Category: News & Events

Fall 2023 Newsletter

Featured Event Saturday Walking Tours 

Who’s Buried Where and Why Do We Care?  Join us for our first annual series of walking tours, led by current and former MHS Board members. We will visit a different cemetery every Saturday to “meet” residents who made Meriden great as well as look at some of our more unusual gravestones.  We will meet at the entrance of each cemetery at 1:00. Tours are approximately two hours long.  Each tour is limited to 20 participants.  Tickets are $10 for each individual tour. Registration is required for each event. For more details and to register click the links below.

September 30th   1741-1771          Meetinghouse Hill and Broad Street Cemetery                        

Register Meetinghouse by Thursday Sep 28th

October 7th         1845                    East Cemetery                                                                               Register East by Thursday October 5th

October 14th       1845                    West Cemetery                                                                            

Register West by Thursday October 12th

October 21th       1863                    Walnut Grove Cemetery                                                             

Register Walnut by Thursday October 19th

October 28th       1876                    Sacred Heart Cemetery                                                                 Register Sacred by Thursday October 26th                                           

At the Andrews Homestead

  Saturday 9/16 1-4     Open House                                                                   

 Join us for the Fall Open House and see the treasures at the Homestead.             

  Saturday 10/7 4-7    Spooky Stories                                          

Join us as dusk arrives to listen to seasonal spooky stories.  There are stories for children 8 and under, children 9 and up and adults. Children’s stories start promptly at 4:00 and 5:00.  6:00 is adult spooky  stories!  There will be an activity for children after story time. Reservations are required due to space limitations. Click HERE to reserve your spot.                             

    Saturday 11/4  1-4    Colonial Centerpiece Making

This is an herb wreath, not greenery and properly stored can be used  for years. You must sign up and prepay the cost no later than Sat 10/14 in order for us to order and receive the materials in time. Click HERE to reserve and prepay  between October 1 and October 14 Registration is not yet open for this event.

  Saturday 12/9  1-4 Gingerbread Houses

Join award winning baker Carol Murdock and create your house. It will be too pretty to eat!  You must register and prepay the cost by 11/14 in order for us to order and receive materials on   time. Click HERE to reserve and prepay before  November 14th.

Lecture Series
Our lecture and presentation series is the last Thursday of the month barring holidays or unforeseen circumstances.  We start promptly at 6:30. Our Fall line-up is as follows.



September 28        SMOKESTACKS TO MANSIONS:  Connecticut’s Industrial Age & Gilded Age Families Come to an inspiring evening as Christina Volpe M.A., Ph.D. Candidate talks about the captivating history of Connecticut’s industrial growth and the opulent lives of Gilded Age families. This lecture takes you on a mesmerizing trip back in time, exploring the rise of industries including the silver industry and the lavish lifestyles of prominent families who left an indelible mark on our history. Click HERE to reserve your seat.
    October  26       SPOOKTACULAR MERIDEN   Meriden has some great scary stories and mysteries, from the Black Dog in the Hanging Hills, to the Underhill Sanitorium,  the Leatherman  and even our very own Andrews Homestead.  Come enjoy some seasonal fun learning about spooky goings on in Meriden and in Connecticut.  We are asking attendees to be bring a new toy as admission which we will donate to the holiday campaign here in Meriden.  Click HERE to reserve your seat  
November 30    MERIDEN THEN and NOW We invite you to share the essence of eight decades of life, dreams, and transformation in our city. Come and listen as local high school students share the data from all the stories collected detailing how the lives of children and teens have changed over the last 80 years here in Meriden.  We are very excited to share these stories with you. We are asking attendees to be bring a new toy as admission which we will donate to the holiday campaign here in Meriden Click HERE to reserve your seat.    
There is no presentation in December because of the holiday season.  We will restart our lecture series on January 26th.  Our Winter newsletter, arriving in late November, will have all the details.  

                                                          Activities

MERIDEN THEN AND NOW

Ongoing through September 15th

We invite you to help us capture the essence of eight decades of life, dreams, and transformation in our city.  Don’t miss your chance to become a part of Meriden’s living history!  We will be collecting stories through September 15th.  You can choose to be recordedor write your answers and email them to us.For more information, visit our website at www.meridenhistoricalsociety.org  to download the questions or call 203-639-1913.

