WHS Book Talk

Dean Karau

In the latest addition to Virtual WHS, Museum Educator Gillie Johnson conducted an online interview with author Dean Karau. Karau’s book, “The History of Wethersfield 2.0” details the founding of Wethersfield, Illinois and its ties to the Wethersfield we are much more familiar with. To watch the interview, click here.

Keeney Center Reopening Weekends Beginning April 3

The Keeney Memorial Cultural Center will be reopening weekends at a limited capacity beginning Saturday, April 3. Hours of operation will be Saturdays from 10 am – 4 pm,  and Sundays 1 pm – 4 pm (excluding Easter Sunday, April 4). WHS will be following the state’s Reopen Connecticut guidelines.

Visitors are required to wear a face mask/covering at all times in the museum and observe the posted room capacity advisories to ensure safe social distancing.  

Please help keep yourself and others safe by following these guidelines:

  • Before visiting the museum, familiarize yourself with the symptoms of COVID-19 and do not visit if you feel unwell or have had exposure to someone who was diagnosed with COVID-19.
  • Masks or facial coverings are required by all visitors and should be worn correctly covering your nose and mouth fully.
  • Always maintain 6 feet of distance from staff and other visitors outside of your household. Parties may remain together, and children must stay with adults at all times.
  • Wash your hands frequently and utilize the hand sanitizer stations found throughout the museum.
  • Please visit the Welcome Desk on the first floor upon entering and when leaving the building.
  • Please look out for gallery capacity limits posted at the entrance to each exhibition. Our galleries will be monitored to ensure safe social distancing between visitors.
  • Elevator capacity is two adults or one family unit at a time.
  • The front desk is equipped with a plexiglass partition between visitors and staff.
  • We have increased the cleaning and sanitation of the Museum with special attention to high-touch surfaces.

    If you cannot abide by these policies or feel unwell, please visit our website to view our Virtual WHS material from the safety of your home. We would love to see you another time! 

    Our cleaning and safety protocols comply with the State of Connecticut’s guidelines, and we continue to adapt these policies to protect the health and safety of our visitors and staff.

    If you have questions or concerns, contact society@wethersfieldhistory.org or call 860-529-7656. 

WHS presents Chronicling COVID-19

Wethersfield Historical Society is pleased to present Chronicling COVID-19, our second virtual exhibit during the pandemic. What makes this exhibit unique is that it consists of material submitted directly from the Wethersfield community. Chronicling COVID-19 is an ongoing archive collecting project that began in April 2020, created to document how our community is dealing with the Coronavirus pandemic and the changes it brought to our everyday lives. WHS has compiled the following galleries to share the community submissions we have collected so far. You can view them here.

You can still contribute to the project by sharing photos, videos and written materials, which can be submitted online here. If you have physical objects you would like to donate to the collection, please email our curator at Kristina.oschmann@wethersfieldhistory.org.

WHS presents Wethersfield Women

Wethersfield Historical Society is delighted to bring our first virtual exhibit to the public in the form of Wethersfield Women. Originally designed to coincide with the 100th Anniversary of Women’s Suffrage, the exhibit features modern and historic women drawn from every walk of Wethersfield life; from the first settlers to the “onion maidens,” women entrepreneurs, social reformers, historic preservationists, educators, and elected officials. Women of note include Mary Goodrich Jenson, the first Connecticut woman to obtain her pilot’s license, Dr. Jane Robbins, a doctor who worked with struggling Italian settlements in NYC, and Sarah Elizabeth Wood, an educator involved in the fight for integrated housing and a participant in efforts to enlighten, engage, and educate the community on social issues that have a direct impact on the African American community.

Click here to view Wethersfield Women.

(WHS is still accepting and adding nominees to the virtual edition of this exhibit. Click here for an online submission form.)

The Black Experience in Wethersfield Call for Submissions

In an effort to expand our collection material relating to the Black Experience in Wethersfield, Wethersfield Historical Society is calling for community submissions relating to this subject. Do you have items to contribute that tell a specific person’s or family’s story? Were you involved in African American groups or clubs? Do you know someone who was involved in initiatives relating to integration in Wethersfield? Are there specific projects in Wethersfield that relate to the Black experience here?

Click here to learn more about the kind of materials WHS is looking for and access to an online form where you can submit digital photographs and documents to this project.

Complete “Slavery and Wethersfield” available in Articles from the Community

WHS Research Librarian Martha Smart takes an unflinching look at “Slavery and Wethersfield” and the underlying economics driving the abhorrent practice  in an exhaustive paper readable in its entirety here.

Originally excerpted in our most-recent newsletter, the Almanac, the complete article is now available at the link above to the Articles from the Community section of this website. An additional benefit of the electronic edition is the ability to include Ms. Smart’s extensive notes on her research and provide links to additional online resources for further study.

Wethersfield Historical Society’s Stance Against Discrimination and Oppression

It is Wethersfield Historical Society’s goal to truthfully report historical events. The society (“WHS”) is committed to diversity and inclusiveness in all of its programming and welcomes new members to work with us to achieve this goal.

WHS recognizes the need to do more with respect to its programs on Black, Indigenous, and Women’s history in Wethersfield and stands committed to do so.   Outlined below are some of the ways we have promoted the diversity of our community in the past, followed by some specifics on our commitment to do more going forward.

Please click here to view the statement in its entirety.