Suffield Trivia

Print More
  1. In 1787, Dr. Alexander King, who lived in the King House on South Main Street, now a museum owned by the Suffield Historical Society, was a representative along with David Tod, his neighbor across the street, to the State Convention to vote for or against the new Federal Constitution. Both voted the same way. Did they vote yes or no?
  2. Antique Old Cabin Whiskey bottles from the E.G. Booz Distillery in Philadelphia were formed in the shape of a log cabin with 1840 embossed on them. Which of the following statements are true?
    1. In the presidential campaign of 1840 when William Henry Harrison was a candidate, Harrison was slandered by Martin Van Buren, his opponent, as a hard drinking man and hayseed. Harrison’s team embraced this myth saying he was born in a log cabin and gave out whiskey in bottles shaped like a log cabin.
    2. The word booze, a term used for liquor, derived from the Booz Distillery.
    3. Some of these bottles are on display at the King House Museum (KHM).
  3. The Phelps-Hatheway House displays a practical joke device in its collection. It is called a puzzle jug. What is it?
    1. The jug has holes in its rim. Unless the drinker plugs all but one hole, and sucks on the one remaining hole as if it was a straw, the jug’s contents are spilled on the drinker.
    2. When the jug is filled beyond a certain point, a siphoning effect causes its contents to magically disappear into its base.
    3. The jug spills its entire contents when its maximum capacity is reached.
  4. “Sad” irons, used to iron clothes in the days before electricity, look a lot like our modern iron in their shape. Made from cast iron, they were heavy, about five to eight pounds, and were heated up on a hot stove. They cooled quickly, so typically, households had more than one, even in various sizes. The KHM has several of these irons in its attic. Why were they called “sad” irons?
    1. Because in the Middle Ages, the word sad also meant solid. The iron was made from solid cast iron, including the handle.
    2. Because so many ironers (mostly women) were disfigured and injured using this type of iron. Wooden handles were not invented in the United States until the mid-1800s.
    3. Because ironing was hot, boring and at times dangerous, many cried when ironing.
  5. The KHM has some Toby mugs. What are they?
    1. They are fat mugs. Toby was a term for tubby.
    2. The word toby is a corruption of “to be” as in Shakespeare’s soliloquy by Hamlet. The mug depicts various Shakespearean characters.
    3. The mug is in the form of a seated man or a man’s head, often with a jovial expression and a mug of beer.
  6. The KHM has a device in its collection called a weasel which may have inspired the nursery rhyme “Pop Goes the Weasel.” What is it?
    1. A paddle used as joke after a wedding ceremony when the groom pretended to run away. He was slapped (popped) by the paddle until he once again stood with his bride.
    2. A mechanical yarn measuring device used after the yarn is produced on a spinning wheel. It makes a “popping” sound after the desired length of yarn is reached (usually a skein of yarn).
    3. A weasel is a cobbler’s bench. In a game, the children would run around the bench. A selected member of the group (the monkey) would slap (pop) the bench, a signal for the children to sit down. The last child who sat was out of the game.
  7. 7. In its collection, the KHM has two milestones of the seven which marked the distance from Hartford on the road to Springfield. What was their route through Suffield?
    1. Along present Route 159.
    2. Along present Route 75 and Mapleton Avenue.
    3. Along East Street S., Boston Neck Road, Kent Avenue, Main Street, and Mapleton Avenue.
  8. In the early 1900s, there was a passing track for two trolleys to pass each other next to the KHM’s rear field. During this time, there was a building across the street from the KHM. What was it?
    1. The trolley ticket office
    2. The Trolley Lunch Room
    3. A Suffield Visitor’s Center
  9. Delftware is a particular type of ceramic that was popular in American colonial times. It derives its name from a city in the Netherlands where it was manufactured, although other cities, including London, began producing delftware in large quantities. The Phelps-Hatheway House has a handsome collection of it in the Shem Burbank parlor. Why? Pick which answer(s) is (are) correct?
    1. Shem Burbank’s wife was Dutch.
    2. It was a status symbol as it was a fairly expensive import.
    3. It is believed that Shem Burbank was a merchant and may have sold delftware.
  10. Oliver Phelps, one of the largest investors in the Western Reserve Lands, had a real estate office in Suffield at his home, now the Phelps-Hatheway House, and a western office in Canandaigua, New York. Phelps had planned to make his western office where Geneva, New York is located, 30 miles east of Canandaigua. What happened?
    1. A surveyor’s error
    2. The Native Americans were unfriendly in the area around Geneva.
    3. Phelps became lost on his way to set up his office.


  1. They voted no because they wanted a more limited federal government. The Constitution was approved despite their vote.
  2. c. They are on display in the Kulle bottle collection. Booz started to sell Old Cabin Whiskey in 1858. The date of 1840 may be a tribute to William Henry Harrison, a Whig, when another man, Abraham Lincoln, who really was born in a log cabin, was vying for the presidency. Lincoln ran on the Republic party ticket which evolved from the Whig party. A word similar to booze (bouse) was in use in the 14th century.
  3. a. The jug has several holes in its neck which when tipped will spill onto the drinker. Answer b. is a Pythagorean cup. Answer c. is a tilting vessel.
  4. a. Because in the Middle Ages, the word sad also meant solid.
  5. c. The mug is in the form of a seated man or a man’s head, often with a jovial expression and a mug of beer.
  6. b. A mechanical yarn measuring device.
  7. b. Along present Route 75 and Mapleton Avenue. Answer c. is the route of the trolley.
  8. b. The Trolley Lunch Room
  9. b. and c. Shem Burbank was rich when he built the house and it is believed he was a merchant and may have sold delftware.
  10. a. A surveyor’s error, neglecting the compass variation.

Comments are closed.