MERIDEN FAST FORWARD

Opens 10/1      Closes 12/1

Join the fun with this photography contest open to the public. Participants take a picture of a person, place or thing they think will be historically important 100 years from now in Meriden.  Gallery 53 will host a juried exhibition in January for the artistic merits of the photos while a panel of historians will review the narratives for the historical importance.  Prizes will be awarded at 41 W Main on Thursday 2/23 at 6:30 with the winners presenting their work.  For more information and get the directions please email us info@meridenhistsoc.org .

New Members We welcome the following new members!
Lori Canney                          Jennifer Farina
Suzanne Goldberg               
Ed & Jeanne Hanlon  






Fall Hours 41 W Main

Wednesday      9:00- 3:00       Tours at 11 and 1
Thursday          3:00-8:00        Closed 1st Thursday (9/7, 10/5, 11/2, 12/7)
Friday        By Appointment
First Saturdays  9-12       

Andrews         9/16    1-4                                                    10/7    4-7 (ticketed event)                                                    11/4    1-4 (ticketed event)                                                    12/9    1-4 (ticketed event)                                 
 Sponsors   *APEC Electric                                                Sound Spectrum  45 Shuler Ln                                                    Entertainment Durham CT 06422                                           25 N. Plains Industrial Rd. 203-238-0427                                                    Wallingford CT 06492 https://www.apecelectricct.com/            203-317-7129                                                                            Rozz1@aol.com *Jonal Laboratories 456 Center St.                                                  Valentin Karate.                                                      Meriden CT 06451                                           75 S Colony St. 203-634-4444                                                     Meriden, CT 06450                                          https://www.jonal.com/                               203-213-9077                                                                                                               https://Valentinkarate.net Macri Enterprises, LLC 387 S. Colony St.                                            * Suzio Insurance Center, Inc. Meriden CT 06451                                           54 Chamberlain Hwy. 203-600-5075                                                     Meriden CT 06451 MacriSigns@gmail.com                                  203-237-7403                                                                            www.Suzioinsurance.com *Mahon, Quinn & Mahon, P.C. 636 Broad St.                                                   * Tuxis Ohr’s Fuel Meriden CT 06450                                           80 Britannia St. 203-238-1010                                                     Meriden CT 06451 WWW.mqmlawyer.com                                 203-639-3513                                                          www.tuxisfuel.com *Meriden Memorial Funeral Home 450 Broad St.                                                     *Plimpton & Hills Meriden CT 06450                                            300 Research Parkway 203-235-9181                                                      Meriden, CT 06450 www.meridenmemorialfh.com                   860-522-4233                                                                             www.plimptonhills.com *Mule Security & Electric Inc.                        113 Broad St.                                                       Meriden CT 06450                                               203-238-7561                                                        www.mulesecurity.com                                                                                                          *New England Capital Financial Advisors, LLC 79 Main St. Meriden CT 06451 203-935-0265 www.newenglandcapital.com Russell Hall Company 19 N. George St. Meriden CT 06451 203-235-6391 https://www.russellhall.com/          

              NOTICE OF ANNUAL MEETING

Date:  September 14th

Time:  6:00 PM

Where:  41 W Main St Meriden

All members are welcome. Refreshments will be served.  Please come out to hearour plans and vote for our new Board and officers. RSVP by September 7th please. By Zoom at https://us06web.zoom.us/j/86747739852?pwd=ZXYxQkhLbDh5VThJUVJhNGxldTJwdz09

                                  Meeting ID: 867 4773 9852                               Passcode: annual

From the Director’s Desk

I spend a lot of my time wondering about the future of history.  In recent years, history has slowly and surely been relegated to red-headed stepchild status in the world of curriculum, taking a place far behind math, English and science.  My love for history was kindled at an early age by my father, whose passion for history was communicated to all of his children.  I loved stories about the past, anyone’s past, anywhere on the planet.   I loved historical fiction, maybe because I liked to pick it apart for historical inaccuracies, but actually for the contextually rich background that authors like Diana Gabaldon and Phillipa Gregory painted, that brought me right in to those worlds.  I loved real history.  It was my favorite subject.  And it is little wonder that I would choose to become a history teacher as my first profession.

