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Historical Society membership meetings

Upcoming Meetings:

March 28, 2017 at 7:30pm
An Architectural Gem: Connecticut's Old State House and its History
Presented by Sally Whipple

CT's Old State House is an architectural gem with an impressive history that ties to every town in the state. As a seat of government from1796 to 1878, it housed chambers for the Senate, House, Governor, and courts, as well as the CT State Library and an early museum featuring curiosities from around the world. Important and national stories played out in its halls, including the first Amistad Trials and legislative activities related to State Heroine Prudence Crandall. Noah Webster and PT Barnum served in the legislature and many famous people passed through its doors. Today, the Old State House is a museum that brings a lively mixture of history and civics to students, CT resident and tourists from around the world. Old State House Executive Director, Sally Whipple, will share pictures and stories of the CT treasure and its impact on life in CT. 


Sally Whipple works for the Connecticut Public Affairs Network as Executive Director of Connecticut’s Old State House. She is the Chair of Connecticut Humanities and is a member of the Connecticut Secretary of the State’s Civic Health Advisory Group. She also serves on the boards of Discovering Amistad, Inc. and the Coltsville Heritage Partnership. She is past president of the CT League of History Organizations, a member of the CT Explored Editorial Board, and past Vice President of the
Colchester Historical Society. 

In 2015 she received an Award of Excellence from the New England Museum Association. She and her Old State House colleagues lead the CT affiliate of National History Day for middle and high school students as well as a nationally award-winning 5th-grade school program, CT’s Kid Governor, created by CPAN in 2015.

Whipple has a BA in History from Seton Hill College and an MA in History Museum Studies from the Cooperstown Graduate Program. She has served as director of education and executive director of the Noah Webster House, director of education for the Mark Twain House, director of the Lebanon Historical Society and as an anti-hunger advocate for the CT Association for Human Services. She has also consulted on strategic and interpretive planning with many Connecticut history groups. 

She and her husband live in Colchester and together they foster collies for the Collie Rescue League of New England. 


May 23, 2017 at 7:30pm
New Discoveries at the Hollister Dig Site in South Glastonbury
Presented by: Professor Brian Jones, Connecticut's State Archeologist


Previous Meetings:

The Role Connecticut Played During World War I
Presented by Christine Pittsley

The Historical Society of Glastonbury (HSG) brings you “The Role Connecticut Played During World War I” presented by Christine Pittsley on Tuesday, January 24th at 7:30pm at the First Church Congregational, 2183 Main Street in Glastonbury. This is one of four free presentations open to the public which the HSG sponsors throughout the year.
This presentation will explore the role Connecticut played leading up to the war, home front activities during the war, stories of local contributions to the war effort, and how Connecticut commemorated the war.
Connecticut was known as “the Arsenal of the Nation” during World War I. It is believed that Connecticut factories produced two-thirds of all munitions used by the Allied Forces. Yet Connecticut played other roles as well, ones that are just now being revealed.. Join Christine Pittsley from the Connecticut State Library's “Remembering World War One” project to explore what was happening here on the home front as our soldiers fought in the trenches. Learn about how our war governor, Marcus Holcomb, prepared the state for war and how Connecticut’s Council of Defense became one of the largest and most effective in the nation. From Liberty Loan campaigns and victory gardens to local soldiers and nurses on the front lines, you will also learn about the ways Glastonbury in particular contributed to winning the war.
Christine Pittsley is the Project Director for the Remembering World War One community archiving project at the Connecticut State Library as well as the Chair for the Connecticut World War One Centennial Committee. She also serves as Connecticut’s liaison to the United States World War One Centennial Commission. For the past nine years, Christine has also led the State Library’s archival and museum digitization and metadata programs. She has been involved in a number of statewide digital initiatives, has served on the boards of the Association for the Study of Connecticut History and the Cheshire Historical Society, and is currently a Commissioner on the Cheshire Historic District Commission.

The Cost of Battles Not Fought: War and Rumors of 
War in Early New England 

This thought-provoking and copiously illustrated presentation looks at the role rumors (and who doesn’t love a good rumor) played in the early wars between English settlers and the native people whose land they occupied. Focusing on the first and most shocking of these conflicts - the Pequot War of 1636-1637 - it argues that rumors, rather than actual conflict, account for the greatest expenditures of time, resources, and psychic energy in this, and probably most other, human conflicts.
Prof. Woodward is a scholar of Early American and Atlantic World history, with an emphasis on Connecticut and New England. His research interests cover a variety of subjects, including witchcraft, alchemy and the history of science, the use of music in Early America, and environmental history.
Prof. Woodward received his Ph. D. with Distinction from the University of Connecticut in 2001, and has served as State Historian since 2004. He obtained his Master's Degree in History from Cleveland State University, and his B.A. in English from the University of Florida. Prior to joining UConn, he was a faculty member of the Department of History at Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA.
Before becoming a historian, Woodward had successful careers in both the music and advertising industries. He was the composer of two hit country songs ("Marty Gray" and "It Could'a Been Me") in the 1970s, as well as music for film and television, for which he won two Emmy Awards and two special achievement awards from SESAC. His advertising creativity won him 8 Clio Awards, and in 1980 he was Cleveland's Advertising Person of the Year.  
This presentation is FREE and open to the public. Parking is in the rear of the Church. Come in the bottom rear door or the side door facing the driveway. 



