2018 Keeney Cultural Series Concerts
Wethersfield Historical Society proudly announces its 25th season of its Keeney Cultural Series! Concerts will be held in the Keeney Ballroom Sunday afternoons at 4:00 pm at the Keeney Memorial Cultural Center at 200 Main Street Wethersfield.
March 18 (snow date 4/22): The Jolly Beggars: Back by popular demand, The Jolly Beggars are a Connecticut based band that brings the rich tradition of Celtic folk music and storytelling to modern day audiences. Characterized by their tight harmonies and use of guitars, mandolin, tin whistles, octave mandolin, mandola, tenor banjo, double bass, bodhran, spoons, and more, The Jolly Beggars have quickly built a solid following and continue to spread their music around the east coast. This performance will be BYOB with cabaret style cocktail table seating.
Tickets for individual concerts are $10.00 for members (must have ID) and $12.00 for non-members. Subscribe to the whole series and enjoy a discount and preferred seating. Tickets for the complete series are $25.00 for members and $30.00 for non-members. Tickets are available at the Old Academy or online here.
Contact the Old Wethersfield Country Store at owcsct.com or (860) 436-3782 to order customized themed wine and cheese tray packages to enjoy at our concerts!
The Keeney Cultural Series concerts are supported by the Robert Allan Keeney Memorial Fund at the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving. For more information, contact the society at 860.529.7656
Spring Lecture Series
In collaboration with Cedar Hill Cemetery Foundation, Wethersfield Historical Society presents the following lectures. Admission is $5 for non-members and free for Wethersfield Historical Society members and Cedar Hill Cemetery Foundation members. Both lectures will be held in the Keeney Ballroom at the Keeney Memorial Cultural Center, 200 Main Street at 7 pm. Tickets will be sold at the door. These lectures are also supported by the Robert Allan Keeney Memorial Fund at the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving.
March 20 Mark Twain and the Supernatural
Historian Jason Scappaticci will discuss Mark Twain and the supernatural in this illustrated presentation. Mark Twain’s iconic characters Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn are beloved by Americans. However, even the most devoted Twain readers are usually unaware of his dabbling in the supernatural craze of spiritualism. Popular in the 19th century, spiritualism was both a party activity and a way to cope with loss. Through explorations of Twain’s own writings, Scappaticci will examine this lesser-known side of one of America’s favorite authors.
April 17 Connecticut Notable Trees
The Notable Trees Project, established in 1985, collects and distributes information about Connecticut’s largest and most historic trees, both native and introduced. Frank Kaputa will share the history of the project, along with details regarding identifying and measuring trees. He will highlight Wethersfield and Cedar Hill Cemetery notables in his illustrated presentation.
In collaboration with Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum, Wethersfield Historical Society presents a lecture and book signing with Duo Dickinson, author of A Home Called New England. Admission is $5 for non-members and free for Wethersfield Historical Society members and Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum members. The lecture will be held in the Keeney Ballroom at the Keeney Memorial Cultural Center, 200 Main Street at 7 pm. Tickets will be sold at the door. This lecture is also supported by the Robert Allan Keeney Memorial Fund at the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving. For more information, call the society at 860.529.7656 or visit www.wethersfieldhistory.org.
May 8 A Home Called New England
book talk and signing
Architect and author Duo Dickinson and his co-author Steve Culpepper, a former editor, will join us for a book talk and signing for their new book, A Home Called New England. The book covers over 400 years of New England’s history in text and photos-the people, the culture, the architecture and the institutions. Book cost $30.
SPRING WALKING TOURS!
Join us for the following tours. All tours are $5; free to members. Reservations recommended. In the event of rain, tours are cancelled.
Burying Ground Tours with Martha Smart
Learn about gravestone carvers and customs, as well as stories of some of the people buried there. Meet at the red barn in the First Church parking lot.
Thursdays, May 3, June 21, September 6, October 11 at 1:00 pm
Saturdays, May 5, June 23, September 8, October 13 at 10:00 am
Walk Around Old Wethersfield with Dorene Ciarcia
Walk around Old Wethersfield learning about the architecture and the people who lived there long ago. Meet in front of the Keeney Center.
Thursdays, May 10, July 5, September 13 at 6:00 pm
Saturdays, May 12, July 7, September 15 at 10:00 am
New Exhibit: February 1, 2018 – December 31, 2018
Wethersfield’s Kevin the Turkey: Photos by George Savic
The young male turkey nicknamed “Kevin” made the center of the Old Wethersfield village home in the summer and fall of 2017, capturing the hearts and attention of many Wethersfield residents and visitors alike. His admirers delighted in his antics, which included stubbornly standing in the road, pecking at cars and chasing mail trucks (and sometimes mail carriers).
A Facebook group “Fans of the Wethersfield Turkey” created by local resident Gina Brennan gained over 5,700 members, and Kevin’s story was covered by all major local news outlets, as well as the Associated Press and NPR. Local photographer George Savic kept fans entertained on social media with his daily photos of Kevin. Books and calendars with Savic’s Kevin photos, as well as coffee mugs, t-shirts and other Kevin memorabilia were sold at the local Old Wethersfield Country Store. Kevin was relocated by the CT DEEP to a state forest in Litchfield County in early December when he began to range onto busy CT Route 15, posing a significant danger to himself and others.
As part of its mission to preserve and promote Wethersfield’s history and culture, the historical society has mounted this small exhibit of Savic’s photos in response to interest from the community and to help record this small slice of the town’s 400 year history. The exhibit includes George Savic’s photos, and a life-sized photo cutout of Kevin the Turkey created by Oldham Studios. The exhibit is paired with a food drive to help replenish the shelves at the Wethersfield Food Pantry. Visitors are encouraged to bring donations of non-perishable food when they come to see the exhibit.
New Exhibit: November 30, 2017 – March 23, 2018
Come Play with Us: Toys from Wethersfield’s Attic
Few objects can evoke more nostalgia than favorite childhood playthings. Play is natural and essential for children, and toys in one form or another have existed since the beginning of time. Changes in society and its view of childhood has been reflected in children’s toys throughout history. Although form and materials have changed, the basic types of toys children play with have endured: dolls and soft toys, games, riding toys, learning toys and child size replicas of adult tools were as popular 200 years ago as they are today.
This winter, Wethersfield Historical Society will display some of its seldom seen collection of playthings from our town’s storied past alongside favorite items from our present day community’s attics and toy chests. Favorite Victorian toys will be displayed in the period rooms of the Hurlbut-Dunham House which will be decorated for an 1890s Christmas, and toys of all periods will be on view in the Watson Gallery at the Keeney Memorial Cultural Center.
SAVE THE DATE! 13th Annual Taste of Wethersfield Benefit April 7, 2018