Haddam Historical Society Newsletter
News and Events November 13, 2015
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I have many favorite aspects of my job but one of the most exciting is looking at and researching the old photographs of our community. I love looking at the old school pictures and wonder what it was like learning in a one room schoolhouse. I am glad I live in the 21st century when I look at a neighborhood showing an outhouse in every back yard. Saybrook Road was once all dirt and lined with beautiful elm trees.

I hope you have the opportunity to join us on Sunday, November 15 at 2 pm at the Fire Station #1 to look at a few of these images which help us understand how our community developed and what life was like for different generations.

Elizabeth Malloy
Haddam Historical Society
Historic Photographs of
Haddam, Higganum and Haddam Neck

Sunday, November  15, 2015
2 pm to 4 pm

Haddam Fire Station No. #1
439 Saybrook Road, Higganum, CT 06441
Join the Haddam Historical Society and community members to view historic photographs of Haddam, Higganum and Haddam Neck from the archives of the society as well as personal collections of long -time residents Sue DeCarli, Sarah Neal and others.

We invite you to enjoy and comment on some of these never before seen photographs and help us identify some of our "mystery" photos.
For additional information call 860-345-2400 or email director@haddamhistory.org


On Friday, November 8, 2015 the Haddam Historical Society held its 37th Annual Founders' Day Dinner at La Foresta in Killingworth. The event honors the town's founding fathers and mothers as well as the Native Americans from whom the Plantation at Thirty Mile Island was purchased for 30 coats in 1662.  

Each year, the Society bestows the Founders' Day Award to a person or persons who have performed an outstanding service to the Haddam Historical Society and contributed substantially to furthering the mission of the Society, which is to preserve, collect, interpret and promote the history and heritage of Haddam for present and future generations. 
This year we honored two local couples who have supported the society in a variety of ways and have been generous with their time, talents and service.

Rogene and Stewart Gillmor have been long time volunteers and members who have spent countless hours working in our designated historic gardens and helping out with events and programs. It is not unusual to see Rogene in knee-pads pulling weeds behind the museum and Stewart hauling them away. They were instrumental in our arbor restoration this year by not only supporting the project but donating all the cedar posts that were used in the reconstruction. They have opened their beautiful historic home and shared their restoration stories including moving a historic house from Chester.
 Rogene a talented artist has hosted plein air painters at the Arnold House and has been a long time member of the Haddam Garden Club. Both she and her husband are active in the Higganum Congregational Church and support other local organizations.  Stewart, a professor emeritus, History and Science at Wesleyan University, is a talented musician and vigneron at Ruby Belle Vineyard.

Ron and Mary Alice Matulevich 's contributions to the society are many. He is a master carpenter who has worked on our historic buildings in his meticulous and exacting manner. They both have been dedicated garden volunteers for many years. She has participated in many events, programs and committees and is always willing to help. They are true examples of community members who volunteer their time, talent, and service in many different capacities.
Mary Alice has recently retired from working full time for Regional School District #17 and continues to substitute when available. She is active in her church and the family carpentry business.  Ron's talent as a respected master carpenter is evident in many historic homes in the area and he is frequently found restoring buildings at the Haddam Neck Fair grounds as a dedicated volunteer. He has also served with the Haddam Volunteer Fire Department holding various positions.  

The Haddam Historical Society is fortunate to have such extraordinary, dedicated volunteers.


The Haddam Historical Society has a number of vibrant, active and fun committees who are responsible for planning events, programs, working with school children, building restoration, gardening, archiving collections and more! And don't forget our nationally recognized Spring Antiques Show.

We are looking for a few good volunteers to serve on some of these committees and help out! You can devote as much time as your schedule permits and we are happy to show you the ropes. Do you have a knack for publicity? Good at weeding? Can you putty a window?
As you can see we seek all sorts of talents.

Upcoming Committee Meetings include:

Events Committee: TUESDAY- November 17 at 7 pm at the Thankful Arnold House Museum.  Planning Events and Social gatherings for 2016

Connecticut Spring Antiques Show Meeting: THURSDAY -November 19 at the Thankful Arnold House Museum.    Planning the Spring Show to be held on March 19 and 20 at the Hartford Armory. 

Programs Committee Meeting:  TUESDAY - November 24 at 7 pm at the Thankful Arnold House Museum.   Planning educational programs including lectures, workshops, and tours for adults, children and families for 2016

If you are interested or have questions give Lisa a call at 860-345-2400. 

Arnold House bulb plantings
In honor of the museum's 50th Anniversary this year, Mary Hugh Arnold Scott gifted a generous donation for the arbor restoration and a special gift to plant spring bulbs on the grounds of the museum. Mrs. Scott is the daughter of Isaac Arnold , who was responsible for the museum's restoration between 1963-1965 and subsequently bequeathed the property to the Haddam Historical Society.

Deb Rutter and her garden crew including  Rod Auclair, Lauren Broderick, Theresa Geraghty, Rogene Gillmor, Karen Stein, Cindy Sullivan and Amy Roper planted over 2500 bulbs in the property and along the road.  Deb did extensive research on the appropriate types of bulbs in use before 1830. Below is her research.

All of the bulbs planted in the historic garden were selected from bulbs known to be in domestic cultivation prior to 1830.  We had more choices for the peripheral beds bordering the yard; for those areas drought tolerance and deer-resistance were our primary concerns. 
For the historic gardens we arranged several groupings of orange or yellow fritillaria imperialis (1590) underplanted with white double peasant's eye daffodils (albus plenus odoratus 1601), yellow Tenby daffodils (narcissus obvallaris 1796), and blue Spanish bluebells (Hyacinthoides Hispanica Excelsior 1601). Additional Tenbys are scattered throughout the historic garden beds along with crocus flavus Golden Yellow (1665),  blue scilla Siberica Spring Beauty (1796) and traditional snowdrops (Galanthus nivalis 1597). 
In the hosta bed at the front of the house on the street, we planted Tenby daffodils, crocus flavus and scilla. Along the road we planted about 200 hundred mixed daffodils. 
In the peripheral beds we planted blue and white (Hyacinthoides Hispanica White City 1601) Spanish bluebells, scilla bifolia rosea (1601), mixtures of miniature daffodils and muscari (various dates), Dutchman's Breeches (1731), trilliums (1799) and for fun, 24 Pinball Wizard alliums!
The bulbs were purchased from Old House Gardens and Van Engelen.   In total we planted 2,568 bulbs!
In addition to Mrs. Scott's donation we received another generous bequest from Robert J. Barnhart, the son of Wilhelmina Arnold Barnhart for whom the garden is dedicated. Mrs. Barnhart was also a daughter of Isaac Arnold the museum's benefactor and sister of Mary Hugh Arnold Scott. This contribution is helping to restore the historic herb garden including resetting the borders and weed proofing the walks. In addition the society is making some driveway improvements to coincide with repaving Hayden Hill Road. 

The museum and office will be closed for the Thanksgiving Day holiday Wednesday, November 25 , Thursday, November 26 and Friday, November 27.

Our gift shop is fully stocked for the holiday shopping season and we will holding a few special shopping events throughout December including our Wassail Open House.