Connecticut Junior Republic collection, 1906-2010
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Brief Description:

The Connecticut Junior Republic collection documents a private, non-profit agency with headquarters in Litchfield, Conn. Established in 1904 through the bequest of Litchfield resident Mary Buel, the Republic provides residential and community-based care, treatment and education for at-risk and special needs boys and girls and their families in seven locations throughout Connecticut. The collection consists primarily of printed materials, and includes annual reports, press releases, long range plans, menus, programs, fund-raising materials, invitations, paysheets, financial statements, members manual, alumni newsletters, The CJR Journal, historical booklets, constitution and by-laws, The Litchfield Citizen, Litchfield house tour documentation, work records, The Junior Citizen (1926-2010, some years missing), and other items.

The Connecticut Junior Reublic began as the Litchfield Branch of the George Junior Republic. William R. George had established a small, self-governing organization in 1895 for boys with difficulties in Freeville, N.Y. In 1900, Litchfield resident Mary Buel died, leaving her farm and land for the purpose of improving children. The property passed into the hands of the trustees of the George Junior Republic and the Litchfield branch opened in 1904. In 1915, the Freeville Republic deeded the property to the Litchfield branch and the Connecticut Junior Republic was established as an independent organization.

The foundation principle of the Republic system was self-government. Under the direction of the staff, "boys who did not know how to govern themselves, and whose parents had lost control of them, became law-abiding citizens, first of the smaller community, and then the commonwealth at large," according to a 1906 booklet. The boys worked on the farm and the buildings and earned wages for their efforts, which they could deposit in the Republic's bank, and the collection contains a few items related to the boys' wages. In the first few years, the number of boys was about 30. During the next several decades, the Republic's physical plant increased, as a town hall, chapel, dormitories, and athletic facilities were added. The number of residents also increased, and later, girls were admitted. In 2010, facilities and programs had expanded to the Connecticut communities of Danbury, East Hartford, Meriden, New Britain, Torrington, Waterbury, and Winchester.

Over the years, citizens of Litchfield have been supportive of the Connecticut Junior Republic with volunteer efforts and fund-raising activities, such as tours of Litchfield houses, the proceeds from which going to the Republic. The Litchfield Aid of the Connecticut Junior Republic has worked on the Republic's behalf since 1914.

Held at:
Litchfield Historical Society
7 South Street, P.O. Box 385
Litchfield, CT 6759
Phone: 860-567-4501
Fax: 860-567-3565
Email: archivist [at] litchfieldhistoricalsociety.org
Created by: Connecticut Junior Republic
Volume: 0.83 Linear Feet
Access Restrictions: The collection is open for research.
Subject Index
Connecticut Junior Republic
Litchfield (Conn.)
Social work with youth - Connecticut
Youth - Services for - Connecticut
Genres/Forms of Material
Business records
Ephemera
Languages of Materials
English [eng]
Acquisition Notes:   Items related to the Connecticut Junior Republic have been assembled by Litchfield Historical Society staff.
Related Materials: Litchfield Aid of the Connecticut Junior Republic records
PreferredCitation: Connecticut Junior Republic collection (2011-02-0), Litchfield Historical Society, Helga J. Ingraham Memorial Library, P.O. Box 385, 7 South Street, Litchfield, Connecticut, 06759