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Haddam Historical Society

Thankful Arnold House Museum

News and Events

September 10, 2011

Thank You

Thank you to the fair volunteers

Venture Smith Day

September 11, 2021


October 1 to October 8, 2021

Thank You to Fair Volunteers

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We would like to thank everyone who volunteered at the Haddam Historical Society booth at the Haddam Neck Fair.

Jane Aldieri

Marijean Conrad

John Edmondson

Bill Gresham

Mary Alice and Ron Matulevich

Donna Morasutti

Sarah and David Neal

Melissa Pionzio

Dave Nichols and Amy Roper

Deb Rutter

Terry Smith

Jody Wintsch

The winners of the “George Washington’s Favorite Cake” baking contest at the Haddam Neck Fair.

First Place: Rick Mittelhauser

Second Place: Heather McDougall

Third Place: Debra Waller

Congratulations to ALL!

Venture Smith Day * September 11, 2021* 1 to 4 pm

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Thankful Arnold’s Treasure Chest Online Auction

October 1-8, 2021

Charity Online Auction for the Haddam Historical Society and

Thankful Arnold House Museum

The Haddam Historical Society and Thankful Arnold House Museum will hold an important online charity auction featuring an array of exceptional goods, unique experience and one-of-a-kind items. Peruse through our “Treasure Chest” of offerings and bid for history!

The auction will take place from October 1 to 8, 2021 at www.biddingowl.com/HaddamHistoricalSociety where items can be viewed and bids placed.

In person preview of the items will be at Haddam Elementary School, 272 Saybrook Road, Higganum, CT on the following dates:

Tuesday, September 28 from 1 pm to 4 pm

Wednesday, September 29 from 1 pm to 4 pm

Thursday, September 30 from 5 pm to 8 pm

The auction will feature local business gift certificates for goods and services, unique experiences, special getaways, antiques, collectibles, useful goods, jewelry, libations, and so much more.

You will find the unique, unexpected and useful!

This important fundraiser will help the organization and museum continue its important activities, programming and collections care. Please visit www.haddamhistory.org or www.biddingowl.com/HaddamHistoricalSociety

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Featured Auction Items: Handcrafted Ash bowl by local artist, Tiger Carlson; Gift Certificate for house research and plaque; Beautiful Blue Topaz and sterling earrings.

Small Pox Exhibit

We unveiled our Smallpox Exhibit at the Haddam Neck Fair over Labor Day Weekend. It will be on display at the Thankful Arnold House through September and then will travel around town. Stay tuned for locations. We would like to thank Stephanie Denkowicz for all her work and research on preparing the exhibit.

Did you know that Haddam had a Smallpox Hospital?

Dr. Hezekiah Brainerd was the great-grandson of Daniel Brainerd, one of Haddam’s original proprietors. He graduated from Yale College in 1763 and studied medicine with Dr. Benjamin Gale of Killingworth. Dr. Brainerd later became Haddam’s primary physician and practiced medicine until paralysis disabled him in 1795. He died in 1805.

Brainerd (sometimes spelt Brainard) was well-known for operating a Smallpox and practicing inoculation in Haddam. In 1787 he built a smallpox hospital or pock house approximately a mile west of his home on Walkley Hill (268). The Town of Haddam voted to give Brainerd the exclusive right to inoculate for smallpox for four years as long as he erected a building or buildings and receive patients who may be infected with the pox the natural way.

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Historic Celebration to take place at

Higganum United Methodist Church

Higganum, Connecticut

Please come join us for some historic celebrations at Higganum United Methodist Church.  Higganum United Methodist Church is celebrating its 160th anniversary this year, in 2021.  The church, located at 248 Saybrook Road in Higganum Connecticut, is a historical and architectural treasure in town.  First constructed during the Civil War area, the main church remains essentially unchanged since that time.  In 1861 Reverend Allen, the minister destined to head the movement which resulted in the building of the church, was sent to Higganum. He held his revival meetings in the grove across the brook from the old post office, then at Brainerd Hall, and soon after at the Grange. Methodists gradually assumed a more vigorous and effective role in the community and finally demanded a church-The present site was purchased for only $5! Building of the structure began in 1861and was finished the following year. Although many of the church congregants participated in the building, Reverend Allen carted stone from the quarries, chopped timber from the wood, did masonry work and even framed the building and some of the benches. One time the minister, needing planking, was given a full sized tree only if he could chop it down to size which he proceeded to do! Come join us in celebrating this remarkable feat with these special events.

On September 12, 2021 at noon Higganum United Methodist Church will host an Open House. Following the church service we will have light refreshments followed by a Church Open House beginning at noon.  The Open House will feature the contributions our church has made to the community through fundraising, ministries and outreach.  It will highlight the church history since before the Civil War times with collected memorabilia, publications and a slide show.  On display will also be the crafts and contributions of our church members through the years. Church members will be available to conduct church tours during the open house and you are more than welcome to view our hour long continuously running presentation comprised of photos from our distant and more recent past! If you would like to order a church history book, people will be available to take your order. This will be truly the event for history buffs in town. 


We look forward to seeing you- Sincerely Higganum United Methodist Church and Reverend Ahn.