The History of Memorial Day (including its Glastonbury Root), on this, its 150th Anniversary

The Historical Society of Glastonbury (HSG) brings you “The History of Memorial Day” presented by Marshall S. "Mike" Berdan on Tuesday, May 24th at 7:30pm at the First Church Congregational, 2183 Main Street in Glastonbury. This is one of four free presentations open to the public which the HSG sponsors throughout the year.
Memorial Day, America’s most solemn holiday, originated 150 years ago this month in Waterloo, New York, or so decreed Congress in 1966 on the eve of its centennial. If so, then the father of the commemoration originally as "Decoration Day" is none other than Henry C. Welles, a relative of Glastonbury's own Gideon Welles (Lincoln's Secretary of the Navy), who had himself been born here in 1820. 
Writer, historian, and Historical Society of Glastonbury board member Marshall S. "Mike" Berdan will speak about Henry C. Welles, that first Memorial Day, and the subsequent history of the holiday. This presentation is FREE and open to the public. Parking is in the rear of the Church. Come in the bottom rear door or the side door facing the driveway.









Connecticut’s Earliest European Settlers: 
Recent Finds from Glastonbury and Windsor

The Historical Society of Glastonbury (HSG) brings you “Connecticut’s Earliest European Settlers: Recent Finds from Glastonbury and Windsor” presented by 
Professor Brian Jones, Connecticut’s State Archeologist, on Tuesday, March 22nd at 7:30pm at the First Church Congregational, 2183 Main Street in Glastonbury. This is one of four free presentations open to the public which the HSG sponsors throughout the year.
Three archeological digs this past summer unearthed clues about Connecticut’s colonial past. One of the digs was conducted with Historical Society of Glastonbury Archaeology Day participants in a pasture alongside the Connecticut River in South Glastonbury. A ground penetrating radar (GPR) survey was conducted and the large remains that were uncovered are very exciting, though it is likely that it will take a number of years of thorough study to fully document what is clearly a very significant find. Dr. Brian Jones, Connecticut’s State Archaeologist and the leader of these excavations, will talk about what they entail and what they tell us about Connecticut’s earliest European settlers. 
Brian Jones is Connecticut’s State Archaeologist and is associated with the Connecticut State Museum of Natural History at UConn. Brian has worked as an archaeologist since 1992 and received his Ph.D. in Anthropology at UConn in 1998. Brian has a broad background in New England archaeology that spans the Paleoindian period through the industrial era. His special fields of interest include the peopling of the New World, lithic analysis, and geoarchaeology. He has recently made the archaeology of 17th Century Connecticut one of his top priories. Dr. Jones has traveled extensively in Southeast Asia and lived and studied in Germany. He leads a busy life in Glastonbury with his wife and two children.

Historical Impact of the Iroquois
The Historical Society of Glastonbury (HSG) brings you “Iroquois Historic Impact” presented by Luis R. Lee (Guin Yah Geyh) on Tuesday, January 26th at 7:30pm at the First Church Congregational, 2183 Main Street in Glastonbury. This is one of four free presentations open to the public which the HSG sponsors throughout the year.

Dressed in full Seneca regalia, Guin Yah Geyh will discuss the history of the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) and their contributions to American history, specifically the northeast. He will discuss how the Iroquois form of government influenced the U.S. Constitution and how women were the controlling factor in the Iroquois Confederacy.

Our presenter, Luis Robert Lee, a member of the Bear Clan was born on the Seneca Nation's Allegany Indian Reservation in Quaker Bridge, NY. His clan name, Guin Yah Geyh, means "Something from the Clouds" and was given to him by his maternal grandmother in the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) Longhouse.

Luis worked as a connector on high steel construction with his father while obtaining his BFA degree in Advertising Design from Syracuse University. After working his way up in the corporate world, Luis finished his "big business" career as Director of Packaging at Hiram Walker & Sons Ltd., in Ontario, Canada. He then formed his own boutique design firm specializing in packaging design and consulting and had major national and international clients. He has won many prestigious graphic design awards.

Luis is also a former lacrosse player and now coaches high school lacrosse in Connecticut. He has played for the Newtown Athletic Club (Iroquois Can/Am box lacrosse leagues), Syracuse University, and the New York City and New Jersey lacrosse clubs.

In his spare time, Luis creates beadwork jewelry, horn rattles and, most recently, Quahog "wampum" shell necklaces and earrings. The designs are based on the tradition, color and style of the Haudenosaunee and are unique, but faithful to the American Indian heritage.

Each piece created by Luis is, by its very nature, one of a kind and all are a joy to wear or collect by Native and non-Native people alike.





The Hartford Courant: 250 Years and Counting 

The Historical Society of Glastonbury (HSG) brings you “The Hartford Courant: 250 Years and Counting” presented by Henry McNulty on Tuesday, October 27th at 7:30pm at the First Church Congregational, 2183 Main Street in Glastonbury. The presentation will focus on the history of the oldest existing newspaper in the country: The Hartford Courant. This is one of four free presentations open to the public which the HSG sponsors throughout the year.

After working for The Hartford Courant for more than 25 years, Henry McNulty left the newspaper in 1995 to found Henry McNulty Communication Services, L.L.C.
At The Courant, he created the newspaper’s Op-Ed Page and was its first editor; was The Courant’s first Features Editor, and was the paper’s first Reader Representative, or news ombudsman. He is a former president and director of the international Organization of News Ombudsmen.

Henry McNulty Communication Services, L.L.C. specializes in writing and editing, advertising and brochures, public relations and communication counseling.
A direct descendant of Ozias Goodwin, one of the people who founded the city of Hartford, Henry is the former Governor (president) of the Society of the Descendants of the Founders of Hartford. He is also Vice Chairman of the Board of CHI, an operator of nonprofit retirement villages in Connecticut. His work in the field of journalism ethics is featured in the standard college text Reporting for the Print Media (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich) and Writing and Reporting News (Wadsworth Publishing).

One of our historic restored tobacco sheds in Glastonbury, CT
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One of our historic restored tobacco sheds in Glastonbury, CT