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Joshua's Tract Conservation and Historic Trust, Inc. Records

Identifier: 2007-0027

Scope and Contents

The collection is comprised of administrative records, including founding documents, by-laws, annual reports, and annual meeting minutes, as well as subject files, newsclippings, photographs and publications that document the activities, operations, and programs of the organization since its establishment in 1966.


  • Creation: [1675], 1963-2011


The collection is open and available for research.

Restrictions on Use

Permission to publish from these Papers must be obtained in writing from both the University of Connecticut Libraries and the owner(s) of the copyright.

Historical Note

In 1676 Joshua, son of Uncas and Sachem of the Mohegans, bequeathed his hunting grounds in the heart of eastern Connecticut to sixteen men of Norwich. This historic tract comprised the present towns of Windham, Mansfield, Chaplin, Scotland, and part of Hampton. Joshua's Trust, however, has extended its interest to Ashford, Columbia, Coventry, Lebanon and Willington, so that all towns of the Windham Region are included.

After three hundred years as a land of forest, farms, and villages, this ancient tract and countryside continues to draw development pressure as the population of people living in the Windham region increases. Joshua's Trust aims to guide and direct development so that open space is preserved as the needs of people, and those of future generations, are met.

Joshua's Tract Conservation and Historic Trust was organized and incorporated in 1966. It had grown out of the joint initiative of the Mansfield Historical Society and the Mansfield Conservation Commission. Interested persons from the surrounding area joined the effort. The Trust's initial financial assets totaled $1400 obtained from 56 founding contributors. The Trust acquired its first property, Bradley-Buchanan Woods, in 1970. Six more properties were secured during the 1970s including the historic Gurleyville Gristmill and miller's cottage, birthplace of Wilbur Cross who became one of Connecticut's Governors. The pace of acquisitions accelerated greatly during the 1980s when 18 tracts were added to the Trust's holdings and this acceleration continued through the 1990s. The Trust has also been actively working with landowners to establish conservation restrictions (easements). In 2007, Trust lands could be found in all of the Windham Region towns and in four neighboring towns - Andover, Franklin, Stafford and Tolland.

On September 8, 2005, the Trustees officially adopted the Land Trust Alliance's recommended Land Trust Standards and Practices as guidelines for Joshua's Trust operations. On January 12, 2006, the Trustees adopted a Strategic Plan that encourages the Trust's continual progress toward implementing the Land Trust Standards and Practices.

The Trust's logo is the replica signature mark made by the original Joshua. It represents a horse since he was one of the few Native Americans allowed by the Colonial British to own a horse. It is commonly referred to as "the critter".


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Language of Materials



Joshua's Tract Conservation and Historic Trust is a membership organization formed in 1966 to receive gifts of money and land, or to buy land of historic, aesthetic, or scientific value, to be preserved for the benefit of future generations. Its region of concern includes the northeast Connecticut towns of Andover, Ashford, Chaplin, Columbia, Coventry, Franklin, Hampton, Lebanon, Mansfield, Scotland, Tolland, Willington, and Windham. Together with Joshua's Trust conservation restriction easements these properties create significant green corridors throughout the region, often abutting other agency's protected lands, watersheds, and trails. Records document the operations, activities and programs of the organization and include founding documents, by-laws, annual reports, meeting minutes, subject files, newsclippings, photographs and publications.


The collection is arranged into one series

Series I: Records ([1675], 1963-2006)

Acquisition Information

The collection was donated by Joshua's Trust in May 2006.

Related Material

Archives & Special Collections has a substantial collection of materials pertaining to Connecticut's flora, fauna and environment. For detailed information on these collections please contact the curator or ask at the Reading Room desk.

Joshua's Tract Conservation and Historic Trust, Inc. Records
Archives & Special Collections staff
2011 December
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Archives and Special Collections, University of Connecticut Library Repository

University of Connecticut Library
405 Babbidge Road Unit 1205
Storrs Connecticut 06269-1205 USA US