Haddam Historical Society
Thankful Arnold House Museum
August 10, 2020
News and Updates
It has been a long,hot DRY summer and last week’s tropical storm made things even more exciting. Fortunately, other than losing a large tree branch, the museum was unscathed. While the society has been closed since mid-March, due to Covid-19, we are now giving tours or research visits by appointment only on a very limited basis. Visit our web site to learn more. Please remember that our garden is always open for drop by visits dawn to dusk.

I would like to thank all those who have volunteered to water the garden this very dry summer, including Margo Novak, Marijean Conrad, Sarah Neal, Ron and Mary Alice Matulevich, and Pat Hartman. Also thank you to the garden gnomes who show up at all times of the day to weed and keep things neat, including Deb Rutter, Sharon Bailey and Cindy Sullivan.

We had our good friend and talented painter, Dodie Ruimerman and her colleague, Diane stopped by the museum to paint our lovely garden. We invite any and all talents to stop by and enjoy the grounds.

Diane painting the garden
Dodie's finished painting!
Dodie at work.
Labor Day Weekend
History Scavenger Hunt
September 5-7, 2020
The Haddam Historical Society is hosting a family/group scavenger hunt over Labor Day Weekend to inspire residents to learn more about the heritage of their community and what makes it so special. Groups will be tasked to “hunt” for remnants of our past and legacy items we honor today. The adventure may bring you to places you have never visited or teach you about people who had a significant effect on our town’s character. Groups will be able to complete the “hunt” at their own pace over the three-day weekend.
Clues will be distributed on Saturday morning at the Thankful Arnold House Museum. Registration is required for a nominal fee of $10 per group/family. All groups who complete the “hunt” will receive a prize and entered in a grand prize drawing.

Tickets also available online at www.haddamhistory.org or https://haddamhistoryscavengerhunt.eventbrite.com/ (Clues will be emailed)
Please practice social distancing and all Covid-19 protocols.

The event is sponsored by Christopher J. Smith, Alter & Pearson, LLC, Glastonbury and Central Systems, Inc., Fire Protection, Higganum. 
Venture Smith Day

The 24th Annual Venture Smith Day festivities will be hold on Saturday, September 12 from 1 pm to 4 pm in the First Church Cemetery in East Haddam, CT. Rain date is Sunday, September 13 from 1 to 4 pm .
Due to COVID-19, guests will be required to register in advance and space will be limited to around 50 attendees. To register please call 860-873-9375 and leave a message for Karl Stofko or register online at waidecommunications.com.

Temperatures will be taken before being allowed to enter the event. If you have any COVID-19 symptoms 14 days prior to the event or have been in close contact with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 recently, please do not attend. Mask wearing will be required and social distancing rules will apply. Guests should bring their own hand sanitizers/wipes and water bottles. Since the church is closed to the public please bring your own chair or blanket. 

The main speaker will be Dr. John Sweet, associate professor of Early American History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His talk is entitled “Venture Smith Matters”.

David George, President and CEO, Director of Research and Tenin Jourdain, Junior Historian and GIS Specialist at Heritage Consultants, LLC will talk about the recent archaeological dig at Venture Smith’s site at the Barn Island Wildlife Management Area in Stonington, CT.

Susi Ryan, 9th generation descendant of Venture Smith and fiber artist will talk about “Connecticut Textiles with Venture Smith’s Narrative”.

Dr. Karl Stofko, East Haddam Town Historican and Venture Smith family genealogist since the 1970s will share his research on some of “Venture Smith’s Neighbors and Good Friends in Connecticut”. A question and answer period will be held at the end of the speakers.

The ladies of “The Sisters In Stitches Joined by the Cloth” will return with their magnificent African American Quilts.

Also, town proclamation, wreath-laying ceremony and family reunion photograph. Please call Karl Stofko at 860-873-9375 with questions. 
Carving of Venture Smith
Sisters In Stitches
Venture Smith Narrative
We would like to remember our friend and long-time member Adele Vynalek who passed away in late July. She was very active in town affairs and frequently shared local history with us. Those who wish may send memorial donations to the Haddam Emergency Fuel Bank, Haddam Social Services 11 Jail Hill Road Haddam 06438 or the Haddam Historical Society, P.O. Box 97, Haddam, CT 06438. 

Hobbammacko Club
Photo shows the Hobbammacko Clubhouse on Jail Hill Road in Haddam. The small clubhouse was erected in 1897 as the club’s headquarters. Hobbammocko is a Wangunk evil spirit who was an enemy of the Native Americans.

The club was made up of local men as a “place to socialize and promote harmony and good feeling among its members.” The group ran into a bit of trouble in 1907 when they were raided while playing a game of cards. Four of the seven members present were arrested for having liquor on the premises. The keg of beer and cider where “supposedly” left on the site by workers a long time ago.

The club membership was made up of many prominent citizens including Arnolds, Williams, and Dickinson’s. Some believed the raid was the result of a complaint by another local resident who didn’t agree with the group politically.
We are happy to announce the arrival of Elsie Margaret Neal, daughter of Dr. Oliver and Haylee Neal and granddaughter of Haddam Historical Society Education Coordinator Sarah Neal and her husband David! Elsie is a descendant of Haddam founding father and mother, Daniel and Hannah (Spencer) Brainerd. 
Don't forget to Support the
Haddam Historical Society
HHS logo
Thank you to everyone who has made a donation to the Haddam Historical Society in this most unusual year. If you haven’t done so yet, please consider making a contribution today to help us preserve, collect, interpret and promote Haddam’s history for present and future generations.