Haddam Historical Society
Thankful Arnold House Museum
April 16, 2021
News & updates
An Option
As I reported in our last newsletter, the owner of 140 Dublin Hill Road, has reapplied to the Planning & Zoning Commission to demolish the Leverett Spencer House. The hearing is Thursday, April 22, 2021 at HES at 7 pm.
The application was previously denied last year by Planning and Zoning because no “feasible and prudent” alternatives had been considered or presented by the owner.

A group of local citizens have come up with a feasible and prudent alternative and we are asking that if you support saving the Leverett Spencer and relocating it to the Higganum Cove to write a letter to the First Selectman, Planning and Zoning Commission and Town Planner.

Below is a sample letter and bullet points that can be used in crafting a support letter.


*Robert McGarry, First Selectman:  firstselectman@haddam.org
*William Warner, Town Planner: townplanner@haddam.org

*Bunny Batzner, Secretary, Planning & Zoning Commission: commisionsec@haddam.org

I am writing in support of the plan of the Friends of the Cove to relocate the endangered Leverett Spencer House to Higganum Cove and repurpose it as a town resource.

First, transforming Higganum Cove to a destination for hiking, birding and other outdoor activity, as well as, outdoor class room and cultural arts venue would draw businesses, visitors and new residents to Higganum. Its location on the Connecticut River and adjacent to Swan Hill makes it an obvious choice for recreational activities. The Cove’s industrial history could tell the story of American ingenuity from the 17th century through 20th century and focus on the many factory workers who sought the American dream.
Second, moving the Leverett Spencer House to Higganum Cove would provide a place for sharing the area’s heritage and serve as a center for those biking, hiking or accessing the river. The house could serve as a nature center and offer sundries and be the base for outdoor classes and cultural events.
Historic Preservation is the ultimate recycling and has numerous economic benefits including enhancing community quality and real estate values, creating jobs and fostering local businesses.
The goal of the Planning and Zoning Commission denying the application to demolish the Leverett Spencer House last year was to see if alternative options to demolition could be found. Here is an option. The Spencer House is the best remaining example of factory housing in the area and demolishing it would erase a piece of Higganum’s working-class history.
The plan for Higganum Cove has been carefully thought out and many local residents have donated considerable time in formulating it. In addition, a number of local contractors and businesses have indicated they will donate substantial services to relocate the building to the Cove.
We ask that the Board of Selectmen, Land Use Office, Planning and Zoning Commission carefully review and support the proposal to move the Leverett Spencer House to Higganum Cove and not only save a piece of history but create a destination Higganum can be proud of.
Your Name

Bullet points to support moving Leverett Spencer House
to Higganum Cove
  • Saves endangered building identified as historically significant
  • Repurposes building as town resource
  • Viable option to demolition
  • Solution to saving a piece of history which tells the story of local industry and factory workers
  • Provides place to serve as environmental and heritage center
  • Provides location as start point for hiking, biking, birding and other outside activities
  • Possible commercial venue for outdoor activities/cultural events
  • Strengthens Town’s vision for Higganum in the POCD
The Haddam Historical society will participate in the Town Wide Tag Sale on May 22, 2021 from 8 am to 2 pm.

We are accepting donations starting on Monday, May 17 at the museum, so start looking around and set aside items for this important fundraiser. We are not accepting: Children’s toys (unless vintage), electronics, clothes, very large items including furniture.

Volunteers needed for final set up at 4 pm on Friday, May 20, 2021.

If you would like to volunteer at the Tag Sale for a two hour shift please call Lisa at 860-345-2400
8 am to 10 am
10 am to 12 Noon
12 Noon to 2 pm

Spring Stitches Knitting Circle
Winter Woolies is now SPRING STITCHES!
29th Knitting Circle at the Museum
Spring Stitches in the Garden
Sunday, May 16, 2021
Sunday, June 6, 2021
1:00 pm to 3:00 pm
Thankful Arnold House Museum
14 Hayden Hill Road, Haddam, CT
Do you have a knitting or needlework project that has been sitting around waiting for you to finish it? Join Beth Hartke to work on that neglected piece or start a new one and enjoy the company of others with NO modern-day intrusions. Registration is required, since space is limited. Admission is free. Although we will be outside, all Covid-19 precautions will take place including masks and social distancing.
For further information call Lisa at Haddam Historical Society 345-2400 or contact@haddamhistory.org.

Concert Series in the Garden
Sponsorships Available

The historic and picturesque gardens at the Thankful Arnold House Museum will be the location of a series of summer concerts in the upcoming months. We hope members, friends and neighbors will join us for a lovely evening of outdoor music and community. Bring a picnic, lawn chairs, blankets and soak up the ambience of our historic gardens and adjoining Field Park.

We are looking for sponsors to help support and fund the series and have created sponsorship packages. If you are interested please contact the office at 860-345-2400 or contact@haddamhistory.org

Fall Online Auction

Following Brainerd Memorial Library’s extremely successful Spring Auction, the Haddam Historical Society is planning a similar fundraising event from October 2 to October 10, 2021.

2021 has been a difficult year for the historical society fundraising events as we could not hold our annual Connecticut Spring Antiques Show and decided for safety reasons not to hold our biennial house tour.

The online auction will be our most important fundraising event of the year.
Stay tuned for additional information. 
Garden Clean UP!
Our first garden cleanup for Friday April 23 from 1:00-3:00pm. There is plenty to do, as always! The focus will be on cutting back the perennials, cleaning out the beds and weeding. We may do a little planting. Please join us if you can. Bring your hand tools, a bucket for debris, a kneeling pad if you use one, etc. We have wheelbarrows, shovels, rakes and other basics in the shed.

Our Arnold's Promise witch hazel was moved last fall to a location with less root competition and rewarded us with a better early spring show!

We are looking forward to seeing any of you who are able to join us. Deb Rutter would be happy to meet anyone at the Arnold House to check out what needs to be done.

Please contact Deb Rutter at 860-685-1874 or Cindy Sullivan at 860-754-8622 with any questions.

Thank you for your support!