Connecticut Farmhouse

The Case:

A resident of rural East Haddam, CT owns an old house that he believes has a story to tell.  Between 1891 and 1906, the farm changed hands six times, and the names of the residents appear to be mostly Eastern European.

The late 1800s marked the beginning of a mass immigration of Eastern European Jews to the United States. The majority of refugees came from Russia, after the assassination of Alexander II in 1881 set off violent anti-Jewish riots across the country.

By 1893, about a million immigrants had entered the U.S. through major East Coast ports, especially New York. But why did so many newcomers end up in this particular Connecticut home, and what accounted for the high turnover?

History Detectives explores the efforts of relief societies to support the Jewish agricultural community as it struggled to take root in a new land.

Discuss this story

Season 6, Episode 9
Season 7, Episode 12

Elyse Luray Location:
Connecticut and New York City

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