I have changed careers but always come back to my professional roots in some form and I now feel that I have come full circle returning to that first love of history as I settle in here at the historical society. But I must share that I worry about the future of the discipline that is far and away my favorite.  A recent writing in the American Association of State and Local History was right on the money.  And I quote, referring to America’s historical societies, “They have had a strong run since the beginning of the twentieth century, but have always found it hard to do two things: find new board members and attract young families. The running joke is that local societies have always been run by “little old ladies in white tennis shoes.” And they’ve done a good job, but can they, as a force, sustain the pattern?”    

And it keeps me awake at night. Once Generation X hits retirement age,the numbers shrink in comparison to Boomers. STEERIKE ONE There will simply be less people who will support the work, and fewer people for lectures, activities and all the rest.  And those demographic patterns  are not going to change.                                                                                                                                

People who were born and stayed in a place their wholes lives are  becoming more rare.  Gone are “I was born on Such and Such Street, right next to the big house where so and so used to live.” We are a highly mobile society and we aren’t all local anymore. Fewer and fewer people with long memories who have deep ties to the community are available to work at preserving any town’s history. STEERIKE TWO. The writing is on the wall.

Now, consider this last point.  Local historical societies are just that – local. Local organizations need to see a bigger picture, not just stop at the town line.  How do we avoid striking out? Engage younger people. Keep up with technology.  Embrace  all of the cultures that made and continue to make Meriden what it is so everyone knows they are a part of the story that continues to unfold every single day. What are your thoughts?  How can you help us get to the next part of our story?  Email us at info@meridenhistsoc.org  with your ideas with the subject line “IDEAS”.

                                                     NEW EXHIBIT COMING IN OCTOBER

Stay tuned for the details as the Museum celebrates 125 years of history with the Suzio Family.    

Follow us on Facebook for updates. It’s going to be fabulous!

Summer 2023 Meriden Historical Society Newsletter

News and Events

Saturday 6/10

10-1:30 PM

CT Open House

EVERYBODY HAS A (HI)STORY

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Friday 6/16

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MERIDEN

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Wednesday, 6/21 INTERNATIONAL MAKE MUSIC DAY

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Thursday 6/29 6:30

STONE BREAKER AND THE HANGING HILLS

Join us here at the Historical Society to create a special memory with a young person who is special to you. The theme is Everybody Has a (Hi)story. We will provide a question template which you can use to write your story!  It is a series of questions that a child can ask their special adult and can be done at home. The questions are on the last page. Our request is that the child(ren) along with their significant adult, visit us with their story on Saturday June 10th between 10 and 1:30.  We will take your picture and story and turn it into a finished document and email it back to you or you can come back in a week and pick it up.

Join us for a scavenger hunt. Email director@meridenhistsoc.org to request a copy of the rules. (They will be emailed on Friday at Noon to all) Each riddle describes a Meriden landmark or site and has a point value. You can choose which questions you answer, but your goal is to earn as many points as possible by solving the riddle, going to the site, photographing your team in front of each, and returning your answers in person to 41 West Main Street by noon on the 17th OR emailing them by to director@meridenhistsoc.org The team with the most points and proper photographs at 12 noon on Saturday the 17th wins! Prizes will be awarded!

Come enjoy music from 11-7 in the plaza next to the Historical Society and look at our music themed window display. This event is presented by Meriden Parks and Recreation and the Olde Church Acoustic Series.

Stone Breaker
Join us at the Historical Society to hear Kathleen Housley, author of Stone Breaker: James Gates Percival and the Beginning of Geology in New England. She will be sharing the life of James Gates Percival. His love of the Hanging Hills was lifelong. It was his realization that the Hanging Hills were volcanic and far older than 6,000 years, the presumed age of the Earth during his time, that helped push geology forward as a science in New England.

Admission is free to members. Suggested donation is $10.00 for non-members.

Please contact the office to reserve your seat (203-639-1913) or by email: info@MeridenHistSoc.org or click HERE to reserve online.

Thursday 7/27 6:30 at the Meriden Museum and History Center 41 W Main Street Meriden

STRIKES, SPARES AND GUTTER BALLS

Tuesday 8/1 5-8 at Hubbard Park

NATIONAL NIGHT OUT

There is no Thursday evening presentation in August.

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MEMBERSHIP

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The Alley Cat: Meriden Alleys
Join us at the Historical Society to hear Art Dutra and Tony Ezzo. They will be sharing the history of bowling in Meriden and unveiling the model of the Ezzo Building.

Admission is free to members. Suggested donation is $5.00 for non-members.

Please contact the office to reserve your seat (203-639-1913) or by email: info@MeridenHistSoc.org or click HERE to reserve online.

