October 9, 1999

Editor: Hans DePold, Bolton Town Historian


This newsletter is to provide a means for keeping historians, re-enactors, and other interested people aware of the activity to list the Revolutionary Road on the National Register of Historic Places. Rochambeau’s French army defines the Revolutionary Road when they marched from Newport to Yorktown and back to Boston. The goal is to encourage registration of the entire route that passes through Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia and raise to a higher level the quality of heritage preservation along the route.

Franco-American Forces to Link Up At Washington’s Headquarters at Newburgh

Dr. Jacques Bossiere and Dr. James Johnson will join forces in November to plan a Washington-Rochambeau Trail from MA-RI to VA. A vision they have is:

* To use the 225th anniversary of the march to Yorktown, 2006, as the target for having the Washington and Rochambeau trail, “the Revolutionary Road,” recognized.

* To do projects associated with Revolutionary events in each of the respective states each year and put the trail together as our project by 2006.

* To have the trail to Yorktown complete by then. Ask our respective Governors to create or delegate to an existing Commission the organization of the celebration from 2000-2006.

The theme would allow each state to focus attention on needed resources as we educate. Jim Johnson is looking for individuals and organizations in each state that can lead or actively participate. You can reach Jim Johnson at (

Bolton’s Rose Farm (the 5th French Camp) Now or Never

The town audit of the Rose Farm is done. There are only five weeks to negotiate and have a town vote if the 5th Rochambeau camp is to be preserved as open space. Now is the time to write to support the preservation of that historic site. A letter from re-enactors George and Martha Washington from England. letters from the SAR and DAR, letters from the French Consulate, from historians and historical groups, and from other states would be very helpful. Often something is only fully appreciated when others point out the importance. Please write to the Bolton Selectmen and the Open Space Commission, C/O Carl Preuss, First Selectman, at 22 Bolton Center Road, Bolton, CT 06043 or FAX to 860-643-0021. Here are important historic moments for this Rochambeau site.

October 17, 1763, Reverend George Colton agreed to settle at the parsonage of the First Society in Bolton. Today’s Rose Farm was that original parsonage property. During the American Revolution, the parsonage was available for the encampments of American and French troops.

1769-1784 “Rebel Governor” Jonathan Trumbull lived in Lebanon and traveled to and from the Capital in Hartford on the Lebanon-Hartford Road past the Rose farm.

October 18, 1776, Friday, Continental Army troops breakfasted on way to the Quebec Campaign.

April 12, 1777, Continental Army troops camped, Saturday in rain and cold on way to the Delaware Defense.

January 29, 1778, Thursday, Continental Army troops from Valley Forge rested on way to study British positions in Rhode Island.

May 11, 1778, Monday, Continental Army troops stop and oated horses on way to Valley Forge.

July 28, 1778, Tuesday, Continental Army (about 1000 men) stopped and cook up lunch on the green and Colton’s fields on way to the Battle of Rhode Island. Brig. General James Mitchell Varnum lead his brigade plus Col. Henry Jackson’s regiment.

November 21, 1779, Sunday evening, victorious Continental Army troops returning from Rhode Island had dinner and camped the night on way to Valley Forge.

May 4, 1780, the Hon. Major General the Marquis de Lafayette returned from France and passed from Boston through Bolton to Hartford to Morristown. With him were M. de Gimat and three servants.

July 22, 1780, the Hon. Major General the Marquis de Lafayette passed through going from Hartford to Lebanon to Newport, to greet the newly arrived General Rochambeau.

Rochambeau and Chastellux made a round trip to the Hartford Conference in September 1780.

December 23, 1780, Saturday, Continental Army troops stopped on the way to Rhode Island to meet French.

February 15, 1781, the Hon. Major General the Marquis de Lafayette came checking the precise route and campsites before the march of Rochambeau.

March 4, 1781, General George Washington dined at the home of Reverend George Colton.

March 27, 1781, Tuesday, Continental Army troops stopped after seeing Washington review Rochambeau’s French troops in Newport RI.

Rochambeau and Admiral Ternay made round trip to the Wethersfield conference in May 21-22, 1781.

June 21-24, 1781, Four 1000+ man French Regiments under General Rochambeau camped on the current site of the Rose Farm. General Rochambeau was the guest that night of Reverend Colton.

Friday, December 7, 1781 the Hon. Major General the Marquis de Lafayette passed through on a trip to Boston.

November 4, 1782, Yale president Ezra Stiles visited with General Rochambeau at the home of Reverend George Colton now the Rose Farm in Bolton.

October 13, 1784, the Hon. Major General the Marquis de Lafayette passed through.

The discovery during the 1998 archaeological digs of uniform buttons from the Continental army and Rochambeau’s army has helped raise the awareness of the importance of preserving the Rose Farm. Also there were prehistoric Indian artifacts found.