Rossiter’s Riverside Retreat

march, 2021

15mar6:30 pmFeaturedRossiter's Riverside Retreat6:30 pm

Thoreau Bridge, Hidden Valley Preserve Washington CT

Event Details

Please join us on Zoom on Monday, March 15, 2021 at 6:30 pm for the illustrated presentation “Rossiter’s Riverside Retreat” with author and historian Carol Santoleri. This program is being co-sponsored by the Gunn Historical Museum and the Steep Rock Association. Registration is required to receive the Zoom link, which will be sent to your provided email address. Visit the Museum’s registration page to sign up:

In the late 1880s, Ehrick Rossiter (1854-1941) recognized the inherent beauty of Washington, Connecticut’s Shepaug River Valley and began buying up riverside land, including a renowned cliff known as Steep Rock. He wound carriage roads through the valley’s fields and forests to link scenic overlooks, river crossings, and picnic spots, creating a rustic retreat called Steep Rock Park. A decade later, a young man named Joseph West (1876-1952) began photographing the park. Over the next twenty-five years, he took over two hundred pictures of the river, trails, and overlooks, creating glass plate negatives that are now in the collection of the Gunn Historical Museum. Historian Carol Santoleri spent several years in an effort not only to identify the landscapes in West’s photographs, but also track down the exact spots where he set his tripod. Focusing on “then and now” comparisons that span over one hundred years, her presentation brings the history of one of the most picturesque and conservation worthy landscapes of Litchfield County to life.

Carol Santoleri – landscape historian, photographer, and author of The History of Steep Rock Association: The Jewel in the Crown (2020) – brings both an artistic eye and a research-based perspective to her work. She has a fine arts degree in landscape architecture from Rhode Island School of Design, a master’s degree in early modern landscape history from Columbia University, and six years of experience as a curatorial research assistant at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. All proceeds from the sale of her book (available at the Hickory Stick Bookshop and go to support Steep Rock Association.

For more information view or contact the Gunn Historical Museum in Washington, CT at 860-868-7756 or [email protected]


(Monday) 6:30 pm