity, and were able to return to their homes in northern Connecticut and Massachusetts.

Ginny, in my view, charmingly analogized the sending of the Treat house to another part of the country, as will be occurring, to the return of prisoners, who had been nursed back health in Treat’s house, to their own homes.

In general, I am a strong supporter of our First Selectman Jim Zeoli, but wish the Treat house situation could have been handled differently after the Town received the property.  By the time I realized the situation and spoke to Jim, the Treat house was to be saved, but removed to another location.  The only issue was where.

The issue is personal to me.  About a year ago, I learned through Ancestry that one of my known ancestors was directly descended from Thomas Canfield (Campfield), whose name is on the Stonebridge in Milford, even though my family was absent from Connecticut for over 100 years.  The Canfields and the Treats, I learned, intermarried in the distant past so that Joseph Treat, in a sense, was a distant cousin of mine, by marriage.

I would like the Joseph Treat house to be preserved here in Orange (old North Milford).  We do not always get what we want in life, but it is sad when the only consolation is a charming story about its past.


Stephen R. Hildrich

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