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.
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.
Shot on location in Wethersfield at the Keeney Memorial Cultural Center and the Hurlbut-Dunham House last October, the second season of The Food that Built America premieres this Sunday, February 14 on cable’s History Channel at 9:00 pm. Actors portraying food industry titans tell the stories of the pioneers behind food empires such as Oreo, Frito Lay, Reese’s, White Castle, Wrigley’s and Campbell’s Soup. Cast and crew followed strict social distancing protocols and obeyed the instructions of their on-site Covid-19 officer. The popular TV series drew close to 19 million viewers in the first season and stars well-known food author and TV personality Adam Richman. The show presents facts and shares stories about our country’s favorite brands and the determined individuals that brought them to market.
Click here to see photos of the filming and for more about WHS’ involvement with the film industry.
Wethersfield Historical Society invites you to take a February stroll and visit our display of Vintage Valentines in the windows of the Keeney Memorial Cultural Center. The featured Valentines are from the mid-19th century to just before the 1920s and are just a portion of the cards relating to different holidays in our ephemera collection at the Old Academy Library. The cards share messages and images from years past, and many were circulated by Wethersfield residents.
Visitors and residents can show their love for Wethersfield by creating a handcrafted card that can be dropped off at the Keeney Center mail slot or emailed to email@example.com. Card makers will be entered into a drawing for Valentine’s Day prizes, and entries will be featured on our social media during the month of February.
To see more examples of “Vintage Valentines” and to learn more about the tradition of exchanging Valentines and the symbolism used in the cards, click here to visit this dedicated page on our website.
The Vintage Valentine pop-up display will be on view from February 4th-28th.
A special thanks to our friends at Stop & Shop and to everyone who participated in the Stop & Shop Community Bag Program. WHS received $1.00 for each reusable bag purchased at their 80 Town Line Road, Rocky Hill location in the month of January.
These donations to WHS can continue throughout the year with a little extra help from you and Stop & Shop’s Giving Tag Program. Purchase a reusable bag for $2.50 at any participating Stop & Shop and then do the following:
1. Visit mystopandshopcause.com within 7 days of the purchase.
2. Remove the scratch-off layer on the Giving Tag to reveal the unique identifier.
3. Submit the identifier and select Wethersfield Historical Society to receive a $1 donation.
NB – If you don’t direct the donation within 7 days of purchase, the donation will be sent to the
Community Bag Program beneficiary – the monthly featured non-profit selected by store leadership at the store where the bag was purchased.
#GivingTuesday is a global generosity movement created to give people the opportunity to help their communities. This year, Giving Tuesday falls on December 1. The pandemic has been tough on all of us, and Wethersfield Historical Society would like to continue to share our programs and educational opportunities with you! Help support our mission of preserving and promoting Wethersfield’s history and culture to inspire people today and tomorrow. Covid-19 has significantly reduced our revenue, and with a limited budget for 2021, we have made the difficult call to cancel some of our fundraising programs and events. We hope to raise $5,000 by the end of the year. Will you help us raise the money to reach our goal? You can participate in Giving Tuesday by donating online here on or before December 1. Be sure to write “Giving Tuesday” in the “Notes” line. You can also mail a check payable to Wethersfield Historical Society to:
Wethersfield Historical Society
150 Main Street
Wethersfield, CT 06109
To assure proper attribution, please write “Giving Tuesday” on the memo line.
Like many of us, you probably appreciate the convenience of online shopping with Amazon. But did you know that you can generate donations to Wethersfield Historical Society just by signing in to Amazon at smile.amazon.com/ch/06-6038062 ? Amazon donates a percentage of every purchase made this way to WHS. Please consider this option when doing your holiday shopping and know that the gift you give counts twice; once for your intended recipient and again for the Wethersfield Historical Society.
The 11th Annual Old Wethersfield Lantern Light Tours is now available! Due to the ongoing pandemic, this perennial Wethersfield Historical Society favorite is presented as a series of videos on the society’s website here. Join Museum Educator and host Gillie Johnson on a tour visiting notable women from Wethersfield’s past. Filmed on location at the Hurlbut-Dunham House, the Keeney Memorial Cultural Center, and the Ancient Burying Ground, the series opens with social worker Dr. Jane Robbins, who worked tirelessly to improve the lives of Italian immigrants in New York and Connecticut and served as a nurse in World War I. A new video will follow each week.
This content was made possible in part by a grant from the Robert Allan Keeney Memorial Fund at the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving and through the generosity of our members.
While the Wethersfield Museum and the Keeney Memorial Cultural Center remain closed to the public due to social distancing restrictions imposed by the current pandemic, don’t forget that all virtual content generated by Wethersfield Historical Society remains available here on our website and conveniently indexed on the Virtual WHS page. If you haven’t yet seen this past summer’s Keeney Koolers Concert Series or missed an installment of the WHS Virtual Summer Program 2020, they are all only a mouse click away. As additional content is added, it will be linked on the Virtual WHS page. In the coming weeks you can expect to see additional installments of Old Wethersfield Lantern Light Tours, a virtual version of the Women of Wethersfield exhibit, and your submissions to the Chronicling COVID exhibit. While none of us are happy with the current state of affairs, it is better to light a candle than curse the darkness.
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.