Wednesday, June 10, 2015

The Dead and Beautiful Rest (Cont.): Platypus Travels Part LXX


Captain Beach(1726-1817) and his wife Charity (d. 1809) were two of the first citizens of Shelton (Ripton or Huntington at the time) to have their portraits painted.  The originals are kept in the vault of the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford.  Unlike the Loyalist Shelton family, Captain Beach took up arms against the British Government and saw action under General David Wooster in New York and presumably at Danbury and Ridgefield where Wooster was killed.  His epitaph reads:
Unvail thy bosom, faithful tomb,
Take this new treasure to thy trust
And give these sacred relics room
To seek a slumber in the dust.

Charity formed a famous trio of friends with the mistress of the famous Shelton “Salt-Box House”, Mary Shelton, and the artistic and highly intelligent Hepzibah Hawley.  Recording family reminiscences, Jane de Forest Shelton tells us that Charity, true to her name, took the newly-wedded Mary under her wing and helped make a place for the Stratford girl among the isolated farms of rural Ripton.  The friends, so close in life, are separated in death with Charity buried by Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church in Huntington, Hepzibah at the old Center Cemetery in Monroe and Mary with her husband in Long Hill Burial Ground.

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