Meriden’s 13th annual National Night Out being planned by the Council of Neighborhoods and the Meriden Police Department’s Neighborhood Initiative Unit will be held on Tuesday August 1st 5pm to 8pm at Hubbard Park. Rain date is Wednesday August 2nd. The event is free of charge including food and beverages, entertainment and children’s activities. Please bring your families and friends and join us!

COME SEE OUR WINDOWS

Flags are in our entryway. June Bride is in our eastern Window and Advertising in Meriden in our Western Window. The window facing the park features Music in Meriden.

Welcome to our new members

Stephen M. Clough, Sr. Rachel Nieland

Cheryl & Daimer Weston

ZEFFY – A NEW WAY TO MAKE RESERVATIONS, PAY DUES & MAKE DONATIONS TO THE SOCIETY

Welcome to Zeffy, our new online fundraising platform that now manages our event reservations, ticket purchases, donations, membership, volunteers and more. While other platforms take a portion of donations in fees, Zeffy gives 100% of all donations directly to nonprofits and relies on voluntary contributions as a source of income. When you use the platform it will ask you for a voluntary contribution to Zeffy, the default suggested is 18%. Just click on the 18%, scroll down and choose “other” which allows you to enter any dollar amount including zero.

If you prefer to use PayPal – we are subscribed to PayPal too.

Everybody has a (hi)story!

CT OPEN HOUSE SATURDAY JUNE 10 10-1:30

My important adult’s name is ___________________________________________________

Where was s/h born? _________________________________________________________

S/he is ______________ years old.

His/her favorite thing to do when s/he was my age was _______________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

S/he went to school at __________________________________________________________

His/her favorite thing about Meriden is _____________________________________________

His/her favorite thing about me is _________________________________________________

What’s one thing s/he wants me to remember when I am an adult _______________________

______________________________________________________________________________

What’s one thing about our [family] history s/he thinks I should know _____________________

______________________________________________________________________________

His/her favorite subject in school ___________________________________________________

His/her favorite place to visit as a child ______________________________________________

If s/he could do anything in the world what would it be? ________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________________

Where should we email your picture and story?

Email address: _________________________________________________________________

Your name _____________________________________________________________________

Who’s Buried Where and Why Do I Care?

Join us for our first annual series of walking tours, led by current and former MHS Board members. We will visit a different cemetery every Saturday to “meet” residents who made Meriden great as well as look at some of our more unusual gravestones.  We will meet at the entrance of each cemetery at 1:00. Tours are approximately two hours long.  Each tour is limited to 20 participants.  Tickets are $10 for each individual tour. Registration is required for each event. For more details and to register click the link below.

What: Meetinghouse Hill and Broad Street Cemetery Walkiing Tour

Where: Meet at Meetinghouse Hill Burying Grounds

When: Saturday, Septembebr 30th at 1:00

Price: $10.00

Number of seats: 20

For additional information, to register and prepay please click Register Meetinghouse by Thursday Sep 28th

Call us for details: 203-639-1913.

Events

Show and Tell – Thursday, March 30th, 2023 6:30 pm, 41 W. Main St. downtown Meriden

Meriden Show and Tell: What is it? Where is it? Who is it? – Thursday, 3/30/2023 6:30 PM

Join us at the Society’s Museum and History Center to share your stories, discoveries and queries relating to Meriden and its history. A panel of members of the Society will be on hand to answer questions and present unusual items from the Society’s collection.
Seating is limited. Admission is free. Reservations are recommended, by calling the office (203-639-1913) or emailing us: info@meridenhistsoc.org

OCTAGONAL HOUSES – Thursday, February 23rd, 2023 6:30 pm, 41 W. Main St. downtown Meriden

Sherwin Borsuk, past president of the Meriden Historical Society, will present a PowerPoint illustrated program on the mid-19th century craze for octagonal houses.

Admission is free. Seating is limited.Please send us an email (MeridenHistoricalSociety@gmail.com) or call the office (203-639-1913) to reserve your seat.

PAST EVENTS

THE HISTORY OF MARKHAM AIRPORT – Thursday, 1/26/2023, 6:30 pm 41 W. Main St. downtown Meriden

The Meriden Historical Society will be hosting a lecture on Meriden Markham Airport presented by Constance Castillo, Markham Airport Manager. Ms. Castillo is a certified flight instructor and has been an active member of the local Ninety-Nines, an international organization for women pilots. The lecture is free and open to the public. For more information or to reserve a seat at our lecture room, please contact Michael J. Zaffino, Administrator at 203.639.1913.

ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING

The Meriden Historical Society’s Annual Membership Meeting will take place on Thursday, September 8, 2022

6:00 pm

at our downtown Museum & History Center 41 W. Main Street, Meriden.

Agenda: Committee reports; President’s report; Meet Michael J. Zaffino – our administrator; Eat and schmooze on the patio

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JULY PROGRAM: An Aerial View – Meriden Present and Past

Thursday, July 28, 2022 6:30 pm at our Museum and History Center 41 W. Main St. Meriden, and streaming on Zoom.

Free admission. Donations gratefully accepted and help keep our doors open.

Sam Carr – Will present photographs of Meriden from the view of drones providing mostly current images of both iconic and typical views of the City from unique perspectives.  There will also be some older views of Meriden, taken from an airplane from the 1930’s thru 1980’s, that will be compared to recent images to show how the city has changed over the years.  A short discussion of drone rules and regulations will be included.  Sam holds a private pilot license from the FAA as well as a commercial UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle – drone) license.

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JULY PROGRAM Co-sponsored with the Meriden Public Library:

Wednesday, July 20, 2022 at 6:30 pm at the Meriden Mall, 470 Lewis Ave, Meriden – next to Champs. Presented by Christina Rewinski

Which side are you on? That’s the question that every single person in Connecticut had to answer in 1775, as the thirteen colonies began a rebellion against British rule. Loyalty was not only a matter of words or opinion, For soldiers and civilians alike, loyalty could mean loss of fortune, of friends, and even of life. This presentation reveals stories – some well known, some obscure – of Nutmeggers who risked and sacrificed to support their chosen side during this “tumultuous jarring time of civil war”

Link to register: https://meriden.librarycalendar.com/event/tories-spies-traitors-divided-loyalty-revolutionary-connecticut
Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/35205933023569

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JUNE PROGRAM

SYLVESTER POLI – THEATER MAGNATE, his life and involvement in Meriden.

Presented by Michael J. Zaffino.

Thursday, June 30th at 6:30 pm at the Meriden Historical Society’s Museum and History Center, 41 W. Main St. Meriden CT

41 w. Main St., downtown Meriden

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Join us at our Downtown History Center Location on Sunday, 6/11/22 between the hours of 11:00 am – 3:00 pm. On display are photographs and artifacts featuring Meriden’s People, Products and Places. Free admission.

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Our feature exhibit at our October Open House will be dedicated to Rosa Ponselle.

MISSION & VISION

OUR MISSION
To steward the rich and diverse history of Meriden, Connecticut and its people. We collect, preserve, research, and exhibit artifacts; create educational programming; and support research that accurately interprets Meriden’s past. We inspire and engage others to learn about and take pride in the history of our community.

OUR VISION
To be a vibrant center, providing multi-media access and resources for all members of our community, scholars, students, and others, to understand, appreciate, and experience the history of Meriden.

THE MERIDEN GRAVURE COMPANY- PRINTING BEFORE THE DIGITAL AGE – LECTURE AND BOOK SIGNING

Presented by William (Bill) J. Glick

Thursday, November 9, 2017 at 6:30 p.m. at the Meriden Public Library 105 Miller Street, Meriden

William J. (Bill) Glick will present an illustrated talk about the Meriden Gravure Company and the talented people who were the driving force behind this world renowned, Meriden based, printing company. In his presentation, Bill will draw on his 30 year association with the company as well as on his extensive research when writing his recently published book IN THE SERVICE OF SCHOLARSHIP: HAROLD HUGO & THE MERIDEN GRAVURE COMPANY (Oak Knoll Press 2017).

Book signing will follow the discussion.

This program is free to both members and non-members of the Meriden Historical Society. Refreshments will be served.

OCTOBER 2017 OPEN HOUSE AND SPECIAL EXHIBIT

Our October 2017 Open House will feature Communication Before the Digital Age. We’ll be open on Saturdays, October 14 & 28 and on Sundays, October 8, 15, 22 & 29 from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM.
A special wine and cheese reception for members and their guests is scheduled for Saturday, October 7,  4:30PM – 6:30 PM.
Admission is free, donations are gratefully appreciated.